Another week of sifting through the rubble of another collapse trying to pick out the positives among the wreckage. It’s the third week in a row for that, something I have not had to do in quite some time. But it is an old familiar feeling, having done this series for ten years with the Raiders losing a lot more than they won over the first seven of those years.
This game felt over not long after it began. The Ravens through a 52-yard bomb on the very first play, scored a touchdown four plays later, then scored another touchdown off a Jared Cook fumble three plays into the Raiders’ first drive that was returned for a touchdown. It was a 14-0 Ravens lead in a total of 8 snaps of the ball with less than 4 minutes off the clock.
The Ravens would lead throughout, with the Raiders pulling to within a touchdown in the third quarter, but getting no closer. A couple late field goals and the Ravens had a cake walk through Oakland for a 30-17 win.
After missing last week with a chest injury, Crabtree picked up right where he left off as the Raiders’ leading receiver. EJ Manuel sure liked throwing to him. Maybe a little too much. The first play of the game was a 3-yard pass to Crabtree. After two passes to Cook, one that was fumbled away and returned for a touchdown, Manuel went back to Crabtree who caught it, broke a tackle and went for a 17-yard pickup to put the Raiders in scoring range. They added a field goal.
The Raiders would go down 21-3 on the next Ravens’ possession and finally had a real answer. They moved into Ravens’ territory where Crabtree got a step on his defender and Manuel threw to him for a 41-yard touchdown.
Down 24-10 in the third quarter, the Raiders went on a drive in which Crabtree caught a 9-yard pass, and a 7-yard pass on third and 7. The next play, the play action was executed perfectly. Manuel faked the handoff and Crabtree made like he was going to block for the run, causing the corner to step up. As he did, Crabtree stepped around him and was wide open in the end zone. But Manuel overthrew him. Still, it was an absolutely masterful move by Crabtree. The Raiders would end up scoring a few plays later on a run play, so all was not lost.
Crabtree finished with 6 catches on 8 targets for 82 yards and a touchdown. He leads the team in receptions (19), yards (252) and touchdowns (4). Only five passes thrown his way have fallen incomplete all season, for an astounding 79.2% catches.
If you are judging Marshawn’s game Sunday by looking at his 3.6 yards per carry, you should try watching an actual game sometime. They can be pretty entertaining. Certainly more so than watching box scores.
Marshawn carried the ball 12 times for 43 yards Sunday. His first three carries went for 7 yards, 9 yards, and 6 yards. You know, ‘washed up’. The first carry was for a first down and the other two set the Raiders up in second and short on their first scoring drive.
The Raiders would get the ball back early in the second quarter. Second play, Marshawn for six yards. That series led to the touchdown to Michael Crabtree. Marshawn would add a 10-yard catch on the next series, and he was averaging 6.0 yards per touch in the first half. What a bum.
Two of his carries in the third were stopped at the line. The second one Vadal Alexander reported as eligible and promptly got Lynch stuffed for no gain. Then Marshawn’s next carry was just three yards… for a touchdown in which he ran through a motherf—ker’s face and walked over him for the score. That lousy 3-yard run touchdown run helped bring his yards per carry average down to 3.3. Clearly it’s all about the YPC.
His next carry went for 9 yards, followed by 1-yard first down run to finish with 43 yards on 12 carries with a catch for 10 yards. To review, his yards per carry was brought down by three run stops at the line, a 3-yard touchdown, and a 1-yard first down run. Get your nose out of the box score.
Joseph led the team with 9 combined tackles (6 solo). He had two run stops on the Ravens’ second possession. On their next drive, he made a tackle for loss on a catch in the flat on second and goal from the 7-yard line to help hold them to a field goal.
He made the tackle on third down to stop the Ravens’ for a second consecutive three-and-out to begin the second half. He later added two more run stuffs on the Ravens’ final drive of the game. That’s six high quality tackles with just one missed tackle on an 8-yard run and no catches given up.
Khalil Mack – Even his quiet games are better than most. He had no sacks, but he was second on the team with 8 tackles, six of which were run stops.
Jon Feliciano — filling in for the injured Gabe Jackson, Felciano missed just one run block and gave up no pressures.