In what some label as a freefall, the Baltimore Ravens entered O.co and defeated the Raiders 30-17. The Raiders appeared listless from the beginning. Additionally, the defense failed to do anything to derail a Ravens offense gaining yards at will on them. Without Derek Carr, the offense had chances to succeed. Yet, through drops, fumbles and breakdowns in blocking, the offense sputtered to the finish line. Plus, very peculiar coaching decisions hovered above this game.
For consecutive weeks, tight end Jared Cook’s miscues played pivotal roles in Raider loss. In Denver, the dropped go-ahead touchdown. Yesterday, the first that Ravens’ corner Jimmy Smith immediately scooped, taking it 47 yards into the end zone. Couple that gaffe with multiple drops at the most crucial of times, and Cook continues to struggle. Blessed with superlative talent is not enough to succeed. The offense provides Cook with targets. However, those passes need to evolve into catches and positive yardage. With eleven games left, the margin for error continues to shrink.
Everyone that plays the Baltimore Ravens knows two things. First, Joe Flacco can throw a beautiful deep ball. Next, Mike Wallace prefers to run vertical routes. With that said, the Raiders failed to contain Wallace. Although Flacco targeted Wallace only three times, the receiver grabbed all three for 133 painful yards. These strikes placed the Ravens in scoring position. Basically, the secondary, save for Karl Joseph remains a mess. No one can either stay healthy, cover or stop peeking into the backfield. The Ravens gave teams the blueprint on how to attack Oakland: go vertical and dare the corners to keep up.
Interior Design Flaws
Again, the interior of the defensive line failed to generate any pressure. Also, the Ravens ran the ball right at them for 145 yards on 39 carries. Entering the season, many feared opponents would feast between the tackles. Unfortunately, this nightmare became a reality rather quickly. Buck Allen and Alex Collins routinely churned out four yards at a clip. As a result, drives extended and the defense fatigued. From this point, either a new rotation or starters should merit any consideration. .
In reality, the Raiders crawled back into this game. While thirteen points seems like a cakewalk, Oakland could not generate a single game changing play. As Derek Carr continues to heal, the focus shifts towards the defense and their lack of any explosion not named Khalil Mack. The 2017 season resides at a crossroads for the Raiders. Can they turn this around?
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