The Raiders looked like the historically bad 2006 Raider team today in Baltimore, losing 29-10 and dropping to 2-5 on the season. I’m extra sad because my brother and two nephews made the trip all the way from St. Louis to witness it.
Bad defense, really bad special teams, and embarrassingly bad offense.
I could have written this post mortem around the middle of the second quarter because the game was essentially over by then. It was 19-0 and the Raiders had something like 35 yards total offense.
If you could look at one stat, try third down conversions. The Raiders have been horrible on third downs all year. This game, the offense was only 2 for 13, while the defense allowed Baltimore to convert 10 of 18.
Could it have been any more obvious which Ryan brother is the smart one and which is the dumb one? Rex’s defense was without three out of four starters in the secondary and started Raider bust Fabian Washington, yet they looked like they were in another league. They attacked with blitzes and allowed no running room for the Raiders. Raider runners averaged less than 2 yards per carry. The Raiders defense, on the other hand, looked weak against the run again and could not stop the trickery and let a rookie quarterback get way too comfortable (again!) in the pocket. Zero sacks. Very few QB pressures. One very noticeable zone defense mistake which resulted in a 70 yard TD pass.
Rob Ryan is not putting the players in a position to win and utilize their skills best. He is just an absolutely terrible defensive coordinator this year and for the last five years and is proof that Al Davis is lost in what he’s doing with this once proud franchise. Note that last week’s win versus the Jets could have easily been another loss if Brett Favre hadn’t over thrown a wide open receiver in overtime against a loose Raider zone.
That said, a lot of Raven third down conversions were accomplished due to Raider missed tackles and some poor run defense.
The Raider Special Teams contributed to this pathetic display of football as well. They allowed a huge punt return by a back up returner that led to a field goal, made some untimely penalties, and featured the Bonehead Play of the Week: With the Raiders struggling with bad field position all game, Johnnie Lee Higgins fields a kick off at the two yard line while he allows his momentum to carry him out of bounds. Note to Johnnie – let those bounce into the end zone and down it there.
But all in all, the core of the Raider loss was due to the inept offense, just like back in 2006 when the Raiders went to Baltimore with Aaron Brooks as their quarterback. They are painful to watch. While the offensive line has greatly improved since then, the results are the same. I think that in this game, they layed right to Baltimore’s strengths and insisted on running the ball up the middle on just about every first and second down….and, curiously, a lot of third downs. Please be more inventive Greg Knapp! The other offensive coordinator schooled you today. Remember, both teams had rookie quarterbacks….actually, JaMarcus is not a rookie, which should have put him a little ahead of Flacco.
JaMarcus looked better on a couple of his long throws, but his accuracy and decision making still bother me. He just looks like he’s locking into one guy on a lot of plays. This game showed that the Raiders’ unimaginative offense actually only puts one receiver out into a pattern, so I’m not so sure I should blame JaMarcus or the play calling. I do like that he took off and ran it one time though.
This game was a step backwards.