Around the NFL  

 

Stunner in Oakland: Raiders top Ravens in shootout

Print

The Oakland Raiders (1-1) on Sunday got the best of the Baltimore Ravens (0-2) in a 37-33 shootout in The Black Hole. Here's what you need to know:

Every game, all season

1. Chalk Sunday up as a turning point for Derek Carr. Oakland's second-year passer sliced through Baltimore's secondary for 351 yards and three touchdowns, including his sizzling 12-yard game-winner to second-year wideout Seth Roberts with 0:26 to play. Before directing that inspired nine-play, 80-yard, tilt-sealing drive, Carr led Oakland to four first-half scores, something the team hasn't accomplished since November 2011. He also became the first Raiders passer to throw for 200 yards in the first half since Carson Palmer did it three-plus years ago. It didn't end there, with Carr continuing to puncture Baltimore's defense into the fourth quarter, highlighted by his cross-the-field, 29-yard touchdown strike to Michael Crabtree. Give Carr credit for moving the ball despite a whopping 16 penalties, the most for an Oakland squad since 2005.

2. Joe Flacco barely tested the field deep last week against Denver, but that changed against the Raiders. With all day to throw, the Ravens quarterback passed for 231 first-half yards en route to a monster 384-yard afternoon. It came against Oakland's porous secondary, but the veteran passer looked at home in Marc Trestman's offense. Flacco whipped throws to nine different targets, erasing a 10-point Raiders lead in the second half and looking increasingly comfortable as the game forged on. But it wasn't enough.

3. The hype around Amari Cooper is legitimate. Oakland's first-round receiver boasts pro-ready wheels and footwork and showed off both on his 68-yard touchdown catch two minutes into the game. Most impressive was Cooper's ability to adjust to the ball in air without losing his speed on a route that saw him fry Ravens cover man Jimmy Smith. Cooper -- with 109 yards off seven grabs -- helped the entire offense, drawing away the top corner to open up opportunities for every other pass-catcher, including Michael Crabtree, who registered his first 100-yard outing since December 2013.

4. For Baltimore, the ageless Steve Smith Sr. continues to operate as the team's most reliable playmaker, hauling in 150 yards off 10 catches. His 16 targets were more than double any other Raven, but we also saw progress from Crockett Gillmore. The second-year tight end finished with a career-best two touchdowns and 88 yards off five catches. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Gillmore is speedy enough to get open and big enough to drag would-be tacklers.

5. John Harbaugh this week called Oakland's pass rush one of the best in the league. We didn't see it on Sunday. The inability to push the pocket allowed Flacco legions of time to find open targets. Oakland registered zero sacks and just one hit on the quarterback. They still don't have a sack on the season.

6. Baltimore's defense, meanwhile, isn't the same without Terrell Suggs. The Ravens struggled to control the line of scrimmage and gave Carr too much time to throw. That hurt a secondary that allowed 27 first downs to a Raiders offense that didn't cross midfield until the fourth quarter last week against the Bengals. Toss in a dumb roughing the passer flag on Oakland's final drive by Timmy Jernigan, and there wasn't much to like about Baltimore's game plan on Sunday.

Print

Fan Discussion