Our Journey to the Dark Side is now complete. There obviously were not a lot of positives in this game. What makes matters worse is the fact that in only a few weeks, the fans and team will finally realize this is not a playoff team by any imagination.
At times, we have been exposed by our offense, at times we have been exposed by defense and at times, our discipline has cost us games. At this point, it's just a matter of wondering what part of the Wall will leak this week.
Sure, we all know Baltimore boasted many weapons and has a certain kind of firepower that only few can compete with. For years now, Baltimore has been one of the more elite teams that is in the playoff races on a consistent basis. Where has the Raiders toughness and true grit gone? The 70s?
How do we redeem ourselves? How can we improve? What kind of new philosophy can we benefit from? Which players should we keep and who is given their walking papers? These are all of the questions that will be answered during this second half of the season. You can bet the Farm, the Lord of the Sith will be around to witness what we truly have in our future. I can only hope you will be too, my Nation.
Here we go again. The same thing has killed us most of the season. You all should know by now, without a decent run game on our plate we are as useless as Boba Fett in a Sarlacc pitt.
Being 31st in the NFL is nothing to be proud of. I feel without Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, we will never have an effective running game. Hell, even with the two of them doesn't guarantee victory (thank you Greg Knapp).
Solutions? 1) Wait for healthy players 2) Observe and evaluate the offensive line from here on out for future needs 3) Wait until a certain coordinator pulls his head out and realizes we are more of a power blocking team rather than a zone blocking team. 4) Fire him.
The passing game seems like the only thing we have to cheer for lately. Carson Palmer (368 yards, 2 TDs) doesn't always make the best throws, but when he does, it looks like a slice of heaven.
Denarius Moore (4/90 yards, 1 TD), Darrius Heyward-Bey ( 5/82 yards, 1 TD) and Marcel Reece (104 all purpose yards) all seem to be players that can help us out in the future. I attend all of the games to witness these phenomenal players.
Last week it was the defensive line and linebackers mostly that killed us. Sunday, it was defensive backs. Whether it be Tyvon Branch, Mike Huff or Matt Giordano… it simply didn't matter.
Joe Flacco torched us for 341 yards with 3 Touchdowns! Did I mention they put up 55 points?
When I think about it again, ALL of the defensive squad should take responsibility for this loss. No true pressure was seen most of the game. I hate to write this, but this has been an ongoing problem since week 1.
Find new corners and defensive linemen. I still think we have good players such as Tyvon Branch (6 tackles, 1 assist) and Phillip Wheeler (also 6 tackles, 1 assist). Even Mike Huff looks good at times. I think overall, these are the type of guys you should build your team around. As for the others? The evil Sith Lord shall be watching you all closely.
I'm not at the "Wipe them out..all of them" phase just yet, but it might be coming soon.
Notes from NFL game summary:
"Rough, rough, rough, rough game," Palmer said. "We didn't play any good in any facet of the game. Came in and got outplayed by a good football team. It's very frustrating. We got to put this one in our rear view mirror, because it's going to be a tough one to get past."
Playing without injured running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, the Raiders gained only 72 yards on the ground.
Baltimore didn't punt until the third quarter, and even that turned out well. Phillip Adams fumbled, the Ravens recovered the ball and Flacco promptly threw a touchdown pass to Smith.
Later in the quarter, Koch ran 7 yards for a touchdown to cap a 74-yard drive.
Burned for 251 yards on the ground last week by Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin in a 42-32 defeat, Oakland shored up its run defense to stop Ray Rice. So Flacco went to the air, repeatedly hitting tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson over the middle in the first half before going long and outside to Smith in the third quarter.
Flacco went 21-for-33 and did not play in the fourth quarter.
Rice ran for 35 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He finished the afternoon with 5,034 yards rushing for his career, joining Jamal Lewis as the only players in Ravens history to top 5,000.
The Ravens won without defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and cornerback Jimmy Smith. Ngata dressed but rested a shoulder injury, and Smith could not get warmed up properly from a groin injury, according to Harbaugh.
But that gave Flacco enough time to add another touchdown before the break. He went 5 for 6 for 73 yards before Rice ran for a 7-yard score.The Raiders used a 55-yard pass from Palmer to Darrius Heyward-Bey to close to 20-10 with 1:39 left in the second quarter. It was the ninth straight game in which Oakland scored in the final two minutes of the first half.
Oakland's first possession ended with Palmer flat on his back. On a fourth and 1 from the Baltimore 44, Palmer took the snap from center and took one step backward before right guard Mike Brisiel stepped on his right foot. The Ravens then moved 22 yards before Justin Tucker kicked a field goal.
After an Oakland punt, Flacco completed an 18-yard pass to Pitta and connected with Dickson for 40 yards before scoring on a 1-yard run to make it 10-0.
Early in the second quarter, Raiders cornerback Michael Huff intercepted a pass at the Baltimore 19 to set up a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.
Flacco responded by covering 80 yards in six plays for a 17-3 lead. After completing a 47-yard pass to Jones and a 19-yarder to Dixon, Flacco tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Pitta.
The Raiders followed with their first drive that included multiple first downs, but that ended poorly, too. Paul Kruger picked off a short pass and took it to the Oakland 32, which led to field goal.
To read the entire game Summary, click here:
Next week the Saints are marching into the Oakland Coliseum. I think even despite our injuries, defensive woes and recent running issues, we still stand a good chance at defeating them. Call me crazy, but I really feel this can be a team we can stop if our pass rush finally shows up to the party. Come out to the O and show your support.
May the Force be with us, kids.
Strength and Honor,