On Sunday, the Oakland Raiders were beat in every aspect of the game by the Baltimore Ravens in their 55-20 defeat. After the game the focus was on correcting the mental mistakes the cost the Raiders during the game.
“I think you explain it because we had too many mental errors on defense, gave up too many big plays,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “We turned the ball over too many times and we didn’t execute on special teams. When you do those things, it generally results in something like that.”
Defense was Oakland's biggest issue against the Ravens. They allowed 419 total yards and could not contain quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco finished the game with 341 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran in a score. The Raiders were vulnerable in the middle of the field the entire game. The Ravens exploited the lack of coverage with tight ends accounting for 126 yards and a touchdown. Baltimore's game plan was to throw at safety turned cornerback Michael Huff and capitalized with two touchdowns to wide receiver Torrey Smith of 20 and 47 yards. Throughout the game Huff and safety Matt Giordano let receivers run free because of a lack of communication.
“I think today the back end didn’t communicate as much as they should have,” Huff said. “There were a lot of blown assignments. A lot things like that, as far as communication errors. I give them that they made the plays, but a lot of that was communication on the back end between the linebackers and safeties, and we have to get that fixed.”
Offensively the Raiders were able to move the ball to the tune of 422 total yards. Quarterback Carson Palmer threw for 368 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The interception was a result of a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage by Paul Kruger. Palmer had eight balls deflected during the game. The touchdown passes were to Darrius Heyward-Bey from 55 yards out and Denarius Moore from 30 yards out. Without Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, who both suffered high ankle sprains, the Oakland running game was a non-factor. Fullback Marcel Reece started the game at running back, but only rushed for 48 yards on 13 carries. He did catch seven balls in the passing game and filled in as well as could be expected for a player who had one carry before Sunday.
“They kept scoring, and we couldn’t keep up,” Palmer said. “With all the penalties and mental errors we had, there’s no way we’re going to beat a playoff team on their field.”
After a good start to the season in limiting penalties, the Raiders have taken a huge step back. Against the Ravens, the Raiders committed 10 penalties for 105 yards. The team turned the ball over three times with two fumbles and one interception. On special teams, Oakland allowed a 105 kickoff return touchdown to Jacoby Jones as well as a fake field goal touchdown by holder Sam Koch. The combination of all their mental errors and mistakes were the main reason the Raiders could not compete. They will face a red hot New Orleans Saints team next week and if the miscommunication, mental mistakes, and execution are not addressed, it will be another long afternoon for Oakland.
“We obviously have to look at the whole thing because the outcome like that is unacceptable,” Allen said. “We’re going to look at anything we can do to be better. At the end of the day, we can’t have the mental mistakes. So we have to look at why are we having those mental mistakes and whatever we have to do to try to get that corrected we’ve got to do.”
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