Paul G's Instant Replay: Ravens 55, Raiders 20


Paul G's Instant Replay: Ravens 55, Raiders 20


BALTIMORE -- It was as embarrassing a beating as it was thorough.The Raiders' 55-20 defeat to Baltimore tied a franchise record for most points allowed, equaling the 55 given up to San Diego on Nov. 22, 1981 and the 55 surrendered to Houston on Sept. 9, 1961, and the Ravens set a franchise record for most points scored.Oakland was never really in the game, though quarterback Carson Palmer did his best, throwing for 368 yards, on 29 of 45 passing, with two touchdowns and an interception for a passer rating of 95.4.Perhaps most galling for the Raiders was the fake field goal the Ravens ran for a touchdown with a huge lead. Or this: the Raiders actually outgained the Ravens, 422-419.Keep scoring late: Darrius Heyward-Bey's 55-yard catch and run for a touchdown with 1:37 to play in the second quarter marked the ninth straight time this season the Raiders scored in the final two minutes of the first half. The TD pulled the Raiders to within 20-10. And really, that was that, as the Ravens took off from there.Um, Taiwan Jones?: With Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both out with respective high ankle sprains, the thought was that Taiwan Jones would get a shot at being the lead running back. Instead, fullback Marcel Reece got the start and the lion's share of the carries. In fact, practice squad signee Jeremy Stewart carried the ball before Jones, getting 22 yards on six carries. Jones had two carries for six yards and Reece had a game-high 48 yards on 13 carries.Third-quarter woes: After getting outscored 21-7 in the third quarter, the Raiders have now been outscored by a cumulative 109-31 in the third this season. It remains the worst such margin in the NFL.What would Aaron Curry do?: Making his season debut after being activated off the PUP list this week, linebacker Aaron Curry was expected to add some much-needed energy to the defense. Instead, he contributed a pair of 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalties.Rubbing it in?: Just after Joselio Hanson woofed at Anquan Boldin for breaking up a pass in the right corner of the end zone, and Boldin pointed at the scoreboard to show a 41-17 score in favor of the Ravens, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh called for a fake field goal. Holder Sam Koch took the direct snap and ran untouched for a seven-yard touchdown to put the Ravens up, 48-17.Flores breaks it down: In the course of the Raiders' defense collapsing, particularly in the middle of the field, two-time Super Bowl-winning coach-turned-radio broadcaster Tom Flores turned to partner Greg Papa, saying, "This is getting disgusting, Greg." Actually, it got worse.Up next: The Raiders (3-6) are home to face the high-powered New Orleans Saints (4-5), who handed the Atlanta Falcons their first loss of the season on Sunday.

Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant


Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant

MEXICO CITY – The President of the United States has taken several shots at players who choose to sit during the national anthem.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was in his crosshairs early Monday morning.

Trump was bothered by Lynch’s actions before Sunday’s 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca.

Lynch sat for the United States’ national anthem, as he has in every game this season. Then he stood for Mexico’s anthem, though he spent most of that song getting his equipment adjusted.

The President took exception in a Twitter rant that has become a staple of his presidency.

It is believed that Lynch is sitting in protest of racial inequality, a movement popularized by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, though he has never declared that publicly. He refused to answer questions on that topic this summer.

That hasn’t stopped Trump from demanding he be suspended the rest of the season for his actions. The league won’t do that.

Trump won’t get his way, but with a quick tweet he brought the issue to the Raiders’ doorstep in what will become a topic in Alameda all week.

Lynch was probably asleep when Trump’s tweet went public at 5:25 a.m. ET, and therefore hasn’t responded in any way.

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots


Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

MEXICO CITY – Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City:

1. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders aren’t stacking wins as they’d like. Nobody in the AFC West is, either. The Chiefs lost another one, meaning the AFC West crown remains within reach. They’re two games back in the division and one back in the wild card race.

That, above all else, will keep the Raiders motivated after a disastrous loss to New England.

“We're professionals and to me, so long as you have hope, you keep your hope, you keep hope alive,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So, we'll continue to scratch and claw and fight for everything we can.”

The Raiders can harken Lloyd Christmas from “Dumb and Dumber.” So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders will only stay in it if they start a prolonged winning streak. There’s a chance do that on an upcoming two-game home stand. They play Denver and the New York Giants, respectively, in Oakland over the next fortnight. Those teams have five wins between them.

Wins can’t be assumed with the Raiders. With their inconsistency and mistake-prone play, they can lose to anyone.

Fight remains in this group. They’ll continue to push, especially with a 9-7 record being a legitimate playoff contender. They haven’t played worthy of such consideration, but remain hopeful a switch gets flipped.

“We are who we are, we're not going to turn on each other, we're not going to turn on anything about what we do,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Obviously, we know that our culture and everything that we do works, because we have seen it work.”

2. Receiver corps becoming a weak spot

The Raiders have a talented group of receivers lacking consistency and production. That was the case on Sunday, when pass catchers hindered offensive flow and scoring opportunities.

Seth Roberts was the biggest offender. He had a drop, a false start and lost a fumble near the goal line with the Patriots up 14-0 late in the first half. Roberts had 12 yards in his pocket but held the ball one-handed, away from his body fighting for more. Marquis Flowers knocked it free and Patrick Chung recovered.

That was the turning point, a true 10-point swing. The Raiders lost a chance to reach the end zone, and allowed New England to get a field goal as the half expired.

“That was a major turn of events,” Del Rio said.

The slot receiver wasn’t the only receiver who stalled the Raiders offense. That group had five drops, according to Pro Football Focus, including two from Michael Crabtree. Johnny Holton wasn’t credited with a drop, but he had a perfectly thrown deep ball clang off his helmet and shoulder pads.

It’s a bad night in a bad year for the Raiders receivers, who haven’t been producing.

3. Lopsided score keeps Marshawn from going Beast Mode

Running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player who had a good Sunday. The bruising back ran roughshod over New England’s front seven, right from the start. He totaled 67 yards on 11 carries, and seemed primed for a big day and a higher-than-usual carry volume.

He and the Raiders run blocking was consistent, allowing him to reach the second level on several occasions.

The lopsided score, however, meant the Raiders had to abandon the ground game.

“I thought we ran the ball well early,” Del Rio said. “I would like to have ended up with 30-plus rush attempts in the ball game, but you got to stay within reasonable amount of the score in order to stick with the run.”

The Raiders were down two touchdowns in a flash, and were three scores behind at the half. That forced Derek Carr to chuck it towards an unreliable receiver corps. That method proved inefficient and never created the big moments.

Lynch has run well since returning from a one-game suspension. He has 25 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. If there’s a positive to take from Sunday’s beat down, Lynch’s efficiency might be it.