BALTIMORE -- There wasn’t much drama in Sunday’s 34-17 loss to the Ravens. The Raiders didn’t have Derek Carr and Jon Gruden screaming at each other on the sideline. There weren’t any controversial calls or records set.
This was just a run-of-the-mill beating by a better team.
The Ravens played old-school, big-boy football and ran the Raiders down on victory lane. The Silver and Black weren’t bad, but they couldn’t compete due to a glaring talent disparity even against a near-.500 Ravens team.
The effort was there. The execution, however, was not.
Let’s grade each phase of the Raiders' game in this week’s report card.
Doug Martin ran well at the outset, but the ground game was largely phased out after the Raiders got behind. He had 51 yards on 11 carries, but other rushers couldn’t gain much steam in limited work.
Gruden just couldn’t commit to the run game like he did last week in Arizona after falling behind multiple scores.
The air attack was out of sync most of the day, and it wasn’t all Carr’s fault. His pass protection was poor, especially down the stretch, and allowed three sacks in a row. Receivers dropped several passes and didn’t have much speed in the pattern to keep the Ravens' secondary honest.
Carr wasn’t as accurate as usual in this one, especially when the Raiders needed to mount a comeback.
This was as bad as it gets. The Raiders allowed a season-high 242 yards on 43 carries, unable to stop or even slow running back Gus Edwards or quarterback Lamar Jackson in the second half.
After the game, Gruden said if you can’t stop the interior run, "you have no chance to stop anything else." He’s right. That was the genesis of a downright awful day at the office for players who knew what was coming and still couldn’t stop the Ravens' ground game.
Jackson had a 58.4 passer rating, with just 178 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The Raiders' secondary had two picks for the second consecutive week, including one by Marcus Gilchrist in the end zone. Reggie Nelson had one in Ravens' territory.
Oakland's defensive backs are playing better in recent weeks, though they're still far from perfect. They must continue cutting down on major mistakes. Not allowing big plays to lumbering tight ends like Mark Andrews would be a good start.
The punt game is awful. No other word for it. Johnny Townsend had several underwhelming efforts and averaged just 31.5 yards per punt.
The punt coverage team allowed a 70-yard return for a touchdown that had Gruden fuming. Despite bringing in free agents specifically to help on special teams, that unit is not good enough.
Kicker Daniel Carlson was a bright spot, hitting his sixth consecutive field goal, this one from 42 yards out.
The Raiders were outmanned. Plain and simple. They struggled to stop the run game, and everything fell apart after that, ensuring their 13th losing season in the past 16 years, with the Kansas City Chiefs up next. Finding the next win could take some time.