Top 5 takeaways from Raiders' Week 2 win over Ravens
Special moment for Jack Del Rio
The Raiders got embarrassed by Cincinnati in the regular-season opener. There’s no questioning that. They responded extremely well, with a 37-33 victory over the Baltimore Ravens that featured high drama, a high-powered offense and just enough defense to get by. Giving up 33 points per game won’t work forever, but the goal is to outscore the opponent, and quarterback Derek Carr did that with a last minute, come-from-behind touchdown pass to Seth Roberts. The Raiders have plenty to work on, but that will be easier coming off a hard-earned victory...
5) Pass coverage still major issue
Good pass defense is a mix of rush and coverage. The Raiders have problems in both areas. Head coach Jack Del Rio vows it will improve, but it’s a long way from serviceable right now. The Raiders gave up 384 passing yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. Cornerbacks DJ Hayden, TJ Carrie and Neiko Thorpe made some nice plays, but gave up some big ones as well. Linebackers aren’t helping underneath, creating real trouble on the back end that is now the Raiders' biggest weakness.
4) Crabtree, Cooper dangerous WR combo
Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree combined for 16 catches, 220 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Ravens. They were open consistently, providing reliable targets for quarterback Derek Carr in a big win. They also provide hope for the future of this offense, and should help their quarterback take steps forward. Cooper is adept picking up yards after the catch with excellent footwork. Crabtree has a huge catching radius and body control. With Seth Roberts and Andre Holmes, Cooper and Crabtree headline a deep receiver group.
3) Pass rush still MIA
The Raiders employ Khalil Mack, Justin Tuck and Aldon Smith -- a trio with tremendous pass rushing talent. They have zero sacks between them through two games. So does the defense. That’s unacceptable for a group like this. The climate was right for quarterback pressure, with the Ravens playing with a deficit and quarterback Joe Flacco throwing 45 times. The Raiders applied pressure, but never got home. That’s an issue that must get fixed for this defense to make game-changing plays.
2) Woodson personifies Raiders grit
Safety Charles Woodson is less than 100 percent. He played most every snap a week after dislocating his right shoulder. He wasn’t at his best, clearly limited by his ailment. Woodson still fought hard every play, even the setbacks that come during a shootout. He played through pain in an inspired performance, and hung tough as the Raiders found a way to win. The same can be said for the entire team, which fed off their oldest brother’s effort.
1) Derek Carr shows moxie
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t perfect on Sunday afternoon, but he was pretty darn good. The second-year pro established a good offensive rhythm early on and maintained it, scoring on all but two drives. Carr threw an ill-timed fourth-quarter interception, but made up for it with a game-winning touchdown drive with 26 seconds left. Carr showed real moxie in a shootout, and found a way to lead his team to victory.