It’s been a while since Baltimore thoroughly dominated an opponent, but they did just that to the Raiders today. They set a franchise record with 55 points as Joe Flacco and offense was simply unstoppable. The one mistake by Joe was an INT on a tipped ball. Other than that, he was nearly perfect. He threw for well over 300 yards, adding three touchdowns through the air and another on the ground. He spread the ball all over the field, hitting 8 different receivers, 4 of which had over 50 yards. He was very impressive, which is a welcome sight after a few lackluster performances.
Ray Rice was used early and often, but didn’t shine in this game. The Raiders seemed to have loaded the box often against Baltimore, looking to limit the production of Rice. He had just 35 yards on 13 carries, but those numbers would have increased if the score was not so out of hand. Rice left the game after taking a hit to the head, but it did not look serious at all. Cam Cameron certainly looked to use a similar game plan as last week with Rice being used as a workhorse, but that changed a bit with the pace of the game. Next week expect a heavy dose of the running game, though, as Cameron really seems to be more committed to rushing the ball.
The defense wasn’t without their flaws, but overall played a very good game. The secondary was burned a few times, but with Oakland passing so much and the lack of depth for the Ravens corners that was to be expected. Corey Graham was burned down the middle on a pass to Moore, and Ed Reed missed a tackle on Heyward Bey that went for 6. Reed went down cringing after that play and his lack of ability to make the big hit is very concerning. The front 7 was very good in this game though. Baltimore tallied at least 6 tipped balls at the line in this one. Paul Kruger tipped one for himself for an INT, Suggs added one, and the rookie DL Tyson added two more himself. The rush defense was at its best in this one, but that was to be expected. The Raiders were without McFadden and Goodson in this one, starting FB Marcel Reece as the RB. The Raiders tried to stick with the run to start the game, but it just had nothing going.
The special teams was very impressive as well. Justin Tucker made two important field goals in the first half before the game got out of hand. The most interesting play was a fake field goal that had Sam Koch run in a TD from about 5 yards out. The Punter showed some field vision, squirming his ways in between blocks to score his first ever TD. That one left the Raiders with a bitter taste in their mouths as the game was well out ahead at that point. It didn’t stop there though, as Jacoby Jones took his second Kickoff Return for a TD this year in this one. Once again this one was deep in the end zone, but Jones was not even touched on his way to the end zone.
Next weeks game won’t be as easy. They will travel to Heinz Field next week in a battle between the top two AFC North teams. They won’t play until Monday Night against the Chiefs this week. The Steelers are dealing with a ton of injuries this year, but have limped their way to a 5-3 record. They will improve to 6-3, setting up a great matchup in primetime next Sunday.