The Oakland Raiders v.s. Baltimore Raven’s. Many Great Grades In a Nice Win


Final Oakland Raider Grades v.s. Baltimore Ravens; Week 2

(0-2)  Baltimore Ravens  33

(1-1)  Oakland Raiders  37

After one of the worst opening games in recent memory, the Raiders changed their offense and their approach and had an inspiring 37-33 come from behind win against the Baltimore Raven’s in front of a rabid Oakland crowd.


Roll Carr out and throw deep should be tattooed on OC Bill Musgrave’s hands. This is the first game that Derek Carr played in a way where he could show off his skills and the first time in years I have nothing to complain about in regards to the play calling. He still struggled with accuracy in the pocket but the Raiders rolled him out and he threw deep which is a must for his success. He thrives in those situations.

The long pass for a touchdown to Amari Cooper set the stage the rest of the game. It is a must for the Raiders success. It made the Raven’s honest on defense and it also helped the run game. It was nice to see safeties actually worrying about the deep ball than creeping up to stop the run.

Carr had a good rhythm with Michael Crabtree when he rolled out and he showed good accuracy. He has a great arm and he did a great job throwing deep.  The final drive showed patience and some nice throws.

The only negatives were Carr’s 2 bad interceptions in the fourth quarter and that has to be improved on against good teams. One of them was called back on the winning drive when the Raiders were called for defensive holding.


Carr had his best game as a pro. He still struggled some in the pocket with accuracy but outside the pocket he was extremely accurate and looked very natural. This is the type of QB he is. He also threw downfield which opened up holes in the secondary. He can throw deep and it was nice to see his talents shown.

Carr can’t throw those type of interceptions but other than that he had an excellent game and showed what he could do. Smiles all around.

Running Backs: 

The Ravens run defense is solid so getting 97 yards on the ground was a good day. Isn’t it crazy how the running game improves when teams are worried about you passing downfield? Cooper’s long touchdown set the stage for the running game and the Raiders took advantage of it.

Latavius Murray rushed for 65 yards on 15 carries and he had a short touchdown run. Solid game for the Raiders with the offensive line really shining.

Grade:  B

Solid game against a solid defense. If the Raiders continue to throw downfield, this will make defenses respect them and the running game will benefit. Safeties worrying about long passes aren’t very aggressive against the run.

Offensive Line: 

The OL had a great day. Penalties were an issue at times but for the most part, this is the best game the Raiders OL has played in a while.

Fans seem to rip on the offensive line when they lose, but give them little to no credit when they win. The Raiders offensive line was great and deserve game balls all around.

They gained 97 yards on the ground against a good run defense and they gave up only 1 sack all game. Carr had protection to burn. They handled the blitz properly and it was a solid effort from this much maligned group.   Carr will get all the publicity but the offensive line was a cohesive unit all game.

Grade:  A-

Week 1 was disastrous but week two showed that this can be a good group. The penalties were an issue that has to be addressed but for the most part this was a really solid effort.

Wide Receivers: 

The Raiders wide receivers shined with Cooper and Crabtree leading the way. Crabtree had a great day with 9 catches for 111 yards and a TD.   The Raiders FINALLY threw deep and Coopers long TD pass opened up the defense and made them honest. The Raiders run game and short passing game clicked because Baltimore now needed to respect that the Raiders could throw downfield. It was exciting to finally see.


Last week was forgettable.   This week was a great one for this group. Crabtree caught two very tough catches and Cooper spread the field. Andre Holmes also had 2 really good catches in traffic.

Defensive Line:

If it wasn’t for the Chicago Bears, the Raiders would have the worst defense after the first two games of the season. The Raven’s; who aren’t exactly a juggernaut; got almost 500 yards total offense.

The Raiders defensive line for the second game recorded no sacks and are last in the NFL. Khalil Mack was invisible with only 1 tackle and no sacks. Aldon Smith played more but he had only 1 tackle as well. Joe Flacco was allowed to have all day to throw and he diced up the Raiders secondary.

The Raiders gave up 109 yards on the ground (4.5 yards per carry) and 384 yards in the air. Flacco missed on 2 fairly easy passes that could have gone for TD’s. In the final drive on 3rd down he missed Steve Smith again who was wide open for a touchdown. Even with blitzes he had all day to throw. Justin Tuck and Dan Williams had some good moments though on short yardage running stops. Williams continues to be unheralded but he’s been solid and Tuck has played much better than he did last year.

Grade:  D

The Ravens did what they wanted on offense and only the misses by Joe Flacco saved this unit. Right now they are just not getting it done in any way.


Curtis Lofton was all over the place and played a great game. He lead the team in tackles and made two nice plays defending the pass.   They did struggle in the passing game.   With the Raiders safeties struggling guarding tight ends, they switched linebackers on them and they were not very successful. They were average against the run but they struggled a lot in the passing game.

Grade C

Another rough game for this group. Malcolm Smith was not bad against the pass but struggled again against the run. Lofton is the best linebacker on this team and he has to stay healthy.

Defensive Backs:

Right now the Raiders may have the worst DB’s in the NFL due to injuries and lack of talent. Joe Flacco was a mess against the Broncos and he looked like John Elway Sunday, just like Andy Dalton did the week before.

The Raiders picked up Taylor Mayes and he had a couple of good plays but overall the Safeties cannot guard Tight Ends. It got so bad the Raiders started switching linebackers to guard them. If Joe Flacco was more accurate, he could have thrown for more yards, missing on 2 TD’s by throwing too high. Steve Smith did whatever he wanted to the Raiders corners catching 10 passes for a whopping 150 yards.

Grade D- 

Without a pass rush, the DB’s are toast. Joe Flacco barely passed for 100 yards last week and struggled all day but this week he almost had 400 yards. The only way to help these guys is to get a pass rush. They are doing their best but it’s just not happening.


FINALLY they got it on offense.   I’ve been saying two things since last year; THROW DEEP and roll out Carr.

Throwing deep does 2 things;   it makes the defensive backs respect the long ball threat and it keeps them off the line of scrimmage and that opens up the rushing offense. If Safeties are near the line of scrimmage all the time, you can’t run the ball.   Last week the Raiders Qb’s averaged 4.7 yards a completion; this week 7.7 yards a completion.

The long ball to Cooper, coupled with rolling Carr out of the pocket gave him confidence. He can throw deep and he’s accurate on the run rolling out. The offense ran for 97 yards against a tough run defense partially because of the safeties having to respect the long ball.

The Raiders had 16 penalties for 106 yards and that can’t continue. No way are they going to win again with that many penalties.

Grade B+

The Raiders play calling was excellent and that has to continue. The penalties were extreme and that has to be fixed. They also have to do something to put pressure on the quarterback. Right now their DL are not pass rushers and Mack hasn’t had a good start to the season again. Overall a great improvement on a disastrous opener.

Special Teams:

Another solid game by this unit with Janikowski going 3 for 3 and Marquette King had 2 booming kicks.   The return game didn’t get many chances and it was not a factor.

Grade B+

The return game wasn’t a factor but King and Jano were solid.

Next Opponent:  Cleveland Browns (1-1; last game, win @ home against Tennessee Titans 28-14)

 Looking @ the Brown’s:

The Browns have been the same formula for a while now; run the ball and play solid defense and hope your QB gives you something. It hasn’t changed.

Against the Titans the Browns had great pressure on the Qb with 7 sacks on rookie Marcus Mariotta. They did struggle against the run giving up 166 yards on the ground to the Titans.

On offense they only had 13 first downs all game and Johnny Manziel threw only 15 times all day completing 8 passes for 158 yards and 2 TD’s. The Browns passing game is much more conservative and the hopes are that the Raiders can be more successful against a limited passing game.


It’s amazing how your offense is respected and holes are opened up when defenses respect you going deep.   It also opened up the running game against a solid run stopping team.

The Raiders defense has been terrible and things have to get better for them to succeed. Aldon Smith has to step up and make things happen by pressuring Johnny Manziel to make mistakes.

The Raiders offensive line had a great game after a terrible opening day and they will be tested with the pass rush of the Browns.

Carr was the worst rated QB on the road last year so this is a bigger game than people think. The Raiders have to start winning on the road if they are going to improve on their past seasons.

Flying back east for an early game usually spells danger for west coast teams. The Browns are not a great team so looking at their schedule, this is a near must win for the Raiders. Look for a tough contest, with the Raiders hoping to continue their growth.


8 thoughts on “The Oakland Raiders v.s. Baltimore Raven’s. Many Great Grades In a Nice Win”

  1. Carr looked great in the pocket, the long Cooper touch down and the game winning drive were all from the pocket.
    He stood in there and took hits and delivered the ball on time.
    He had minimal throws on designed roll outs, the Crabtree touchdown comes to mind.
    I was going to watch the coaches film on my NFL Gamepass and I can give you an exact breakdown of attempts from pockets, rollouts, drops, etc. if you want?
    I still like what I see in Carr and I believe he has the physical tools and will put in the work to be a franchise QB.
    I also underestimated his roll as a leader.
    I don’t think last week would have got that out of hand had Carr not went out of the game.


    1. Thanks for the comments. Both of his ints were in the pocket. Luckily holding was called to nullify it or they lose. He also missed Crabtree with two easy throws. He’s nervous in the pocket still. He had a good game but he is an avg Qb in the pocket. He gas to throw long and roll out. If he does that and is ok in the pocket then he’ll be good. You are a biased fan. I’m an objective writer. He’s never going to be great but he can be good. Thanks for reading and dont be a stranger. Jim Jax


      1. Hello,
        Yes, I am a Raiders fan since I was a child in the late 70’s and trust me, no true Raiders fan that has suffered through the last decade and a half have any illusions and we know the sting of reality better than most.
        We have heard the “this is our new franchise QB” and this coach will “Change the culture” so many times, when it does happen we will have trouble believing it.

        That being said, I think Carr is the real deal, he is still young and learning, but I haven’t been this hopeful since Gruden took over and we got Rich Gannon.

        All I was saying is, I believe Carr is better in the pocket than on the run, especially last Sunday.
        I have also watched Carr play enough now to notice certain things.
        1. Happy Feet: Great movie! But Carr’s “happy feet” in the pocket, for better or worse, are part of his mechanics. If you watch practice videos, when he is just working with a receiver and pretending to take a snap he does the same tap dance routine. As long as he sets before he throws he is fine.
        2. Carr’s inaccuracy: sometimes he is just off, but sometimes it is intentional. He will short arm or overthrow receivers (like the endzone throws this week) as a way of getting rid of the ball to avoid the sack and not force a possible interception. He had gotten really good at making it look like a bad throw so he doesn’t draw the intentional grounding flag.
        3. His arm was hit on the interception last week, which made it come up short. The 2nd throw wasn’t bad at all and the reason it was picked off was because of the defensive holding, I’m glad the refs made the right call. I was impressed by Carr’s ability to lead the team 80 yards for a go ahead score, that is something a franchise QB has to do.

        Does Carr still have things to work in and improve to prove he will be the franchise QB for the Raiders?
        But to steal a term from Jack Del Rio, I like the way he is tracking.

        When I mentioned Gamepass, I was talking about just re watching to coaches film of the entire game (they show every play from the sideline angel and the endzone angle, it is kinda cool, no sound) and writing down all the stats myself to give the percentages of what happened in the pocket and out of the pocket, it didn’t involve listening to anyone’s opinion.


      2. Time will tell; I remember when Jamarcus Russell had a good game and people were losing their minds. It takes time to see if a quarterback is good. Look at RGIII and Kaepernick; some on ESPN said he may become the greatest player in history; it will take time to see what becomes of Carr. Fans love to blame the OL when Carr struggles and then give them no credit when he does well. The OL had a great game and protected Carr well. As I said in another article it’s vital for Carr to be protected because he struggles big time with a rush. Nice game but fans need to not be so negative when teams and players struggle one game and then lose their minds when they have a good one. Thanks for your comments; I enjoy them. Jim Jax


  2. You had to pull out Jamarcus Russell?
    He never made it to the “Franchise QB” in my mind, but it is funny how people criticize the Raiders for that pick, when he was at the top of all of the experts boards? He just turned out to be a bust. Carr’s worst game is better than Jamarcus Russell’s average game.

    By the end of this year it should be clear whether or not Carr has what it takes to be the Franchise QB for the Raiders.
    But I digress,

    Here are some more specific Stats for Derek Carr Sunday Vs. The Ravens after going through the tape.

    These facts should show that he spent and was successful being a pocket passer Sunday, VS. the Ravens.

    Comp/Attempts 30/46 65%
    351 Yards 11.7 YPC
    3 TD’s
    1 INT

    85% of Passes were from the Pocket where he was 26 of 39 for 66% and 2TD’s and 1 INT

    15% of Passes were on Roll Outs where he was 4 of 7 for 57% and 1TD

    Incompletions break down
    Total INT’s = 16

    Throw Away or Bad Throw (you be the judge)- 4
    Definitely Bad Throw- 1
    On Target-Dropped- 2
    On Target-Defended- 6
    Tipped at Line- 2
    Intercepted (Arm Hit, preventing follow through short pass) – 1


  3. I’ve been a draft junkie for years and he wasn’t on every ones board. He struggled a lot with pro style defenses at the time especially auburn. I hated the pick at the time. Russell got his rep by his huge arm and lsu destroying note dame in his last game for the Tigers where he looked like a HOF player. Problem was ND was near last in many defensive categories. It t ad ked time to know if a guy will be good. Hopefully he continues to improve


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