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Three Matchups We Watched In The Oakland Raiders Week 5 Battle With The Baltimore Ravens

Posted Oct 10, 2017

Heading into the Raiders Week 5 battle with the Ravens, we highlighted three matchups to watch. Let's see how they played out.

After back-to-back road games, the Oakland Raiders didn’t get the type of home cooking they were hoping for when they returned to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum last weekend.

The Silver and Black fell to the Baltimore Ravens 30-17, dropping their record to 2-3 as a result.

Head Coach Jack Del Rio’s group is now under .500, but they’ll look to get back to their winning ways this Sunday when they welcome Philip Rivers and the now-Los Angeles Chargers to the OACC. However, before our focus shifts to Week 6, let’s review the three matchups we highlighted headed into the battle with Baltimore, and see how they played out.

Defensive Tackles Justin Ellis and Eddie Vanderdoes vs. Running Back Alex Collins

The score of Sunday’s game might not be the perfect representation of how the Week 5 clash against the Baltimore Ravens went.

While the Silver and Black certainly didn’t play their best game, they played well enough to be in the mix until the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

While Head Coach Jim Harbaugh’s group did rack up 143 yards on the ground, only 55 of those yards were gained by Alex Collins; although with a 4.6 yard average, he certainly was effective when given his opportunities.  

Allowing 143 yards on the ground is likely more yards than Head Coach Del Rio is comfortable with, but the play of Alex Collins is not why the Raiders lost on Sunday.

Safety Karl Joseph vs. Tight End Benjamin Watson

Headed into the Week 5 matchup, Watson was the Ravens leading receiver, but give credit to Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.’s group, as the veteran tight end wasn’t a factor when the two teams squared off on the gridiron.

Watson played 59 offensive snaps for the Ravens, but was targeted just four times, hauling in only two catches for two total yards.

Karl Joseph once again had a solid day at the office, this time against Baltimore, finishing his outing with a team-high nine tackles. Now in his second NFL season, the hard-hitting safety has really appeared to take a big step in Year Two, and he deserves a lot of credit for not only helping limit Watson on Sunday, but for being a consistent force on the back end of the Raiders secondary all season.

While Watson wasn’t able to get loose, the same could not be said about his offensive teammate Mike Wallace who hauled in three passes for 133 yards.

Quarterback EJ Manuel vs. Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees

The Oakland Raiders weren’t able to come out of Sunday’s game with a victory, but the play of EJ Manuel is not to blame.

With Derek Carr on the shelf recovering from a back injury, Manuel was the man under center against the Ravens, and while he didn’t necessarily put together a career performance in his 18th NFL start, he confidently moved the Raiders offense, and made a few, nice plays with his legs too.

“I think EJ handled himself, did a solid job,” said Head Coach Del Rio Monday. “I think that kind of performance, play good defense, run the ball the way you’re supposed to, you win a game with that kind of performance. He didn’t put us on his shoulders, but he was solid and that’s what we needed from him. We didn’t get the other part done.”

Manuel finished the game 13 of 26 for 159 yards and one touchdown, and while the Raiders ultimately fell to 2-3 following the 30-17 loss, No. 3 did indeed perform admirably, and made the most of his opportunity.