The first drive of Sunday’s game in Baltimore couldn’t have gone any better for the Oakland Raiders.
Entering Week 12 action, the Baltimore Ravens boasted the No. 1 defense in the NFL, allowing on average, just 300 total yards per game, but give credit to the Silver and Black, they started fast at M&T Bank Stadium, orchestrating a 12-play, 81-yard drive capped off by a one-yard touchdown run from Doug Martin that gave the team an early 7-0 lead.
However, the good times were short-lived for the Silver and Black.
In the early stages of the second quarter, Cyrus Jones took a Johnny Townsend punt 70 yards to the house, giving the Ravens a lead that they wouldn’t surrender en route to a 34-17 home win that the group desperately needed.
Once again, the big plays came back to bite the Silver and Black defensively – a 74-yard catch by Mark Andrews comes to mind – as did the inability to stop the Ravens running the ball.
In total, the Ravens ran for north of 230 yards, and their dominance on the ground is a big reason why they’ll enjoy a Victory Monday tomorrow.
Defensively, the Raiders defense did a good job of making things difficult for Lamar Jackson through the air, as the rookie had an up-and-down first half Sunday afternoon, completing nine of 18 passes for 140 yards and two interceptions.
That said, while Jackson’s stats in the first half weren’t the most earth shattering we’ve ever seen, the rookie quarterback – as expected – making his presence felt with his legs, carrying the ball nine times for 73 yards and one touchdown.
With Joe Flacco on the sideline, the Ravens turned to Jackson, and while his performance Sunday wasn’t the type to really give a second look at, the rookie did just enough, and took full advantage of his complement of weapons.
As far as the Raiders offense is concerned, veteran running back continued to run hard – as he has since taking over the starting job from Marshawn Lynch – averaging north of four yards per carry, but compared to last week in Arizona, the Raiders were unable to find any type of sustained success on the ground.
Derek Carr finished his day 16 of 34 for 194 yards and one touchdown.
Sunday’s game in Baltimore was one where the Raiders were close – oh so very close at times – but unfortunately just couldn’t things together in such a way to give them a chance to win the game. The group was down just three points multiple times – even into the fourth quarter – but good execution by the Ravens, and a costly turnover late proved to be a recipe for the Raiders ninth loss of 2018.
And somewhat ironically, it was old friend Michael Crabtree who added the exclamation point to the Ravens win, hauling in an eight-yard pass that ultimately put the Week 12 matchup out of reach.
After two weeks on the road, the Raiders will get a chance to enjoy a little home cooking come up, as they welcome the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers over the next two weeks.
The Silver and Black now own a 2-9 record after 11 regular season games.
Gameday Photos: Week 12 at Ravens
Photos of the game action during the Raiders' Week 12 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.