Raiders.com's Senior Editor Jerry Knaak posed five questions heading into the Oakland Raiders Week 2 tilt with the Baltimore Ravens. Here is how it all played out in a 37-33 Raiders win.
1. Will the Raiders bounce back after last week's loss?
The short answer is yes, in a resounding way. After a lackluster 33-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, the Raiders showed grit and determination after squandering two 10-point leads and came back to win as quarterback Derek Carr threw the game-winning TD pass to wide receiver Seth Roberts with 26 ticks left.
2. Will the Raiders be able to run the ball?
Latavius Murray carried the ball 15 times for 65 yards and a touchdown and Carr had a nice scamper on a read option. I believe the Raiders will need to rely on the run more moving forward, but Sunday's output was better than last week's and Murray showed good agility and power on inside runs.
**3. Will the Raiders be able to stop the run?
Game action photos from the Raiders Week 2 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
The Raiders gave up 109 yards on the ground and just couldn't get off the field on third down in many situations. The defense made just enough stops to win the game. They had Baltimore carriers caught in the backfield on two occasions in critical situations and just couldn't make the play. This turned into an aerial shootout so it's hard to gauge the run defense as a whole. But improvement is necessary.
4. How well will the Raiders defend the pass?
Again, the defense showed up at critical moments to make enough plays to win. However, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw the ball all over the yard completing 32 of 45 for 384 yards and 2 TDs. A linebacker Malcolm Smith interception was negated by a defensive holding call. This is the second week in a row the Raiders did not register a sack although the Silver and Black did make Flacco more and more uncomfortable as the game wore on. Cornerback Neiko Thorpe made a great leaping interception to seal the victory. The defensive backs made several nice plays in coverage, but also allowed too many yards after the catch.
5. Can the Raiders stretch the field?
Yes, and they did. After he dropped the first two passes thrown to him, rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper ran a deep corner route as Carr went deep. Cooper caught it and found another gear as he ran away from cornerback Jimmy Smith for a 68-yard TD. Carr took some other deep shots including a 29-yard TD pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree. He did underthrow a couple of longer balls, one of which was intercepted. The 68-yarder to Cooper to start the game seemed to open up a lot of the underneath stuff, and the Raiders used wide receiver screens as an extension of the running game. Carr had great protection and plenty of time to throw much of the game.