The Raiders fell to 2-5 with a 29-10 loss at Baltimore yesterday. The game went as expected, with Baltimore’s defense proving far too tough for the Raider offense to crack. In particular, the running game was virtually invisible. Without Darren McFadden, Oakland managed a mere 47 yards on the ground. JaMarcus Russell did throw for 228 yards, but most of those yards were gained in garbage time. Little-used Chaz Schilens was the offensive star. He caught three passes for 76 yards.
The defense wasn’t much help either. Ravens rookie QB Joe Flacco was efficient when needed and spectacular when it was least expected. He threw for 140 yards (and a TD), caught a 43-yard pass, and rushed for 23 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens’ running game gained 192 yards. This led to a huge time of possession advantage, something the Raiders have to be worried about.
So, Tom Cable and crew will go back to the drawing board with the Atlanta Falcons coming to town. They are coming off a tough loss themselves (losing 27-14 in Philadelphia). Atlanta will bring in a very similar offense to what the Raiders just saw. The Falcons also have a rookie QB, strong running game, and a mediocre passing game. They don’t have the defense Baltimore does, so maybe this is the week? It’s hard to be hopeful, though.