Raiders defense not all bad

There were some positives from the Oakland Raiders thumping at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. One definitely wasn't the play of the offensive line.

Raiders Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- Andrew Walter, in relief of Aaron Brooks, was 10-for-27 for 162 yards, no TDs and three interceptions. A few nice throws helped set up field goals. Sieve-like offensive line surrendered six sacks. Randy Moss had 2 receptions for 32 yards and limited opportunities. The Raiders had no completions to running backs.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- LaMont Jordan had 19 carries for 35 yards, and 15 of those came on one carry. Raiders finished with 39 yards on 26 carries. Just two rushing first downs. Justin Fargas, who was supposed to help Jordan carry the load, had one carry and a single yard.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- Held Steve McNair to less than 50 percent passing (16 of 33). Warren Sapp led a solid pass rush with two sacks. Terdell Sands batted down two passes at the line of scrimmage. Middle linebacker Kirk Morrison had Raiders first interception. Tyrone Poole, starting in place of Nnamdi Asomugha, had three passes defensed but dropped a sure interception. Giving up a 30 yard completion to Musa Smith on a routine swing pass led to a touchdown at the end of first half.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Tough going for Jamal Lewis, who had 70 yards on 19 carries and a long of 13 yards. The Ravens had just five first downs rushing. Raiders caved in late, with Mike Anderson breaking loose for 34 yards and a touchdown when the game was out of reach. LB Terdell Sands was solid against the run.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- The lone blight was a 72-yard kickoff return to open the game by B.K. Sams. Otherwise, Shane Lechler averaged 53.3 yards on four punts, including one inside the 20. Sebastian Janikowski connected on field goal attempts of 34 and 51 yards. Chris Carr had two nice returns -- a 45 yard kickoff return and a 22-yard punt return.

COACHING: D -- The Raiders were more ready to play than in opener, which isn't saying much. The defensive plan was sound and effective against both run and pass, although Raiders went soft at end of first half and it cost them. The offense continues to be a disaster. The quarterbacks are not making enough attempts to Randy Moss, and the team is making no attempts at swinging the ball outside to beat defensive pressure. Overall, the tempo too slow. Even when the Raiders trailed by double digits, they often wound clock down to one or two seconds instead of picking up the pace. The Raiders also are still burning time outs at a rapid rate because of confusion.

Ravens Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Steve McNair was erratic most of the game despite getting decent pass protection. He was 4-for-5 for 50 yards on the Ravens' hurry-up drive in the final minute of the first half, which ended with a 1-yard lob to tight end Todd Heap in the end zone. Besides that series -- the Ravens' only legitimate one of the game -- he was 12-for-28 for 93 yards. There are some questions about McNair's arm strength because the Ravens haven't been able to throw deep this season. McNair completed just two passes over 20 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- There was no commitment to the running game. Jamal Lewis was held under 20 attempts for the second straight game. Lewis did struggle for most of the game, averaging 3.7 yards a carry. But he's the type of running back that gets better as the game goes on. The offensive line didn't open up as many big holes as it did in the season opener.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- Few quarterbacks want to face the Ravens' pass rush these days. The Ravens recorded six sacks on Oakland quarterback Andrew Walter and hit him eight other times. Linebackers Adalius Thomas and Terrell Suggs each had two sacks. The Ravens have also improved on taking the ball away. They made three interceptions on Sunday, raising their season total to six.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Ravens' defensive front controlled the line of scrimmage and closed up all running lanes. The Raiders averaged 1.5 yards a carry. Ravens rookie safety Dawan Landry played a lot in the box, leading the team with eight tackles. Raiders running back LaMont Jordan (35 yards) couldn't get to the outside because of the Ravens' speed.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Matt Stover converted all four field-goal tries. Rookie punter Sam Koch placed three of his seven punts inside the 20-yard line. And returner B.J. Sam returned the opening kickoff 72 yards. The Ravens still need to improve their coverage teams.

COACHING: B -- The Ravens were focused from the start, a tribute to coach Brian Billick. The defense loaded the box to stop the run but it didn't leave itself vulnerable in covering Oakland receiver Randy Moss. The offense seems to be falling into some bad habits in the red zone.


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