Raiders can't handle Ravens' D

There wasn't much to glean from Oakland's 29-10 loss to Baltimore on Sunday. Tom Cable and company got off to a sluggish start and never really pulled out of the funk, losing for the second time in three games since the team made its coaching change.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

· After being held to 35 yards in the first half, Oakland's offense woke up and showed signs of life in the third quarter, scoring a field goal and touchdown on its only two possessions. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell used a 60-yard completion to rookie wide receiver Chaz Schilens to set up the field goal then connected twice with tight end Zach Miller for 56 yards to pave the way for a short TD throw to Justin Griffith.

· Schilens caught three passes for 76 yards and is giving the Raiders at least the threat of a receiver who can go deep. That's been missing from Oakland's offense all season but since being promoted to the starting lineup the team's seventh-round draft pick has gotten open long several times. This time around he and Russell were able to connect on the 60-yard bomb.

· Kicker Sebastian Janikowski made good on his only field goal attempt and added an extra point to move within four points of tying George Blanda for first place on the Raiders' career scoring list. Janikowski has 859 while Blanda, the Hall of Famer who was on hand for Oakland's overtime win against the Jets, had 863.



WHAT WENT WRONG

· As expected, the Ravens loaded up the pass rush and went hard after quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Oakland's offensive line failed to answer the call, giving up four sacks and eight quarterback hurries. Once again left tackle Kwame Harris had a very rough day and was beaten for the safety.

· The running game went absolutely nowhere. With rookie Darren McFadden inactive, neither Justin Fargas nor Michael Bush was able to get much going against a swarming Baltimore run defense that dominated the entire afternoon. Fargas gained 24 yards on 12 carries while Bush was held to eight yards on five attempts. With no running game to worry about, the Ravens were able to pin their ears back and go after Russell.

· Blown coverages were costly time and time again. Safety Gibril Wilson was caught sleeping on Demetrius Williams' 70-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Later in the first half, Baltimore QB Joe Flacco lined out wide and somehow was able to get loose for a 43-yard reception. Unforgivable.

· Kick returner Johnnie Lee Higgins fielded a kick at his own 2-yard line and then stepped out of bounds, putting the offense in a huge hole. That was one of several problems for the special teams, which also allowed a 46-yard punt return.

· Even as bad as things had gone the Raiders had a chance to make a run at the Ravens in the fourth quarter when Baltimore running back Willis McGahee fumbled near midfield. Oakland got a first down on its very first play of the next series but went three-and-out after that, ruining great field position.

BY THE NUMBERS

100: Franchise wins for the Ravens, who also notched their first against the Raiders in 1996.

15: Percent of third-down plays converted by Oakland, which went 2-for-13 in such situations.

23:40: Time of possession by the Raiders, who had the ball for only 9 minutes, 28 seconds in the second and third quarters combined.

0: Sacks recorded by the Raiders, who allowed Baltimore rookie QB Joe Flacco far too much time to throw and wound up paying the price.



INJURIES · McFadden's turf toe injury flared up earlier in the week and limited him in practice. It also kept him from playing. The rookie was deactivated before the game, robbing the Raiders of their one proven game-breaking talent on offense.

· Fullback Justin Griffith suffered an unknown injury after diving for the end zone on his touchdown reception in the third quarter. Several team trainers rushed out to the field when Griffith went down and helped him off the field. He did not return.

THEY SAID IT

"The first half, we just got our tails whipped at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. There's really no other way to put it."

-- Interim coach Tom Cable


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