The Baltimore Ravens kept their losing streak to only two games as they defeated the Oakland Raiders 30-17, in what was the most complete game they have played all season.
The Ravens played nearly a perfect game in Oakland; allowing no sacks and only committing one penalty while dominating the Raiders all game long. The only mistake I could point out was corner Brandon Carr biting on a play action that left his man wide open for a 41 yard score. Joe Flacco and the offense came out swinging and showed everyone he still has that cannon of a right arm. Their first play from scrimmage, Flacco went deep to Mike Wallace for a 52 yard gain, which led to a Vince Mayle rushing touchdown. Mayle made history as the first player in franchise history to score a touchdown on their first career rush.
Buck Allen also ran for a touchdown, while showing that he and Alex Collins could be a dangerous duo in the backfield. Allen ran for 73 yards, while Collins ran for 55 with another run over 20 yards. The big question with these two is who will be the odd man out when Danny Woodhead returns from his hamstring injury? If Woodhead is able to come back, (eligible to come off IR Week 9) I do not think they could part with either Allen or Collins. Depending on the severity of Terrance West’s injury from Sunday, this might be the last we have seen of the Towson grad.
The defense was way better than how they have played the last two weeks and I believe this will be the typical game for the Ravens defense. They allowed 137 yards passing and 108 rushing. The rushing yardage is a little on the higher side, as the Ravens are known for keeping opposing teams to under 100 yards on the ground. The defense came out strong forcing a fumble that corner Jimmy Smith returned 47 yards for a touchdown. Rookie Marlon Humphrey got a ton of snaps today and the Raiders took advantage of the first round pick lining Michael Crabtree across him. Humprhey held his own, but allowed the catches that allowed the drives to continue. The defense decided to play more aggressive, using some more creative blitz packages and it paid off as Tony Jefferson, Anthony Levine, and Terrell Suggs all recorded a sack.
The Ravens need to keep this up since they have an easier schedule the next three weeks. The Ravens will be home next Sunday against the Chicago Bears, at Minnesota against the Vikings, and back home against the Miami Dolphins for a “Color Rush” Thursday Night matchup. If they can play well and win at least two of those games, the Ravens should be definitely in the playoff hunt at the halfway point in the season.