The Raiders were without starting quarterback Derek Carr, but their offense wasn’t the problem.
Instead, the problem in Oakland today was that the Raiders’ defense had trouble stopping the Ravens’ offense, and Baltimore was able to grind out a 30-17 win.
With the strong-armed quarterback Joe Flacco and the speedy receiver Mike Wallace, the Ravens ought to be calling a lot of deep balls for those two. Today they called three passes to Wallace, and Wallace caught them all, for 133 yards — a very impressive average of 44.3 yards per catch. Add in some solid running from Javorious Allen and Alex Collins, and the Ravens’ offense moved the ball effectively on the ground and in the air.
Oakland got a solid game from backup quarterback EJ Manuel, who played turnover-free football and led a couple of long touchdown drives. Manuel isn’t as good as Carr, but he’s decent filling in on short notice.
How long the Raiders need to rely on Manuel remains to be seen, but they’re hoping to get Carr back soon. At 2-3, they need to be at full strength to save this season from becoming a big disappointment.
As for the 3-2 Ravens, they moved into a tie with the Steelers for first place in the AFC North. It’s been an up-and-down year in Baltimore, but the offense is clearly trending up.