Raiders takeaways: What we learned from 34-17 loss to Ravens



BALTIMORE -- The Raiders still don't have a winning streak this season.

They couldn’t build on last week’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals and notch their third win this season, dropping a 34-17 result to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Baltimore was the better team in most every phase, and that eventually won out against an Oakland team that couldn’t keep pace.

There are clear signs that the Raiders have improved in several areas, but their lack of overall talent was brought against a highly functional team that wore out the Raiders, eventually took control in the second half and never let go.

Here are three quick takeaways from Sunday’s loss to the Ravens:

Simply outmanned

The Raiders won the turnover battle but lost this game just the same. The Ravens weren’t spectacular by any stretch, but they were able to churn out yards and make enough plays to control the clock and therefore the game.

The Silver and Black simply couldn’t keep pace, eventually gassing out in the trenches on offense and defense alike.

The Ravens played smart, disciple football, and that’s how they won. They seemed to realize their talent advantage at halftime, and dominated this game from the third quarter on.

The Raiders have a tough time winning games after all the trades and cuts and lackluster draft classes, and this wasn’t a battle they could win unless things went near perfect and the Ravens somehow forgot they were the superior team.

Passing game a mess

The Ravens' defense is awesome, especially in the secondary. That shouldn’t excuse a disjointed Raiders passing attack that couldn’t get going in this game.

Quarterback Derek Carr was 16-of-34 passing for 194 yards and one touchdown, but it wasn’t all his fault. The Raiders have no speed in the pattern anymore, with Jordy Nelson slowed by a knee issue and Marcell Ateman unable to win a track meet. There also were drops aplenty, keeping the Raiders from consistently sustaining drives when that was mandatory in a contest like this one.

The pass protection generally held up well, but the air attack still couldn’t get going. Carr needs weapons, plain and simple. He doesn’t have many right now.

Lamar Jackson hard to handle

The league's second-worst run defense faced a difficult, unique challenge defending Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. The rookie is fast as anybody, and a threat to run on any play.

The Ravens seemed set on showcasing Jackson’s arm in the first half, a mistake they corrected in the second. They opened that half with 12 runs and one pass that produced a touchdown. Jackson and running back Gus Edwards worked well together, keeping Raiders defenders off balance while generating steady production.

Jackson finished with 71 yards on 11 carries, and Edwards had 23 rushes for 118 yards.

That kept the Ravens on schedule for most of the game and kept the points pouring on. They completely controlled the clock in the second half, which allowed them to stay on top.

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