Based on their performance in a 55-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Oakland Raiders know where they need to improve.
Everywhere. Offense, defense and special teams.
"We had too many mental errors on defense, gave up too many big plays, we turned the ball over too many times and we didn't execute on special teams," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said after Sunday's defeat. "When you do those things, it generally results in something like that."
Even a first-year coach like Allen had little trouble pinpointing the litany of miscues that befell the Raiders, who equaled a franchise record for most points allowed, set in 1961 and matched in 1981. Oakland (3-6) has given up a total of 97 points in the last two weeks, and the Raiders have yielded at least 40 points in successive games for the first time since 1962.
"That's just the way it's working for us," wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said. "We go to work every day trying to get better in every area. Right now, it's just not happening. But the plan is to always try to fix that."
There's substantial work to be done, starting with eliminating correctable mental errors.
"We got to clean up what we did wrong — and there's a lot wrong," said Carson Palmer, who went 29 for 45 for 368 yards and two touchdowns.
Playing without injured running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson, the Raiders gained only 72 yards on the ground.
Joe Flacco threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns before taking a seat late in the third quarter, and the Ravens (7-2) set a franchise record for points in a game. Baltimore scored on six of its first seven possessions.
The Ravens led 27-10 at halftime. In the third quarter, Flacco threw touchdown passes of 47 and 20 yards to Torrey Smith, and holder Sam Koch scored on a fake field goal to make it 48-17.
In the fourth quarter, Jacoby Jones took a kickoff 105 yards for a 55-20 lead. Baltimore's previous record for points in a game was 48, against Detroit in December 2009.
It was a rare blowout for the AFC North-leading Ravens, who won their previous five games by a total of 23 points. Baltimore has 15 straight home wins, the longest current streak in the NFL.
Baltimore didn't punt until the third quarter, and even that turned out well. Phillip Adams fumbled, the Ravens recovered the ball and Flacco promptly threw a touchdown pass to Smith.
Later in the quarter, Koch ran 7 yards for a touchdown on a fake field goal to cap a 74-yard drive.
"It's our job to go out there and stop them," Allen said after being asked if he was bothered by the play, which came with Baltimore already up by 24.
Burned for 251 yards on the ground last week by Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin in a 42-32 defeat, Oakland shored up its run defense to stop Ray Rice. So Flacco went to the air, repeatedly hitting tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson over the middle in the first half before going long and outside to Smith in the third quarter.
Rice ran for 35 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He finished the afternoon with 5,034 yards rushing for his career, joining Jamal Lewis as the only players in Ravens history to top 5,000.
The Raiders used a 55-yard pass from Palmer to Heyward-Bey to close to 20-10 with 1:39 left in the second quarter. It was the ninth straight game in which Oakland scored in the final two minutes of the first half.
But that gave Flacco enough time to add another touchdown before the break. He went 5 for 6 for 73 yards before Rice ran for a 7-yard score.
Oakland's first possession ended with Palmer flat on his back. On a fourth and 1 from the Baltimore 44, Palmer took the snap from center and took one step backward before right guard Mike Brisiel stepped on his right foot. The Ravens then moved 22 yards before Justin Tucker kicked a field goal.
After an Oakland punt, Flacco completed an 18-yard pass to Pitta and connected with Dickson for 40 yards before scoring on a 1-yard run to make it 10-0.
Early in the second quarter, Raiders cornerback Michael Huff intercepted a pass at the Baltimore 19 to set up a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.
Flacco responded by covering 80 yards in six plays for a 17-3 lead. After completing a 47-yard pass to Jones and a 19-yarder to Dixon, Flacco tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Pitta.
The Raiders followed with their first drive that included multiple first downs, but that ended poorly, too. Paul Kruger picked off a short pass and took it to the Oakland 32, which led to field goal.
NOTES: Oakland LB Travis Goethel left in the first quarter with a knee injury and did not return. Oakland CB Michael Huff was kicked in calf, and S Matt Giordano and TE Brandon Myers sustained concussions. ... Baltimore is 7-1 against Oakland (including playoffs) and 5-0 at home. ... Jones is the first Ravens player to have two KO returns for TDs.
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