In their Week 4 matchup, the Oakland Raiders traveled to M&T Bank Stadium to face off against the Baltimore Ravens. This AFC showdown didn’t just have early playoff implications, but also was a historical battle for the Raiders. Coming into the game, the Raiders had yet to win on the road against the Ravens in their long-standing franchise history.
Coming off of a victory, quarterback Derek Carr seemed poised and ready to deliver. The 10:00 A.M. Eastern Time start was a part of the early slate of games, with the Raiders adjusting to the time zone.
The Raiders started off the scoring for the night, with an intriguing matchup against the hard-hitting defense of the Ravens. Head coach Jack Del Rio’s special teams, led by Jalen Richard, broke free for 47 yards for the first impact play of the game.
In the red zone, Carr and the offense ran a play-action, hitting Seth Roberts for a six-yard touchdown, giving the Raiders a 7-0 lead.
To start off the second quarter, the Ravens drove down the field, setting up a Justin Tucker 24-yard field goal.
While the Raiders were suffering from injuries on the offensive line, Carr remained on his feet throughout the first half.
On an early third down, Carr hit Michael Crabtree for 16 yards to keep the drive going. The Raiders drove down to the red zone, where the third-year quarterback hit Crabtree for a five-yard touchdown.
With eight seconds left in the half, Tucker lined up and nailed a 43-yard field goal. The Raiders defense held strong through the first half, forcing five punts and allowing just two field goals.
Carr connected on two touchdown passes in the first half, with the Raiders leading 14-6 heading into halftime.
The second half began on a stagnant note, with both teams punting on their first possessions. During the Ravens second drive of the half, the running game took over.
Terrance West collected three first downs on the drive, although he also had a fumble on a first down run. After failing to score twice in the red zone, Flacco ran a screen for Kyle Juszczy, who brought the ball to the one-yard line.
The Ravens elected to go for it on fourth down, with Flacco running a quarterback sneak for the touchdown.
The Ravens chose to go for the two-point conversion, but failed to convert, throwing the ball into the hands of a Raiders defensive back.
With a 14-12 lead, the Raiders defense got hungry. On third and six at his own 30-yard line, Flacco fumbled the ball on a Bruce Irvin sack. Khalil Mack recovered for the first turnover of the game.
On a third and 16, Carr once again connected with Amari Cooper. After a tape measure, Del Rio elected to go for it on fourth and one.
The Raiders lined up for a quarterback sneak and the Ravens were ready. On an audible call, the Ravens read the play call and stuffed Carr for a loss. However, the Ravens were lined up in the neutral zone and gifted a first down.
Carr then fired a bullet down the middle to Crabtree for a 13-yard touchdown, converting on the mistake. Crabtree’s second touchdown of the game gave the Raiders a 21-12 lead, with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game.
As a part of the next drive, Mack also collected his first sack of the season, leading to another punt.
The Raiders turned complacent after the forced punt, as the offense believed the game was won. The offense went three and out, punting it back with a nine-point lead.
Harbaugh and his staff capitalized on the opportunity, on their first play of the drive. Flacco hit Steve Smith Sr. for a first down reception, but Smith Sr. broke free and burst for a 52-yard touchdown.
Tucker’s extra point was good, cutting the Raiders lead to 21-19. The momentum in the stadium shifted the over way, with the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium getting back into the contest.
The Raiders attempted to run the clock with a DeAndre Washington handoff, but he fumbled the ball on a tackle from Lawrence Guy. Cornerback Tavon Young recovered the ball, putting the team in tremendous field position.
On a first down at the three-yard line, West rushed it up the middle for a touchdown, giving the Ravens a 25-21 lead. The Ravens then elected to go for the two-point conversion, with Mike Wallace coming down with the catch for a successful conversion.
Carr began the drive with back-to-back first downs to Crabtree, going for 15 and 11 yards. However, the offense was traveling down the field quickly, with a lot of time remaining.
The clutch quarterback then hit Clive Walford for 17 yards, putting the team outside the red zone. Carr constantly has referred to his ‘mamba mentality’ in late game situations, alluding to basketball legend Kobe Bryant.
On the next play, he hit Crabtree in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown, Crabtree’s third touchdown of the game. The Raiders went up 28-27, with 2:12 remaining.
During the Ravens drive, West carried the ball for 18 yards, getting to their 39-yard line at the two-minute warning. Smith Sr. then caught consecutive passes for a first down.
The Ravens then found themselves in a fourth down situation, with the game on the line. The secondary of the Raiders broke up a throw down the middle of the field, capping a turnover on downs.
In what would have been a 68-yard field goal, Harbaugh chose to go for the first down and failed. Del Rio’s group then lined up and kneeled the ball, concluding the game with a 28-27 victory.
Once again, the defense found themselves on the field late, coming up with a stop to seal the victory. Carr finished 25-for-35, with 199 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.
Crabtree hauled in seven catches for 88 yards, including the three touchdowns. Mack and Irvin collected the only two Raiders sacks on the game, while the defense also forced two fumbles.
Del Rio’s group now has won three road games to start the season, including the franchise’s first road victory against the Ravens. The Raiders handed the Ravens their first lost of the season, improving their own record to 3-1.