Oakland, CA – Another team, another loss and the Raiders go back to the drawing board. The New Orleans Saints showed no mercy in handing Oakland their third consecutive loss as they beat them 38-17.
It was a must win for the Raiders who allowed 135 points in all three defeats, the most in a three-game span for the franchise. Once again it was another slow start for Oakland’s passing and running game in the first quarter.
“Disappointing, we felt like we had a good week of practice and we got beat today,” said coach Dennis Allen.
It’s hard to imagine the Saints started the season off 0-4 and have now reached .500. Drew Brees threw three touchdowns passes, Malcolm Jenkins and Mark Ingram ran in touchdowns to give New Orleans the easy victory. Under the interim coach Joe Vitt, the Saints are looking like the team they were of the past.
“We’re on are way,” Brees said. “Had you told us or anybody after 0-4 we’d be looking at 5-5 at some point, I think a lot of people might have looked at that and said that’s pretty unrealistic. But here we are, we stayed the course and we didn’t overreact. We just knew that things were going to turn for us if we just continued to do things the right way, good things were going to happen. And we did that.”
One key component to the Saints success is tight end Jimmy Graham who scored the teams first touchdown when Drew found him wide open in the end zone for a 1-yard catch. Carson Palmer completed 22 of 40 passes for 312 yards, a 1-yard touchdown and two interceptions.
Palmer got picked off twice, both passes intended for Brandon Myers. The first interception was returned by Jenkins for a 55-yard touchdown. The second was in the end zone picked off by Roman Harper in the second quarter giving New Orleans an early 14-0 lead.
“We let ourselves down, we let the fans down by not playing up to our potential by getting beat the way we did,” said Carson.
The Raiders have lost their second game back-to-back by more than 20 or more points. An embarrassing performance by both the offense and defense leaves the question, is this team in the rebuilding stage? Receivers were left wide open and Palmer continues to have mis-communication with his offense.
Myers made up for his miscues and scored a 1-yard touchdown to cut the lead in half with 4:10 minutes remaining in the first half. Credit much of that drive to Marcel Reese who has 11 carries and 53 yards before that play. His 56-yard pass from Palmer help set up the play.
“There’s no such thing as a rebuild year,” Reece said. “This is a business. If you rebuild it, you get out. We’re going out there trying to win. We’re shooting to win out the rest of the season, that’s the bottom line.”
Oakland’s defense did a good job forcing Graham to fumble which is rare and moved New Orleans back on yards but that didn’t last long. Drew again found one of his receivers, Lance Moore for a 38-yard touchdown to end the first half. Tavarius Cadet opened up the third quarter running for 75 yards for the first down followed by Ingram’s 27-yard touchdown.
“Our running game played well today especially against this defense,” said Jimmy. “In the zone these guys did a good job in making fumble the ball which I haven’t done in a long time.”
The Raiders responded with a 40-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski and a 3-yard touchdown from Juron Criner late in the fourth. But again Oakland struggled on third down and in the end zone. No solution other than to continue to get better in practices is something repeatedly said by new year head coach All. I’m not sure that solution is working for them. Maybe it’s time to incorporate the back-up quarterbacks to see if they’ll have more success with the offense than Carson.
“We have to continue to work to get better,” said Dennis. “Obviously we’ve sustained some injuries and we knew going into the season that depth was a challenge. We’re seeing some of that a little bit. But our guys are coming to battle. They’re continuing to fight, and that’s what we’ve got to do.”