OAK-BAL grades: Carr-Crabtree connection lifts Raiders past Ravens

Highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Raiders' Week 4 win over the formerly-undefeated Ravens.

| 9 months ago
Raiders WR Michael Crabtree

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

OAK-BAL grades: Carr-Crabtree connection lifts Raiders past Ravens

Oakland Raiders 28, Baltimore Ravens 27

Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Raiders’ 28-27 win over the Ravens on Sunday:

Oakland Raiders

Quarterback grade: Derek Carr, 84.1

Carr’s grades paint clearer picture than stat line

Derek Carr’s stats look significantly worse than his performance; in reality, he was accurate on 84.4 percent of his passes, as he threw two away and his receivers dropped three catchable targets. All four of his touchdown passes where thrown over 10 yards, and he was able to effectively beat the Ravens with precision and limited poor plays.

Top offensive grades:

WR Michael Crabtree, 85.1

QB Derek Carr, 84.1

LG Kelechi Osemele, 80.8

LT Donald Penn, 77.5

C Rodney Hudson, 71.4

Another big outing for WR Michael Crabtree 

This season has largely been a disappointment for WR Amari Cooper, as he was expected to take a big leap in his second year. However, Michael Crabtree played well against the Ravens, catching seven of his 11 targets for 88 yards and three touchdowns; this connection is giving the Raiders huge hope that, once Cooper gets going, the Oakland passing game will be very difficult to slow down.

Top defensive grades:

CB Sean Smith, 85.1

OLB Khalil Mack 83.6

CB D.J. Hayden, 82.8

S Karl Joseph, 82.0

OLB Bruce Irvin, 81.9

Khalil Mack heats up after cool start to season

After an impressive 2015 campaign that saw him finish with PFF’s highest edge-defender grade, Khalil Mack’s slow start through Week was somewhat of a concern for the Oakland defense. In Week 4, however, he looked to be back to his impressive form, recording two sacks and five QB hurries, giving both Baltimore offensive tackles fits in the passing game.

Baltimore Ravens

Quarterback grade:  Joe Flacco, 35.7

Ravens QB Joe Flacco takes a big step back from his early-season form

Joe Flacco’s raw numbers don’t look terrible, with 298 yards, a 61.5 completion percentage, and a 83.7 NFL QB rating. However, these numbers don’t quite tell the whole story; Flacco struggled with turnover-worthy plays, as he threw an interception and another would-be pick that the defense dropped. He also fumbled, even with plenty of time to secure the ball. Before this week, Flacco had been performing well, especially considering that he was coming off of an ACL tear.

Top offensive grades:

RG Marshal Yanda, 88.8

FB Kyle Juszcyk, 83.8

C Jeremy Zuttah, 81.5

WR Steve Smith Sr., 77.9

TE Crockett Gillmore, 69.0

Marshal Yanda continues to set bar for NFL guard play

The Ravens’ offensive line was missing both LG Alex Lewis and LT Ronnie Stanley, and their backups Ryan Jensen and Ryan Hurst had major issues in pass blocking, surrendering a combined 11 total pressures. On the positive side, Marshal Yanda continued to show why he has set the bar for guard play in the NFL. Yanda was a force in the running game, as he was able to open up running lanes consistently for new starting HB Terrance West.

Top defensive grades:

LB Zachary Orr, 86.8

S Eric Weddle, 80.7

CB Jimmy Smith, 76.4

CB Shareece Wright, 76.3

DE Timmy Jernigan, 74.8

Ravens defense successful against run, but lacks pass-rush

The Ravens’ defense was put in some difficult spots, as the Raiders often had excellent field position; however, Baltimore shut down the Oakland run game with some good performances across the board in the run game. When the Raiders started to drop back and pass more, though, the Ravens had no pass-rush to scare Derek Carr and the Oakland offensive line, recording just nine total QB pressures.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Ravens RG Marshal Yanda

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

  • Boone

    glad to sean see smith having success after those first two games

  • crosseyedlemon

    The Raiders reaching the playoffs will likely require them to win ugly on occasion and this game certainly qualifies in that regard. The Ravens had 26 more plays and nearly double as many first downs. In another article, Raider fans were dismissing the Raven running game but it was good enough to average 5 yards per attempt here. The Raiders will have to address that weakness against the run if they hope to keep winning.

    • Mike Riley

      I don’t think the run defense will improve this year dramatically however if the offense starts playing up to its potential & stops shooting itself in the foot w/ penalties & dropped passes it can mask this weakness. It reminds me of the Broncos in Terrell Davis’ 2nd year. The year right before they won 2 back to back SBs. They had a great run defensive stat mainly because the offense was able to get up early & often & the run game was rarely a factor. Of course once they met the Jaguars in the playoffs Natrone Means exposed that weakness & they were 1 & done. We can survive w/ the run defense being a weak area but you are correct the Dline, particularly Mack & the DTs need to make run defense priority #1. Once they improve in that area they can then pin their ears back & get lots of pass rush opportunities like the 4th quarter yesterday.

      • Aaron Myers

        I remember a couple throws that could have easily been intercepted. He threw one into the endzone later in the game that should have been picked off, and I remember specifically the back foot throw across the middle late in the game where the defender slipped and fell down and the ball landed like 2 feet in front of him.

        His offensive line was horrific in pass protection, but Flacco played his worst game of the season by far yesterday in my opinion.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Even the best offense can’t accomplish much if it can’t get on the field. Few things are more demoralizing for a team than having to helplessly watch the opponent grind out an 8 or 9 minute drive on the ground.

      • Justin Blair

        I disagree with your point of view that the run D will not improve. We’re missing Edward’s Jr and have a 6th round rookie starting at MLB. Ward, specifically, has not played with consistency.

  • Vitor

    You should start grading HCs. Harbaugh’s decision to decline that penalty on fourth quarter was the dumbest I’ve ever seen in a football game.

    Btw, where’s that chart with the number of plays under pressure by the qb? I’ve had the impression that Flacco was pressured on almost every play. Mack and Irvin were all over him. Can’t blame Flacco too much.

    But Harbaugh…

    • Aaron Myers

      Disagree with the notion of the decision being a bad one. Seems more like hindsight analysis.

      In reality, I thought it was standard. The risk was actually quite low, and the reward was substantial.

      By taking the penalty, you push them back to a 53 yard FG range, with 3rd and 17. So basically, as long as the defense who had been good for the entire day doesn’t give up a 17 yard play, you make the FG kick longer. A sack or negative play takes them out of FG range entirely, netting you 3 points, as does a turnover.

      You can give up 15 or even 16 yards there and there’s nothing lost by accepting the penalty.

      So what actually had to happen in order for the move not to pay off? Well, first your defense has to give up a 17 yard completion, and even that wasn’t enough. Then, your veterans on your defense have to jump offsides on a 4th and inches running play that they were blowing up without jumping offsides, as if they’ve never seen a team try to hard count before. And after all of that, they still had to give up another 20 yards roughly in order to allow a TD.

      So quite literally your defense has to make like 3-4 consecutive mistakes on a day they were playing well in order for that decision to backfire.

      If you’re putting your defense in a 3rd and 17 spot, and you don’t feel confident they can provide a stop, then accepting or declining the penalty doesn’t matter, because the team isn’t going anywhere.

      • Vitor

        Guess you’re right. Just disappointed with the loss and Carr’s been playing so well that I knew he could exploit our secondary if given a second chance, even if it was a third and long…

        • Aaron Myers

          Sure, in hindsight, you concede the FG. But there were a lot of things that could have happened where the Ravens held the Raiders to 0 points by accepting that penalty. Just a total breakdown on defense on that drive.

          Jumping offsides on that 4th and inches is simply inexcusable.

          • Vitor

            Yeah, especially coming from Sizzle (if I’m not mistaken). You’d expect that kind of foolishness from a rookie playing a game on the road…

      • Matthew Elliott

        Usually yes, and I liked the call. But realistically, it’s Sebastian Janikowski. He can hit from 60,so 53 is really nothing

        • Aaron Myers

          CAN and WILL are two different things. In his career, he’s 56% from 50+ yards. So realistically, its a coin flip whether he makes that kick or not. Fans too often focus on distance, but that’s just part of the equation as to whether a kicker will make that kick.

          Its why I hated the announcers at the end of the game who kept saying “Tucker can give it from 65″ as if the Ravens should be content with just getting the ball to like the 45-50 yard line.

          Just because the guy is drilling them through during warmups, with no rush and no stress doesn’t even remotely mean that they’re going to make that kick in the game.

          Tucker was 40% last year from 50+, and all of the sudden the announcers are assuming a 60 yarder is a foregone conclusion? Sorry, he’s at best like maybe 30-40% to make that kick from 60 realistically.

          • Vitor

            Announcers are getting worse each day. Heard that Flacco is elite after a play because he stood and took a hit from Mack instead of going down.

    • Mike Riley

      Del Rio had a similar decision earlier in the game that because the pass was incomplete following the accepted penalty paid off & the Ravens were forced to punt. Execution was what made it a great decision on Del Rio’s part & a questionable one on Harbaugh’s. Also give credit to Carr for first a great throw to Cooper on 3rd & forcing Suggs to jump offsides on 4th.

  • JudoPrince

    That’s a horrible grade for Flacco; I didn’t think it was quite that bad. Keep in mind that the o-line had multiple starters missing and coaches really had to do some shuffling. Not a good recipe going against a pass rush featuring Mack and Irvin. I was particularly disappointed with the final drive of the game by Flacco. He missed badly on two straight throws, one to a wide open tight end, leading to a very difficult 4th and 10 situation.

    • Matthew Elliott

      Even so, that ball on 4th and 10 hit Aiken directly in his chest. No matter what, that was supposed to be caught. Can’t blame him for that at all.

      • Aaron Myers

        The pass certainly isn’t on Flacco, but its a tough catch in traffic for like your 4th receiver who doesn’t see a ton of targets anyway. Frankly, I wouldn’t expect a player like him to make that catch.

        Poor play calling on that final drive and even worse execution by players. Flacco hits Chris Moore in the hands for at last a 5-6 yard gain on 1st down, and maybe even could have gone for 10 yards. Flacco then completely misses Pitta on 3rd down for what would have been at least a 5-6 gain also.

        Either of those passes gets completed, and you can at least attempt a 55-60 yard FG.

        • slewof damascus

          agreed, the pass was a strike, patented Flacco accuracy, but aiken was far from 1st choice, the safety blitz was bearing down and he had to release the ball somewhere, the idea behind the playcalling was to keep the ball in your best player’s hand (flacco), but they should have run on one of the first couple of downs behind their all-world guard.

      • JudoPrince

        Tough catch for Aiken to make in extremely tight coverage. I only expect the really good receivers to make that catch, like Smitty. Its not like he was wide open and dropped it. Good throw by Flacco on that one.

  • c.liss

    First note – That’s ONE sack for Mack; the other strip sack was Bruce Irvin. Secondly, no mention of P Marquette King, who repeatedly pinned the Ravens deep in their own territory? How are punters graded by PFF?

  • Ryan Bonnington

    Flacco didn’t throw any interceptions. He had one turnover that was a fumble. This article needs to be corrected. I also don’t recall the throw that “the defense dropped”. Maybe the tipped pass? Not sure how a guy with 2 TDs and one turnover would be rated so poorly.

    • Mike Riley

      There was a deep route on the left sideline on 3rd down that Sean Smith sent up w/ 2 hands & nearly picked off. It was either a little short or his 6-3 size & long arms made it impossible to complete.

    • Aaron Myers

      I remember a couple throws that could have easily been intercepted. He threw one into the endzone later in the game that should have been picked off, and I remember specifically the back foot throw across the middle late in the game where the defender slipped and fell down and the ball landed like 2 feet in front of him.

      His offensive line was horrific in pass protection, but Flacco played his worst game of the season by far yesterday in my opinion.

    • jwj34S&B

      The two-point conversion attempt was picked off by Smith

      • Michael Harber

        You’re right of course. Thank you.

  • gh

    Amerson would’ve be in the top defensive grades if he makes the tackle or even Reggie Nelson makes the right angle to tackle Smith. But overall Amerson looks like a monster & defense looks great last 2 weeks.

    • Dave G

      Not bad for a player Washington cast off as useless.

  • Brandon Quinlog

    why in the world would a losing player get the game ball? should go to Carr or Crabtree

  • Ron

    These idiot geeks,why does anyone quote these MTF’s???

    • Dave G

      Why do you comment on this site if you hate them so much?