Raiders notes: More than a gut check

November 12, 2012, 12:23 pm
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BALTIMORE -- The Raiders have given up a combined 97 points their last two games, having been embarrassed by the Baltimore Ravens, 55-20, on Sunday and losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 42-32, last week.Gut check time? This is more than that."At the end of the day," said defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, "you have to have some type of pride about you as a man. I ain't just going to keep letting somebody put their foot in my (behind). All you can do is look in the mirror."Kelly, it should be pointed out, has been down this road before. Many times before. His first six seasons were played in the midst of the Raiders' record seven straight with at least 11 losses. So why does what he say now carry more meaning?Maybe it doesn't. Because look who's on Oakland's schedule next."If we don't slow down New Orleans and Drew Brees," Kelly said, "this (stuff's) going to get real ugly."Yes, it can get worse.Especially if the Raiders continue to leave the middle of the field wide open. The Ravens' two tight ends, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, combined for seven catches for 126 yards and a touchdownin the first half.Said strong safety Tyvon Branch, when asked about the defense, or lack thereof: "Do I really have to talk to you about that?We made too many mental errors today.""It's like a dam right now," Kelly added. "You put your finger in one hole, and three or four more holes pop up. We've just got to get back in the lab."An oddity of the Raiders' blowout loss? They actually outgained the Ravens in total net yards, 422-419."That doesn't mean anything," said quarterback Carson Palmer. "We had too many big errors - an interception, fumbled snap and special teams breakdowns. They out-executed us in every phase of the game. At the end, I was just chucking the ball up there because their defensive backs were playing so deep."The Ravens are a good team with a great running back, and we knew this was going to be a tough challenge."For what it's worth, Palmer's 368 yards passing were his third-highest of the season -- all losses, though -- and he extended his franchise record of throwing for at least 200 yards to 15 games.Matt Leinart made his Raiders debut, replacing Palmer for the Raiders' final two series.Leinart threw an incompletion on his lone pass attempt, trying to hit Darrius Heyward-Bey, and endured a delay of game penalty. Other than that, Leinart handed the ball off five times to Jeremy Stewart.The 10 penalties the Raiders committed were the second-most of the season, as were the 105 penalty yards.Marcel Reece, the dynamic fullback-turned-tailback in the absence of Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson and an absence of trust in Taiwan Jones, was a workhorse against the Ravens with a career-high 20 touches.RELATED: Enigmatic RB Jones remains an afterthought
Reece carried the ball 13 times for a game-high 48 yards while catching a game-high seven passes for 56 yards.