Raiders notes: A tale of two halves

November 26, 2012, 5:56 pm
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CINCINNATI -- The Raiders were a totally different team after halftime Sunday, one that played with an attitude sorely missing in the first half Sunday.The result? Oakland had its best third quarter of the season in pitching a 10-0 shutout in the stanza. A halftime meeting led by quarterback Carson Palmer seemed to focus the players and harness their frustrations with each other.The Bengals offense was limited to four three-and-outs in the third quarter."I think it's O.K. to play with anger," said Raiders rookie coach Dennis Allen. "But we've got to play with poise and composureticked off after halftime and the way the defense responded, I thought was good."Not so good, though, was the melee that marred the game after Lamarr Houston threw down Andy Dalton in the eventual 34-10 Bengals victory.
RELATED: Anatomy of a football melee
The Raiders ended Bengals receiver A.J. Green's streak of catching a touchdown pass at nine straight games. Still, Green did have 111 yards receiving on three catches."(Their) gameplan was to try and stop me," Green said, "and Jay (Gruden, offensive coordinator) was trying to get me some touches, definitely. I just made the play when the ball came to my side."Said Dalton: "They were doing the same thing the whole time with certain formations, certain things. We felt like we liked the matchups that we had. For most of the game, they tried to put two guys over A.J. and tried to take him out of it. It opened up the running game. We were able to drive down and make some big plays in the run game."Indeed, BenJarvus Green-Ellis finished with 129 yards rushing on 19 carries, and had the two longest runs of his five-year career in the game, a 48-yarder in the first quarter and a 39-yarder in the third quarter.For the first time in franchise history, the Raiders have lost three straight games by at least 21 points.The Raiders' 218 yards of total offense was a season low.Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko, a teammate for five years of Palmer's, on Cincinnati's gameplan: "We knew when he has people in his face, he tends to overthrow balls and whatnotit was wild out there."Bengals assistant Hue Jackson spoke to Cincinnati media after the game about facing his former team."I can look at it in my own mind and maybe feel it was (special) because I know those players and I've been in that organization with Coach (Al) Davis and the rest of the players and his son Mark," Jackson said. "But at the end of the day it was just another football game, a game we needed to win, and I think our guys did a great job."Jackson, remember, orchestrated the trade for Palmer on Oct. 18, 2011 for what turned out to be a first-round and second-round draft pick."I have a lot of respect for Carson," Jackson said. "Carson's a tremendous football player, and that's never going to change as far as I'm concerned. I wish him luck. I wanted to make sure him and his family are doing well, and I'm sure we'll run into each other somewhere down the line."Some pretty ugly numbers from the Raiders receivers -- Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore were each targeted four times and the only catch either of them had was Moore's 20-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Rookie Juron Criner, meanwhile, had three receptions -- he was targeted five times -- for 23 yards.Marcel Reece rushed for 74 yards on 15 carries while rookie Jeremy Stewart had 26 yards on seven attempts.And from Elias and ESPN: the 169 points the Raiders have surrendered over their last four games is the second-highest four-game total in the NFL since the 1970 merger, behind only the 2004 Tennessee Titans, who gave up 177 points in a four-game stretch.