Raiders Fall to Falcon 23-20

Fresh off of their bye week the Oakland Raiders flew to Atlanta to take on the undefeated 5-0 Falcons team. The Raiders entered the game with a dismal 1-3 record, with their only win of the season coming against the Pittsburgh Steelers at home. The bye week gave the Raiders additional time to prepare for what would be their toughest challenge to date.  It’s no secret that the Raiders are paper thin in their defensive backfield. This definitely doesn’t bode well from a match up perspective, as the Atlanta Falcons boast two talented young receivers in Roddy White and Julio Jones. Head Coach Dennis Allen alluded to certain “tweaks” that the Raiders would install over the bye week, which appeared to translate into a much needed boost in performance. One noticeable tweak came on the defensive side of the ball, where rookie Miles Burris seems to have supplanted 1st round draft pick Rolando McClain in the Raiders nickel package.  It also appears that the Raiders opened up the playbook a little more. Wide Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey caught the Falcon defense off guard and was able to pick up a 20 yard gain for the Raiders on a running play, which resulted in a first down early in the game.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had his worst game of the season throwing 3 INT’s, which all came in the first half of the game. Raider Free Safety turned cornerback Michael Huff recorded his first INT of the season, as well Strong Safety Tyvon Branch and fellow Defensive Back Joselio Hanson. The Raiders dominated the Falcons in Time of possession, Passing Yards, Rushing Yards & Receiving yards, but also led in one other critical area……penalties! The Raiders recorded 12 penalties for 110 yards, in comparison to Atlanta’s 2 penalties for 25 yards. Simply looking at the stat sheet this would appear to be a game that would favor a Raider victory. However, the Raiders found a way to lose, giving away what would have been a huge upset and succumbing the Falcon for a final score of 23-20. Many point at Carson Palmers late 4th quarter INT as the final dagger in the Raiders coffin. However, with the Raiders very next offensive possession, Palmer led the team back down the field for a scoring drive, to tie the game 20-20. Inevitably, it wasn’t enough as Matt Ryan completed five passes, for 43 yards in 39 seconds, to set up kicker Matt Bryant game winning 55 yard field goal. The Raiders have a chance to get themselves back on target, as they have three potentially winnable games. They face the Jaguars, Chiefs, and Buccaneers, with two of the three games to be played in front of their home crowd. If the Raiders can win the next three games, they could possibly find themselves with a 4-4 record, still in the thick of things before having to face the Baltimore Ravens.

About Brian Mims

Brian Mims is an the Executive Writer for Brickhouse Talk. He is well known for his straight forward perspective on sports and all it's aspects. An avid sport fan himself, Brian is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the sports world.

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