Photo by Bob Carr
Originally published on SBReport.net on Nov. 18, 2012
The Oakland Raiders failed to get back into the win column as the New Orleans Saints came into town and came away with a 38-17 victory on Sunday.
Oakland was unable to capitalize on a porous Saints defense and was only able to put 17 points on the board and never could catch up to the Saints.
"We just couldn't keep up," Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said following the game. "They scored pretty quickly and we tried to stick with the run game and we did adn we were doing a good job. To have a fullback-turned-tailback to run the ball the way we did the first half was really, really good to see."
Meanwhile, Drew Brees orchestrated the Saints offense flawlessly as his team took an early lead and never let go. The Raiders defense has given up 135 points in the last three weeks.
Brees continued his streak on the Saints' first drive of the game as he found his tight end Jimmy Graham wide open for a the game's first touchdown. Brees has now thrown a touchdown pass in 53 straight games.
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer struggled throughout the game as he finished 22/40 for 312 yards, two touchdowns and two costly interceptions. Palmer was first picked off by cornerback Malcolm Jenkins who took it all the way back to the endzone to give the Saints a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Palmer's second interception was just as costly as his pass soared through the hands of his tight end Brandon Myers and into the hands of a Saints defender.
Palmer and the Raiders were unable to get into the endzone until late into the second quarter when the quarterback rolled out of the pocket to this right and kept the play alive long enough to find Myers, who was able to haul in the pass for the touchdown.
Fullback-turned-running back Marcel Reece was a bright spot for the Raiders as he had 19 carries for 103 yards in addition to four receptions for 90 yards. Reece has been given a tough responsibility as he has taken over the running back job with high-ankle sprains sidelining Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson. The Raiders have only had two 100-yard rushers this year coming into the game.
But all these stats mean nothing to Reece if the team doesn't get the victory.
"Stats are really irrelevant when you don't get the W," Reece said. "The bottom line is if you don't win the stats are irrelevant. The numbers are irrelevant. I don't even know what they were, I don't care they were and I don't want to know what they were. I want to get in, watch the film and get ready for Cincinnati."
Rookie wide receiver Juron Criner was also a bright spot for the team as the young wideout hauled in his first career touchdown when Palmer found him on a fade route for a three-yard touchdown late in the game. Already down 38-17, head coach Dennis Allen called an onside kick that failed and gave the Saints the ball back with only four minutes remaining.
The Raiders defense still couldn't stop the Saints offense as they were able to get the necessary first downs and run the clock out to end the game while handing the Raiders their third-straight loss.
Though frustration is growing with each loss, safety Mike Mitchell knows his team is committed to turning things around.
"We are committed bunch but we've just got to be spot-on. We have to be spot-on. It's the National Football League. Everybody probably has a play today they want to take back, but you can't take it back. You just got to play better."
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