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Ravens beat the Raiders like it was a homecoming game

A week ago, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said there were no easy or homecoming games in the National Football League.

But the Ravens' game against the Oakland Raiders at M&T; Bank Stadium had the same festive, homecoming atmosphere, the only things missing were a parade, people parachuting out of airplanes and a king and queen.

Like most host teams on this special day, the Ravens scored every way possible and they did exactly what good teams do to poor ones.

After Sunday's horrible, embarrassing and disgraceful performance, the Raiders have to be the worst team in the NFL, maybe in league history including some of those ugly teams in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit.

The Raiders were so miserable that they should be forced to walk back to the West Coast.

After the game, I was waiting for Harbaugh to come into his news conference and say how great the Raiders were and that they were on their way to becoming a power.

Tomatoes were ready to be thrown.

But not even the usual optimistic Harbaugh could defend the Raiders.

"Wow, that's a great question," said Harbaugh, laughing when asked about his previous comments about no homecoming games in the NFL. "I have no answer for that. Sometimes it just goes that way, right? Our guys made some plays."

It was homecoming in Baltimore on Sunday, a great day to pad your statistics if you were a Ravens player and to be a fan.

You know it's homecoming:

When Ravens backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor is warming up on the sidelines at the end of the third quarter.

When Ravens tight end Ed "Can't Catch A Cold" Dickson has two receptions of 40 and 19 yards.

When it's 2 p.m., and you're already looking to see who is playing at 4 even though you're still at the stadium.

When the Ravens score two touchdowns on special teams, one off a fake field goal and the other on a kickoff return.

You know it's homecoming:

When the Ravens score 41 points and there is 9 minutes and 20 seconds left in the third quarter.

When Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata doesn't start the game and leaves without someone else's blood on his pants.

When every Ravens fan leaves the stadium and not one is complaining about coordinators Cam Cameron, Dean Pees or Harbaugh.

When some goofy fans drinking the Purple Kool-Aid start talking about ordering Super Bowl tickets.

You know it's homecoming:

When Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer does his best Kyle Boller impression and trips over the foot of his right guard in the first series while dropping back to pass.

When more fans are watching Poe, the team mascot, in the stands in the fourth quarter than the game.

When the Raiders don't intercept a 47-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith which had more hang time than a Sam Koch punt.

When Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger has two sacks, two quarterback hurries and looks like Houston's J.J. Watt.

You know it's homecoming:

When you think the Three Stooges have passed on, but they are now named Miles Burris, Rolando McClain and Philip Wheeler, Oakland's starting linebackers.

When Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is in such a zone that he starts screaming at a receiver (Jacoby Jones) publicly for the first time here in Baltimore which is long, long overdue.

When the Ravens get only four penalties and not one is on Harbaugh.

When the Raiders keep running delayed blitzes that don't work, and the Ravens start laughing about them in the huddle.

You know it's homecoming:

When the visiting team has given up 97 points in the past two games and is 1-4 on the road.

When Ravens right guard Marshal Yanda takes a large split from center Matt Birk which indicates a run, and then running back Ray Rice runs 7 yards untouched over Yanda for a touchdown.

When the Ravens have backup secondary players in the game like Chykie Brown and Corey Graham and the Raiders best passing play is a short 5-yard hitch.

When an inconsistent offense like the Ravens can go 80 yards on seven plays in 73 seconds for a touchdown.

And you know it was a homecoming game when six A's are given out in the The Baltimore Sun's report card.

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