It was a bittersweet game Sunday for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey against his hometown team.
Heyward-Bey scored on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer where he bounced off of Ravens Pro Bowl free safety Ed Reed. The McDonogh grad finished with five receptions for 82 yards and the one score, averaging 16.4 yards per catch.
However, the former Maryland standout also had a dropped pass. And, of course, the Raiders struggled mightily as the Ravens set a franchise record for points scored during a 55-20 victory at M&T Bank Stadium.
"They were in a cover-four and we had a little end route," Heyward-Bey said of his second-quarter score. "Carson threw it on faith because we had been working on that, just to be there at the same time. I saw Ed Reed coming down, so I kind of protected myself, and I felt like I didn't go down so I just went for the end zone. I was at the right place at the right time. Timing is all there. I protected myself from the hit, and I made a play.
"Of course, we have to execute better. We've got to start the game off a lot faster. At the end of the game, we have to run the ball a little bit better. But we didn't get a win so it really doesn't matter."
Only Raiders fullback Marcel Reece caught more passes for his team Sunday than Heyward-Bey, 25, a 6-foot-2, 216-pound speedster and a former first-round draft pick.
Heyward-Bey has caught 24 passes this season for 371 yards and three touchdowns, but not getting a win triggered frustration for the Silver Spring native.
"That's just the way it's been working for us," Heyward-Bey said. "We go to work every day, trying to get better in every area. Right now, it's just not happening. The plan is always to try to fix that.
"We got a touchdown, and then we muffed a punt right after that. You know, it's deflating, but you have to keep on fighting. No matter what the score is, you have to go out there and make plays."