BALTIMORE -- Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack burst through the left side of the Baltimore Ravens' offensive line and got his first sack of the season midway through the fourth quarter Sunday.
Mack provided matchup problems all game and helped pave the way in the Raiders' 28-27 victory. The numbers, however, simply don't tell the entire story for Mack's dominant performance so far this season.
"Everybody wants to talk about the sacks, but all of those things come when you're playing good defense," Mack said.
Ravens left tackle James Hurst, starting in place of the injured rookie Ronnie Stanley, particularly struggled. Hurst was called for a pair of holding penalties in the first half after Mack ran by him and was poised to take down quarterback Joe Flacco.
Mack had 15 sacks last year and must deal with teams focused on containing him this season. Nonetheless, he is a key force for the Raiders and prevented Flacco from getting into any type of rhythm because of the consistent pressure.
"We're coming together as a team, a championship-caliber team," Mack said.
Bruce Irvin, who signed a four-year, $37 million deal this offseason, also was solid and got his second sack of the season.
"The biggest thing in this league is being consistent," Irvin said. "We have a great group of guys. Everything we need is here."
-- Ravens running back Justin Forsett was a healthy scratch Sunday against Oakland, opening the door for Terrance West to take over the starting role.
West took full advantage of the opportunity and ran for a career-high 113 yards on 21 carries.
"It was a great opportunity, but I wish I could trade all of the stats for a win," West said. "We came up short."
The veteran Forsett has struggled over the past three games splitting carries with West. Forsett has run for 98 yards on 31 carries (3.2 yards per carry).
Forsett's absence also allowed Javorius "Buck" Allen, a second round pick in 2015, to make his season debut. Allen was limited to 13 yards on three carries. He also caught a pair of passes for 15 yards.
"We were looking for a spark," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It's nothing against Justin Forsett, for sure. Justin came out this week, and he knew the situation, practiced great and just did a great job like he always does. Gave Buck a chance to see what he could do and see if he could kick-start our running game."
Allen took over the starting job last season when Forsett went down with a broken arm Nov. 22 against the Rams. However, Allen had an uneven training camp and Baltimore chose to carry an extra receiver rather than three running backs over the first three games.
The Ravens' running back situation will be even more crowded when rookie Kenneth Dixon returns over the next week or two from a knee injury. Dixon was impressive throughout training camp and will likely get an opportunity to carry the load.
-- Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil made his 2016 debut Sunday, but was not able to make much of an impact even though he was paired with fellow sack specialist Terrell Suggs.
While Baltimore did not give up huge chunks of yards, Oakland's Derek Carr had plenty of time most of the game to make plays and was not sacked on the day.
Baltimore was expecting get more from its pass rush, especially with Suggs and Dumervil on the field together for the first time since Sept. 13, 2015.
"I felt rusty," Dumervil said. "I am going to keep working and we will get it going."
Suggs echoed those sentiments, despite the tough loss to the Raiders.
"We are a veteran team and we're not going to get down on ourselves," Suggs said. "We are going to get better and continue to work. It is just one missed opportunity."
-- The Raiders were playing without their top two right tackles Menelik Watson (calf) and Austin Howard (ankle). Matt McCants (knee) is also was inactive, which pushed Vadal Alexander into the starting lineup.
Carr had plenty of time to make plays and finished with four touchdown passes. Alexander did an effective job handling the Ravens' pass rush and did not allow much pressure on Carr.
"You look at their roster, they have Pro Bowlers all over the field," Carr said about the Ravens. "They come up with so many different looks to try and confuse you. I'm just very happy we came in here, made some plays and got a win."
-- Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith continues to show he can make plays. Smith decided to forego his planned retirement after his 2015 season was cut short with a torn Achilles.
So far, that has proved to be beneficial for the Ravens.
Smith has been a favorite target for Flacco. In Week 4 against the Raiders, Smith caught passes for a game-high 111 yards.
With 6:27 left in the game, Smith gave Baltimore a much-needed spark when he fought through double coverage and caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from Flacco.
"It has been a long rehab and next week will be 11 months," Smith said about the recovery time for the injury. "You just have to make the plays that come to you and that's what I'm trying to do."
-- Oakland wide receiver Michael Crabtree was simply too much for the Ravens' secondary.
The veteran caught seven passes for 88 yards with three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with just over two minutes left in the game.
Crabtree is thriving in the Raiders' high-powered offense with Carr under center.
"We're playing well. Period," Crabtree said. "It doesn't matter where the game is or who we're playing, we're just playing well. We're coming together as a team."