Monday, November 30, 2009

The Good, Bad, Ugly & The Megan Fox

THE GOOD: Joe Flacco wasn’t great…yes he needs to finish his deep throws – the 54 yard completion to Mark Clayton should have been a touchdown. And yes he missed some throws badly, looking a bit skittish at times in the face of a brutal Steelers’ pass rush. But to register a 100+ QB rating against a tough defense without throwing a pick despite 5 sacks and constant pressure qualifies as a good performance in my book…Speaking of Clayton, he stepped up and got involved early. His fumble aside the oft-criticized wideout made some plays in the passing game and with a little more pass protection, he may have hauled in another deep ball for a score. He found the separation that had been missing from his game…The running attack was very solid against the league’s top ranked rushing defense. The 3-headed monster put up 132 yards against a stingy team that had yielded less than 70 such yards per contest prior to last night…Haloti Ngata was stout against the run and contributed on offense at the goal line with a crushing block paving the way for the Willis McGahee’s TD run in the first quarter…NEWSFLASH: Chris Carr can return punts. Let’s hope this was a building block for him and not simply an indictment upon the Steelers’ subpar punt coverage…Paul Kruger’s interception had me wondering if he could play tight end. The game changing catch had to have impressed Todd Heap…Dwan Edwards, 8 tackles and sheer hustle. The man has a motor and is arguably the team’s most improved defender…Lardarius Webb is looking like the real deal. Another year of coaching and an offseason in the weight room, this guy could be in line for a trip across the pond in February, 2011.

THE BAD: Some Ravens need to play smarter and not let the adrenalin take over their minds. Tom Zbikowski and Ngata at times got caught up in the heat of the moment and it cost the team penalty yards. Ngata is a repeat offender and he needs to reel it in…Ray Lewis looked very pedestrian shedding blocks and when teams run right at him…The Ravens missed tackles, Chris Carr and Jarret Johnson come to mind…Tavares Gooden needs to contain. He gets washed out inside the tackles too often…Ben Grubbs allowed Lawrence Timmons to come in untouched for a sack while Le’Ron McClain and Ray Rice each missed blocking assignments failing to pick up blitzing backers…Greg Mattison was outcoached and didn’t take advantage of Dennis Dixon’s inexperience. The all-out blitz that he dialed up that resulted in Dixon’s waltz into the end zone forced the former Duck to his strength – his right, and not against his body. I’ll give Mattison a pass on the lack of containment on that play and say that a player blew an assignment…John Harbaugh mismanaged timeouts again. His team should have been ready to go on fourth and 5 after the 17 yard completion on third down. Had they failed on the fourth down conversion, Harbaugh would have had only 1 timeout to save his offense some time on the clock.

THE UGLY: Penalties on returns negated great field position too often…Domonique Foxworth was owned by Santonio Holmes. Had Ben Roethlisberger started, it would have been sub-ugly…The blitz on Dixon’s TD run…Chris Collinsworth supporting a very ticky-tacky defensive holding call against Haloti Ngata. The flag seemed almost premeditated. Can’t Troy Aikman take Collinsworth’s place?

THE MEGAN FOX: Ray Rice, the man makes something out of nothing and chipped in with 155 yards of offense against a tough, amped up Steelers defense. His catch and run on the fourth down conversion with 3 minutes and change left in the game was really the pivotal play of the game.


Don Banks said...

Good to see all the baby Ravens playing well in a meaningful game. Oher, Ellerbe, Webb, Kruger all showed up in stretches. Oz and his staff look like geniuses for the pick of Webb and find of Ellerbe. Webb looks like a better version of Duane Starks. I agree with your assessment of Kruger. What a great sell-job of the blitz, and then a remarkable interception and return. These young guys playing in an environment like last night is going to pay dividends next year and beyond.

I also thought Yanda supplied more of a physical attitude along our OL than Chester and I think it showed in our power running between the tackles. That running approach actually looked rejuvenated last night.

Jerry B said...

Agree with your assessments as usual, TL. From where I sit (in front of my TV for every game!), this is a talented team that is poorly coached. That certainly explains all those insipid and recurring penalties, the inability to pick up blitzes, failure to pressure QBs and unimaginative play calling on both sides of the ball. This is a team that was supposedly built for playoffs, but is not performing at that level - a by product of poor coaching!!! My hunch is that they lose in Green Bay and Pittsburgh, beat Detroit, Chicago and Oakland, wind up 9-7 and DON'T make the playoffs! Once, again, I hope I'm wrong.....

A-Dubs said...

Maybe Yanda will help the interior line, which I think has been a big disappointment that no one talks about. Birk seems to be more of a downgrade then we thought he would be and out ability to bludgeon is gone. Hopefully the hard-working Yanda will be the difference!

Anonymous said...

Kruger made a huge game-winning play. Maybe everyone can just move forward now and talk about something else. I'm tired of all the inactive/active/bust talk. Players develop at different speeds. The kid has made positive plays when he's been on the field. Let's hope he continues.

Frank Hauser said...

Yanda can help the running game. Best it's looked this year. Especially as the weather grows worse.

Harryos29 said...

Is this "THE" DON Banks from SI.COM? I agree with DON. Its taken half the YEAR to get the BABY RAVENS on the Field. I understand that, you never want to RUSH the young guys. But, what the Team has been putting on the field has not gotten the job done.
...So, lets go with the young guys and hope for the BEST.
... Duane Starks..there is a name out of the past.
Jerry B. come over and I'll buy you a beer and cheer you up. ..There are so many scenarios that could happen even if the Ravens stumble in GREEN BAY! Keep the Faith.