Monday, January 18, 2010


THE GOOD: I find it shocking how analysts around town have given the Ravens’ running backs a “D” grade for their collective performance against the Colts. Ray Rice’s effort alone was inspiring. He never quit and despite a fast defense determined to stop him he averaged 5.2 yards per carry and caught 9 passes. Yes he fumbled after a vicious hit by Colts' defensive lineman Raheem Brock who hit the ball forcefully with the crown of his helmet. And yes he failed to haul in a high pass from Joe Flacco on fourth and 2 but the blame for that in my eyes falls more on the Ravens signal caller. If only the rest of the offense had performed and played with the passion of Ray Rice…Sam Koch is an outstanding holder and he has probably helped Matt Katula earn a few more paychecks. Koch also netted 41.8 yards on five punts…Ed Reed baited the game’s most cerebrally advanced quarterback for an interception. He fumbled during the return but I tend to credit Pierre Garcon more for making a play to cause the miscue than Reed for his failure to protect the ball. Reed also had another pick called back for a pretty lame pass interference call against Corey Ivy…The Ravens defensive front was excellent against the run particularly when you consider their first instinct was to defend the pass against the dangerous Peyton Manning…The kickoff unit was effective given very limited opportunities. On two kickoffs they managed a touchback and pinning the Colts at their own 14 yard line…Dannell Ellerbe drew a tough assignment in pass coverage – Dallas Clark. That is asking a lot going against Manning in a playoff game. For the most part he stayed with Clark. The promising LB also had a tackle for a loss.

THE BAD: LJ Smith’s block in the back negating an excellent kick return by Jalen Parmele was ridiculous…Joe Flacco made some very poor decisions and is lucky he didn’t have two additional interceptions, one of which should have gone for a pick 6 when Bethea dropped the ball at the Colts goal line. For a QB with such a strong arm, he really short-arms his deep passes and more times than not they fall short of the mark. Derrick Mason's stop and go route should have resulted in a fourth quarter touchdown. Instead it was intercepted…Domonique Foxworth looked lost at times and made Austin Collie the second coming of Steve Largent. He committed a very consequential penalty at the end of the first half paving the way to the Colts’ back breaking TD to go up 17-3…Greg Mattison’s decision to drop 8 in coverage too often. When the team grew more desperate they placed much more pressure on Manning sacking him twice. You have to wonder how much more effective they would have been had they dialed up the heat earlier. Regardless of how many drop into coverage, Manning's laser-like accuracy will carve up any secondary when he is given ample time…Siamese twins get more separation than Ravens' receivers not named Mason. Demetrius Williams is rather clueless when it comes to any route that isn’t a deep post.

THE UGLY: The offensive game plan was ridiculously conservative after the initial drive. They ran the ball on every first down play after that drive right on up to their first, first down in the fourth quarter at which time Flacco delivered a very dangerous 1 yard pass to Ray Rice. Go figure. You are better than that Cam…Matt Katula’s snap on the extra point and his snap on the first punt…David Tyree’s celebration after dropping TJ Rushing for no gain following a 49 yard punt by Koch with 8:11 left. Scoreboard David – 20-3!

THE MEGAN FOX AWARD: Talk about digging deep for this one which goes to Haloti Ngata who made Peyton Manning curl up in the fetal position when it was obvious that he would be sacked. The only thing missing was Manning sucking his thumb and Dan Dierdorf bursting out of the booth and handing Peyton a blanky. Ngata was very stout against the run as well with four tackles in short spaces, one other besides the sack for a loss. Ngata also added a QB hurry and his dominating presence freed Dwan Edwards to be a menacing presence, contributing 3 quarterback hurries.


Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 Jan 18th
...Well, it has been 41 years since the JETS defeated our "BALTIMORE COLTS" in the Superbowl. I'm still doubtful about the INTEGRITY of the GAME OFFICIALS for Saturdays Ravens Game??? The Call on LJ SMITH for a BLOCK in the Back was insane. Why do you make a call like that, which NULLIFIED a Terrific run by JALEN PARMALEE..???(Unless you want to influence the outcome of the game)
.. I just don't see the need for OVER_OFFICIATING in Play off Games. They need to Fix that RULE. I go to games and see what happens.. a Special Teams player is in position to make a block...and the player he is setting up to block.. suddently turns his back. 99% of them IMHO are BOGUS CALLS by these "WEEKEND Shoe Salesmen and Lawyers " that the NFL is putting out there every week?
...Being an amatuer, High School official myself, I very well know that all of these calls are subjective. IMHO.. Its football, let the Players play

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Jerry B said...

Good assessment, TL, and hard to argue with. I particularly like your taking Mattison to task for his "soft" approach to pass defense. It was a mistake handing the reins of a talented veteran defense to a college coach with only one year NFL experience, but, after all, he is Harbaugh's Dad's friend! The real defensive genius is head coach of the Jets, but we all knew that. It will be interesting to watch the Jets pressure Manning like they did Rivers. Some think Manning is oblivious to pressure, but I believe just the opposite. He does not like to get hit and, as you point out, will curl up in a fetal position to avoid it. Here's hoping Rex "brings it" big time! As to Cam Cameron, there's a reason he only won one game as Miami's head coach - the guy lacks "kahunas", if you get my drift! Somewhere around the fourth game of the season, he decided to change the offense from creative/aggressive to vanilla/passive, lapsing into his best Brian Billick imitation of, "let's not lose this one for the Gipper" mentality! Too bad because he's got a QB who can, when given the opportunity, "wing it", as "they" say! As a final note, the Ravens management made at least three serious mistakes going into this season (four if you count L.J. Smith's acquisition!): not bringing Lorenzo Neal back to spearhead the prolific "three-headed-monster" of 2008; not upgrading the receiving corps; and, trusting the place kicking to a rookie in lieu of Stover! But, as a famous sportscaster once observed......"Wait 'til next year"!

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 Jan 18, 2010
Like the Siamese Twins Reference.
I blame CAM for NOT testing the two COLT rookie DB's. COME on, this was a GUTS Or BETTER game!!!
.. You don't know if you can be successful unless you TRY! The Ravens should have just sent a Wide Receiver Deep; TODD HEAP, CLAYTON? I don't care just test them out, if its not there..Throw it out of bounds!
...Hloti definitely carried his weight this year; PROPS to HLOTI.

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 Jan 19th
First, this is an excellent BLOG: Am I the only person reading this: OR? is everyone too depressed after the LOSS to the COLTS to care about our TEAM?
..I'm very certain that the Cleveland Browns for one, would trade places with the Ravens in a nano-second!
1.) Ray Rice fought his butt off in that game. His fumble was caused by a big Lineman twice his size who Blasted the Ball away from Ray.
2.) Sam Koch may be the best Punter/Holder in the league. Poor Matt Katula has a bad right arm and sent back some ERRANT MISSLES to KOCH, who fielded all of them Flawlessly in the remaining weeks of the season
3.) ED are the best FREE SAFETY in the league at baiting QB's and then moving in for the INT. PLEASE, if you com back in 2010; Intercpet the ball and get as much as you can: Then Run out of bounds with the ball securly in your possession. In case you did not pay attention, we have a very good quarterback developing on the OFFENSIVE side of the ball, and you should let them take care of putting the BALL into the END ZONE! Its obvious to even the most casual obsever, that the INT means nothing, when you give it right back to the OPPOSING TEAM!!!