Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Ravens @ Raiders: The Good, Bad, Ugly & The Megan Fox


THE GOOD: Dannell Ellerbe now seems to be combining his impressive skills and instincts with preparedness and apparent coachability. He is explosive in short spaces and quick to the ball carrier plus his coverage skills have improved markedly. Clearly he was “Johnny-on-the-spot” against the Raiders with a timely pick and fumble recovery…The transformation of Chris Carr from bust to solid contributor over the span of six or so weeks has been nothing short of outstanding. Perhaps it was simply a case of confidence as a returner and familiarity as a defensive back but the game is now clicking for the 2009 free agent signing…Jalen Parmele continues to excel while subbing for the injured Lardarius Webb as a kick returner, averaging a very solid 34 yards on four returns ...Kelly Gregg was written off by many, some even in the organization as well as yours truly. Those words taste delicious and I’m happy to say the old Kelly Gregg is on his way back…Props go out to the entire offensive line for their run blocking particularly Ben Grubbs, Michael Oher and Jared Gaither.

THE BAD: Ed Reed at times looked like he was auditioning for the “Lost in Space” remake. Hopefully it was just a case of being rusty but I don’t think it was just a coincidence that the middle of the Ravens’ defense was suddenly swish cheese when Tom Zbikowski was replaced by Reed…Not helping matters, Greg Mattison’s schemes were a bit questionable. Mattison at times went with a nickel package against 3 wide sets yet blitzed the nickel back leaving Dawan Landry exposed and forced to cover a WR man-to-man. Opponents will take that matchup all day long. The D-Coordinator needs to be more creative blitzing the QB…It isn’t a question of “if” but “when” – Matt Katula and his ailing arm are going to cost the Ravens at a crucial time this post season in a close game. Rookie Nick Sundberg (practice squad) is waiting for the call. While the former California Bear is said to be a spot on long snapper, he lacks Katula’s height (listed at 6’, 246). Don’t count on him or any other replacement for Katula. Just hold your breath or pray for a speedy recovery for the normally reliable Katula…Joe Flacco’s pacing and rhythm are way out of synch and his complete disregard for obvious blitzes are borderline mind boggling. The entire offense looks lethargic as they creep towards the line of scrimmage while valuable play clock time ticks away. Cam Cameron needs to get his sub packages in the game more quickly along with the play so that the team can get to the line and observe the defense and make pre snap adjustments. Defenses are teeing off on the rather obvious snap counts heavily tipped off by Matt Birk's head movements and the play clock countdown towards zero…

THE UGLY: The passing attack was rather anemic and the wide receivers’ collective inability to create separation is pretty staggering…The 51 yard field goal attempt was ridiculously bad. I almost thought that Billy Cundiff was aiming for Katula’s hind parts as a payback for all those off the mark snaps.

THE MEGAN FOX: Without a doubt this one belongs to Willis “Smokin’ Joe” McGahee. His 77 yard run for a score was electrifying, punctuated by that left hook of a stiff arm he delivered to Raiders’ defensive back Hiram Eugene was one for the ages. Eugene will need to make several highlight reel plays to erase that indelible mark upon the minds of NFL fans everywhere. McGahee looked fresh, determined and extremely physical on his way to a three touchdown, 167 yard afternoon on just 16 carries. From the Harbaugh doghouse to the Megan Fox penthouse goes Willis!


1 comments :

Jerry B said...

Seems like the passing game has been anemic since Flacco's ankle injury in the Minnesota game......