Monday, September 27, 2010

Ravens v. Browns: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and The Megan Fox

THE GOOD: Anquan Boldin isn’t thought of as a deep threat because he lacks top end speed. Clearly that’s not the only prerequisite for making big plays in the passing game. Boldin’s physicality and his strong hands make him a threat to make big plays downfield whenever he has single coverage. His 8 catches for 142 and 3 scores is not a performance NFL fans in Baltimore are used to seeing…Ray Rice was effective and while it’s hard to complain about Cameron going to the air with Joe Flacco, it would be nice to see the Ravens get their running game untracked. It has been productive albeit limited during the past two games. Rice averaged 5.3 yards on his 15 carries…The offensive line protected Flacco and absorbed blitzes from Rob Ryan’s defense. They also provided a nice push in the rushing attack…Chris Carr covered well and limited Josh Cribbs despite the ample time the Browns’ offensive line provided QB Seneca Wallace…Dannell Ellerbe was very solid in pass coverage in nickel situations. His tackling was also text book...Billy Cundiff and Sam Koch along with some sure coverage team tackling combined to negate Cleveland's most dangerous weapon -- Josh Cribbs

THE BAD: The front seven was ineffective against the run and the pass. This was the Cleveland Browns and that was Seneca Wallace and Peyton Hillis doing their best Jeff Garcia and Mike Alstott impersonations. Wallace was 18 of 24 and no picks while Hillis bulldozed the Ravens defense for 144 yards on just 22 carries. They also generated very little pressure against a quarterback in a new system on a new team and not exactly a long history of NFL starts. Greg Mattison has to take some of the blame with a questionable game plan…Tom Zbikowski was shaky on punt returns and should probably lose the job after prematurely calling for one fair catch and then failing to come up and catch a punt around the 25 yard line. It bounced inside the 10…Cam Cameron’s choice to throw a slant on a third and 1 after the Ravens had just rushed effectively for nine yards on two consecutive Rice carries made little sense.

THE UGLY: The Ravens tackling was awful and the guilty parties included Ray Lewis, Fabian Washington, Dawan Landry, Tom Zbikowski, Jameel McClain and Jarret Johnson.

The Megan Fox Award: After receiving a flood of criticism (including some from yours truly) Joe Flacco brushed off a breath taking first pass which nearly went for a pick 6 and delivered a near flawless performance from that point forward while connecting on 22 of 31 passes for 262 yards and 3 scores. It was a performance he needed particularly considering the Ravens will take on division leading Pittsburgh this coming Sunday. Let’s see if he can build upon it.


Jerry B said...

Cameron's stubborn decision to abandon the once vaunted running game in favor of a "sink or swim" passing game will not help Flacco against the better defenses like the one they will face Sunday. I couldn't help thinking yesterday as I watched Hillis wear us done with his punishing style of running that we have a back who can do that, but we stopped using him! I will never understand an offensive coordinator's deliberate failure to utilize ALL of the weapons at his disposal. As for defense, elusive QBs have always presented problems for us, but failure to pressure passers will contribute to losses as teams continue to emphasize the passing game.....

Anonymous said...

Just a heads up - you state Flacco threw for 2 scores when it was actually 3 - otherwise a great blog as usual!!

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29
Jerry B stole most of my thunder.
Didn't L'Ron run for 900 yards last year? He is a bruiser, of the same mold as Peyton Hillis. I heard today that Hillis was dumped by the Broncos. I'll bet when they see the tape from yesterdays game they may be scratching their heads?
...I have to comment on the Inconsistency of the REFS. I had two more pass interference penalties on DB's who covered Boldin..and I use the word Covered loosely. The rules clearly state; no contact after a receiver is 5 yards down field: hello? Apparantly this crew thinks its ok for a DB to pull down one arm while a receiver is trying to catch a pass. Give me a break!
...If that game was called correctly...Boldin would have had a Staggering FIVE TOUCHDOWN PASSES!