Monday, October 25, 2010

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly & The Megan Fox: Ravens v. Bills


The Ravens yielded 506 total net yards to a Buffalo Bills team that was ranked 30th in offense heading into the contest averaging just 251 yards, this from a defense that was ranked third overall. The Ravens were the NFL's stingiest team on third down while the Bills' offense was ranked 31st in third down conversions (26.9%) yet the Ryan Fitzpatrick & Co. managed to move the chains 11 of 17 times on Sunday (65%).

Were the Ravens looking too far ahead to their bye week? Did they take the Bills for granted? Are the Bills much better than their 0-6 record or are the Ravens not as good as their 5-2 mark?

The team will have plenty of time to do some soul searching but this one hardly felt like a win. It was more like being pulled over by a State Trooper only to escape with a warning.

Let's hope the Ravens learned a lesson.

THE GOOD: Willis McGahee was able to get some time on the field and one has to wonder just how injured Ray Rice is. He was a step slow v. the Patriots and didn't start against the Bills. McGahee capably stepped up albeit against a weak rushing defense, posting 64 yards on just 11 carries. The bad exchange between McGahee and Joe Flacco could have proven costly so his appearance here come with a bullet...Ray Lewis had 15 tackles and a couple of QB hurries although none of the tackles were behind the line of scrimmage. Lewis was lost in the wash often during the game but he remained relentless nonetheless. His perseverance probably saved the game when he stripped Bills' TE Shawn Nelson in overtime...Cam Cameron responded to criticism with a solid game plan...Billy Cundiff connected on 3 FGA's (41, 48, 38) and added four more touchbacks...Sam Koch had 3 punts inside the 10 yard line...Todd Heap for 2 scores and toughness, fighting off an injury (stinger) to remain in the game.

THE BAD: Despite the stats that might indicate otherwise, Joe Flacco's outing was hardly impressive and he still locks in on his primary receiver and predetermines his throws. Tosses to Todd Heap and Anquan Boldin should have resulted in interceptions if not for Donte Whitner's drop and Boldin's physicality throwing Bills' corner Reggie Corner out of bounds. Whitner's drop should have gone for 6 the other way...The D-Line did next to nothing in either the passing game or against the run...The Kick Return game remains abysmal as Josh Wilson looks nothing like the returner he was in Seattle so far...The Ravens' third down defense was the best in the business heading into the game and they were matched up against an offense next to last in that category. The results were bad irony.

THE UGLY: The tackling in the secondary; the coverage in the secondary; the communication in the secondary; Greg Mattison's defensive game plan.

THE MEGAN FOX ~ Ed Reed...forced fumble to prevent a first down, 2 key picks both of which should have set up scores, although only one did. Something to keep an eye on however...was it a coincidence that the secondary's susceptibility to the long pass happened the day Ed Reed returned? Think back to the first half of the 2009 season. Hopefully Mattison can come up with adjustments on par with those of '09 by November 7. Otherwise his unit could make Chad Henne look like Dan Marino when the Dolphins visit.

Think Mattison can also find the second coming of Reggie White during the bye too?

13 comments :

Jerry B said...

I'll say one thing for Mattison - he's consistent! Unfortunately, his "passive" philosophy of pass defense doesn't get it done in the NFL where almost every QB is accurate enough to pick out an open receiver if given time. And, it bears repeating that if the QB is not pressured, the secondary will be! That being said, Fitzpatrick's release yesterday was so extraordinarily quick, that it may not have mattered. Give the devil his due - the guy was absolutely brilliant yesterday.... yesterday........

Harryos29 said...

HARRY OS 29 OCT 25th...
Once again, JERRY B, beat me to the punch with his accurate comments. If the Ravens could only resurect Michael MC CREARY during the BYE week, the pass rush would be there..
...I do not see an IN SEASON SOLUTION. The Ravens were KEENLY aware of the fact that they have a sub Par pass rush, and drafted Sergio Kindle to remedy that problem. WHO could have predicted Sergio's injury? I thought that Paul Kruger would add to the pass rush; but so far he has trouble getting on the field and staying there. Lets hope that the Ravens do not make Chad Henne look like the second coming of Dan Marino.
...I hate to say this..but the Ravens are NOT going to the Superbowl this year. I will not drink the Purple Kool aid this time.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but Mattison's scheme is just to vanilla to muster any pass rush. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like Peyton Manning with all the checking and adjustments he was making at the line. Every time the team even tried to blitz Fitzpatrick adjusted and it went for a big Bills play. Thats more than just the players.

Cameron's game plan was horrible. If he had come out running the ball more the Bills might not have jumped out to such a large lead. When your running game is averaging 9 yards per carry against one of the worst run defenses in the league, there is no way in heck that Flacco should end up with 30+ pass attempts.

Todd Heap deserves the Megan Fox. The Ravens called his injury a stinger but I fear it is much worse than that. Guys dont just collapse the way Heap did, without being grazed by a defender. To play the way he did, while having the issues he was having was huge.

Anyway, the silver lining is that the team now has something to fix during the bye week. I'd rather have these problems exposed now, while there is still time to fix it, vs. the Bills, than down the line vs. other playoff wild card hopefuls.

Tony Lombardi said...

Anon,

The Ravens averaged 4.7 yards per carry, not 9+.

Just sayin'...

TL

Daniel said...

Tony,
Still picking on Joe Flacco I see, I hope he makes you eat a lifetime's worth of crow when the season is over with. The defense was horrible yesterday but you couldn't resist the urge to criticize Joe for the 100th time this season. You're as bad as Damon Yaffe, your gay partner.

Justus Steel said...

wow, after hearing all the other ravens "fans" constantly telling me how wrong i am, i expected to hear the same here. but you said the same thing about flacco that i did (the not looking off receivers part). i was a bit harder on him, but that's just me
http://thoushaltnotsteel.blogspot.com/2010/10/truth-about-baltimore-football.html

Justus Steel said...

oh, and i don't think reed's return had anything to do with the deep ball, we had the same issue with the broncos

Tony Lombardi said...

J-Steel,

That first plug is on the house...

The rest is up to you! ;-)

Good luck with the blog!

Tony Lombardi said...

Daniel,

Believe it or not, Flacco is my favorite QB, probably just like you. But unlike you, I refuse to stick my head in the sand when it comes to his deficiencies.

Recently I reached out to a quarterback coach to do some blogging for us as it relates to Flacco's progress. You will see the first from that series shortly.

As for Damon Yaffe, he's never been my partner and I don't believe he's gay.

To be on the safe side I just ran this concept of your's by my wife and she said she's not worried.

But what a convincing argument there Danny Boy!

Captain of your debate team?

Jerry B said...

Upon further review, if we learned anything this past weekend, it's that the times are a changin' in the NFL! It used to be axiomatic that, "you win with defense". No more! With prohibitions against hitting QBs, not being able to so much as touch a receiver going downfield and, now, tackling technique that will result in tentative behavior and arm tackling in lieu of reactionary "hitting", it's become an offense dominant league almost over night! Just look at many of the high scoring games this past weekend and it's a precurser for things to come. So, football "purests" who love defensive struggles better get used to high scoring contests going forward. Fortunately for the Ravens, their offense seems to already be ahead of their defense. Apparently, this is what the owners want........

Justus Steel said...

well thank you tony. i'll make sure i have some kind of link for you on the next thing i write about the ravens. but i do believe my comments had substance also

Anonymous said...

Tony

Mid-way through the 2nd quarter, the Ravens were averaging 9 yards per carry.

Just saying.

Tony Lombardi said...

In the first half the Ravens ran it 11 times for 84 yards; threw it 21 times for 150 yards and scored 20 points.

In the second half plus overtime the Ravens ran it 18 times for 51 yards; threw it 10 times for 100 yards and scored 17 points.

Wouldn't you say the first half was more effective offensively?

But let's not get lost here...the Ravens' offense is not why Buffalo threatened to win this game. It wasn't even close!

Just sayin'...