Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"No-call" on Flacco hit could be a blessing in disguise

One play that could turn out to be one of the best no-calls to go against the Ravens took place this past Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium against the New Orleans Saints.

With 2:25 left in the third quarter and the Ravens clinging to a 21-17 lead, Joe Flacco and the offense faced a third and goal from the Saints’ 5 yard line. Rolling out to his right, Flacco was sacked by Jimmy Wilkerson for a 10 yard loss forcing a Billy Cundiff field goal attempt.

However the drive should have been kept alive by a personal foul against the Saints.
Immediately following the sack Will Smith, carried forward towards Flacco by momentum, kneed the Ravens quarterback in the head and then continued to apply pressure with his knee.

Earlier in the game Ed Reed was justifiably called for a glancing blow to Drew Brees’ helmet while trying to strip the Saints QB on a safety blitz. That’s the rule so you live with it and adjust accordingly.

We have all seen how Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are beneficiaries of very questionable calls on some extremely incidental contact. I get it, these are your poster boys but let’s keep in mind the rules aren’t in place for certain quarterbacks. They are intended for all quarterbacks.

But let’s get real here…

When a world class 282 pound athlete applies intentional pressure with his knee to the protected temple of a quarterback whose head is sandwiched against the ground, THAT is a bit more severe than a glancing love tap to the noggin of an upright quarterback. Don’t you agree?

Yet the no-call has its benefits.

As we all know the Ravens went on to win the game 30-24. But the fieriness of Joe Flacco (see video below following the play) and the way his team rallied around him may be exactly what the Ravens need as they gear up for the NFL’s second season – the playoffs.

Time will tell but this could be something that John Harbaugh can build upon and it may have awakened a comatose side of Flacco’s personality that could house a 4th quarter killer. It might also rally his offensive line, backs or receivers and inspire them to explode through key blocks, particularly if reminded of this play.

Harbaugh would be wise to remind the team of this great no-call often and borrow from a successful strategy often employed by Brian Billick – an us against the world approach.

It might also give new meaning to the phrase, “Play Like a Raven!”


Jerry B said...

Could be the type of impetus needed heading into the final two games and, hopefully, the playoffs. But, I for one, don't necessarily subscribe to the theory that your QB has to be a fiery leader. Hate to keep bringing Unitas up, but the fact is he was never fiery in his demeaner, preferring to let his work ethic and performance speak for themselves. Those of us priviliged to watch him play can attest to the consumate professionalism he brought to the QB position, which was more than enough then and would suffice today.....

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 DEC 25th
... I tend to agree with JERRY B that the QB does not have to be the FIERY type; But I think showing some emotion after a hit like that is good for everyone! JERRY B, I just celebrated my birthday 2 days prior to Tonys birthday; my dad and I saw all of UNITAS' career..he was not always stoic......Face it..when a fan buys a ticket to the game, it is coming out of his ENTERTAINMENT budget. Fans attend games to be entertained. Sure fans want the HOME TEAM to win, but foremost fans want to see EXCITING LONG Running plays or passing plays.
...This season, the RAVENS have struggled to provide this type of entertainment to the fans. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the Ravens have not called more DEEP passes, just to losen up the opponents Defense. I say waste a 2nd down pass if you must; Just send Stallworth deep down one side and Boldin down the other side...if one of them is OPEN LOB the ball in his direction. That will Entertain the fans..and GEEZ.. as Peter Schmuck would say...might even result in a long Touch down. Again, I say that Cameron should look up to FOXBORO and see how they play the game.