Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore Ravens’

September 14th, 2009

Some Quick Thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens

I was in my usual seats yesterday at M&T Bank Stadium to watch the Baltimore Ravens beat the Kansas City Chiefs 38-24.  The game was a heck of a lot closer than the score indicated with the game tied at 24 with a little more than two minutes to go.  

Here’s what I was thinking about as I was driving home:

  • Joe Flacco started hot in the first half and then cooled considerably for a time in the second, overthrowing a number of his receivers, most notably on screens to his running backs.  Note to Flacco: Ray Rice is not 6’8".  While he rallied at the end, having his best day as a pro, it was the ineffectiveness of the offense in the second and into the third quarter that helped keep KC in the game.
  • Flacco’s only interception of the day, coming in the third quarter, was costly, as Derrick Johnson returned the ball 70 yards to the Baltimore six-yard line.  Three plays later, Kansas City was in the end zone. 
  • Superior special teams play has always been a hallmark of Ravens football, but it cost them yesterday.  Steve Hauschka missed a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter (I’m guessing head coach John Harbaugh thought about calling Matt Stover at half time); Kansas City scored a touchdown off of a blocked punt; and the kick return team was stymied all day long.
  • The offensive line consistently gave Flacco the time he needed to throw the ball downfield. And when they didn’t, Flacco proved to be elusive, as KC only sacked him once.  The run blocking was solid too, as Baltimore’s three-headed monster of Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain helped the team to 197 yards rushing.  Overall, Baltimore dominated time of posession by a ratio of nearly 2-1.
  • While the pass rush was great and the run defense was stellar, the defensive secondary looked awfully vulnerable to the deep ball at times.  Still, yielding 24 points when the opposition gets six off of a blocked punt and six more off of an interception has to be considered a success.

Later, as I watched SportsCenter to see the game highlights, I was surprised Baltimore wasn’t getting more dap from the on-air guys.  It was almost as if everyone had forgotten that this was a team that got all the way to the AFC championship last season.