Frustrating is the word that comes mind when thinking about the Ravens 15-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. It was quite a twisted day in Baltimore as THE Mariano Rivera blows a save against the Orioles who went on to win in extra innings while the Ravens tormented us against the Bengals.
While experiencing the torment, here are a few things that stood out to me.
Cam Cameron’s play calling was very odd to say the least. Obviously, the Ravens have a lot of quality options to throw to in Anquan Boldin, Derek Mason, TJ Houshmandzadeh, and Todd Heap. But it just seemed like Cameron was very stubborn by having Flacco attempt 39 passes when it was obvious it wasn’t his day early on. The Ravens clearly want to make this Joe’s team and have him carry the team. But when Flacco struggled as he did, Cam never really adjusted his game plan. The Ravens are a team that should be able beat opponents with unbalanced line power running formations as well as five wide receiver sets, but they have not shown a creative mixture of running and passing in the first two games. Cameron is an excellent coordinator who really put together genius game plans in 2008 in Flacco’s rookie season, but there should be more emphasis on the power running game in the offense.
I’m not worried yet, but Anquan Boldin was visibly displeased on multiple occasions as the offense walked off the field. The CBS camera crew went right to him on the sidelines after frustrating drives halted and it looked like he had the potential to blow up like he did in Arizona with Todd Haley. I hope Boldin was annoyed with himself and not overly displeased with a teammate or else this could be something to watch.
The offensive line looks good on paper, but the results this year have not been what I expected. It’s early, Jared Gaither is still out, and the line is shuffled a bit, yet every starter is still a very good player. The Ravens were unable to do much on the ground against the Jets and the performance in Cincinnati wasn’t awful but it wasn’t great either. I really expected this to be the best line in the league this year, and while they have not been elite yet they should still recover. As blasphemous as it may be, I have not been wowed by Michael Oher. I always believe any first round pick of Ozzie’s will be a 10-time Pro Bowler (I’ll admit to being wrong on Travis Taylor) and still feel that way about Oher, but I just don’t think he’s elite yet. He has become quite popular very quickly, but I just hope that we as fans have not given too much credit too soon because Oher was the subject of an Oscar winning movie. I’ll be the first to get an Oher jersey once he eventually begins to dominate the NFL, but let’s not dub him the second coming of Jonathan Ogden quite yet.
Lastly, is anybody scared that the Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-0 without Ben Roethlisberger? Their defense forced 7 turnovers against Tennessee and the Steelers head to Tampa Bay this week. They should be 3-0 heading into a matchup in Pittsburgh against the Ravens. A week later they get their leader back. Just when you thought it would be either the Bengals or Ravens atop the AFC North, it’s looking as if it’s another three team race.
It’s only September yet I’m nervous already.