It’s really hard not to get caught up in the officiating of this game, any game really this NFL season. Only this one was close to home.
First off, the game took way too long. These men dressed as NFL officials seemingly for Halloween, are collectively like a human rain delay. Three-hour games morph into 3 hours and 38 minute affairs IN REGULATION. I was waiting for second quarter scores to appear on the scroll for the 4 o’clock games.
Yes I know it sounds like sour grapes but the inconsistencies of these replacement officials just taints the game. It’s like going to Ruth’s Chris only to find out that the head chef just quit a burger flipping gig at Mickey D’s.
Arm barring was allowed throughout the contest yet a ticky-tacky pass interference penalty during the crucial waning moments of the game was called to overturn a touchdown?
It just takes the viewing enjoyment out of the game…
That said, the Ravens offense played poorly. It seems Cam Cameron’s unit got caught up in their own stink – they bought into this reputation-in-the-making that they are a high powered offense. Not until you do it with consistency do you earn such a title and the Ravens on Sunday were anything but consistent.
THE GOOD: With every kick Justin Tucker makes, he validates John Harbaugh’s faith in him. Never before has a Ravens kicker hit two field goals from 50 yards or beyond in the same game. Tucker connected from 56, 51 and 48 today…Courtney Upshaw got the start and was solid in run support and was able to apply some pressure to Vick. He finished with 6 tackles, 1 for a loss…Albert McClellan contributed in containing LeSean McCoy and provided decent coverage when called upon. He too had 6 tackles, 2 for a loss and recovered a fumble…
Bernard Pollard was on his way to a monster game (and probably the Megan Fox) with an outstanding interception, a sack and a QB hurry. His absence in the middle of the field after his injury was arguably the difference in the game…Lardarius Webb was not targeted by Vick. Nevertheless Webb’s made his presence felt in run support with 6 tackles and a forced fumble…Brendon Ayanbadejo was outstanding in kick coverage…Deonte Thompson continues to show why he’s the go to kick returner…Sam Koch had 44.2 yard net and pinned the Eagles twice inside the 20. He just missed on a pin at the 1.
THE BAD: Ed Reed cheated and was burned as he left Cary Williams exposed on the 23 yard TD pass from Vick to Jeremy Maclin…Joe Flacco was like a pitcher who couldn’t find the strike zone…James Inhedigbo looked lost in coverage…Clock management at the end of the first half was suspect – still not a John Harbaugh strength…Play calling by Cam Cameron was reminiscent of 2011. The Eagles defense was a sieve against the run yet Cameron called Ray Rice’s number just 16 times. Cameron also seemed to call plays out of desperation prematurely with roughly 2 minutes to go. They could have dinked and dunked down the field but instead they tried to hit on some low percentage verticals that fell short of the mark.
THE UGLY: Brent Celek – 8 catches for 157 yards! Are you kidding me? He will never have that many yards again in his career. No one was happier to see Bernard Pollard leave the game than Celek.
THE MEGAN FOX: With 24 touches for 152 yards, Ray Rice gets the nod. Why Cam Cameron didn’t call Ray Rice’s number more frequently in the run game is unconscionable. Word is Andy Reid had flowers and a Pat’s cheesesteak delivered to Cam after the game to express his appreciation.