Despite leading the team in interceptions with his third in as many games, Cary Williams was still looked at as the weak-link in the Ravens secondary when the game was on the line.
Dez Bryant beat Williams for touchdowns twice on Sunday and aside from dropping the potential game-winning two-point conversion with 36-seconds left, he had a successful day against the Ravens secondary.
On all three critical end zone targets with Bryant matched up on Williams, Romo’s head never did anything but lock his eyes on Bryant and immediately throw the ball to his hottest receiver.
Bryant had 13 receptions on the day for 95 yards and two touchdowns. In the passing game, it was clear that having him line up opposite Williams was the matchup Dallas favored.
Williams has been the proverbial punching bag by the fan base for the Ravens secondary woes. In packages where the Ravens aren’t in nickel formation, many have called for Jimmy Smith to replace Williams.
With Lardarius Webb’s latest ACL tear, Smith will now line up on the opposite side of the field from Williams and nickel packages will likely feature Corey Graham on the inside.
Despite being bullied on the field, Williams deserves some credit for making plays in his past three games.
With Webb reduced to a spectator’s role, Williams is now the most sound tackler in the Ravens secondary. Yesterday, the Ravens struggled by missing 19 tackles and allowing an additional 101 yards of offense after first contact.
Williams has played a major role in the Ravens intercepting passes in the past three weeks; without some of his contributions, the Ravens would have barely pulled out victories against the Browns, Chiefs and Cowboys.
In Week 4 versus the Browns, Williams returned his first career interception for a touchdown. Last week, Williams deflected a pass which was intercepted by Webb. After the game, Webb said that because of Williams’ efforts, it was the “easiest interception I’ve ever had.” Later in the game, Williams also intercepted a pass of his own.
Yesterday, Williams did get beat multiple times but deflected two passes and had another interception for a pass targeted for Kevin Ogletree.
As was the case on his two previous interceptions, Williams was in the right place at the right time, something often credited to Ed Reed. Williams’ efforts should be similarly acknowledged. Let’s give credit where it’s due.
That said until Williams can successfully apply press coverage and turn his head to find the ball, he will continue to be targeted by opposing offenses.