Reality: In the 2nd half Sunday, the Ravens had 6 possessions that resulted in just 35 yards.
Perception: 5 punts and an interception. Really? You are at home and you can only generate 35 yards of offense? That is simply unacceptable. It is simply amazing that they won the game at all.
Reality: The Ravens had the 3rd lowest total yards in an overtime victory in NFL history.
Perception: This goes right along with their 2nd half. After mixing up the play calling in the first half, they went into a shell and just couldn’t do anything. This makes the Bengals coaching decisions all the more strange, because it was their bad decisions to go for it on 4th down, instead of punt the ball away, which lead the Ravens to have good field position. They didn’t need to gain very many yards at all to just kick a game-winning field goal. It didn’t hurt either that in franchise history, the Bengals have never scored an offensive touchdown in overtime.
Reality: Since the bye, Ray Rice has carried 29 times for 47 yards (1.62 yards per carry) and has no rush longer than 5 yards.
Perception: It’s interesting that Ray Rice says he is “100% healthy”, but when you listen to John Harbaugh’s Press Conference Monday, you hear him say over and over that it’s obvious that Rice is not completely healthy. I mean, it says something when your back-up quarterback who hasn’t seen the field all season had more rushing yards than Rice through 3 quarters of play Sunday.
Reality: Kicker, Justin Tucker, has hit 16-straight field goals and now has 5 game-winners in his 1.5 seasons.
Perception: This kid is money. Not only is he one of the “hippest” guys on the team, and loved in the locker room, but he is a darn good kicker. I see him on this team for year’s to come… the next Matt Stover?
Reality: Joe Flacco’s 3.9 yards per attempt Sunday was the 4th lowest of his career.
Perception: It was not a good day at all for the QB. His deep passes were off the mark and his short passes struggled. But it wasn’t the only bad performance of the day. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick had just 1.4 yards per attempt Sunday night. The 49ers actually looked worse offensively than the Ravens did on Sunday.
Reality: Before Monday, the Packers had used just 3 quarterbacks in over 20 years (Favre, Rodgers, Flynn). In the past 5 quarters, the Packers have used 3 quarterbacks.
Perception: After years of struggling to find a quarterback, Baltimore needs to realize how blessed we are. Jay Cutler, Christian Ponder, Jake Locker, Terrell Pryor all got hurt this weekend. There is a long list of quarterbacks that have been injured this season. Once again it proves how valuable Joe Flacco is to this team. Sunday will be Flacco’s 90th straight game. You may not think he is “elite” and you may be extremely frustrated with his struggles this season… but his durability is something to be applauded. The consistency behind center is a major reason why the Ravens have been the most successful franchise over the last 5 seasons.