“The wisdom is in the results, as we all know. If we go out there and take care of business, then it was a good move.” ~ John Harbaugh when asked if staying in San Jose last week was the right move for the team.
Would it have made a difference if the Ravens scrapped the San Jose Project?
Who knows? Is flying on a charter plane that big of a deal for the team? Does it take that much out of them? Doesn’t it stand to reason that staying and practicing in unfamiliar territory for a week would be more disruptive than a couple of 5+ hour flights on a cushy charter?
But the guys bonded so well according to Harbaugh.
“OK, good to see everybody – thanks for being here with us. [It was] a good week – a good, focused week of football. That has been a real plus for us. The guys have had a chance to spend a lot of time together, and really, what they do is they talk a lot of football, and they have fun. They make fun of one another and do what teammates do when they’re around one another 24/7. But, all the focus is on Oakland – it’s on the game on Sunday, and it’s on doing what needs to be done – in other words, playing really good football, executing where we need to execute and getting the job done play after play, and that’s what we’re working on right now.”
Executing? Eleven missed tackles and 10 penalties for 109 yards – that kind of execution coach?
Water under the bridge I know, but keep in mind that the Ravens plan to stay in Arizona following the October 18 game in San Francisco and immediately before the Monday Night contest in Phoenix on October 26.
Joe Flacco had a very solid outing connecting on 32 of 45 passes for 384 yards, 2 scores and a 102.5 passer rating and he did a great job of buying time in the pocket, to avoid the pressure continually coming from his left courtesy of James Hurst. Yet it’s hard not to focus on the passes he missed all of which could have gone for scores. He badly underthrew Kamar Aiken on what should have been an easy touchdown, overthrew Steve Smith, Sr. on a red zone scoring opportunity and he missed a streaking Darren Waller down the left sideline on another potential score. That 11-play, 93 yard drive was a thing of beauty…SSSr rebounded from Week 1 with an inspired, physical performance hauling in 10 catches for 150 yards…Kamar Aiken shook off a fumble on the Ravens first offensive play to haul in 5 passes for 89 yards. It could have been a lot better had Flacco upheld his end on a 9-route down the right sideline…Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro made the most of limited opportunities with a combined 22 carries for 102 yards.
Will Hill had a productive afternoon and could have been the game’s hero if not robbed of a game ending interception by the back judge on a terrible defensive holding call. If you look at the images below they show that Oakland TE Mychal Rivera initiated the contact and following the contact Hill played the ball.
Mychal Rivera runs his route directly towards Will Hill.
The ball is out of Carr’s hand as both Rivera and Hill look for the ball.
Both Rivera and Hill position themselves to make a play on the ball.
Hill makes the interception. This appears to be text book defense.
The 3 and out to start the second half was awful. What exactly did Marc Trestman & Co. discuss with the guys at halftime?…The Ravens seemed to abandon the run. It looked a lot like 2013. Where have all the stretch runs gone? Oh and what about all of those fade patterns in the red zone. Note to Mr. Trestman, you left those 6’5” receivers in Chicago…Kelechi Osemele isn’t exactly playing like it’s a contract season. Two holding penalties!…James Hurstile (my nickname borrowing from turnstile) had another pretty pathetic afternoon. Hopefully Eugene Monroe is up v. Bengals, assuming of course he didn’t pull a muscle reaching for the aspirin.
Jimmy Smith committed two penalties and gave up the 68-yard strike to Amari Cooper on a move that was fairly pedestrian yet left the Ravens cover corner looking for his jock…Kendrick Lewis was often late to the party and his tackling was shaky at best…Courtney Upshaw won’t be an expensive re-sign should Ozzie Newsome decide to retain the Crimson Tide alum. He played like a cigar store Indian…The inside linebackers were far too soft in coverage…Speaking of soft, why are the Ravens not playing press coverage on third and 2?…Pees defense now lacks a complementary edge rusher to Elvis Dumervil yet they found it more important to dress a third tight end or running back or Ryan Jensen instead of newly acquire Jason Babin. Really?…Senior not fielding a punt midway through the 4th quarter that ended up pinning the Ravens inside their 10 for a 70-yard punt. Uh, not good.
Tackling was pathetic. Eleven whiffs…Dean Pees’ game plan (or lack thereof). The Raiders did not get into Bengals territory during Week 1 until the fourth quarter. Yesterday it took about 3 minutes. Pees did nothing to confuse a young signal caller. Instead he allowed him to stand back in the pocket, wait for a Domino’s Pizza to be delivered and then pick from a number of receivers who were often wide open. The Raiders punted only twice yesterday. Twice! They were the 31st ranked offense in 2014 and entered this game with the same 2015 ranking…The defensive line was pushed around, generated very little pressure and they were man-handled defending the rush. Tim Jernigan may as well have stayed in Baltimore. His only stat was costly, a mind-numbingly stupid late hit on Derek Carr. Brandon Williams and Carl Davis managed to “rack up” 3 tackles between them.
THE MEGAN FOX
Call him Gronk-lite, Bavaro, Jr. or just an up and coming player but Crockett Gillmore was a monster on Sunday and it’s puzzling why Trestman didn’t keep feeding the beast. Gillmore had 5 catches for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns and given the poor play of the Raiders safeties who struggle with tight ends, it was a bit of a head scratcher why the Ravens didn’t look for him more in the second half. He had one catch after the break.
But then again, there were plenty of head scratching moments during the debacle in The Black Hole.
The Ravens are now 0-2 and the reality is since 1990 only 24 of 205 teams that started a season 0-2 (11.7%) have earned a playoff berth.
At this point there’s little reason to think that the Ravens will be No. 25.