Let’s use players as a comparison for the broadcast crew this week- they started like Rashaan Melvin, and ended like Steve Smith Sr.
For those who didn’t watch the broadcast because they were either at the game or fairweather by nature and totally bailed after 0-2, let me assure you- we have friends in Steve & Steve.
At first I was miffed by their attempt to go for the jugular right away by opening the broadcast with talk about a possible 0-3 start. Literally, the Steves started dropping 0-3 historic stats before the opening kickoff because, well, why not?
And while dropping those 0-3 bombs, Beuerlein shed some light on how to avoid such a start.
“Of course it’s all on Joe here.”
Of course Steve! Personally, I was mad at Joe after the Oakland loss too. I mean why couldn’t he get any pressure on Derek Carr all day? And what was with giving Crabtree and Cooper so much cushion all day long? Not to mention all of the penalties he had called against him…
Don’t get me wrong. I know how this works. It’s always the QB’s fault when things go south for a team, and yes, Joe has failed on 4th quarter close outs, but I think every realistic Ravens fan can tell you the defense is as much, if not more so to blame that the offense at this juncture in the season.
I was also less than thrilled with the replay selection (or lack thereof) early on. The Ravens had, I believe, 38 penalties on the opening drive (okay, maybe it was five) and CBS didn’t bother to show one of them on replay. Not only that, but as a few of the calls were being announced by Walt Anderson, the Steves talked right over him, leaving us fans at home confused.
As a Ravens fan, how frustrating is that? You want need to know a) who the flag was on, b) if it was legit, and c) whether to yell at the official or the player through your TV. How can we express our anger without proper knowledge? Are we to yell blindly at the screen?
And don’t let me even start on how it affects water cooler talk the next morning when you’re not exactly sure what happened…
But just as quickly as the Ravens offense flipped a switch in the 2nd half, so did two Steves & an Andrew when they decided to take this Ravens team to task by asking the questions that every Baltimore fan has been muttering under their breath on three consecutive Monday mornings.
Early in the second quarter, Beuerlein brought up a great point, and one many of us have been baffled by for a few weeks now.
“Another surprise for Baltimore today is that Jason Babin is inactive. John Harbaugh told us on Thursday that he thought Babin has figured out the system and was comfortable with Babin being out there, who was signed after the week one loss to Denver, yet Babin is still not out there.”
Admittedly, I’ve asked myself the same question two weeks in a row, as I’m sure most fans have.
So what gives? Granted the pass rush was better (not great) this week but there’s still no answer on why Babin was not out there in a must-win game after the Ravens front seven slept through the Oakland game in the previous week.
Later in the quarter after a failed Forsett rush, Tasker dropped his two cents on the running game and, albeit blunt, he was very accurate.”
“Baltimore is trying to run inside the tackles, but they just cannot get it done.”
It’s funny. Steve Tasker sees it. I see it. I’m sure most fans see it. And yet, the Ravens continued to force the issue up the middle, only to fail consistently.
What’s that definition of insanity again? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results? Do you see where I’m headed here?
Jump midway into the third quarter when, once again, Forsett failed to convert a 3rd and short up the middle. Let’s hear from Tasker once again.
“I don’t like the play calling here. Mark Trestman is an offensive coordinator that I have a lot of respect for but on these 3rd and shorts, they’ve been absolutely a step behind Cincinnati, and have had terrible success.”
Look, I’m not ready to jump all over Trestman with the four-letter b-word that rhymes with ‘rust’ but I’m also a realist and Trestman’s 3rd down play calling this season has been suspect at best. Again, the broadcast team sees it. I see it. Social media sees it (seriously, search ‘Trestman’ on Twitter and thank me later). And yet, predictable play calling by Trestman stunts this offense consistently on 3rd down.
I think as a fan base, we owe this crew a big thank you. Thank you for not uttering ‘0-and-3’ excessively throughout the broadcast. Thank you for agreeing with the fans that see the issues with the play calling and question Jason Babin’s whereabouts. Thank you for calling a game with an even keel, as to not sound biased in favor of either team.
Still, I don’t want you Steves back for another broadcast in 2015. We’re 0-3, I’m superstitious, and I surely don’t want you bringing that bad mojo back to Baltimore again this season, even if you did provide a nice “voice of the fan” this time around.