THE GOOD, BAD & UGLY: Manning Leaves Ravens Dazed & Confused

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The odds were stacked against them. On the road, first game of the season, in Denver, hot temperatures in the Mile High city against a team whose collective gut churned for 8 months because they fell to the Ravens in the Divisional round last season.

Early on it looked like the Ravens were up to the task.

And then along came the third quarter.

Trailing 17-14 going into the break, the Broncos produced 21 unanswered points to take a 35-17 lead. Peyton Manning peppered the Ravens defense, wore them down and left them gasping for air on his way to a 7 touchdown pass performance.

It was an absolute embarrassment.

The good news is that it is only 1 loss and the Ravens have plenty of time to get it right before their home opener against the Browns on September 15.

Until then…

THE GOOD: Vonta Leach made a nice one-handed catch for a 2-yard score, the first of the game to stake the Ravens to the early 7-0 lead. Leach also had a key block on the Ray Rice 1-yard end zone scamper…Haloti Ngata was stout at the point of attack against the run…Terrell Suggs and Chris Canty both applied pressure consistently, each with a sack and 3 QB hurries…Lardarius Webb broke on the ball nicely and was easily the best defender in the Ravens’ secondary. A chair could have been second best.

THE BAD: Joe Flacco locked in on receivers and one would hope that could be attributed to his lack of familiarity with a skeleton receiver crew, particularly after Jacoby Jones left the game with a knee injury. Game replays showed that Flacco failed to spot open receivers downfield because he predetermined where he was going with the ball. He did the same during the horrendous pick by Danny Trevathan on a ball telegraphed to Ray Rice. Fortunately (at least temporarily) Trevathan unleashed his inner DeSean Jackson and drop the ball on the 1 before crossing the goal line.

Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson were awful until it didn’t matter. Both had key drops when the game was still a contest. Don’t let Clark’s stats deceive you…The offensive line failed to generate a push in the running game and this is clearly an area of concern. The Broncos produced 10 tackles-for-loss. There has to be some concern that Running Game Coordinator Juan Castillo is just not connecting at the moment with the offensive front. Without the running game Flacco is unable to be at his best – utilizing play action.

John Harbaugh and his staff need to be more coordinated with their challenge procedure. In the third quarter a 3rd and 9 pass from Manning to Wes Welker was ruled incomplete yet replays showed it clearly hit the ground. Corey Graham begged for the challenge flag. None was thrown and the Ravens missed an opportunity to force a punt. Instead, three plays later Manning connected on a 28-yard scoring strike to Andre Caldwell over Jimmy Smith. Graham played well beyond expectations in 2012 but tonight was his worst as a Raven. He was beaten regularly by Wes Welker (2 scores) and then again by DeMaryius Thomas on another scoring strike.

THE UGLY: The Ravens yielded 167 net yards of offense in the third quarter while their own offense produced only 8 net yards…The play of the safeties was out of synch particularly Michael Huff who looked clueless. It was hard not to think of Ed Reed during this pasting…Although special teams did a nice job neutralizing Trindon Holliday on returns, they allowed a blocked punt and due to a rookie mistake on the part of Brynden Trawick, Jacoby Jones could miss significant playing time. The reserve safety ran into Jones while the Pro Bowl returner attempted to field a punt. A thin WR corps may have just gotten thinner…The punt team also looked tired and careless during a 27-yard return by Wes Welker.

The Ravens coaching staff was outclassed today. Besides the missed opportunity on the challenge, the Ravens could not get two of their best offensive weapons untracked. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce could only muster 58 yards on 21 rushing attempts…Defensively they yielded their highest point total in team history (49) and their philanthropic secondary had no answer for Manning, yielding 7 TD’s. They also placed two of their best players at risk – Lardarius Webb on punt returns and Joe Flacco in obvious mop up time.

The number 34 is unkind to the Ravens. Both the Super Bowl power outage and Thursday night’s electrical storm delayed each game by 34 minutes. It is also Bobby Rainey’s former number and if Jones is down for an extended period, they will regret not keeping the current member of the Cleveland Browns.

THOMPSON CREEK PLAYER OF THE GAME: There’s a saying in golf after someone sinks a lengthy putt for a double bogey (or worse) that it’s like putting whip cream on [crap]. With that in mind this week’s player of the game is Marlon Brown who still seems unflappable and delivers when called upon. He just missed making an outstanding back shoulder catch for a 20+-yard gain down the right sideline but he did produce 4 catches for 65 yards and his first NFL touchdown. On a night when it was hard to be excited by anything, Brown’s performance continues to support the notion that this UDFA from Georgia is a real find by the Ravens’ scouts.

21 Raves on “THE GOOD, BAD & UGLY: Manning Leaves Ravens Dazed & Confused

  1. Ron in Owings Mills on said:

    Harbs extended…he had 2 years left on his previous deal… Should have happened after this season…Needed to see how he can coach w/ lot of changeover… Needs to get better with clock management and challenges…needs to fire people not 3 years late…needs to not have a mutiny…needs to play his best players…needs to not let his ego get in the way…7 million is too much for me personally

    Yes, things were stacked against them…But having said that, that was an absolutely disgusting performance tonight!

    THANX HARBAUGH FOR NOT CHALLENGING A WES WELKER DROP THAT CLEARLY HIT DA GROUND…HARBS COST US THAT TOUCHDOWN (NBC DID SHOW THE REPLAY AND THE ARROGANCE TO NOT SAY HE MESSED UP AND BLAME IT ON NBC)…THE FACT THAT HARBAUGH AND HIS GUYS UPSTAIRS WERE UNAWARE OF A POTENTIAL CHALLENGE THERE UNTIL HIS PR GUY KEVIN BYRNE HAD TO TELL HIM AFTER THE GAME MAKES IT EVEN WORSE…HE DIDN’T HAVE THEM READY TO PLAY AND LADARIUS WEBB SHOULDN’T BE RETURNING PUNTS EVEN IF HE HAS TO JUST FAIR CATCH DA BALL. THERE WERE 2 TIMES WEBB TRIED TO BRING THE BALL OUT. WHY RISK IT JOHN?

    TIGHT ENDS: CHARTED 8-10 DROPS: ED DICKSON CAN’T CATCH AND DALLAS CLARK CAN’T RUN OR CATCH…DROPPED A POTENTIAL TD AT DA END OF DA 1ST HALF…DALLAS CLARK LOOKED LIKE HE WAS 75 YEARS OLD!

    THE SECONDARY SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED BY WHAT THEY PUT ON FILM…JULIUS THOMAS ABUSED MICHAEL HUFF ….COREY GRAHAM AND JIMMY SMITH ALSO GOT ABUSED…MATT ELAM HAS TO START FROM HERE ON OUT MOVING FORWARD

    DUMB PERSONAL FOUL PENALTIES

    AS FAR AS THE 2 FLACCO PICKS, THE 1ST ONE WAS AN INCREDIBLE PLAY BY HARRIS AND THE SECOND ONE IS ON HIM

    COULDN’T RUN THE BALL AT ALL

    ALSO, JOE FLACCO AND RAY RICE SOHULD NOT BE IN THE GAME DOWN 22 POINTS WITH 2:47 LEFT.

    Overall Game 1 grade: D-

  2. bruce_almty on said:

    There’s a good reason Peyton is called one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game, and he showed us why, emphatically, last night. He was fantastic and we left much to be desired. Fortunately, we will get better and if Peyton does also……wow.

  3. Phil From Frostburg on said:

    The inside backers and safeties were nowhere to be found this game. There is no depth on the OL or at WR. We are going to see some roster changes this week.

  4. Joseph Borowy on said:

    Harbaugh’s game management has always stuck out as a concern. Remember the challenging of a play AFTER calling a time out last season? And he’s infamous for timeouts due to getting in plays late due to lackadaisical decision making on key fourth downs.

    He’s a great coach and motivator, but I wonder why someone else isn’t delegated to be on top of these things on the sideline to keep him on point — it’s obviously not his strong suit.

  5. Alex on said:

    Sorry Tony. Normally I’m on board with your thoughts but to list Flacco first in the bad category is pretty galling given that horrendous performance from virtually every offensive player save Leach, Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown. Flacco threw for 362 yards and should had 3 TD passes. He may have locked in on recievers at times but the first interception was a great play by Chris Harris and given the other problems there is no way he should be blamed for this loss.

    Ed Dickson has proven yet again that he cannot catch the football. Dallas Clark has shown why Tampa Bay failed to resign him and an offensive line dubbed by some pundits as the best in football proved it has a serious depth problem. With Oher in the game Flacco looked at least comfortable in the pocket and if it hadnt been for a few drops from the aforementioned Clark and Dickson would have ended with far better stats and maybe even put some distance between Manninc and co.

    You also don’t really break down how truly appalling Corey Graham and Jimmy Smith were in coverage and touch very lightly on Michael Huff. They fall into the “coaching staff” section but exactly is Dean Pees or Harbaugh going to do when they only have one corner (Webb) who can cover anyone. When a guy throws for 462 yards and 7 TDs it seems like passing defense is the main issue. Especially when an admittedly ineffectual offense is still able to put up 27 points.

    Time will tell if this ship can be righted and it is only week one. But the problems that emerged in Denver do not appear to be quick fixes: No skill in the TE position, No reliable number 2 corner, lack of offensive line depth, and horrific safety play.

    It is actually amazing that Manning was able to pick the Ravens apart. They barely ran the ball.

    • RussellStReport on said:

      Joe was partly to blame, sorry. And I think I hit on Graham, Smith and Huff…Dickson and Clark. Come down from the ledge Alex. It’ll be ok. ~ TL

      • Alex on said:

        I don’t understand how 362 yards 2 TDs and 27 points is to even a little bit to blame when a passing defense was literally historically bad. No ledge here Tony. Just would like the finger pointed in the right direction. The problem isn’t that you addressed Graham, Smith, Clark and Dickson, it’s that the first thing on your list is Flacco. Throw in even a couple of those drops, and his stats are looking excellent. He made a bad read and stared down his receiver late in the game. Fair enough. But at that point the game was over anyway. Flacco wasn’t to blame for this loss in the slightest. Can’t really do much with 8 dropped passes…

        • Rumor Ray on said:

          Alex…. Once Oher left the game the O-Line gave and we ended up with 3 and outs. The D then had to deal with the Manning Hurry up and they were worn out in the 3rd. I do not blame Flacco either however he needed to adjust and he did not. He missed a wide open Torrey as he tossed a very ugly side ways pass. Clark should not be a Raven and Dickson has run out of chances to “prove” himself.

  6. JerryB on said:

    Flacco gets more “slack” from me as he literally was hamstrung by frequently dropped passes, an inept “O” line after Oher’s injury and a woefully inept receiving corps!! In fact, I do not know how trhis team expects to go through an entire season without a legitimate, reliable TE! The secondary was terrible, but….they got NO help from a predominant 4 man rush that led to dropping 7 in coverage and a record tying 7 TD passes! Jerry Rosburg got a reprieve of sorts with the arrival of Jacoby Jones, but his special teams have consistently been anything but. As for the head coach, who has been consistent in his lack of “feel” for the game in his inability to “manage” the game as another blown challenge opportunity attested to last night, we’re going to learn how credible he really is as a head coach! I know it’s hard to argue with his success, but that reputation was built on Ray Lewis’ broad shoulders and a “smash mouth” defense that featured tough, aggressive secondary play, which was evidently lacking last night! His “stamp” is on this team now, and the coming weeks will be revealing despite the fact that he was rewarded with a new 4 yr, $7M/yr PREMATURE contract!. Finally, one game doesn’t make a season, but it did make a bold statement that this team is NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME!

  7. OrangeNeons on said:

    Well, I guess Oz and a certain writer will continue to insist trading Boldin to save two million was a good idea. It wasn’t a good idea then and its was not a good idea now, but multiply it by 10 now. Ozzie does a great job, no question, but trading Boldin to save about 1.5% of cap space was not one of his finer moments….Ravens will be paying for that trade all year long.

  8. Jimmy Dundalk on said:

    I can handle the loss , not easy though , but I’m upset how Ozzie over valued his receivers , corners and O-line , that should concern everyone,,,,,,,,also , Harbaugh is exposed without his ‘on field’ coaches , Boldin , Lewis and Reed,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and I agree with OrangeNeons , the trade off of Boldin for a few defensive slugs was not worth it , but Ozzie loves his defense at the expense of the offense and it really showed last night,,,,,,,,,did I say I was upset………………..

  9. Ravensnhokies on said:

    Tony.. geez, you have always put way too much blame on Flacco over the years. There is no way in heck Joe had a ‘bad’ game. He had a few bad moments like staring down Rice on that INT… wasn’t on the same page with Stokes, but the story of the offense was the drops and a running attack that was as effective as a one legged man in an asskicking contest.

  10. Scot K. on said:

    Why was Rainey let go when he had a decent pre-season and was solid on special teams? The bungle by Brynden Trawick could prove to be really costly.

  11. Frank on said:

    How do you let a 37 year old QB who can’t turn his head to the left or to the right throw 7TD’s on National TV against you.Warren Sapp was correct about Michael Huff he can’t tackle and He can’t cover send him back to Oakland. Dallas Clark runs too slow and he can’t catch a cold dump him before he can do more damage.The Ravens secondary have to kept after practice to study film they all look lost on the field.Remember when Rex and Ray and Ed use to hold Manning to just field goals and Manning was in his prime.

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