Perhaps partially lost in the hoopla of the wildest 2 minutes in NFL history was the return of Dennis Pitta. Pitta got off to a rough start and was hardly the sure-handed tight end we’ve come to know and respect. However he did adjust as the game went on and clearly made an impact when it counted most.
Pitta and his battery mate Joe Flacco have great chemistry and that’s important when plays don’t unfold the way they are designed. The ability to adjust on the fly post-snap is such an asset to any offense and one that Flacco hasn’t had at his disposal all season.
The threat of a productive tight end also boosts the running game even if said tight end isn’t productive as an in-line blocker. Linebackers have to respect the rapport between Flacco and Pitta and stay true to their assignments and drops in pass coverage. Otherwise the pitch and catch tandem will exploit gaping holes behind the linebackers and in front of the safeties. That respect and those drops create opportunities in the running game.
Joe Flacco clearly needs Pitta. But somewhere in Owings Mills, Ray Rice is smiling too.
ONE MIGHT THINK with the widespread usage of smart phones that the alleged rain of snowballs upon the Minnesota Vikings players this past Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium would have shown up somewhere on the web in the form of images and/or videos. Seems to me that the pouty Adrian Peterson embellished the scene a bit.
Other rumors have floated about that the Vikings actually fired back at the crowd. Again – no pictures or videos.
Neither is really appropriate as Torrey Smith indicated in this interview with former Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo. Even if his allegations are true it just seems like sour grapes on Peterson’s part, throwing the entire Ravens fan base under the bus.
If memory serves me correctly (and it does as evidenced here), a Vikings’ fan in 1975 threw a whiskey bottle on to the field at old Metropolitan Stadium that hit a game official in the head requiring several stitches.
So if you buy into AP’s way of thinking, Minnesota fans are a mob of drunken hooligans (and we know they aren’t, right?)
SPEAKING OF THE VIKINGS, they had more to complain about than alleged snowballs. The officiating was a much bigger problem. Not overturning this call on the field of a Toby Gerhart fumble was ridiculously bad and led to the Ravens first touchdown.
Usually teams will submit their officiating complaints on a weekly to the league’s offices in New York but this time, the league reached out to the Vikings and Leslie Frazier.
“It was a good conversation,” Frazier said. “The fact that they called should give you an indication of how they felt about things on that day. That was encouraging that they wanted to talk about that game from yesterday.”
It’s a developing problem around the league – incompetent officiating and the NFL’s willingness to look the other way and accept it is both arrogant and unconscionable.
YOU MAY RECALL the last time the Ravens traveled to Detroit in 2005, officiating was a bit of an issue – not to mention the complete meltdown of an undisciplined Brian Billick team. Mike Carey was the Referee and the Ravens were flagged 21 times for 147 yards in a 35-17 loss, one of the franchise’s most embarrassing days.
Terrell Suggs was so livid he went nose-to-nose with Carey, literally frothing at the mouth and was flagged 15 yards for having “malice in his heart” before his ejection. Here’s a look back at the game.
Will Suggs and Carey be reunited? Check in here for Week 15 NFL Referee Assignment.