With Lewis Hurt, Time for Flacco To Step Up

harbowl

Lost in the hype of the Harbowl is the game between the Ravens and 49ers on Thanksgiving which promises to be one for the ages. Many people circled their calendars lured by the first time ever NFL faceoff between two brothers standing on opposite sidelines as head coaches. Now with the way both teams have been playing, it’s about more than just hype.

The 49ers and their 9-1 record have exceeded anyone’s expectations – even possibly Jim Harbaugh’s. The fact that his team has had so much success through the first ten games makes this brotherly battle even more interesting.

Not only do the coaches look like spitting images of each other, so do their teams. A dominant, inside linebacker wearing #52 happens to play for the 49ers, his name is Patrick Willis. The offense is led by a top tier running back and their first-round quarterback [Alex Smith] has been criticized throughout his whole career, just like Joe Flacco.

When looking at their comparative stats, the Ravens and 49ers mirror each other with their on-field play as well.

Through the first 10 games, both teams have scored an identical 256 points. The quarterback play has been comparable where Smiths touchdowns (13) tops Flacco’s (12), however, the biggest stat is Smith’s four interceptions are half that of his counterpart. Frank Gore isn’t as big of a threat receiving the ball as Ray Rice but on the ground, the 49ers have one fewer touchdowns than the Ravens.

Which Ravens defense shows up on Turkey Day solely depends on Ray Lewis’ injury status. Lewis missed Sunday’s game versus the Bengals and in a memo sent to the media, he clearly didn’t know when he was going to be able to return. One thing for sure, if there is any chance Lewis can tough out the pain, he’ll be on the field. The Ravens defense surrendered 483 yards against the Bengals with Lewis playing the role of cheerleader instead of linebacker. Lewis’ value in pass defense should not be understated. Without his menacing presence in the center of intermediate zones, opposing receivers will attack the middle of the field more freely. The threat of violent collisions isn’t as great when 52 is on the sideline.

Likewise, the 49ers have some holes that can be exploited by the Ravens offense. Surprisingly, the 49ers haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown all season. Ray Rice is arguably the best back the 49ers have seen this season so their shutout could be in serious jeopardy. The one area the Ravens must exploit to win this Thanksgiving matchup is the 49ers secondary. The 49ers have allowed double the passing touchdowns (14) the Ravens have all season and Joe Flacco will be forced to utilize this offense’s new (and not so secret) downfield weapon, Torrey Smith.

Regardless of the hype created around Harbowl, this game will be a lot more fun to watch than originally anticipated. While many will be focusing on how similar the guy in the 49ers hat looks like the Ravens coach, most of us will be drawn to how competitive this game really should be.

It’ll be impossible to pick turkey out of your teeth with your fingernails because there’s a good chance you won’t have any left at the end of this game.

 

This entry was posted in Purple Ponderings by Kris Jones. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
evden eve nakliyat şirketleri ofis taşımacılığı evden eve nakliye istanbul evden eve nakliyat Şehirlerarası Evden Eve Nakliyat İstanbul Nakliyat Firmaları

Hot off the street

CAMP NOTES: Steve Smith Sr. Knows His Role

If there was ever a football player that was destined to be a Raven, that player would have to be new wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. “I love the personality. It’s not really about how you say it; ...read more

Camp Notes: Suggs Says Last Season Was a Rude Awakening

Terrell Suggs isn't happy about the way the Ravens 2013 season played out. “When we all left, we all felt like we all kind of let each other down,” Suggs commented when asked about last season'...read more

Flacco Confident 2014 Will be Better

For quarterback Joe Flacco 2013 was a disappointing season to say the very least. In 2013, Flacco set career highs in passing yards (3,912) along with passing attempts (614), but also in intercep...read more

RAVENS LINKS: Jacoby in Drag

Ravens coach "Lil John Harbaugh" pitches Miami tickets In April, Harbaugh made it into the Cradle of Coaches at Miami (Ohio). Now, he is a part of their ticket promotions for this upcoming season. ...read more

24×7 Networks Acquires BSL

24x7 Networks, LLC, the parent company for RussellStreetReport.com and EutawStreetReport.com has announced that it has acquired Baltimore Sports and Life, LLC 24x7 Networks sees this as an opportun...read more

View More