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This was the first time, and probably the last, that I will leave M&T Bank Stadium thinking the Ravens won a game. No, I didnâ€™t pull my early exit act like I did at the Bengals game. Walking in the concourse, I heard on my radio that the zebras reversed a call to send a game into overtime. I returned to my section as soon as it became clear the refs were overturning their call on the last second field goal.
In spite of Raven mistakes, turnovers, and dumb play calling, it was one of the most exciting games Iâ€™ve seen at the Purple Vault in a long time. It was also the weirdest.
Â· First of all, I agree that the refs got it right. The Phil Dawson field goal was good; it clearly crossed over the crossbar to hit the support post before it rebounded into the end zone. It only makes sense. Whether the refs used the correct procedure to overturn the original call I leave to the NFL office to explain. I sure canâ€™t.
Â· The offensive line was atrocious. Kyle Boller ought to sue for assault and battery. You gotta hand to the kidâ€¦he took a beating and almost led the Ravens to victory. Adam Terry and Chris Chester were outplayed and bull-whipped, and Jonathan Ogden looks like he lost a good step. Is it me, or did the offensive line play better when Jared Gaither and Marshall Yanda were at the tackle positions?
Think about it.
Â· Having said that, we were treated to another dose of Good Kyle, Bad Kyle. Watching Kyle is like playing with a yoyo; up and down, up and down. Iâ€™ve never seen more inconsistent play out of quarterback, and Iâ€™ve been watching QBs in this league since the 50â€™s.
Â· On the series before Matt Stoverâ€™s last field goal, why, why, whydid Billick call passes on consecutive plays when the Ravens needed only one yard to move the chains? Run Willis McGahee, get a first down, and make the Browns burn their timeouts! Use up the clock! We simply gave the Browns too much time to move into position to score.
Â· And finallyâ€¦.What was the Ravens coaching staff thinking when they repeatedly kicked off to Joshua Cribbs, after special team coverage looked like crap all afternoon? The kid came into town as one of the top return men, and on Sunday he proved it by averaging 35 yards on returns while the Browns totaled over 360 in return yardage. And why kick it to him at the start of overtime? What the hell was Gansz thinking? Pooch it, squib it into the end zone, do anything. Given that the average drive start for the Browns was their own 41, the Ravens may as well have tried on-side kicks for all the good their coverage did.
Itâ€™s officially over now. No playoffs, no winning record. The best the Ravens can realistically do this year is 7-9. Start watching Todd McShay and Mel Kiper on the 4 letter network. Begin keeping tabs on the top 15 draft prospects.