FRAN THE FAN: More of the same…

Street Talk FRAN THE FAN: More of the same…

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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 didn’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 I’ve seen at the Purple Vault in a long time.  It was also the weirdest.
 
Observations:
 
·          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 can’t.
 
·          The offensive line was atrocious.  Kyle Boller ought to sue for assault and battery.  You gotta hand to the kid…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.
 
·          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.  I’ve never seen more inconsistent play out of quarterback, and I’ve been watching QBs in this league since the 50’s.
 
·          On the series before Matt Stover’s last field goal, why, why, why did 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.
 
·          And finally….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.
 
It’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.
 
The Ravens are surely going to get one.
 
They’ve earned it.

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Fran "The Fan" Vojik

About Fran "The Fan" Vojik

Fran Vojik has been a contributor to the Ravens24X7 site since 2005, first as a regular on the “Letters to T.L.” page, then as the author of the Fran the Fan column. A huge Orioles and Ravens fan, he defines the term “homer.” A former season ticket holder of the Baltimore Colts, he now roots on the Ravens from his corner end zone seat in M&T Bank Stadium. His work makes him a regular traveler to various MLB and NFL cities and he’s watched both the Birds and Purple and Black in a variety of away stadiums. He brings a passionate and humorous perspective to the world of professional sports. Born in Highlandtown, and a graduate of Calvert Hall College and the University of Maryland, he lives on Furnace Creek in northern Anne Arundel County. He and his girlfriend, Sandy, have recently renovated his Man Cave, known as the “The Sports Palace,” which contains many mementos from the Colts, Ravens, and Orioles. On days the Ravens play at home, Fran can usually be found tailgating at the Baltimore Fire Fighters Union Hall Local 734 , supporting the organization’s Widow’s and Orphan’s fund.

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