Some things in football are predictable…..The Ravens defense holding opponents to under 100 yards rushing; Ray Lewis stepping up to make a game-changing play. There’s Cam Cameron’s inventive play calling and then there’s Norv Turner finding a way to lose a game that his team had in the bag. As an offensive coordinator, he has few equals. As a head coach, Turner is a consistent failure in games with something on the line. Believe me, I’m no offensive analyst, but running speedster Darren Sproles into the line is the last play I would call. Not with Ray Lewis and his film study.
Try my logic…
It’s 4th and 2 with 37 seconds left. You’ve beaten the snot out of the Ravens defensive backs all day. Throw a screen pass, any pass, for a 1st down, (or even a TD) and , if you don’t make it out of bounds, come to the line of scrimmage and spike the ball. Now you have 25 seconds and 3 downs to push it in. Is this rocket science? A Ravens fan who attended the game at Qualcomm Stadium said on the Ravens post game show that the Norv was getting scorched on the Sand Diego airwaves. No doubt, and richly deserved.
Plays of the Game: On third and long, Ray Rice made critical yardage that brought the ball within easy field goal range. Then Steve Hauschka kicked what turned out to be a 33 yard game-winning field goal. I was hoping for a touchdown on that series but this kick was belatedly huge. If he doesn’t make it then, at the end of the game, San Diego is setting up for a chip-shot winning field goal instead of allowing Norv Turner time to suffer a brain cramp. And we’re all crying for Matt Stover.
Bend, But Not Break: True enough, the defensive backfield got torched by Philip Rivers all day. But overall, the 5 times the Chargers got inside the Ravens Red Zone all the Bolts came away with were 4 field goals. When the chips were down, the defense came through.
The Offense: Any time you score 31 points on the road, in 98 degree weather, against a high caliber opponent, you’re hitting them on all 8 cylinders. Offensively, the Ravens are no longer one-dimensional.
Defensive Backfield: No explanation necessary. Will Greg Mattison throw himself on a sword like Jerry Rosburg did last week? Samari, get better quick!
Pass Rush: We need to get some pressure from the front four without blitzing assistance. Witness Sunday.
NEWS & NOTES:
No Nemesis, New Home, Same Romo: Looks like T.O. and Tony’s blonde side kick weren’t the problem after all.
Lucky You’re Not 0 and 2: New England and Washington.
Early Leaders for the 1st Pick in 2010: They are legend…..Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville.
Updated Endangered Head Coach List: John Fox, Jack Del Rio, Wade Phillips, Jim Zorn. Norv Turner.
New Team to Hate: With the Jets win over the Patriots, the national media is slobbering all over themselves to suck up to the Jets. Mark Sanchez is the second coming of Joe Willie! I refuse to look at the New York tabloids. Rex Ryan and Sanchez need to be brought back to earth, and soon.
After a hard-fought win on the road the Ravens need some comic relief. Well, guess who’s coming to town? Enter Cleveland. The Black Birds play at home against a team trying to find its way with a new coach and a new team philosophy, which evidently includes fining a player $1,700 for not paying for a bottle of water taken from a hotel minibar. Great for team chemistry, Eric. It could be party time for the Purple and Black on Sunday. Enter the Browns, exit the Clowns.
Baltimore 27, Cleveland 6