Week 1 (Over)Reaction
With a Week 1 20-0 road shutout of the Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens look to be a legitimate contender for not only the AFC North t-shirt champs, but also pushing for that Lombardi come February 2018!
Just look at this team in all their glory – specifically the defense, as they forced a goose egg out of Andy Dalton‘s offense!
What can you really say about this defense that hasn’t already been said? 4 interceptions, a strip/sack by Terrell Suggs who was a constant force in the backfield from the first snap of the game, tip drills all over the field, a defensive line that literally drove the Bengals’ interior O-Line into Dalton on every single drop back…
This defense is scary good.
Of course they did lose Za’Darius Smith in the first half to what appears to be a long-term leg injury (hard to discern when the broadcast team went from knee, to hammy, to leg, to ankle in a matter of seconds). That could be a huge loss for the Ravens, as the first series featured ZD recording a QB pressure and a sack…
Alas, the defense was able to hold strong, and they should be good enough to sustain for the offense to make a deep run into the playoffs too!
I mean… it’s not like the offense is that bad.
True to their word, they did lean heavily on the run and Joe Flacco only dropped back to throw 17 times in the game. Of course, Joe didn’t complete a single pass in the second half which is alarming, and there was that stretch where he threw 3 straight times with pressure that almost led to 3 straight picks by the Bengals.
Oh, and on that 3rd-&-goal incomplete pass, Flacco went down hard and had to get a head check after concussion spotters saw his head whip back to the turf! The second he walked into that tent you could feel the wind being sucked out of Baltimore…
But that’s not all on Joe, some of that is the offensive line letting the pressure get to him quickly on that drive. The same offensive line that was penalized for 3 offensive holds- all 3 against Ryan Jensen – as well as false starts on James Hurst and Ronnie Stanley.
A few of those Jensen penalties were total drive killers too…
But I guess I can’t blame just the Offensive Line for penalties when the Ravens had… 11 penalties for 85 yards on the day?!
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 Offensive Holds, 2 False Starts, 2 Illegal Use of Hands, 2 Delay of Game penalties, and a Facemask against the Ravens! And that’s not including the declined Hold on Jensen that would’ve made it 5 O-Holds!
Carl Winslow knows what’s up.
Let’s step back to those Delay of Game calls on Flacco…
Do you recall how and when that happened? Those 2 calls came on back-to-back drives in the 4th quarter as the Ravens tried to kill clock. And it wasn’t even close, as if Joe got the snap off a split second too late. He legitimately looked confused as the whistle blew.
Perhaps John Harbaugh could’ve used a timeout to save Joe from himself, had it not been for burning 2 timeouts halfway through the 3rd quarter as the play clock was again expiring due to confusion on offense.
Blame John all you want, but this is on Flacco having lost track of time, which is inexcusable at this stage in his career, rust be damned!
Flacco single-handedly cost the Ravens 2 second half timeouts in a 2-score game (at the time), then cost the team an opportunity to sustain a drive/eat clock in the 4th quarter on a 2nd-&-6 DoG penalty, and another shot on 3rd down forcing them back to 3rd & 16 inside their own 30!
Had it not been for the Cat 5 Hurricane force that is the Ravens defense, the offense could have literally cost the Ravens this game!
And who’s to say they won’t in the near future?!
Flacco came out post-game yesterday and essentially said he doesn’t ‘have fun’ playing games like this and he’d rather throw for 300 yards and win 42-0. Hear what you want – I hear Joe basically saying “I’m bored. Next game if we go up 3 scores I’m gonna audible out of the run plays and start chucking it around!”
Joe ‘chucking it around’ = Turnovers.
Turnovers = Points for the opposition.
Points for the opposition = Need for the Ravens to score.
THEY CAN’T EFFICIENTLY DO THAT
(outside of Justin Tucker).
Sweet baby Jesus, I just remembered that Danny Woodhead is out indefinitely and Joe has no checkdown option!!!
Well, unless you count Terrance “Stone Hands” West, who would rather tip a pass to the opposition than actually catch it!
Forget that 20-0 shutout. Unless this defense can pitch shutouts on a weekly basis, and Tucker can get a shot at those 70+ yard field goals he dreams about nightly?
This Ravens team is dead in the water.