Observations From The Cheap Seats

Lombardi's Way Observations From The Cheap Seats

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Ravens Roll Titans 21-0

The numbers are staggering!

• A team record 11 sacks. Seventy-two offensive plays to 40. A 15+ minute advantage in time of possession and an anemic 106 yards of offense for the Titans. It’s borderline shocking that the score was only 21-0.

• Maybe ravens are closely related to ducks. Baltimore’s Ravens are pretty impressive in the rain. So far this season they’re 3-0 in sloppy conditions winning by the combined score of 95-17.

• Back to those sacks for a moment, heading into the game the Titans had allowed just nine sacks in 5 games. Let that sink in for a bit. Za’Darius Smith led the way with 3 sacks and now has 5 ½ on the season. He has often been compared to former Raven Pernell McPhee and now that he’s being used as an interior rusher on passing downs, the comparisons are legit. If he keeps it up, and clearly the Ravens hope he does, Smith will be costly to keep. He’s an unrestricted free agent when the 2019 league year begins. He could force the Ravens to choose between spending money to keep him around or shelling out Benjamins for C.J. Mosley. Good news though, Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser are on deck.

• Marcus Mariota dropped back to throw 28 times. He scrambled out of trouble twice for 25 yards and threw 15 passes. He was sacked on 39% of his drop backs. That’s quite an impressive number.

• The Titans deepest penetration into Ravens territory was the Baltimore 47. All nine Titans possessions ended with a punt.

• This week the Ravens host the Saints and they are currently listed as 2 ½ point favorites. The Saints are coming off a bye and will be rested and prepared while riding a four-game winning streak.

• The next TD pass Drew Brees throws will be No. 500. Meanwhile the Bengals are off to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs who are smarting from a tough 43-40 loss to the Patriots. Sole possession of first place in the AFC North is a strong possibility by this time next week.

• Joe Flacco was officially intercepted once by the Titans S Kevin Byard. I thought he had a little help from the Earth and was somewhat surprised that the call stood. I take it the guys in the booth reviewing all turnovers didn’t see sufficient evidence to overturn the call on the field. You be the judge…

Ravens beat Titans

• Alex Lewis is likely to miss some time. Interesting move yesterday by the Ravens to place Bradley Bozeman at left guard and not James Hurst. Word is that Hurst hasn’t taken practice snaps at guard so Bozeman got the nod. It remains to be seen if the Ravens give Hurst those reps this week and start Orlando Brown, Jr. at right tackle. If they do, look for Brown to get help trying to slow down the Saints dangerous DE, Cameron Jordan who has 5 sacks in his last four games.

• Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale was doused with Gatorade following the shutout of the Titans – the first time Tennessee has been shutout at home in franchise history. You would have to think that there’s an added measure of satisfaction knowing that the Ravens former defensive coordinator, Dean Pees, who retired then un-retired, sat on the opposite sideline.

Revisiting This Week’s Bold Predictions

Each week the staff here at RSR submits Bold Predictions. I thought I’d revisit my predictions each week going forward just to give everyone a chance to poke fun or to remind you all that even a blind squirrel sometimes finds an acorn.

PREDICTION: Flacco’s career passer rating in Nashville is 67.3. He’ll fall right in line with that throwing for 274 yards (mostly in catch up mode when Dean backs up the troops), but he’ll hit pay dirt just once and a blue jersey twice. Oh, and this is the game when Checkdown Joe makes a comeback.

RESULT: Joe was 25 of 37 for 238 yards with 1 score, a pick and a passer rating of 82.1.

PREDICTION: Michael Crabtree will post 7 catches for 95 yards and the Ravens only touchdown. His only drop will be an F-bomb after he scores.

RESULT: 6 catches for 93 yards, 1 TD and a ball tossed skyward after the score.

PREDICTION: The Ravens running game is what it is and it ain’t good. Lamar Jackson will have the biggest gain with a 21-yard scamper in the first half.

RESULT: The Ravens ran for 123 yards (3.5 YPC) and Lamar Jackson did have the team’s biggest gain on the ground, a 22-yard power sweep that ended at the Titans’ 2-yard line.

PREDICTION: The Ravens will outgain the Titans 353 net yards to 325 but they’ll lose the turnover battle by a 3:1 margin and that will be the difference in the game.

RESULT: Pretty close on the Ravens total yards (361) but otherwise, yikes!

PREDICTION: FINAL SCORE: Titans 17, Ravens 13

RESULT: Well, aren’t we all happy that I botched that one up?

PARTING SHOT

I can’t believe that I’m about to type this but I was glad to see the Steelers knock off the Bengals yesterday although the game winner from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown was clearly deserving of a pass interference call against Justin Hunter (No. 11). Take a look.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is the founder EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com. His work has been featured on various sports websites and he hosts The Russell Street Report and Armchair Quarterback both seen and heard on Fanimal Radio. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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