Only the 2021 Baltimore Ravens could go from a trio of one-score games decided in the final possession to a comfortable win that still includes a controversial play-call to end a game (that really shouldn’t be controversial at all), continuing to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
We genuinely need a name for this edition of the Ravens and the near heart attacks of the flock following every game… something similar to cardiac kids, right? Heart-attack pack? Coronary crew? Clenching while clinching?
I’ll figure it out in due time, but let’s get into this week’s 2MD!
About Last Week…
Ravens 23 Broncos 7
I already ranted about Vic Fangio earlier this week, but one more for good measure can’t hurt, right?
The Ravens absolutely manhandled the Broncos in every facet of the game last Sunday in Denver. Lamar Jackson picked the defense apart, the Ravens defense laid out some punishing hits while keeping Noah Fant in check, and the game plan on both sides of the ball was nearly as flawless as the execution…
…and yet Fangio went on a profanity-laced tirade about John Harbaugh’s decision to run the ball instead of taking a knee to end the game, a play call designed to hit the 100-rushing yard plateau and tie the record.
Simply put, Victor, you put it on yourself by insisting your offense keep pushing to score with under 15 seconds left in the game, and down two scores. If you take a knee? That final play doesn’t happen. Instead, Drew Lock throws a comical pick, the Ravens get the ball back, and the rest is history. Literally.
You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes, and in the case of Vic Fangio, his prize is being on the wrong side of history.
Colts @ Ravens MNF
The Ravens will play their third prime time game in five weeks to start the season as they host the Colts in a Monday Night Football showdown, and I gotta tell ya… the ‘Baltimore Colts’ angle just isn’t a thing for me.
I know a lot of folks in the… older demographic… still feel the burn in their chest as they see visions of Mayflower trucks while throwing darts at a picture of an Irsay family photo in their basement – and I respect that – but for yours truly, and presumably much of the younger demographic?
It simply is what it is, and this is just another game.
Let me put it this way: the Colts left Baltimore in 1984. This means any Ravens fan 37 or younger wasn’t even born to see that fateful day in Baltimore history. And realistically, understanding that younger kids typically aren’t deep into the NFL the way grown adults are, I’d be willing to tack on another 10 or so years, which means that for most folks under 50, the horseshoe doesn’t really register the same way it does for our elder Baltimore sports fanbase does.
Instead, my focus this week is heavily on breaking that Steelers 100-yard rushing game record (with which the Ravens are currently tied) and of course, the win. Speaking of that record, how will Baltimore’s ground game fare versus the Colts run defense?
Check this out: the Colts gave up 421 rushing yards in their first three games this season, with ball carriers averaging 4.5 yards per carry. That’s… not great for Indy (but fantastic for the Ravens).
Why did I remove the Dolphins in Week 4 you ask? Because I view Miami as an anomaly, and nothing like what the Ravens ground game offers up. The Fins are a bottom-5 rushing team, so putting up a measly 35 yards rushing on 16 attempts is a far cry from what Baltimore is capable of doing – and will do – on Monday night.
We haven’t had a big Ravens win yet this season, and the splashy plays have been few and far between… but that changes on Monday night.
Of course, the Ravens will break the rushing record in fashion, and I’m going to go as bold as to say it happens in the first HALF on a break-away carry by Ty’Son Williams.
That’s right. He’s back and getting another shot (at least I hope so).
Defensively, another five-sack day is on the horizon for the Ravens, courtesy of Odafe Oweh, Calais Campbell (well-deserved too), Tyus Bowser, and Chuck Clark. Add in a pair of turnovers by Carson Wentz, and this game is out of hand by the fourth quarter.
Ravens 37 Colts 13
Best of the Rest
Ravens on Monday means a full Sunday slate of football devoid distractions. Here’s where to turn for the best action this weekend.
Packers (-3.0) @ Bengals 1 pm
The Bengals will either get exposed as pretenders, or scare the crap out of me in this game. GO PACK GO!
Broncos @ Steelers (EVEN) 1 pm
Vic Fangio is going to take his child-like aggression out on the hapless Steelers and I’m here to watch Yinz get buried in the AFC North cellar at 1-4.
Browns @ Chargers (-2.0) 4:05 pm
Man, all three AFC North rivals with tough matchups this weekend! Should the Ohio teams lose (they should) the Ravens take sole place of first in the AFCN with a win (they will).
Bills @ Chiefs (-2.5) SNF
The expectation in this game is fireworks, plenty of touchdown passes, and 55+ points… which means a defensive struggle in a 20-17 game is inevitable.
Random Ravens Thought
The Ravens announced that they’ll be wearing their black jerseys with purple pants, that have only been worn once before in team history.
Do you remember the game?
What if I said C.J. Mosley game-sealing interception, live shot of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ hearts breaking, and Baker Mayfield scurrying away while Lamar Jackson tries to give him a ‘good game,’ only to get a slap upside the helmet from LJ?
Week 17 of Lamar’s rookie year, in a huge, iconic game. Hopefully this next one in the same threads bears similar memorable results (with a wider margin than two points).
Happy Purple Friday, Flock!