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Can Ravens Finally Win a Laugher?

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Before we jump into this week’s 2MD I just want to send a quick thank you to the Ravens Flock and all of those who sent my family and yours truly some big T’s & P’s this week while we’ve fought through COVID-19. A house of six, with everybody showing off their most prominent symptoms like it’s some twisted version of America’s Got Talent… it’s been nothing shy of brutal (as has this loss of taste and smell when I just want some damn wings and beer for the game tonight!).

Alas, we’re on the mend and I fully believe those thoughts & prayers help boost morale around the house to get all of us where we are, so thank ya kindly, Flockers!

About Last Week

BAL 34 MIN 31 (OT)

I’d like to talk briefly about this Ravens defense that we find ourselves so irate about this year… although how mad can we be in this particular game?

Cousins-Jefferson-Thielen-Cook is a damn fine group with that has potential to be dangerous at any moment in a game, which is exactly what Wink Martindale’s unit saw in the first two drives of Sunday, where the Vikings easily racked up 173 yards and 14 points… except after that? The Ravens defense absolutely stifled the Vikes offense.

Here’s the final seven drives for Minnesota (excluding the end-of-half kneel down):

  • 3 plays, 8 yards, Punt
  • 6 plays, 25 yards, Punt
  • 4 plays, -1 yard, Field Goal
  • 7 plays, 16 yards, Punt
  • 3 plays, -3 yards, Punt
  • 10 plays, 75 yards, Touchdown
  • 3 plats, 1 yard, Punt

 

The Vikings got a gift in the form of a Lamar Jackson interception that put them in field goal range, but otherwise the Ravens forced five punts while grounding the Vikings offense (until, unfortunately, crunch time at the end of regulation – but they made up for that after the LJ pick in OT!)

The Ravens defense gets ripped, and in some cases it’s deserved (hello, missed tackles!), but Sunday seems more worthy of praise once they settled in, than overall shouts of criticism.

TONIGHT- Birds @ Fins on TNF!

With this iteration of our Ravens, you simply cannot look at records and stat sheets of lesser opponents and assume the Ravens win with ease. Miami (2-6) is surely no different, as the Dolphins come into tonight ranked bottom-5 in… *deep breath* …points scored, total yards of offense, 1st downs, YPA, rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing TDs, rush YPA, points allowed, yards allowed, 1st downs allowed, passing yards allowed, passing touchdowns allowed…

Long story short: the Fins are not a good team… but that won’t stop this from being a close game.

After all, the short week of a Thursday Night Football game is the great equalizer, and after the game against the Lions, Colts and Vikings? I simply have a hard time expecting a curb-stomp of a game, let alone a multi-score gap that’ll have Tyler Huntley playing late in the game…

But I can’t help myself. I’m gonna call it anyway.

Prediction:

Lamar Jackson has one helluva homecoming in Miami tonight, as he tosses up a trio of touchdowns with 320 passing yards to boot, in a big night for the Raven aerial assault.

As much as I want to believe Hollywood Brown gets a similar homecoming, I think he’ll be limited in this game, with Rashod Bateman being the focal point of the wideout group, going off for his first game in Miami (much like Brown did back in 2019) for eight receptions on 10 targets for 160 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Yeah. He’s gonna be a star.

The ground game will provide solid contributions with a solid split dose of Devonta Freeman (70 yards) and Le’Veon Bell (55 yards, 1 TD), while Jackson will do much less running in this one (5 carries, 30 yards).

Defensively, I think the Ravens will do what they always seem to do: struggle early, tighten up, and keep it locked down (for the most part). The Fins will find Mike Gesicki in the end zone on their second drive, but that’ll be the last touchdown they score until an end-of-game garbage time Jaylen Waddle TD.

The bigger note for the Baltimore defense tonight will be the splash plays that they’ve missed so much.

Justin Houston will finally break the 100-sack mark, and will account for two of the six Ravens sacks tonight. Rookie Odafe Oweh will get back on the stat sheet with a strip sack giving the offense a short field to put up some easy points as well.

We’ll also see the rare Ravens interception! And it’s going to be courtesy of Jacoby Brissett testing Brandon Stephens!

GO BIG OR GO HOME… or in the Ravens’ case, go big and then go home for a 10-day rest before taking on the Bears in Chi-Town.

Ravens 37 Dolphins 20

Best of the Rest!

A whole Sunday slate to relax and enjoy… here’s the ones worth watching…

Browns @ Pats (-2.5) 1 pm

Prefer a Browns loss, but I’ll settle for a tie.

Saints @ Titans (-3.0) 1 pm

If only because the rest of the early slot is hot garbage.

Vikes @ Chargers (-3.0) 4:05 pm

Spoiler alert! Vikes will win this game.

Seahawks @ Packers (-3.0) 4:25 pm

Aaron Rodgers back in action. Russell Wilson back in action. Loser has to sign Odell Beckham Jr.

Chiefs (-2.5) @ Raiders SNF

Be a real shame if KC dropped to 5-5…

One Last Word…

Taunting.

The NFL has to figure this one out because their current iteration of the rule – along with its subjective and inconsistent application – simply isn’t sustainable. Currently, the NFL Officials have called 27 taunting penalties this year. Comparatively, there were 18 combined Taunting calls in 2019 & 2020, and the most Taunting penalties they’ve called in a single season was 29 back in 2013…

The NFL is on pace to blow that away with 54 Taunting calls this season.

Fifty. Four.

This experiment either needs to end, or have more defined rules to eliminate the grey area and stop officials from erratic enforcement.

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