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Don’t Judge Mike Macdonald on One Bad Quarter

Mike Macdonald
Phil Hoffmann/Baltimore Ravens
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Waste no time in the intro, let’s do the damn thing!

Around the League

Let’s take a quick look at the “3 S’s” with two weeks in the books… no, not those 3 S’s. Signings, suspensions & stunning catches.

• Signing Jason Pierre-Paul was a solid move by the Ravens. He won’t be official till Monday, so the earliest Ravens fans can expect to see him would be Week 4 vs Buffalo.

• Another notable signing this week was the Bucs signing Cole Beasley, who helps a room without Mike Evans, and possibly Chris Godwin and Julio Jones. Breshad Perriman & Beasley. What a tandem.

• Speaking of Evans, he’s suspended one game for running on the field and blindsiding Marshon Lattimore of the Saints in a skirmish. I think I speak for all Evans fantasy owners when I say… you dumbass.

• Hurts me to say that Steelers George Pickens had one helluva catch last night versus the Browns. Kids a fantastic talent, but I’m also a little thrown off by his need to ‘shh’ the crowd after that catch… his first of the game… and only third all season… c’mon kid, stay humble!

About Last Week…

I’m taking the Kyle Hamilton approach to last week: acknowledge the issues (they blew it), address them head on (do better), and grow beyond it (win the next game).

Onto The Hoodie.

This Week: Ravens @ Patriots

Sunday 9/25 @ 1pm. Foxboro, MA

The Ravens stay in the AFC East for a third straight week, as they travel to New England to take on the 1-1 Patriots who are coming off a solid-yet-uninspiring win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2. To be totally honest with you, I was somewhat concerned heading into this game, given that New England held Miami to just 20 points and Pittsburgh to 14, both teams with explosive offensive players.

That being said, watching the Browns just dink and dunk all over the Steelers defense last night on Thursday Night Football, has me realizing that the Patriots defense didn’t have to do much to stop Pittsburgh, and can get absolutely clowned by Lamar Jackson on Sunday. While the Ravens may not be built historically for a shootout, it feels like the current edition can play that game, and lighting up a New England team that isn’t built to withstand an offensive barrage may just be advantageous enough for Baltimore to come out on top Sunday.

Prediction: The Ravens shake off the rust and come out firing against Bill Belichick’s defense, scoring on their first three possessions in the game (Two Justin Tucker field goals sandwiching a Jackson-to-Demarcus Robinson TD), as they carry a 13-3 lead into halftime. The second half is where the bulk of the damage is done, as the Ravens put up another pair of touchdowns (Jackson to Mark Andrews, then a Kenyan Drake reception because we still can’t figure out how to score on the ground) and despite a late game Patriots touchdown, the Ravens handle business and turn the Massholes in the stands into Boo Birds.

Defensively, we get to witness the third straight week of a Marcus Williams interception, along with a return to stout run defense that holds New England to 80 rushing yards and let’s call it 3.0 yards per carry. Mac Jones will be constantly pressured inside and crumble under rookie Travis Jones for his first career sack, as part of a four-sack day for Baltimore. The Ravens move to 2-1 on the season with a sound win in New England, and despite the win… and defensive effort… we’ll still all complain about the run game.

BAL 30 NE 13

Best of the Rest

Bills @ Fins Sun @ 1pm.

I hate that this game is on at the same time as the Ravens, but maybe it’s for the best as watching Miami might give me PTSD (especially with how decimated the Bills defense is right now)

Bucs @ Packers Sun 4:25pm.

The Packers looked awful in Week 1, then fantastic in Week 2. The Bucs are 2-0, but haven’t looked great in either game and have a wideout room that, thanks to injuries, looks like the Packers room when healthy.

49ers @ Broncos Sunday Night Football.

I’m pulling for Jimmy G, I won’t lie. San Fran did him dirty… nobody wanted him in a trade… and now he’s the man earning incentives for every week he plays. Would be a shame if he went to Denver and outmatched “Let’s Ride” Russ…

Final Thoughts

Ravens defensive coordinator Mike McDonald is already getting panned. “Old man who yells at clouds” Rex Ryan dumped on Mac. Fans unloaded on Mac. Hell, I saw a guy refer to him as “Wink Jr” as an insult because… I’m not sure considering Wink was a damn fine DC in Baltimore for years, but also they’re nowhere close to the same. Regardless, everybody ignoring the hand he was dealt in the 4th quarter last week are just complaining to complain and looking for a scapegoat.

The Ravens defense had a trio of rookies in the secondary getting picked apart. Marlon Humphrey allowed just one reception for 15 yards on the day. Marcus Peters was on a snap count. The outside linebackers – of which there were only two – were winded. And the Ravens rookies in the secondary got burned by what I consider a top-three wideout tandem in the entire NFL.

Take away that quarter and here’s the stats from the other seven quarters this season under Mac:

• 18 drives

• average of 34 yards per drive

• 22% drives end in score (3 TDs, 1 FG)

• 33% drives end in turnover (INT, turnover on downs, missed FG)

• 45% drives end in punt

Crucifying the dude for a bad quarter of play thanks to injuries and rookie play is just lazy pitchforking. Do better.

One Response

  1. A severely undermanned defense got a Wink fired, so it’s fair to criticize Macdonald, who will be hard pressed to find ways to overcome the lack of a pass rush…..

Comments are closed.

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