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All Things Considered

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It's great to wake up this morning and say "The Ravens are in the Playoffs!"

 

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Thank you Steve, Ozzie, John, Players and coaches!

 

3 years in a row. It's a delight being a football fan in Baltimore.

I friggn'n love it.

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When summed up, you can't go to the Super Bowl unless you're making the playoffs consistently. Despite what myself and I'm sure everyone else feels, this is what the second best record this team has ever put up??? Let's also not forget, this team hasn't been blown out of one game this year. Every game has been close and exciting. That's good and bad lol.

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Here's a look on the bright side: We are 12-4 and have led every game this season, except one, going into the fourth quarter. You tell me I'm going into the fourth quarter with a lead and I'll take my chances every single time. That's the most you could ask for. That is no fluke, we are certainly doing something right.

 

On the downside: The offensive line play has been terrible and, after a few weeks of a solid pass rush, the pass rush disappeared yesterday.

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Where are our unsung heros? Wilson has been good, Carr too. However, where are the little guys that step up and make plays? We don't seem to have that "X" factor this year. If our Stars aren't making plays, no one is.

 

Well your unsung heroes are supposed to be your offensive line. When the line is doing a terrible job of run blocking and protecting the QB, the team is going to suffer in all areas of the game. The offense cannot stay on the field to sustain drives, or as we saw yesterday, run out the clock when needed. That puts the defense on the field for 70+ snaps and the pass rush is going to suffer because guys are tired, and thus the secondary is going to suffer as well. All our problems trace back to poor offensive line play, IMO.

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Well your unsung heroes are supposed to be your offensive line. When the line is doing a terrible job of run blocking and protecting the QB, the team is going to suffer in all areas of the game. The offense cannot stay on the field to sustain drives, or as we saw yesterday, run out the clock when needed. That puts the defense on the field for 70+ snaps and the pass rush is going to suffer because guys are tired, and thus the secondary is going to suffer as well. All our problems trace back to poor offensive line play, IMO.

 

 

 

Bingo, Cleetz. The absence of a dominant O-line is, in my opinion, the single most important reason we havent (as many have clamored for) crushed teams but are merely eeking out wins. Its why we win maybe 1 (if that) post season game this year. Until we get a top flight OC, get Gaither right (or replaced), put Oher back at RT, and take the handcuffs off Flacco, we wont see a true championship run. Our only solace is that we have a perennial winner and, depending on the circumstances and x -factors (injuries like Gaither, Foxworth, crappy draft picks - Kindle), we will either sneak in or fall short.

 

For what its worth, there is a very fine line between winning and losing. Perhaps there is a finer line between winning and making it to the SB. In our 2000 SB run, we had a "once in a generation D" and still needed a few lucky breaks and claims of a "team of destiny" to win it.

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Its always nice to be in the playoffs, despite some problems.

 

I think we need line help but feel we should have still been better with what we had. Cam has done a good job IMO, he has coddled and protected his rookie like QB into having some amazing looking numbers. He is a master of smoke and mirrors! I don't think many OCs could do much better with a QB who usually cannot see the field or read the defense, holds onto the ball far too long, gets happy feet, and often reverts to bad mechanics when pressured at all.

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Guest BallTMore
I think we need line help but feel we should have still been better with what we had. Cam has done a good job IMO, he has coddled and protected his rookie like QB into having some amazing looking numbers. He is a master of smoke and mirrors! I don't think many OCs could do much better with a QB who usually cannot see the field or read the defense, holds onto the ball far too long, gets happy feet, and often reverts to bad mechanics when pressured at all.

 

But how do you really feel about Flacco?

 

:biggrin:

 

 

The game yesterday bummed me out. Watching the highlights of the Chiefs brought my spirits back a bit.

 

But I agree, 12-4, in the playoffs, that's very good. Sure there were some games that we could have lost, there were also games we could have won and didn't, so regardless of how you examine our record, it all balances out. 12-4 seems right for this team.

 

On to the playoffs.

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Its always nice to be in the playoffs, despite some problems.

 

I think we need line help but feel we should have still been better with what we had. Cam has done a good job IMO, he has coddled and protected his rookie like QB into having some amazing looking numbers. He is a master of smoke and mirrors! I don't think many OCs could do much better with a QB who usually cannot see the field or read the defense, holds onto the ball far too long, gets happy feet, and often reverts to bad mechanics when pressured at all.

 

See I completely disagree with you. The Ravens finished tied for 30th in the league with a rush per average of 3.6 yards per carry. Flacco was sacked 40 times this season, second in the league. This tells me two things: the line is doing a terrible job blocking this year, or Cam is doing a poor job of utilizing our players to their best talents. There are not enough quick hitters in this offense to counter the blitz. Our routes take too long to develop, and Flacco is running for his butt most of the time. We do not have a power run game, why do we keep trying to pound the ball instead of doing more zone running? Is our blitz pick-up really that badly planned out? Or is it the players who are just not executing on the field?

 

These are our problems, not Flacco. Sure, Flacco has missed some open receivers and has held onto the ball too long at times, but these are hardly the source of the problems. How about Michael Oher's league leading false start calls that turn our third downs into third-and-forevers? In my opinion, for as poor as this run game and offensive line has been, Flacco has been pretty darn impressive. We are asking him to pretty much shoulder the offense being there is no run game or offensive line play.

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See I completely disagree with you. The Ravens finished tied for 30th in the league with a rush per average of 3.6 yards per carry. Flacco was sacked 40 times this season, second in the league. This tells me two things: the line is doing a terrible job blocking this year, or Cam is doing a poor job of utilizing our players to their best talents. There are not enough quick hitters in this offense to counter the blitz. Our routes take too long to develop, and Flacco is running for his butt most of the time. We do not have a power run game, why do we keep trying to pound the ball instead of doing more zone running? Is our blitz pick-up really that badly planned out? Or is it the players who are just not executing on the field?

 

These are our problems, not Flacco. Sure, Flacco has missed some open receivers and has held onto the ball too long at times, but these are hardly the source of the problems. How about Michael Oher's league leading false start calls that turn our third downs into third-and-forevers? In my opinion, for as poor as this run game and offensive line has been, Flacco has been pretty darn impressive. We are asking him to pretty much shoulder the offense being there is no run game or offensive line play.

 

You hit the nail on the head!

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See I completely disagree with you. The Ravens finished tied for 30th in the league with a rush per average of 3.6 yards per carry. Flacco was sacked 40 times this season, second in the league. This tells me two things: the line is doing a terrible job blocking this year, or Cam is doing a poor job of utilizing our players to their best talents. There are not enough quick hitters in this offense to counter the blitz. Our routes take too long to develop, and Flacco is running for his butt most of the time. We do not have a power run game, why do we keep trying to pound the ball instead of doing more zone running? Is our blitz pick-up really that badly planned out? Or is it the players who are just not executing on the field?

 

These are our problems, not Flacco. Sure, Flacco has missed some open receivers and has held onto the ball too long at times, but these are hardly the source of the problems. How about Michael Oher's league leading false start calls that turn our third downs into third-and-forevers? In my opinion, for as poor as this run game and offensive line has been, Flacco has been pretty darn impressive. We are asking him to pretty much shoulder the offense being there is no run game or offensive line play.

 

I am frustrated and surprised by our lack of running game.

 

Where you see our routes taking too long to develop I see our QB taking far too long to see (or never seeing) open receivers. This leads him to hold the ball far too long making a line that has been adequate most games look awful.

A good deal of our problems in the red zone fall directly onto Flacco who cannot seem to find anyone open in those situations. Then often with no pressure yet at all he starts hopping around and begins his lope to the sidelines. Many times replays show that receivers have been open, Joe just doesn't see them. Joe also often leaves yards and possibly scores on the field by immediately looking for his RB (often getting them leveled) instead of seeing or even looking for open receivers down field.

A lot of people laughed off the ESPN reporter's story about what some people think are Flacco's weaknesses and that his development has hit a wall (would they have taken them more seriously if it had been about Ben?) but whether the reporter made up the insider story part or not, that is exactly what I see with Flacco. And I see the popular scapegoat Cam calling a frequently ultraconservative game plan in order to protect his QB.

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See I completely disagree with you. The Ravens finished tied for 30th in the league with a rush per average of 3.6 yards per carry. Flacco was sacked 40 times this season, second in the league. This tells me two things: the line is doing a terrible job blocking this year, or Cam is doing a poor job of utilizing our players to their best talents. There are not enough quick hitters in this offense to counter the blitz. Our routes take too long to develop, and Flacco is running for his butt most of the time. We do not have a power run game, why do we keep trying to pound the ball instead of doing more zone running? Is our blitz pick-up really that badly planned out? Or is it the players who are just not executing on the field?

 

These are our problems, not Flacco. Sure, Flacco has missed some open receivers and has held onto the ball too long at times, but these are hardly the source of the problems. How about Michael Oher's league leading false start calls that turn our third downs into third-and-forevers? In my opinion, for as poor as this run game and offensive line has been, Flacco has been pretty darn impressive. We are asking him to pretty much shoulder the offense being there is no run game or offensive line play.

I agree, it seems we've done better in screens or other areas where the oline or other personnel are more out-in-space blocking instead of protecting Flacco 'in pocket'. Maybe it's more a matter of the offense (coaches included) finding out they couldn't adjust as necessary to the ever-shifting offensive line changes, and so had to scheme away from them enough times to not make them a target. But now it's coming back to bite us because we can't take advantage of any deep passing that we might draw up for boldin or Stallworth, heck we haven't even passed enough to Dickson and we know he's got speed for that. the oline has been a mish-mash-unit and not been what we needed for what we thought our offense was. Certainly they can't run block (if I'm correct, Rice and McGahee have very close YPC numbers) and we've had to work around them rather than through them. Given all of that, a remarkable job has been done to get out of our skill players what we have to this point (save Boldin), and they are each threats to be respected (even Boldin) by opposing Ds. So we still have the edge, but distribution is the key IMO.

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