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ExtremeRavens

One Winning Drive: Ravens Bounce Eagles, McNabb: Quick Thoughts

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Well, that went from one of the most dreadfully boring games of football to an entertaining home team blowout in no time. Here’s a few thoughts running across my head as the game winds down…

  • Talk about rebounding. The Ravens defense had perhaps its most dominating effort in recent years. They totaled five turnovers (four interceptions and a fumble), a defensive touchdown, a safety, and several sacks. Not only did the Ravens completely shut down Brian Westbrook and the Eagles running game, but they beat up on both Donovan McNabb and replacement Kevin Kolb.
  • The Ed Reed antics with the football get old fast - there is no need to pitch the ball at the 5 or 6 yardline - but it is hard to deny that Reed is the game’s most exciting and explosive defensive player. His two interceptions, one for a touchdown and another close, illustrated that.
  • A note to Andy Reid: I really do not believe that Donovan McNabb is your problem. The problem is your play-calling. Last week against the Bengals, in a 13-13 tie, the Eagles ran 58 passes to just 18 rushes. 18 rushes against one of the league’s worst defenses and with one of the league’s best running threats. Even John Runyan on your offensive line said that if the run is not established quickly, then Reid abandons it altogether. That is not West Coast. That is stupid. You might not be able to run on the Ravens, but you cannot let them drop seven and read your quarterback every down either.
  • It has been a long time since the Ravens defensive backs have performed as well as they did today. Credit Rex Ryan with a great game plan, but also credit the entire unit. Ed Reed, as mentioned, was certainly on his game. So were Fabian Washington and Samari Rolle, who both had interceptions, and Jim Leonhard who was strong in run protection. It was nice to see our defensive backs jumping routes for once. Not one of the Ravens’ interceptions was the result of a bobble or a tip, they were all clean and pretty.
  • For Joe Flacco it was the tale of two halves. The first half was rough for the Ravens offense all-around, but especially for Flacco. In the second half we finally saw Joe Flacco break out a bit. The late touchdown to Mark Clayton was the perfect example of what the Ravens should have done in the passing game all game: wait for the safeties to blitz and then expose the weakness over the middle.
  • The offensive line for the Ravens gets mixed reviews for its play. Penalties and confusion still hurt the unit in the first half. But for how beat up they were, and for how strong the Eagles pass rush is, it is hard to hold much against them. Flacco did a lot of the work himself in avoiding the pass rushes, but the line deserves some credit.
  • Extra credit to the McClains (Le’Ron and Jameel, no relation). Le’Ron led the Ravens in rushing and finally found the endzone on the team’s last drive. He was strong all game long and really kept the Eagles honest. He exploited their small, fast, pass-oriented line and the threat of the run gave Flacco a little bit of room to work. Jameel recorded his second safety of the season, this time on a blocked punt.
  • Special teams again proved to be this team’s biggest weakness. No shame in Steven Hauschka’s missed kick, but sloppy play on kick offs, punts and all returns kept the Eagles closer than they should have been.
  • Almost forgot to mention Jarrett Johnson. In case anyone is wondering why Bart Scott is the odd-man-out at linebacker come season’s end, Jarrett Johnson is the answer. Scott’s had a fine year, but he is a product of the system. Jarrett Johnson is a part of the system, along side Lewis, Suggs and others,  that is going to make any interior linebacker look solid.
  • Game Balls: Le’Ron McClain and Ed Reed.

What’s your take?



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Guest BallTMore

Willis looks slow. He is dancing too much before hitting the hole. He could still be hurt, I don't know, but Ray Rice looks explosive compared to Willis when he gets the ball.

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I think we just go with the hot hand. The Eagles were very effective in shutting down Ray Rice (7 carries for 8 yards) and Willis McGahee (8 carries for 7 yards). Rice essentially has the same running style as Willis, good quickness and vision, with the ability to bounce it out to the corner. Both guys are patient runner.

 

When looking at the Eagles front-four, they have smaller, quicker defensive linemen that are good at jumping gaps. In other words, there was no time to let holes develop for they were closing quick. Cam Cameron made a nice adjustment and shifted to a straight ahead power run game, which let our offensive line overpower the weaker Eagles line. Throw in a 260-pound straight ahead runner, and it was simply a good matchup for the Ravens.

 

Even though I do agree that McGahee is probably hurting, football is all about matchups and today Le'Ron McClain was simply the better matchup than Rice or Willis.

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What is up with willis? Either the line doesn't block for him or he just sucks. I really thought he would be a solid rb here in baltimore, I guess that was wishful thinking.

 

what is everyone's thoughts on willis?

 

 

Regardless on how this team does this year, I am not sure McGahee is the answer. Maybe he's hurt, or maybe he's wearing down. Or maybe its our OL. McClain and Rice are fine but I think think we need to pick up a hybrid runner (between McClain and Rice) in the draft.

 

 

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What is up with willis? Either the line doesn't block for him or he just sucks. I really thought he would be a solid rb here in baltimore, I guess that was wishful thinking.

 

what is everyone's thoughts on willis?

 

Willis is slow to the line, McClain gets the ball and boom hes gone..Willis almost looks Jamalish.

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For Joe Flacco it was the tale of two halves. The first half was rough for the Ravens offense all-around, but especially for Flacco. In the second half we finally saw Joe Flacco break out a bit. The late touchdown to Mark Clayton was the perfect example of what the Ravens should have done in the passing game all game: wait for the safeties to blitz and then expose the weakness over the middle.

 

Was that not the best pass you have ever seen from a Ravens QB..He literally threaded the needle. Anybody have a youtube of it?

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Regardless on how this team does this year, I am not sure McGahee is the answer. Maybe he's hurt, or maybe he's wearing down. Or maybe its our OL. McClain and Rice are fine but I think think we need to pick up a hybrid runner (between McClain and Rice) in the draft.

 

We have much bigger needs than RB for next year's draft

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I disagree. McGahee hasn't looked good all season. His nagging injuries are part of it and his lack of work ethic (especially off-season) is part of his injuries.

 

Fact is, the guy's never had a season to match the hype that surrounds him. We are finding each week that Rice and McClain are both more than capable of doing his job. So what's to say that another cheap option can't do it also?

 

... I'm just getting tired of him. I don't think he's an answer on this team.

 

BUT ... I am not saying go get rid of him and find someone new. The trio is working fine. I just don't think he needs to be labeled our sole starter anymore. He's not. Let the trio do its job... work on our other issues first, still.

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BUT ... I am not saying go get rid of him and find someone new. The trio is working fine. I just don't think he needs to be labeled our sole starter anymore. He's not. Let the trio do its job... work on our other issues first, still.

...he hasn't been labeled our sole starter in a year. He was injured to start the season, and still might be. In the system he's in now, surrounded by two other very good backs, he's fine. Is he healthy and capable enough to carry the load 30+ times each week? Probably not. But anyone considering that he's not worth the money, not worth being on the team, and not one of the best running backs in the league, is suffering majorly from Jamal Lewis Syndrome.

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He's not one of the best backs in the league.

 

And he's not worth the money we are paying him if he's going to need to split his time three ways..

Eighth most rushing yards in the league last year, with fewer attempts than six of the top seven. He was in the top three until the end of the season, when he missed nearly all of the last two games. You're being comically shortsighted.

 

Also, who said he "needed" to split time, anyway?

 

This McGahee hate is absolutely hysterical. He was the class of the team and one of the league's top backs last season, and now that two other players emerged while he was injured, he's suddenly worthless. Hilarious!

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You said two players emerge while he is hurt. Ok, but now that he is supposedly not hurt he can't reclaim his spot b/c he has been sucking ass and two cheap backs are looking better.

 

The pt is we pay him to be a #1 back, it's time that he starts owning up to it.

Seriously? How about the fact that he can't reclaim his spot because there's no spot to reclaim anymore? We play three starting backs, two of which are often in the backfield together. There is no spot for a "#1 back" on this offense, because that style of player is not being used. How blind are you guys?

 

He doesn't have to "own up" to being a #1 back, because we don't use one, and we don't need one.

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Eighth most rushing yards in the league last year, with fewer attempts than six of the top seven. He was in the top three until the end of the season, when he missed nearly all of the last two games. You're being comically shortsighted.

 

Also, who said he "needed" to split time, anyway?

 

This McGahee hate is absolutely hysterical. He was the class of the team and one of the league's top backs last season, and now that two other players emerged while he was injured, he's suddenly worthless. Hilarious!

 

I wasn't exactly tooting his horn last year, either.

 

He's never been as good as he is supposed to be. Never. Not in Buffalo. Not here.

 

I also don't necessarily see him as the class of the team. He's known for a poor work ethic and being lazy, especially in the off-season, which contributes to his injuries and need for subs consistently.

 

Finally, the emergence of new players should ALWAYS make you question what you have. If Rice can do it, if McClain can do it... then either we are blessed with three amazing backs, or what McGahee was doing/is doing is not all that special. Either way, we are in a good position.

 

Again, I am not saying dump him or his salary. I'm saying we need to look critically at the spot. We have other problems to fix first. But if we find ourselves short on cash, I'm fine with Rice and McClain splitting carries.

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I wasn't exactly tooting his horn last year, either.

 

He's never been as good as he is supposed to be. Never. Not in Buffalo. Not here.

 

I also don't necessarily see him as the class of the team. He's known for a poor work ethic and being lazy, especially in the off-season, which contributes to his injuries and need for subs consistently.

 

Finally, the emergence of new players should ALWAYS make you question what you have. If Rice can do it, if McClain can do it... then either we are blessed with three amazing backs, or what McGahee was doing/is doing is not all that special. Either way, we are in a good position.

 

Again, I am not saying dump him or his salary. I'm saying we need to look critically at the spot. We have other problems to fix first. But if we find ourselves short on cash, I'm fine with Rice and McClain splitting carries.

 

 

Well put !!

 

 

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