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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

One Winning Drive: Monday Musings


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First, in case you hadn’t heard already… this blog has been nominated for a Mobbie! That would be a Baltimore Sun award a one of Maryland’s Outstanding Blogs. We are nominated both as a Sports blog and a Ravens blog. Click the link to the right to vote for us! You can vote once per day for the next two weeks. Show the world you love your ExtremeRavens and One Winning Drive.

But here are some other random thoughts …

–Steve Tasker brought up an interesting point from John Harbaugh during yesterday’s Ravens victory. Harbaugh said that he expects the Ravens defense to give up more yards as the team’s offense improves. It sounds a bit funky at first, but it seems somewhat valid. As the Ravens score more points, they are putting pressure on opponents to score more points as well. Which means instead of just trying to grind it out and not make mistakes against the Ravens, opposing teams are going to let loose.

I’m not entirely sure how much I buy it, mainly because I don’t buy that other teams weren’t trying to get yards against us before. But additionally, I think when opponents really press to move the ball against this defense, they will force themselves into mistakes and ultimately hurt their own cause. But there may be some merit to the view that with a good offense, its hard to keep defensive numbers perfect.

–I don’t mean to hate on Rex Ryan and crew, but I’m not buying the Jets quite yet. They’ve won some great games and looked pretty strong… but I just don’t buy that their defense is the league’s best. And I really don’t buy that their offense can win games for them when necessary. The Jets beat the Patriots and Titans, both formidable opponents, but both at home. And both with glaring weaknesses.

First, the Titans, for as good as they “should” be, were 0-2 heading into New York. They lost a close game to Pittsburgh in overtime, giving up well over 300 yards passing to Big Ben and company. Then in Week 2 they gave up 34 points to the Texans. The Texans, people. The Titans are not the force they were last year, and they ran all over the Jets.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are a big question mark right now. Maybe I’ll change my mind after the Ravens game this weekend, but for now, they are a question mark. The Pats defense has been suspect since last season - and the Jets weren’t exactly able to exploit that weakness. Meanwhile, the Pats offense lacks a running game in any way, shape or form. Which opens up all kinds of opportunities for Rex Ryan and his pass rush madness.

Bottom line… the Jets have been playing well, but I think there are weaknesses that will be exposed. The Titans were able to run on the Jets, they just weren’t able to hold the ball. There are paths to glory here.

–The AFC North will be a lot of fun this season… short of the Browns. The Bengals late upset of the Steelers yesterday not only put a twinkle of great hope into the eyes of all Ravens fans (a two game lead on the Steelers?!) but also solidified the Bengals as true contenders. Perhaps what is scariest about the Bengals is that they have been successful despite mediocre play from Carson Palmer. If (when?) Palmer finds his way back to the star he once was, that team will be scary. Meanwhile, the Bengals-Ravens match-up two weeks away looks stellar - it may prove to be the Ravens first true test offensively (depending on the Pats game).

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