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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

One Winning Drive: Tuesday Musings


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Fair is Fair. It’s been pretty well documented elsewhere, but the Ravens simply didn’t do the right things to win Sunday’s game. Somehow, though, at game’s end, the Ravens were still just yards away from winning (or perhaps just one Mark Clayton catch away). All told, that says a lot of good things about the Ravens. For as poorly as they played (from special teams to penalties), they were still right there with a chance in the final moments - and not a hail mary chance, a legitimate chance.

Today as power rankings are released we’re already seeing the Ravens fall a bit, but not too far. ESPN has the Ravens 7th, right behind New England.

Run the Damn Ball, Cam. I’m still trying to decide whether the Ravens failure to run the ball was the result of in-game panic or just a bad game plan. My bet is a bit of both, with a pinch of “inability to adjust” as well. Cameron’s game plan was to pass frequently. As much as we may not like that in hindsight, it actually worked fairly well for most of the game. Minus a Joe Flacco miscommunication leading to an interception, the passing game looked alright.

But the pass-favored attack was made worse by an early deficit. Last year one of the Ravens’ greatest strengths was that they never panicked, even when down early. On Sunday, it seemed quite the opposite. Some early scoring by the Pats had the Ravens scattered.

Finally, even when the Ravens seemed to regain some control over the game in the second half, they failed to reset themselves and their gameplan. One big reason to run the ball is not just to balance the defense, but even a mediocre run nets yardage. 3rd and 7 looks so much friendlier than 3rd and 10.

The Refs. Still not a fan of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed mouthing off - even if I agree with the broader sentiment that quarterbacks are overprotected. And I’m not a fan of John Harbaugh getting in on the action, even in a more subdued, passive way than he did on the field.

It has been interesting, however, to see the national reaction to the Terrell Suggs personal foul in particular. No one seems to like it. In a Baltimore Sun article today the wording of the rule was emphasized - contact to the quarterback below the knee must be forcible to warrant a penalty. Suggs’ contact certainly wasn’t forcible.

I’ve heard it argued that had Brady not moved his leg, it would have been much worse. But last I checked, the NFL didn’t give penalties for almost pass interference and almost facemasks. It’s a fast game, what looks like it could be a penalty one instant can very clearly change.

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