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Ravens-Redskins Postmortem

It’s unreal. No one knew in August that this team would accomplish what it has. Of course back then no one knew who Le’Ron McClain was, or Joe Flacco, and no one knew that Ed Reed and Ray Lewis were going to be the show that they are this year. This game against the Redskins wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was an important step. The Redskins have their playoff dreams as well, and were in a very similar situation to Ravens coming in. This is a game that the Ravens of years past would have lost — it had all of the fixings to be a win for the ‘Skins. Sunday night primetime, important game for the Ravens season, rival opponent. All of these factors would have spelled defeat in the past. Not this time though.

This game was pretty much all defense. The Ravens looked terrible in the first half and if it weren’t for Ed Reed’s fumble recovery for a touchdown, I’m not sure if this game would have turned out the way it did. That play seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game. When Joe Flacco tossed a pick in the third I thought that the momentum might change but it didn’t. That’s the other major difference in this team from years past. They didn’t let their mistakes snowball and they didn’t fold.

I loved the pressure that the Ravens put on Jason Campbell. That guy was under siege most of the night. When the Ravens keep at a quarterback like that, the guy is pretty much guaranteed to make a mistake. Those mistakes are what guys like Ed Reed live for. With two picks and a fumble recovery for a TD, Ed Reed looked like his old self out there. Right now I don’t think there is any player more fun to watch in the NFL.

I think that Le’Ron McClain has proven himself to be the number one back and I think that the Ravens as an organization need to recognize him as such. Granted, he needs work on holding onto the ball but as far as running up the middle goes, he’s tough to beat in the NFL. Of course the fact Lorenzo Neal is leading the way doesn’t hurt. I hear a lot of people say that the Ravens just aren’t using Willis McGahee correctly. That he’s an outside runner. Maybe so, but the Ravens have become an up the gut team and I don’t see any reason to change that when it seems to be working pretty well. People will argue that our offense just doesn’t fit McGahee and they are right. I don’t think this is the team for him and I think that this offseason it’s time to shop him around. The more that Ray Rice carries the better he is going to be and until he gets to that level we have a great back in McClain.

Isn’t it great to watch the Ravens play meaningful football in December? It feels good to know that they can still control their playoff destiny. They have the biggest game of the year this week against the Steelers. Now, I hate the Steelers but it is kind of cool that they are the team that we have to beat for a shot at an outright playoff berth. The Steelers looked horrible against the Cowboys and if it weren’t for Tony Romo melting down, the Cowboys would have won that game. If that’s the Steelers team that shows up then the Ravens won’t have to work so hard but if the Steelers team that dismantled the Patriots shows up then the Ravens will have their work cut out for them. Either way it’s going to be a great game and I think that this Ravens squad can beat whatever Steelers team ends up crawling down here.

I just wish they’d leave their fans up north.

(photo via)

13 comments to Ravens-Redskins Postmortem

  • rick

    outstanding effort against the Redskins. However, the offense is also going to have to contribute more against an excellent Steeler defense.

    Loved the play-calling v. Redskins, and the execution, especially that wonderful 4th quarter clock-eater, punctuated with the TD pass.

    The Ravens-Steelers matchup appears to be a low scoring affair, where mistakes, e.g., lost fumbles, INTs, etc. will make the difference between winning and losing.

    Believe the Ravens can win, and if so, it will be a statement game.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    i have very little to say about the skins because of what game is looming. all i’ll say is it was impressive and willis mcgahee needs to be our third back. people forget he was a probowl back last year but injuries and a seeming lack of dedication have made him irrelevant at this point.

    now on to the true matter at hand.

    the steelers defense is unquestionably the best in the league right now. but the ravens aren’t that far away in second place.

    and i’ll tell you this right now – god help big ben with that offensive line this week. ten sacks is attainable.

    if the game comes down to turnovers i like our chances for that very reason.

    time to make it six wins in a row against the steelers at m & t.

  • CambyRocks!

    “The Ravens were terrible in the first half”.

    What game were you watching? I have a feeling Justin must not really be a fan of the purple. He’s a writer disguised as a fan.

    They were hardly terrible when they moved right down the field after Reed’s first pick.

    You need to bone up on your reporting skills.

  • dan the man

    After the 2 scores within the first 6 minutes, the Ravens were bad on offense, is what I think Justin is trying to say.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    does justin ever post? always wondered what that guy’s story was.

    not hatin’, just wondering.

  • Brad

    I’ve seen him post a few times, but I don’t know.

    They say that both of his hands are mutilated, so one hand is just a stub and the other is fused into just one finger, so it takes him six hours on average to write the article. He’s also blind in one eye and cataracts in the other.

    But don’t question his love for the Ravens. I’ve heard that one guy questioned him once and he stabbed the guy in the eye with his fused hand and pummeled him to death with his stub. I think he’s a Jedi.

    These are all just rumors, of course. No one knows for sure.

  • Justin

    In my opinion they didn’t look all that great in the first half, they’ve looked better. They got blanked in the second quarter and if the field isn’t shortened by Ed Reeds pick then I don’t think they would have scored as easily.

  • neal s

    @BBM: the monday wrap-up posts are always Justin’s work. He’s a big-time Ravens fan, and I brought him in to give that perspective. Personally, I think he does a damn fine job.

    And, yeah, I think they did look pretty bad on offense for the first half. Those two scores were defense all the way.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    neal how would you know how they looked in the first half?


  • neal s

    Did I say “first half”? I meant “first quarter-and-a-half”.

    I figure that’s a large enough sample…

  • Justin Blome

    Thanks for the back up Neal, I won’t rub it in as hard now when the Ravens take the division lead on Sunday.

  • Greg

    Even if the Ravens beat the Steelers, we won’t be in the division lead because the Steelers are a half game better than us in divisional opponents.

  • random dude

    I’ve been looking at the playoff scenarios… this is what I got.

    If we win, we’ll be 5-1 in the division (our 1 loss against Pit the first time around). Pit will be 4-1 (1 loss to us, have yet to play Browns a second time). So we’d be 1/2 game up.

    Assuming they later beat the Browns to go to 5-1 in the division also.

    Next tiebreaker is common opponents. Those teams come from AFC South and NFC East. We’re currently 3-3 against those divisions with 2 games left (@Dal vs. Jax). Pit is 4-3 with 1 game left @Ten. If we win out, and they beat both Ten and Cle, then we’ll be tied at 5-3 in common opponents. If we win out and they lose to either team, we’ll have a better record anyway. If we lose to Dal, and they lose Ten, then we’ll be tied at 4-4.

    Next tie breaker is conference. If they beat Ten, they’ll have us by 1 game. If they lose to Ten, we’ll be tied there too.

    Next tie breaker is strength of victory. This is where I get confused.

    Now that I’ve spent way too much time at work doing that, I’ve probably just jinxed us for this Sunday since all those assume we win. Pretty big assumption.