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Ravens: All’s Well That Ends Well

San Diego Chargers defensive end Jacques Cesaire I am all for a good competitive game. Blowouts are fun in their own right but it’s nice to have a game hold your interest until the final whistle.

Having said that, two in a row to kickoff the year is wearing me down a little bit.

Obviously the Ravens’ game against the Chargers was less of a shock than the Chiefs last week, but considering the amount of injuries San Diego had I was anticipating the game be a little more lopsided. I figured by the fourth quarter the Chargers’ young offensive line would have been beaten down for good. They were certainly coming apart, but not like I expected.

Obviously their key failure was allowing Ray Lewis into the backfield untouched to end the game. I hope the Ravens are never on the other side of that situation. What a way for a game to end.

Overall our defense is beginning to scare me. The Darren Sproles 80-plus yard TD is one thing. That guy is one of the most dangerous backs in the league. He’ a smaller, quicker Ray Rice and has the ability to catch defenses off guard.

Even beyond that, though, the rush defense was a bit of a mess. In the first two weeks I have seen a noticeable difference in the Ravens’ ability to stop the run. The blitz packages remain effective, but they’ve got some issues.

The stat that scares me most is Phillip Rivers’ 436 passing yards. He picked our secondary apart. He showed the rest of the NFL that a tall receiver is a great weapon against us.

On offense, I thought we used the three-headed backfield to great effect. If all three backs can remain healthy I think we have quite a monster attack.

Joe Flacco made some dumb throws again but luckily they didn’t cost us all that much. I noticed they were relying a lot on the short out passes, which was frustrating. But, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

In the end you can’t complain about 2-0, especially when Pittsburgh goes down. Hopefully we’ll get a bit more breathing room against the Browns next week.

(photo borrowed from nfl.com)

9 comments to Ravens: All’s Well That Ends Well

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    Even beyond that, though, the rush defense was a bit of a mess. In the first two weeks I have seen a noticeable difference in the Ravens’ ability to stop the run. The blitz packages remain effective, but they’ve got some issues.

    huh? the ravens allowed 29 yards rushing against the chiefs and 53 against the chargers. sproles led with 10 carries for 26 yards!

    this team only has one problem on d and it’s those corners.

  • dan the man

    It looks like Sproles rushed more than he actually did because of the kick returns and because they threw to him a couple times for big gains. But yeah, I’m not too worried about stopping the run – it’s the passing game that we have trouble stopping.

    Corners are an issue for sure. They play hard and can cover good, it’s just the size.

  • random dude

    Yeah, I’m not at all worried about the run defense. Sproles was completely ineffective on the ground against us.

    While the play from our corners was definitely troubling, I’m trying to decide if there’s any other team that will match up with our corners as well as the Chargers did. Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson. Those guys are huge. We saw Foxworth staying step for step with Steve Smith in a preseason game, so I don’t think covering fast receivers will be a problem. It’s just the size factor.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    yeah but it’s not just size it’s physicality. these corners simply aren’t physical. going up against the likes of new england, indy, pittsburgh twice, and even green bay could be a major problem.

    i guess they could play cover 2 to help the corners out a bit but it kind of alters their style.

    man i miss chris mccalister.

    it just kind of sucks to have such dominant components up front (and ed reed) and to have no confidence in your cornerbacks to get anything done. it’s only two games but jesus they’ve looked terrible.

    no tonic like the browns though.

  • neal s

    @Big Ben’s Motorcycle – The Browns are desperate though. It’s hard to see them winning, but you’ve got to figure they’ll come in with guns blazing.

    That brings us back to the play in the secondary. The Browns have what I’d charitably call a mediocre passing attack. Similar to, I don’t know, the Chiefs and Brodie Croyle?

    If Brady Quinn and/or Derek Anderson can make plays in the passing game then god help those corners when they face the teams you mentioned. Not that it looks good facing those teams anyway, but if they fold against the Browns then it means real trouble.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    yeah well lucky for us (and bad for those teams) we can put up 30 on any team now, including the steelers. they’re another team with a dominant front seven and some questions back there. difference right now is they blitz effectively which might make all the difference for us starting this sunday, who knows.

    the ravens have the 2nd best offense in the nfl behind the saints – how crazy is that?

    thing is i don’t want to win that way.

    bottom line (to quote ray) i don’t want to watch ten straight years of defensive excellence end after waiting fourteen years for a potentially great offense to emerge.

    *disclaimer – i realize everything i post about football is seemingly irrational and spoiled but it’s true goddammit and any good fan should feel that way about their team

  • random dude

    @Big Ben’s Motorcycle – I agree that I like watching Baltimore style, hit you in your mouth football games. But this is the first time ever (minus maybe ’96 or ’97) that you really get excited when the offense takes the field. I look at it this way. McAllister was one of my favorite players before last year. Which combination would you rather have on this team this year, though: McAllister in his prime + Boller at QB or Foxworth + Flacco. Maybe stupid way to look at it, but it helps me feel better about the secondary situation.

    Also, remember just two years ago, everyone said the NYG cornerbacks were too bad to win a superbowl and Brady would just pick them apart to go 19-0. I think we saw what a good pass rush can do. We just need to get more pressure and we’ll be alright.

    @neal s – I’d be more worried if Derek Anderson started. Brady Quinn has yet to take a shot down the field since getting to the NFL. He does nothing but check downs and dump offs.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    i’m not sure i’ve ever guaranteed a victory in the ravens history but i will right now.

    the ravens are going to demolish the browns – if for no other reason, they’re going to be annoyed at all the questions about their defense.

    although i am going to the game which is rarely a good omen for them.

  • dan the man

    Two things I’d like to see in the Browns game:

    1) Ed Reed
    2) Terrell Suggs