Thoughts on Ravens – Chiefs

WR Mark Clayton hauls in a 31-yard touchdown pass over the Chiefs' Brandon Carr. The score put the Ravens ahead 31-24

WR Mark Clayton hauls in a 31-yard touchdown pass over the Chiefs' Brandon Carr. The score put the Ravens ahead 31-24

Yesterday’s 38-24 win was very satisfying for me as a Ravens fan. Some wouldn’t agree, but I’ll explain a little later. Many people are quick to point out that the ravens were heavy favorites, and that they were given a tough fight by one of the worst teams in football. I don’t share that same opinion.

I wasn’t surprised at all by the Chiefs’ effort yesterday; you can always expect great effort from any NFL team on any given Sunday. I was a little shocked though, with the two long scoring drives they had in the fourth quarter. Fabian Washington seemed to be struggling with coverage and the pass rush was decent but not getting to Brodie Croyle as nearly as quickly as it should have been.

And aside from the special teams mishap which resulted in a blocked punt for a TD, and a poor interception by Joe Flacco which led to another TD, the Ravens looked superb yesterday.

Flacco was very sharp and it definitely looks as if he has a much better feel for the pocket than he did last year. He really know when to scramble, when to throw it away, or when to just take a sack. I loved his touchdown pass to Willis McGahee. It was very Roethlisberger-esque, if that’s a word. He bought himself time, kept his head up and extended the play long enough for a man to open up and he capitalized beautifully for the score.

Ray Rice and Willis McGahee were great; they combined for 152 yards on a score on the ground. While Le’Ron McClain caught 3 passes and rushed 6 times for 42 total yards and a score. The running back by committee works! It really is the heart and soul of the Ravens offense.

Mark Clayton’s beautiful game winning touchdown capped a solid day for the receiving corps. He, Mason, Heap, and Washington combined for 2 TD’s, 17 receptions, and 241 yards!

As I mentioned earlier, the defensive play in the early part of the fourth quarter was cause for concern in my opinion. But let’s go over the performance of this defense on their first four series of the game. Four straight 3 and outs! They did not yield a first down until the 4:38 mark in the 2nd quarter! That is dominant. KC was 2 for 10 on third downs and only made 2 trips to the redzone all day. One of those was courtesy of Joe Flacco, not the D.

So back to my first sentence, you only get better when you make mistakes and learn from them. The Ravens made a few yesterday. 2 of them ended up costing them 14 points. Against tougher teams, it won’t be as easy to put up 38 and negate those two scores. You got to believe head coach John Harbaugh will have these guys ready and even more focused for a west coast trip to play the Chargers next Sunday.


1 Response to “Thoughts on Ravens – Chiefs”

  1. 1 josh September 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    i said the same thing about flacco and his big ben type play. i disagree, however, with very sharp, his accuracy was a little off, throwing over and behind receivers. he also made a “rookie” play on the interception, locking on to heap and letting the LB take the ball. but he made plays. he stared down pressure. he won the game.

    the offensive line did well, especially oher, who’s name i didn’t hear once. after the first few runs didn’t net very many yards, they started to get a push, and 4.8 yards a carry is quite sufficient.

    i feel like the concern with the defense is a little overdone. yes, we need pressure, yes our corners need to step up. pressure will come, we weren’t going to throw everything we had at the chiefs in week 1. we needed to save some things for the “better” teams, such as the chargers this week, the patriots in week 4. NFL teams slowly introduce everything they plan on doing throughout the season to keep their aces in the hole for when they need them. worry not, there will be sufficient pressure eventually. remember, suggs most of the preseason, kruger wasn’t even dressed yesterday (what was that about?), and kelly gregg hadn’t seen live regular season action in over a year.

    more worrisome is the injury to taveres. he went down on a kickoff return in the 3rd and never returned, only biking on the sideline for the remainder of the game. with him injured, ayanbadejo and jameel mcclain filled in, leading to a lapse in coverage at some points. also gooden didn’t look so great in his zones. furthermore, there was at least one play where dwan edwards was forced to drop into coverage as he was subbing in for suggs.

    as for our corners, they’re going to get beat. when you leave a corner one-on-one with a wideout, they get beat. that’s what happened with fabian against mark bradley. that’s what happened with dawan landry against bowe (altho the ravens were caught subbing in their goal line package and the chiefs simply spread out and forced their safeties to cover wideouts. a timeout should’ve been called). again, a nonsense roughing the passer penalty (blow to neck/head area, questionable) extended a drive, giving the chiefs 15 yards, momentum, and a first down instead of a 3rd and short. there is nothing to worry about yet. let us see how the defense fairs against the prolific offense in san diego, with tomlinson/sproles, rivers and gates. that offense torched us 2 years ago and it’s time for revenge.

    the fact is, the game should’ve ended after the first quarter. a 10-0 lead should have been extended, but a failure to block right and/or recognize a punt block led to the chiefs’ first 7 points. i am upset with matt katula, he has been subpar so far this season, with off-snaps. i also think he should’ve recognized the clear stack the chiefs were placing at the line, altho that is more the upbacks’ job. after the blocked punt, the game was on. momentum swung. it became a battle. which we eventually won.

    in other notes, look at the time of possession: nearly 40 minutes. insanity. i also love the little swing passes to le’ron, they’re going to be nasty (remember ovie in ’06? the titans game, he began the comeback). i was slightly disappointed in the lack of turnovers (all i could think was the ravens lost the turnover battle and were somehow going to lose the game). lardarius webb. enough said. great blocking on punt returns, altho he should be returning and carr should be gone, and great job getting downfield as a gunner on punts. and matt lawerence. now we know why he made the team.

    finally i heard rumors that mcaslister sold his house in CA and moved back here, claiming that he would be playing in time for the chargers game. given other rumors about the possibility that rolle is done forever, this doesn’t seem so far-fetched. would cmac come back to be a dimeback? he certainly won’t get a starting job…

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