Things are finally going according to plan in Baltimore. Offense is looking like they can score from anywhere. Defense is wreaking havoc and making the opposition look uncomfortable. Yesterday’s game was sloppy at times and the outcome was still never in doubt. Meanwhile we’ve got the Bengals and Browns falling apart at the seams, and it doesn’t look much better in Pittsburgh. Gotta love it. We’re in the driver’s seat in the AFC North now.
On top of that, we’re leading the entire NFL in point differential at +89. While that’s not the end-all be-all, it’s still the sign of a great football team. Some more thoughts on yesterday’s 29-7 win:
- The Ravens continue to dominate on the ground. Another near 100 yard performance for Justin Forsett, and the Ravens sit at 8th in the NFL in rushing yards per game (131.4). The defense is equally impressive coming in at 7th, only allowing 87.4 yards a game. We’re returning to the style of football that consistently won the Ravens so many football games in the 00′s. Hard-nosed, physical football. Just feels right.
- The biggest difference now is that we don’t have Kyle fucking Boller under center and Travis Taylor as our top pass catcher. Those teams in the 00′s ran the football out of necessity because the passing game was trash. Now we can score any way we damn please. It just so happens that we’ve been putting points on the board early and keeping the ball on the ground to keep the clock moving. Our defense is still a step behind those defenses in the past, but we’re miles ahead of those teams offensively. Those teams contended, and so will this one.
- Steve Smith will probably get fined for that little dust-up in the 4th, but that’s fine. That’s the price you pay sometimes for blood and guts. Not his fault the NFC South can’t handle it. Helmet sale!
- Flacco actually didn’t play all the great, but he didn’t need to. He made all the easy throws he should have, and the mistakes he made were on aggressive throws downfield. I can live with that in games like this one. I’ll say this much though. As unimportant as it was, that touchdown he threw to Torrey on 4th and 1 was downright gorgeous.
- The pass rush is here and it’s here to stay. Back to back weeks with 5 sacks. Dumervil is having an all-pro year with 7 sacks in 7 games. Pernell McPhee is the best pass rusher in football noone talks about. And even Suggsy got in the mix with the safety late. Andy Dalton is going to have a miserable time next week now that we’re getting into the backfield.
- I know that GIF cuts off just before he throws it, but I’m pretty sure Suggs threw a better ball into the stands than Matt Ryan did all day. Just like I said. Matt Ryan. Fraud.
- What in the world do we do with Jacoby Jones at this point? His drops on offense all year have been frustrating, but once that translates over to punts he’s useless. You can’t muff a punt near midfield right before the half. If Atlanta had been able to go into the half down 14-7 there, who knows how else that game plays out? Thank god the defense held up there. Can’t give teams opportunities to go into the locker room with a sense of false confidence. Better teams will make you pay for that. I think one more blunder and it’s Michael Campanaro time on special teams.
- I’ve been pretty supportive of James Hurst at left tackle so far because replacing an all-pro as an undrafted rookie is a tall task. But he struggled mightily yesterday, racking up 3 holding penalties. We were able to pick up 2 of the first downs anyway, but we won’t always be so lucky. The bright side is Flacco was only sacked once, and I’d take 1st-and-20 over 2nd-and-16 and a QB hit every time.
- Long snapper Morgan Cox tore his ACL, so that sucks. The guy’s been entrenched as the LS since 2010, and we’ve taken him for granted. I just hope that whenever the name comes out for his replacement, I never have to hear it again. Get well soon Morgan.
- I hate Fox broadcasts. Absolutely hate em. The whole robot schtick, the music, the graphics… all suck. I don’t know how the NFC puts up with it on a weekly basis. On top of that David Diehl looked like a complete try-hard with his suit in the booth. David Diehl. Such a punchable face.
Cincinnati funeral next week. Bury them.