Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Titans 13 Ravens 10 (The WE FEEL YOUR PAIN, CHARGERS Game)

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For the 2nd straight week, the Ravens dominated the football game for about 55 of the 60 minutes, held a lead in the 2nd half, had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty assessed against them at a crucial time…and lost.  The call against Terrell Suggs with 6 minutes to go, when the Titans were backed up on their own 20 yard line, facing what should have been a 3rd-and-15 from their own 15 (if the play had been stopped, like it should have, to assess the false start penalty on Tennessee), was downright atrocious.  Anybody with a pair of eyes can see that Suggs merely glanced the SHOULDER of Kerry Collins, and not his helmet, and that Suggs completely stopped once the contact was made.  We have another bone to pick with the penalty though:

During the Ravens opening drive of the 2nd half, a similar situation occurred.  Albert Haynesworth came across the line before the snap, made contact with Jason Brown, and the play was whistled dead for encroachment.  EVERYBODY STOPPED (unlike on the Suggs play).  Everybody, that is, except Haynesworth, who kept right on trucking, wrapped up the defenseless Joe Flacco, and slammed him to the ground.  71,000 at M&T Bank Stadium waited for a 2nd yellow flag that would never come (and a flag NOT coming was a rare occurrence in this one).  To throw the flag on Suggs, after not throwing another one on Haynesworth, is quite puzzling.  We don’t ask for perfection, stripes, but is a little consistency too much to ask for?

The officiating in this league has been pretty damn bad in 2008 (see: Hochuli, Ed), and yesterday was just another example.

There are, of course, plenty of other reasons the Ravens lost this one.  The head-scratching clock management at the end of the first half that saw the Ravens pick up a 1st down at the Titans’ 22 with 38 seconds left and 1 timeout left, then proceed to not 1) hurry to the line and spike the ball; or 2) use the timeout.  The result was :24 of wasted opportunity, a missed 45-yard field goal attempt on 1st down, a fruitless 77-yard drive, and a tie game at halftime.

Next on the list is the inexplicable ability of Joe Flacco, when rolling to his right, to convince himself that that guy in blue between him and his receiver isn’t really there.  Flacco threw the ball to Titans defenders 3 times while rolling to his right, and every time every fan in attendance knew what was going to happen as soon as he released the ball.  John Harbaugh’s 2nd successful challenge on 2 tries this season saved Flacco from a 3-pick day, but he deserved all 3 of them.  Enthusiasm for the rookie QB will be tempered for at least a few days here in B’More, and that’s probably a good thing.  Rookies will play like rookies sometimes, and Joe’s day should quiet all this silly 2nd-coming-of-Unitas talk thats been poisoning the local airwaves of late.

Hmm, what else?  Ah, yes, special teams.   A unit that has guys like Brendan Ayanbedejo, Tom Zbikowski, and Haruki Nakamura (on a side note, that was the toughest string of 3 names to spell I have ever had to deal with) runnin around, we’d like to see less relying on kickers and punters to make touchdown-saving tackles.  And when Sam Koch (having a Pro Bowl-Caliber season, btw) drops a punt on the 3 yard line that will force the Titans to go 97 yards on their game-winning drive instead of 80, please PLEASE don’t fall for the returner’s “I’m gonna walk up here and fair catch the ball at the 10…cuz that’s where its gonna land…SUCKERS!” juke.  Please.  Thank you.

The Ravens lack a certain “killer instinct” at the moment.  The ability to finish eludes them.  Finish drives.  Finish games.  The offense has to stop being afraid to go for the jugular when they have a lead.  The defense, now ranked 1st in passing, rushing, and total yards, needs to stop giving up points every time they are handed a lead (more on this later in the week).

Comments

11 Responses to “Titans 13 Ravens 10 (The WE FEEL YOUR PAIN, CHARGERS Game)”
  1. Chestfinder says:

    It’s funny you guys name the games like Friends episodes.

  2. UnbiasedGuy says:

    #1 in Defense
    #24 in Offense

    Has Flacco yet to throw a passing TD or are we just going to see the McClain show for the rest of the season???

  3. NestMinder says:

    Unbiasedfriend,

    Joe Flacco hit Daniel Wilcox for his 1st ever TD pass in Pittsburgh.

  4. UnbiasedGuy says:

    Oh, you mean that 4-yd scamper lol.

    Personally, I think Cameron and the fellas in the booth are going way too conservative. If Flacco was worthy of that 1st round draft pick, they should be treating him like Matt Ryan. Look how well Ryan has produced with an eerily similar offense. Ryan is throwing to the likes of Michael Jenkins and Roddy White. Michael Turner is going beserk as is McClain. The only advantage is in TE where Baltimore has Todd Heap—as opposed to TE Ben Hartsock and Justin Peelle for ATL.

    Now, we need to ask ourselves, what is causing Baltimore’s lack of scoring??? Personnel, coaching decisions??? We can’t say it’s because Flacco is a rookie because Ryan is one too. So, then do we compare the fact that Ryan is from a Div I school and Flacco is not?? Just some things you might want to think about or discuss. Love to hear your response.

  5. NestMinder says:

    Well, technically a “scamper” would probably be used to describe a run. It was more of a 4 yard “float.” But point taken.

    As far as the reasons for the Ravens offense struggling compared to that of the Falcons, I certainly agree that they are much more conservative than Atlanta. Reasons for this? I’ll give you a few theories.

    1. The Falcons, and Ryan, have enjoyed their successes against: Detroit, Kansas City, and Green Bay. In their 2 division games, they scored just 9 points each and lost both. The Ravens, on the other hand, have played much stronger defenses so far.
    2. The Ravens coaches may be falling under the spell of that #1 overall defense. Falcons coaches have no such problem, and know they are going to have to put up some points to win. It would be nice to see some substance to all the talk we kept hearing about the Offense holding up its end of the bargain this year, but so far, that hasn’t materialized.
    3. Roddy White is a better deep threat receiver than anybody on the Ravens roster. The WR position is again a glaring weakness. Clayton and Williams need to step up, and soon.

    As far as Ryan vs. Flacco? I think Flacco will be a better NFL quarterback, not just when all is said and done, but soon. I was never impressed with Ryan watching him in college, and all the hype surrounding him going into draft day still puzzles me. Where they went to school is irrelevant. Danny Weurffel went to Florida. Chris Weinke Florida State. Steve McNair Alcorn State. Kurt Warner Northern Iowa. Tony Romo Eastern Illinois.

    Sitting in the stands Sunday, it was evident that the Ravens tried to go deep a couple times. Each time, the Tennessee safety was all over the route, there was no separation, and Joe had to go elsewhere with the ball. Cam Cameron has reportedly been in Ozzie’s ear about getting a big time WR. I’m not gonna start with the “trade for Roy Williams right now” gibberish, but its fun to dream.

  6. UnbiasedGuy says:

    Decent theories. My personal opinion is I would qualify Mason as the equivalent of Roddy White. White has had only one breakout year, but both Mason and White are considered the No. 1 WRs for their teams, respectively. After that, the WR depth is pretty sticky. You are right—Clayton has been a bust and Demetrius Williams barely gets any catches his way.

    And, I wouldn’t compare schedules as a way of strengthening your argument. Your team played the likes of Cinncinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Tenn. I count 2 of those teams with decent defenses. You see ATL’s schedule: Detroit (easy), Tampa Bay (pretty decent D), KC (easy), Caroline (decent D), and I’ll even count Green Bay as ONCE having a decent D before injuries took their unit out. Not counting GB, I see it is pretty much even.

    I think the coaches are taking advantage of the good defense much like Billick did. This is NOT the direction you want to take with this team. But, I definitely forsee future drafts acquiring much more talented WRs as Mason’s time is nearly up and Clayton/Williams have been busts.

  7. Ravenstheorist says:

    Go take a look at Roddy White’s career, as it has been short, stats. He is a solid performer every week. Constantly opening up the passing game with the deep threat. I’m pretty sure Derrick Mason can see the yellow line on the field and he’s afraid that if he crosses it that his body will just engulf in flames. Those two aren’t even close to the same thing.

  8. UnbiasedGuy says:

    I totally DISAGREE. Yes, Roddy’s career has been short, but in that short time he has only had one 1000 yd season. Everything else has been between 400-600 yds. Plus, it doesn’t help when you got Vick to throw you the ball.

    Take a look at Mason’s stats—longer career. In his hey-day he was quite the deep threat, and I still think he is better than White in terms of experience and possession skills to this day.

  9. Ravenstheorist says:

    Who cares about experience and possession skills? We’re talking about an effective offense. If you want experience and possession skills call up Jerry Rice to play your starting WR. If you want to stretch the field and create more options for your offense you go out and you get a speed guy who can be a deep threat.

    You think any corners or over the top safeties are worried about Derrick Mason going downfield on them??? They could cover him with a Defensive Tackle and have more success.

    Let’s look at the numbers. This season and last, Mason 2 catches over 30 yards. 2 catches!!!! 5 TDs and only 1 100 yd game. Roddy White? 12 catches over 30 yards, 8 tds and 7 100 yd games. Damn… numbers don’t lie my friend.

  10. FootballFan says:

    Receivers aside, the Ravens need to start putting teams away early. There are numerous bad calls every week against every team and they are rarely an excuse for losing. If you do what you’re supposed to on offense the flags don’t matter nearly as much.

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