Ravens 48 Lions 3 (The RUDE WELCOME HOME FOR SCHWARTZY Game)
The Ravens proved yesterday that, despite the issues that have plagued them throughout this up-and-down 2009 campaign, they can still beat the tar out of terrible football teams while hardly breaking a sweat. The Detroit Lions had zero fight in them at M&T Bank Stadium, and Head Coach Jim Schwartz was forced to answer questions in the post-game news conference about whether or not his team “quit” during the game, an assertion that will be hard for anyone who saw the game to deny.
NFL teams, even those that are as bad as the Detroit Lions, just don’t give up the video-game like stats that the Ravens put up yesterday – at least not if they are actually attempting to play the game.
Ray Rice – 13 carries, 166 yards, 1 TD; 4 receptions, 53 yards
Willis McGahee – 12 carries, 76 yards, 2 TD
Le’Ron McClain – 6 carries, 32 yards, 1 TD
Derrick Mason – 5 catches, 94 yards, 1 TD
Joe Flacco – 13/20 230 yards 1 TD
Sure, nobody except Ray Rice had that jaw-dropping of a day individually, but when taken all together, the numbers really paint the picture of how thoroughly B’More handled the Lions on the day.
The team’s 548 yards set a Ravens record, surpassing the mark that they had already set once this season, in the season opener against Kansas City.
By mid-way through the 3rd quarter, the game had a pre-season feel to it.
The stands were (at least) half empty, due in part to the beatdown on the field, and in part to the awful weather, a cold downpour.
The Ravens backups were on the field, as Jalen Parmalee was taking handoffs from Troy Smith, and Ray Lewis was on the sideline wearing a beanie cap.
And, although the outcome of the game was crucial for the Ravens’ slim-but-slowly-improving playoff chances, everyone watching was quite relaxed, as the game was easily in hand.
For the Ravens’ starters, it must have been like playing against the practice squad, or worse, tackling dummies. The Lions were woeful from the opening whistle, and their tackling may have been the worst ever on display in downtown B’More. When Derrick Mason ran right through two Lions for a 62 yard score (the team’s first of 6 on the day), you just knew that the game was over, despite there being over 40 minutes left to play.
The Lions one and only weapon, the only guy that had us worried going into the game, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, was held to just 4 catches and 37 yards. He broke free in the secondary a few times, but Detroit QB Daunte Culpepper severely underthrew him each time. The defensive backs, including Lardarius Webb and Tom Zbikowski, made good plays on the ball while it was in the air, and managed to not get called for pass interference even ONCE all day…no small feat for this group here in 2009.
There isn’t a ton to take away from a game like this. It was much better than the 16-0 win in Cleveland a month ago, in that the Ravens totally dominated a terrible team, instead of just holding them off. Still, we can only hope that they are able to execute nearly this well on either side of the ball on days where the other team is actually, ya know…trying.
The win moved them to 7-6, tied with Jacksonville, Miami, and the Jets, all one game behind 8-5 Denver. Jacksonville currently holds the #6 Playoff seed over the Ravens, but they have some tough conference games coming up (Indy, who promises that they will not be resting starters despite locking up the #1 seed this weekend, then @ New England). The Ravens get one more game in the friendly confines of M&T, next week against 5-8 Chicago, before they have to take their Playoff dreams on the road for the season’s final two weeks (and hopefully beyond).
Keep the faith, Purple Maniacs (and fight every urge in your body this Thursday night and ROOT FOR THE COLTS!)