As a Ravens fan, I can say that I’m quite thankful for the abundance of prime-time games lately (although we lost to the Falcons and Steelers in 2 nail-biters). Tonight will be another showdown involving the Ravens, but unlike the previous prime-time Ravens games (@NYJ, @ATL, PIT), this one shouldn’t be too close. Houston’s offense has some great players, but with the way that the Ravens defense has been playing, I don’t see the Texans scoring over 20 (that’s saying a lot). Now, on the other hand, after such a devastating loss to the Steelers last week, most of which has been blamed on the offense and Cam Cameron, the Ravens will come out with as much offensive firepower as they can muster. Considering every skill player has been to the Pro Bowl (Boldin, Mason, Houshmandzadeh, Heap, Rice, McGahee, McClain), it’s about time for the Ravens to get their offensive act together. Thankfully, the Houston defense is a nice and soft opponent to get the motor churning. Flacco and the Ravens take to the air and win 28-17.
*Disclaimer* Yes, I’m a Ravens fan, and I’m currently wearing my Ed Reed jersey as I write this, but come on! Would you put money on the Texans to win it? At least I used a picture of the Texans for the post!
*Update* To be fair, my prediction was accurate until about halfway through the 4th quarter. The Ravens came out storming and put up 28 points with ease. Then, just like they’ve done for the entirety of 2010, the Ravens made sure the game stayed close, giving the Texans hope with long, draining scoring drives. After tying it up, the pass rush dominated in OT and forced Schaub to throw an interception for a TD. Ravens won 34-28, in what shouldn’t have been a nail-biter.
Ravens fall to the Falcons 26-21
I woke up today feeling sick. Not 100% sure it’s from watching last night’s game, riding the roller coaster called the Ravens defense, but I’m about 87% sure that’s it. As nauseated as I am, here are my thoughts on a great Thursday Night Football game: Continue reading
Posted in NFL
Tagged Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison, Haloti Ngata, Joe Flacco, John Harbaugh, Matt Ryan, NFL Network, Referees, TNF
The Baltimore Ravens, after 9 weeks of the 2010 NFL season, are the best team in the entire league. Think about it. The offense has developed far beyond anything any Ravens team has ever had, and it even continues to develop after Flacco was dismantled in week 2 by the Bengals (he has the highest QB-rating since week 3). But more importantly, the defense is healthy, gelling, and finally playing to its notorious potential. Statistics may say otherwise, but everything about this Ravens’ team indicates league superiority. The Ravens have beaten the NY Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, while barely losing a 10-point lead to the New England Patriots in Foxborough after their bye. And I don’t mean to make excuses for the Ravens’ losses, but if the Ravens were to see any team on a neutral field (i.e.: Super Bowl), I’d have full confidence they would pull out a victory…
Now, the most important part of that last sentence is the words “neutral field.” Tonight, the Ravens square off against the Falcons in Atlanta, where the Falcons are currently 4-0 in the season. I could list a bunch of other statistics regarding the Falcons’ home dominance, but I’m sure if you’ve heard anything about tonight’s game, you’ve already heard all of them. On a neutral field, I can easily say the Ravens would win 4 out of 5 games against the Falcons, but because the game is in Atlanta, I’m hesitant to confidently pick either team to win. Now, I think where the Ravens have the edge is their defensive unit. Regardless of how good Matt Ryan is in the Georgia Dome, Ed Reed is one of those players that will be one of the, if not the, most important factor(s) to consider.
I’m a proud Ravens fan, but I’m approaching this game as neutrally as possible… it’s a good thing Ravens win when things are neutral! I see Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, and Ed Reed making the difference in this game. Flacco & Ryan and Rice & Turner will cancel each other out. Ravens win 27-23.
*Update* Well, wasn’t that wishful thinking? Flacco and Ryan did cancel each other out, and Rice actually won the RB battle, but where the game slipped away was actually where I thought the Ravens had an advantage: DEF. Suggs stepped his game up, but Lewis and Reed both didn’t play their best games. We can point fingers at the Ravens CBs, who are finally starting to solidify themselves as liabilities, but as an entire defense, we weren’t good enough to stop the Falcons. Valiant effort by the Ravens, but not enough to stop a stellar performance by Matt Ryan and Roddy White. Falcons won 26-21.