The Ravens bounced back in a big way today and trounced a team that is in a huge spiral at the moment in the St.Louis Rams.
Baltimore did what they had to this week as they threw out the usual offensive game plan and on defense made Sam Bradford’s life a living nightmare for sixty minutes.
Lots to discuss about this much needed road victory.
- Torrey Smith. Yes, I’ve been critical of him but then again who hasn’t. Today he proved that he can play in the NFL and that his speed is a major asset in this offense. I was impressed that Cam Cameron called Smith’s number early and often and he responded by helping the Ravens jump up three scores in the First Quarter. For a struggling team who was hoping to get well at home the Rams simply never recovered. I also am positive, though not certain that Smith now has to hold some rookie record for having his first three pro receptions recorded as touchdowns. Amazing.
- Joe Flacco. After listening and then turning off Baltimore talk radio this week as the Flacco bashers were out in droves the Ravens fanbase was reminded that they have a pretty good quarterback in the Jersey native today. He showed excellent arm strength and touch on his touchdown tosses. He also remembered that he can scramble and use his slippery mobility to gain first downs. Is he good enough to win a Super Bowl? Doug Williams, Eli Manning, and Phil Simms all have rings – you tell me. You don’t have to be Tom Brady to win a championship.
- I’d love to hear the explanation as to why Flacco was still chucking the ball around late in the Fourth Quarter as Baltimore was up multiple scores. Forget sportsmanship I’m more concerned about injury to your Quarterback in garbage time. I held my breath on the Rams strip-sack of Flacco late in the game.
- The Ravens defense was back to it’s swarming self under Chuck Pagano. By the time they were finished with Sam Bradford he looked like he would have rather had a route canal than have to stand under center for another series. I think Bradford will be a very good quarterback one day but he still has a lot to learn.
- It was a good idea sitting Domonique Foxworth this week. Chris Carr gave his usual solid performance while Cary Williams was hit or miss most of the day. Ultimately I think Jimmy Smith (if he ever gets healthy) and Chris Carr should be the starting corners with Williams or Lardarius Webb fighting for the Nickel spot. But I can see why Pagano likes Williams. He has good size and always seems to be moving.
- If anyone wants to ask if Haloti Ngata deserved his huge extension then just ask them to watch his touchdown run from today’s game. Nimble feet and unique athleticism for a man of his immense size. His rugby training has served him well througout his career.
- Cam Cameron’s gameplan was just what the doctor ordered. It would have been easy to just lean on the run against a defense who has had trouble stopping anyone on the ground. Instead they attacked the Rams secondary and let Torrey Smith do what he does best – run past defenders. It was clear from Coach Spagnuolo’s comments that they were shocked that the Ravens slung it around they way they did. Take what the defense gives you. It sounds so simple doesn’t it and it turned out that way today.
- The officiating crew looked lost during the First Half today. I was waiting for the famous – “He was giving him the business” call from the University of Maryland game.
- Andre Gurode played Left Guard for the first time in his career and did a decent job. He was probably better in pass protection then as a run blocker. Mark Levior was Inactive this week, much like his play against the Titans. Michael Oher had two penalties- again.
- So who are the Baltimore Ravens? They are tied atop with the AFC North with the Browns and probably the Steelers at this point. So they are contenders so far in their division and in the conference. Next week should be an excellent test in prime time as Sexy Rexy returns to Baltimore. This time he’s allowed to call Time Outs.
- (EXTRA POINT) Memo to John Harbaugh- Please don’t let Ray Lewis talk you into throwing a challenge flag in the 4th Quarter up 30 points. It looks cheap. The play wasn’t that close and the Ravens were going to get the ball anyway since it was 4th down.