The Good, The Dilfer, and the Ugly

Trent-dilfer-320x230_mediumA game of Dilfer-esque proportions.  Last night’s game could have easily been one from the 2000 season.  It could have very easily been one of the five games in which we didn’t score an offensive touchdown.  But the Ravens prevailed, the Steelers lost, everybody else in the division is 2-2, so no matter what happens during our bye, we will come out still in first place.  And hopefully everybody will be back healthy, except for Haruki Nakamura who will probably be out another month or so.

Life is good, folks!

(Click on the 'Jump' for more on The Good thru The Ugly)

The Good

Ray Rice.  I said from now on I was going to start with him and I saw nothing last night to make me want to change that.  He may not have had the most productive night, but he still had over a 100 yards from scrimmage and a TD (the ONLY offensive TD for either team…)  If it weren’t for Rodgers, I would say he was having an MVP-like season.  Nice catch and run on the bubble screen; and WOW, what a blitz pickup on the Collinsworth "dong" play…  Don’t know who that Jet was, but he may be sharing a hot tub with Keller…

Have to give Cam a mention.  The Jets were blowing smoke when all week they were saying they were going to focus on Rice.  No, their plan was evident from the start: cover-2 and blitz the stuffin’ out of Joe.  Kind of worked.  Cam switched to the run when our passing game not only wasn’t worth a Confederate Three Dollar Bill, but was actually *hurting* us.  First time in a long time when it seemed like Cam was feeling the ebb and flow of the game and called accordingly.  He may actually be "getting" it.

The defense.  What else can be said?  Accounted for three scores; held the Jets to less than 40 yards rushing; and Sanchez and his receivers were clearly giving up towards the end.  Props to DC Chuck Pagano- he called a great defensive game.  Kept the Jets off-balance the entire game and they could not establish anything.  Notta (Ngata), zippy, zilch.  And Keller wanted no part of Ray-Ray.  Lewis hasn’t gotten into a player’s head that bad since the days of Eddie George…

Hats off to the patchwork secondary.  Webb with a Ed Reed-esque play.  Danny Gorrer had some nice pass defenses –somewhat unexpected since I thought he looked horrible during the pre-season.  So bad, I didn’t think he was going to make the team.  Great pass rush by everybody- Ngata, Suggs, Kruger, McPhee, Redding et al.  The Jets center situation was a frickin’ train wreck and we exploited it like we should have.

Back to Webb: one or two of yous have posted suggesting that Webb should be moved to safety.  After the past two games, I am starting to see the logic in that.  He makes some very most excellent plays as a CB, and then he gets schooled (although last night he played well at CB).  As a few have pointed out, he definitely plays better on the outside.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but playing on the outside he seems to "keep the field in front of him" –does that make sense?  Whereas when he plays the slot, he seems to let the play "overtake him".  He could very easily be a candidate for heir to Reed’s throne.  And with Zbi & Ruki, and possibly Webb in the future our defense could have a plethora of combinations and confusing looks: who is the safety?  Who are the CB’s?  Could make for an interesting possibility in a year or two when Reed finally does hang ‘em up.

The Dilfer

This is easy- Joe.  But then again, a Rex Ryan defense can make *any* QB look silly.   He has done it to Brady, to Rodgers, to Peyton, even Ben.  It’s what The Island & Co. get paid to do, and they are pretty darn good at it.  Joe is going to have bad days.  Just deal with it.  We have an All-Pro RB, and all-time defense, we can make up for it.  Joe gets a pass.  He gets two weeks to get back on track; I have no doubt he will.  In fact, I would not be surprised, given the Texans offense, with or without Johnson, it will be a shootout and Joe will rise to the occasion.

Pass blocking.  Made Flacco look like Dilfer.  Of course, a lot of that was due to Rexy.  I think as the season goes on, it will improve/become more consistent.  All the injuries on our O-Line do not help either.

The Ugly

Special Teams.  They just stunk up the joint.  If we could have just gotten a hand or something on that kickoff return, even with the Jets still scoring a FG, game is over much sooner.  LaQuan Williams, while he did have a nice Special Teams tackle, is still feeling his way on punt returns.  Rookie still has some learning to do.  He will get there.  There is a reason he was an undrafted rookie and it shows at times.  When David Reed comes back from injury, hopefully LaQuan can learn a thing or two.  Down the road, with both of them competing for the return spot, nothing but a good problem to have.  Even Musket Arm was not placing his punts with usual deadly accuracy.  That may have been due to the constant pressure he was feeling as it appeared our punting team had a hard time blocking the Jets rushers.  Seemed like Sam Koch was getting knocked down more than Flacco…

So now a well-deserved bye week in which to get everybody healthy.  Once we get our O-Line solidified, our secondary solidified, Evans back on offense and our rookies in their "proper" roles (i.e. not being asked to do too much), could make for a wonderful run of the last twelve weeks of the regular season.

Houston comes to town in two weeks, hopefully with Andre Johnson not making the trip.  He is just a beast and opens so much up for them offensively.  Much rather face them, err, "Johnson-less" than with, a healthy Johnson…

Be that as it may, cannot wait until we get past the bye as I think the Ravens are starting on a roll that could lead to something very special!  Cue Timbuk 3…

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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