AHHHH!!!! It’s attack of the really nice shiny happy people. How come we keep doing this to ourselves? It is beyond maddening. Everybody knew it was coming. Everybody kept reminding us, everybody kept saying the right things all week: players, coaches, media, yet for some inexplicable reason we still went out and with supreme fidelity, laid yet another egg to a woeful, and I mean this with no disrespect, but a truly woeful team. Seahawks have a bright future? Sure. But currently, blleeecchhh…
Dickson. The guy is coming into his own. Had a phenomenal game.
Pass blocking. Granted Seattle has zippy pass rush, but it was nice to see Flacco relatively un-harassed, except for one very well designed and executed blitz. And credit Flacco for eating the ball in that situation and not fumbling. I know, QB’s are supposed to “get rid of it” when they are about to get sacked, but sometimes even that is not possible it happens so quick. And rather than cough it up, he held onto it. Progress.
Raven penalties. Nary had a one called against us where I felt as in recent weeks, where did that come from. Reed’s may have been a little ticky-tacky, but I believe the rules are very specific about what you can and cannot do with a football vis-à-vis an opposing player at the end of a play –so I am not really all that upset with the refs on that one. Overall, I do not believe we had any false start/encroachment (and if we did it was only one or two), only one or two holding (if that many), and only one or two defensive PI/illegal contact that I can recall.
Joe Flacco. His accuracy was just off. He missed a couple of open deep shots and he missed a couple of crossing patterns, badly, and he missed a slant –how does an NFL QB miss a slant? Unless the defender knocks the ball away, one of the easiest throws to complete.
Cundiff; or maybe the wind or both. Missed two FG’s and his kickoffs were short. Hard to tell from my 12” B&W with rabbit ears how bad the wind was.
While the pass blocking was good, the overall passing game in general. Flacco’s inaccuracy as mentioned above, plus the overall ineffectiveness of the passing game.
Why did we abandon the run so quickly? Down by 10 in the first half? Quick! Time to panic! What gives with that? Ten points down –big deal. Still plenty of time in the game to establish the run, and run effectively.
Look out, Cam found the end-around pages from the playbook that we tried to hide underneath raven’s couch cushions. Interesting call, but I would have rather kept that little two play sequence in our back pocket for when we really needed it- like during the playoffs. Same thing with the Rice flea-flicker. Yes, we scored, but that is the kind of play you save for the playoffs or when you gotta have a two-point conversion.
Overall, the coaching was just bad today- from preparation to in-game work. In addition to inexplicably abandoning the run, Harbs basically needed boxcars, a 1-in-36 chance, on that challenge and came up snake-eyes. He holds onto that TO, we might have a chance to maybe get the ball back and launch a Hail Mary or two.
The defense. Cannot recall the last time I watched a game and thought, “…boy our defense is having a bad day…” And they were. Our pass rush… looked like the Seahawk pass rush… We needed one big stop/one big turnover/one big defensive play and they could not generate it. How do you let a team convert a first and 20 deep in their own end? And then, how do you not stop them from getting a first down when you really needed it? Everybody, even the Russian Cosmonauts floating above, knew Lynch was getting the ball. This game reminded me of the 2006 playoff loss to Indy when our defense needed a three-and-out and couldn’t deliver. And how do you leave the #2 TE and Lynch that open coming off the line/out of the backfield? Fine, leave them open, but you better get to the QB.
And it appears to these eyes that Ngata is playing injured and is not 100% effective. He may need a game or two to get well because we have been getting very little production out of him recently. Ed Reed has become Claude Rains so I am wondering if he is hurt also.
David Reed. Not one, but two fumbles; and the cherry on top- a personal foul. What have you got to talk about? WHY ARE YOU JAWING WITH AN OPPSING PLAYER WHEN YOU ARE PLAYING LIKE DOGGY DONUTS? Many fans have thought David Reed would be really good. Was willing to give him some time, but not seeing it. LaQuan showed promise, but then the reality of real games hit. However, there seems to be a little something there that Reed does not have. Torrey Smith could be, *could* be, very special. Reed had a good season last season returning, but I am not seeing it this year; and I am not seeing the ability receiving either. Maybe it is time he sits and Doss gets a chance. We have plenty of options for kickoff returns. Reed has been passed by Smith on the depth chart. Assuming Evans gets healthy that means he is at best, currently our #4 receiver. We have Doss and LaQuan, either of which can do fine as the #4. Unless David cures cancer or saves the Earth from a crashing meteorite in the next few weeks, he may need, and get, a change of scenery.
Everybody keeps comparing this defense with the 2000 defense. Poppycock. It is not even as good as the 2006 defense. This team, right now, isn’t even as good overall as the 2006 team. Can they turn it around? Absolutely. But I am beginning to think that turning it around may require something more than tweaks.
Winning on the road in the NFL is one of the hardest things to do in all of sports, and “The Clink” may be one of the most hostile venues imaginable. Having said that, this team needs to learn how to fight through these things and beat the teams we are supposed to beat on the road. There is a good chance we will not have the #1 AFC seed and so we will most likely have to face at least one very good team on the road in the playoffs. We are 2 – 3 on the road; 3 – 5 overall on the road at the end of the season will not cut it. Currently three loses hurts as we gotta go at least 12 - 4. 11 – 5 may only be good enough for #6 WC and could be on the outside looking in. 11 – 5 probably will not win the division.
Lucky for us, nobody else in the AFC probably feels *real* comfortable with their teams. Yeah, Houston has won four in a row, but they are notorious faders down the stretch. Many a gambler has been lured by the Sirens’ call that is the Texans, only to be dashed against the Anthemoessian rocks that is Houston football in December. Patriots’ defense is a farce. Pittsburgh has issues. Cincy has part II of their SAT’s this Sunday, so in short, the AFC picture is quite muddled at this time. The AFC West is this year’s… NFC West… Watch the Jets implode; in fact, the implosion may well be under way…
And now we have Cincy with their kryptonite-laced 4-3 Cover-2 defense. We lose, we are in trouble. We win, even convincingly, not sure that really sheds light on anything new with this team. I know- one game at a time, but we need to put together a nice three game roll where we beat teams, not necessarily convincingly, but well enough so that most observers can say, “…yeah, they deserved to win…”