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The Good, The Good and The Good

Wow.  I just cannot predict jack this season. O-fer on my Vegas picks; totally misread yesterday’s game. I figured it would be an ugly seven point Raven win, not a masterpiece.

At least the Ravens let us know early which Ravens team was showing up.  Again, don’t think the Rams had a prayer even before the opening kick-off.

(Click on the 'Jump' to read The Good, The Bad & The, ..what Ugly?)

The Good

Ray Rice.  Just going to start every one of these each week with just his name.  No need for anything else.  Oh, maybe at some point we can dub him a new nickname: Ray "Prosthesis" Rice, due the fact so many defenders need ankle replacements...  I think he broke two of them on one run alone...

The Rams would get us in a third-and-six or -eight, you could see it on their faces, "Okay, we stop them here, we get the ball back, we can get back in this thing..." then we would throw a screen to Rice for 12, 15 yards.  Just back breakers...

The O-line.  While not perfect, much, much better.  Flacco had plenty of time, most of the time, which is all you can ask for.  And the run blocking created just enough creases for Ray and Ricky to exploit.  Did a nice job forcing the defense to go one way while Joe rolled the other; did just enough to disguise screens.

Torrey "Only Catches LLOONNGG Touchdowns" Smith.  Where did this guy come from?  What happened to the guy who seemed hesitant and confused during training camp, dropping a few balls along the way?  Give credit where it is due: he had a *historical* rookie debut, no two ways about it.  Whatever he did in last week's practices, don't stop.  Don't change.  Just fly.  Yes, his third touchdown was a nice jump ball grab, but I was more impressed by his first touchdown in which he caught a bomb (what, 40, 50 yards in the air?), fought off the defender and stayed in bounds.  If you look, he is in by inches and then the acceleration was just mind blowing; all the while in full stride.  Ever try to catch a football while running in full stride?  Not easy.  Now try that after it has been in the air for forty - fifty yards.  Because of the downward trajectory at that point, the ball is actually *accelerating* towards you, is spinning, and probably has a little bit of a wobble.  Like trying to catch a bowling pin launched out of a slingshot...  I honestly thought Doss would have the breakout game and Smith would have a few bumps along the road; not the other way around.

Why did we acquire Boldin?  Because he is one of the strongest receivers out there.  He is able to get his body in such a position as to shield the defender from the ball, even in extremely tight windows, and is able to out muscle his way to the ball.  It seemed like half his receptions yesterday were either going to be incompletes or picks, but Boldin was able to somehow come up with the ball.  Granted TV doesn't show everything, but it just seemed like Flacco was getting the ball into the tiniest of windows with Boldin.

Dickson continues to build- solid game from him.  Pitta seems snake-bit.  Seems like more of his plays get called back due to penalties, or a defender gets a fingernail on the ball at the last moment -just some unlucky breaks for the poor guy.

More rookies: LaQuan Williams.  Had his ups and downs.  Beautiful block on the Boldin screen.  Had a nice kickoff return; second one, not so.  Got called for PI.  Typical rookie debut, but mostly positive to build on, with definite "teaching moments".  I see bright things for the "other" Maryland receiver.  Would love to have the "Terp Tandem" making plays down the line.  Allen getting a few real, NFL reps.  Running hard.  Future is so bright I gotta wear shades...

Cam.  Way to come out firing!  And we kept it up!  I think at one point we were like 5-to-1 pass to run ratio or something ridiculous...  Cam thought the Rams would think that we would come out grinding, so we did the exact opposite- brilliant!  Cam did a great job this week drawing up the game plan and then calling the plays.  Earned his paycheck as he did what a "good" OC should do and didn't try to "out cute" his opponent.  Solid performance, this cannot be overstated.

Okay, soapbox time: What is it with some fans?  I think too many people have too much "Madden" on the brain.  Unless we win by 40+ and Joe completes 70% of his passes and five TD's...  Yes, it is the Rams, but they are still professionals, being paid millions of dollars.  Exhibit A: the Rams only touchdown was a thing of beauty- Bradford, scrambling on the run throws a beautiful rainbow to the back of the endzone where only his guy can make a play on it.  Williams would have needed to have been eight feet tall with a seventy inch vertical to defend that pass...  There are maybe a handful of guys who can make that play- Vick (sans broken hand) and Ben.  Brees, Brady and Peyton can't scramble like that, so they would have been sacked on that play.   Maybe Rivers, Stafford and maybe Joe.  I do not believe Matty or Josh Freeman could have made that play.  This wasn't against the XFL All-Stars, this was against an NFL team.  Remember that.

Joe will have his ups and downs.  Most likely way more ups.  Even great QB's have lousy days- see Brady yesterday and Ben Week1 and Week 3.  Joe took advantage of a lesser defense -just like he is supposed to.  And let's face it; we let up off the gas, but not in a bad way.  I think the offense honestly got bored once the game got out of hand.  Could have scored a heck of a lot more.

Joe played one of his best road games.  Ever.  Moved around the pocket; made chicken soup out of scraps a few times.  What's not to like?   Yeah, the rush-fumble may have cost Cundiff the first FG, but big deal...

The defense, just outstanding.  Ray-Ray with the 'strip-fumble-Haloti-rumbl.,' Secondary redeemed itself.  Amazing what a good pass rush can do for ya.

Suggs is making a statement about who he thinks DPOY should be this season.  Can't say I can argue with him.  Ironically, his own teammate Ngata could force a vote recount...

Ngata.  Worth every penny.  That ball bounced perfectly into his belly.  It was as if the gravitational pull of Haloti's stomach attracted the smaller orbiting pigskin...  Not much escapes Haloti's belly -kind like a black hole.  And a nifty move to elude the O-lineman's ankle-biter tackling attempt.  The big man moves like Fred Astaire (well, if Fred Astaire weighed 300+ pounds, and had a seventy pound rucksack on his back...)

The Bad

The what?  But seriously, this is really nit-picking.  Injuries to 'Ruki and Torrey.  Hope the 'Ruki MRI is negative.  The latter appears to be cramps, but he did seem a little gimpy.  Speed and gimpy do not mix well...  Ren and Stimpy on the other hand...

And what was up with that challenge?  Game is over.  Play it out.  Get home.  Prepare for the Jets.

Kind of scratching my head with the late game subs and lack thereof.  Okay, Rice took a powder early, check.  But then the O-line subs at the end with Flacco still in?  One defender breaks free, and Flacco's season is over (and ours also).  If Flacco really needed the work, keep Oher in there to protect Joe.  Put Jah Reid in?  Then put Taylor in for gosh sake.  Taylor gets kilt, okay we deal, but season not over.

The Ug-

Torrey Smith erased it before I had a chance to publish it...

Sunday night, the Jets: loud, boorish, just plain rude actually.  Should be a great game- Prime Time nationally televised, probably as tough a game as any this season so far.  Jets are going to try to match us physically, ‘cause that is Rex's style.  Should be an almost Pittsburgh-esque slugfest.  Good barometer for the Ravens as two wins in a row, one against a quality opponent, the Jets, and one on the road, would serve notice to the rest of the league that Week 1 was no fluke; we are for real, and Brady's uggs are not the only story in the NFL...

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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