Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
An incredible fourth and long conversation changes the course of the Ravens season. By sheer will alone, with the help of a stupendous block, Ray Rice has the play of the season, if not his career up to this point.
Typical Ravens road game: making a bad QB or a QB having a bad season look like a world-beater, or at least halfway decent. And that is what the Ravens were doing with Philip Rivers, despite pressuring him all day long. And in turn doing zippo on offense.
Yes, that aforementioned play did change the course of the Ravens season. With the win, the Ravens have put a stranglehold on the division. You could almost hear the wind go out of Pittsburgh’s balloons when Young Tuck’s sailed through the uprights in the San Diego early evening breeze. With the win, the Ravens stay on track for a bye in the playoffs and within striking range of Texans should they stumble.
Have to give it to Rice and Boldin. Lots of other players deserve credit, but a special Good this week has to go to Rice Boldin. Boldin, with his peel-back block that sealed the deal; and Rice for his sheer determination to get the first down. Even with the agonizing review delay, their seemed to be an air of inevitability about the play, the drive and now, -the season. Rice and Boldin deserve The Good the week.
Just the drops. Too many. If that had been corrected, along with a few other things, we win this game easily.
After a win like this, what is the point of an Ugly? But the penalties, which I thought we corrected, seem to be back. It seems like guys get fatigued, lose their composure, lose their concentration and then do something brain-numbingly stupid. I just don’t get it. Week 12, this is a veteran team –this shouldn’t be happening. Again, the Ravens catch the ball and we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties, we win this going away.
I know I only had one Good this week, but there are a lot of honorable mentions. First, the pass rush was phenomenal! I am sure some of had to do with San Diego’s putrid O-line, but the guys upfront still deserve most of the credit- Kruger, Jones and Ngata all had outstanding games. Also, have to tip my hat to Pees. Rivers (Rivers?!?!?!) was having his way with us the first half, even with picking himself up off the turf every other play. But Pees made adjustments at halftime and pretty much shut down San Diego’s offense the last three quarters. Pees may yet prove useful…
Flacco was not exactly a thing of beauty. But the key was no turnovers. He seemed to be off on some of his passes –uncharacteristically so. But here is the bottom line: he won. He did just enough to win by not making the big mistake. In the NFL, winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing. Flacco is the epitome of that.
Have to give up for Pitta. I didn’t think the guy was going to play and he carried the offense at times. He catches everything- he could catch the roadrunner with a pair of Acme tweezers…
Young Tuck- straight and true. In terms of new additions this season, I keep going back and forth between him and Jacoby. And how about Special Teams with a timely return late in the game? The offense got all the press early on about being “new and improved”, but the big delta this season has been with Special Teams.
And now Pittsburgh the next go-round. While I expect a Ravens win, it will not be easy. Doesn’t matter who is injured, who the Steelers quarterback is, this will be a slugfest. Pittsburgh may concede the division, but they will not go easily into the night. If Ben gets healthy, they would *love* to face us the first week of the playoffs, even if it is at our place –especially if we didn’t get a playoff bye because we could not sweep them.
After a win like this, one might think it would be tough for a team to get back up emotionally. But this is “Steeler Week”, so we should have no problem prepping for this game. I fully expect a close game this Sunday- potentially a classic in the making. And what would be sweeter than sweeping the Steelers two years in a row and potentially severely damaging their playoff hopes?