The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Whatever...

Andy Lyons

Ravens "lose" meaningless last game of the regular season in Cincinnati.

Would have been nice to win, but hey, whatever... Not sure about the injuries sustained, but it seemed as if Leach got nicked -don't know how serious and hopefully he will be ready to go next Sunday. Ditto with KO.

Game felt very weird. It looked, smelled, sounded like a preseason game, but wasn't. Very strange watching this in late December...

The Good

Kruger. Put a nice exclamation point on a solid regular season.

Ed Dickson. Good to get him some catches to hopefully build his confidence up.

Pierce. Ran hard and has definitely improved his decision making with regard to picking and hitting the hole.

Fourth down conversions. We converted three of them today. Yup, definitely a preseason game...

The Ravens 2nd string offense against the Bengals starters. At times, was able to move the ball and score. Other times- looked like a 2nd string offense. Also, Tyrod Taylor showed why he is a backup today.

Young Tuck. He missed a 45 yarder but came back and made a 49 yarder late in the game. Rather him get the miss out of him now. But the real reason he gets a good is that he set the NFL record for field goal percentage by a rookie - 91% (30 for 33). For reference, Stover was a career 84% (hit 73% not just his rookie season, but his first three seasons); Stover had 4 out of 19 seasons at or above 90%; Stover only hit about 2 out 3 on average 40+ yards; Tucker hit them at an 87% clip this season.

The Bad

Koch. I don't know who was punting today, but it was not Koch. Couldn't have been. Those punts were el-stinko... He did redeem himself with the fake punt fourth down run for third down.

Jimmy Smith. He is obviously hobbled by the injuries. Against legitimate #1 receivers in top-flight playoff offenses, he is a liability this year. I would shut him down, let him heal for next season. The young guys- Chykie, Chris Johnson, et al, have shown me enough. Yes, we all envisioned that by now it would be Webb and Jimmy as our starting corners by this time in the season. Gotta go to Plan B now and that means we will live and die by Cary & Co. throughout the playoffs.

The Ugly

The penalties. At times, a sloppy and lackadaisical game by the Ravens. The root of our execution issues is focus and the lack thereof. I am convinced that when all 11 guys on the field are able to maintain focus, they execute better than their opponents. But when guys free lance, take liberties and lose focus, it bites us hard. You cannot give a Peyton or Brady 15 extra yards. Ever. They will cash that in every time.

Chuck Pagano has been a very heartwarming story. And he was a great Raven coach -my hat is off to him. But I still hate Indy with a passion that runs as deep Huxley. What that ownership did- a horrendous act. My second most painful sports memory was losing to Indy in the 2006 playoffs. (Jeffrey Maier being my third most painful). Let's face it- Irsay made a deal with the devil. To basically get away with what he did to Baltimore, get Peyton and then go from Peyton to Andrew Luck, with just one bad season to show for it. A deal with the devil is the only logical explanation. I'm sorry, but the cosmological karma is way out of balance on this one. It pains me to realize that sometimes the bad guys come out on top.

To borrow from the late Al Davis, Just win baby. In NFL, all that matters is winning. I don't need a six touchdown thrashing, just a simple victory is all I ask for. I don't need Suggs to "welcome" the rook to the NFL playoffs or Ngata to reign o'er all of Indy's first born. Just beat 'em, and go to the next playoff game.

Go RAVENS!

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