BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 23: Linebacker Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens argues a call with a replacement referee in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore Ravens won, 31-30. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Last night the Baltimore Ravens got, what I call "timely pass rush". That is, they tightened up their spikes on big plays and flat out over powered the man in front of them, when they needed to.
Unfortunately, for the rest of the game Tom Brady could have set up a picnic in the pocket, eaten a sandwich, washed it down with an iced tea and still thrown for 300+ yards and a touchdown. What's the deal man? where are all the exotic pressure schemes that Dean Pees promised after preseason but before the season? It seemed like the only time the Ravens got the pressure they needed was when they were like"screw the play-call, let's just beat our man and sack this guy.
Courtney Upshaw continued to show promise against the run and as a pass rusher. Haloti Ngata made some big plays when he "unleashed the beast" and you can see the talent in Pernell McPhee and Paul Kruger at times when they are used correctly but come on man where is the pressure?Now, it could be that Pees was facing his old team and they knew what kind of defensive schemes he was going to run. It could be that Tom Brady was used to facing a dean Pees defense in practice but when you look at how our defense performed against New England last season in the playoffs and look at how they did last night, there is a definite difference especially pressure wise. Yes we did have Terrell Suggs that game but he wasn't exactly tearing it up against the New England offensive line.
Let's give credit where credit is due however, the Patriots offensive line is very very good.and they had the perfect blocking schemes designed for the perfect situations against Baltimore. Again the referees were abysmal but we didn't even force that many holding calls on the Patriots offensive line.
So, the question is, is it the schemes to blame or the players or not having the correct schemes for the players we have? We were told all preseason that we should not worry about our pass rush because the schemes we were running were vanilla and it would all change come regular season but I haven't seen much of a change and it has shown up in the secondary where the likes of Cary Williams are getting exposed as nothing but average defensive backs. I wonder if Cary wishes he had taken that contract offer when he still had it on the table. Oh yeah, where was Danny Gorrer when we needed him by the way? That's right, we cut him for a safety who gave up 138 yards to a no name tight end last week and now he is helping Seattle become a force to be reckoned with in the NFC. I guess if there is one thing we did it was contain Rob Gronkowski for a second time and that is no small feat. I haven't re-watched all the tape yet but I'm sure we have Bernard Pollard to thank for that.
Let's try and find some answers this week against the Cleveland Browns. The theme of this game should be a heft dose of pass rush on their rookie quarterback. The rest should take care of it';s self with Joe Flacco and the offense... Speaking of Joe, can you imagine if he had that much time to throw the ball? Wow, he may actually be the best quarterback in the league if that were to happen.