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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Four in a Row

Four uglies in a row. Despite being outplayed in nearly every aspect of the game, Ravens hold on for their fourth ugly win in a Row.

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

If you were able to somehow block out the stadium and crowd noise, one would think that was a road game the Ravens played. They just could not do what they needed to do against the Cowboys, yet somehow came away with a victory. Yet again, I am left scratching my head- did we just win/how did we win?

The Ravens usually operate a little “smoother” at home. But the last two home wins, against the lowly Browns and the extremely inconsistent Cowboys looked and smelled more like road victories than home wins, especially given the recent history of Raven dominance at home.

The Good

The “win”. A win is a win, especially four in a row. Essentially we are tied for first place in the AFC and in theory, because we play the Texans next Sunday, control our own destiny. And all without Mr. Suggs.

Flacco. May not have had the gaudy yards, but he had a much better ballgame than the past two. He only made one bad decision/forced one pass, which thank goodness wasn’t picked. In fact, I thought Joe did a very nice job of getting rid of the football rather than take a sack on a couple of occasions when the there was nothing doing on the play.

Pitta. He catches everything. He could catch a cold in a clean room.

Boldin. He seems to disappear at times, but when he heats up, wow, he can just overtake a game. He has got to be the most bi-polar receiver ever.

Jacoby Jones. You could just feel it that at some point real soon either he or Deonte were going to break a big one.

Chykie Brown. Had a great play on Special Teams and that PI he got –that was tacky at best. Late in a close game, gotta let ‘em play. And he is going to have to keep stepping it up and it looks like we are going to see a lot more of this guy whose name I have hard time remembering how to pronounce.

Cam. He had a great game plan and called a great game. Good mix of pass and run, seemed to keep Dallas guessing on defense. For once I didn’t feel like the opposing DC hadn’t hacked into our QB’s radio headset. Only issue I had and it is a very small nit-pick, is that when we did go deep to Torrey, he was doubled and tripled covered. Teams seem to be hip to that now so we need to adjust accordingly. Not sure if it is even possible, but we need to figure out how to disguise a 9 route… But that is why Cam gets paid to be an OC and not me.

The Bad

The O-line. What a mess. Couldn’t pick up the Dallas blitz to save their life.

Dickson. I don’t care how athletic he is. He can be the TE version of Mega-tron, but he is not getting it done. He is in a “slump” or the football version of it, and he needs to snap out if quickly.

Lack of a pass rush. Hello? Anybody home? Any lights on?

Onside kick. C’mon! We know it’s coming. That was an awful effort.

The Ugly

Third Quarter offense and defense. Really? 1 entire yard for the entire offense for the entire quarter? And how does a team drive for over eight minutes for a touchdown in our house? Have some pride!

Run defense. Words cannot describe how putrid our run defense is right now. When the third and fourth string RB’s average greater than four yards a carry, something is incredibly wrong. Murray was averaging 6.6 yards before he got injured –unacceptable!

Getting off the field on third and fourth and long. Here is a list of long conversion Dallas had: 3rd and 11, 3rd and 7 (we committed a penalty which helped to convert this), 4th and 10, and a 3rd and 27 which Dallas ultimately converted on fourth down. How is that even possible? And the kicker is, there were all in the second half. No NFL defense should ever allow a 3rd and 27 conversion. That is a crime against humanity. Beginning to not like Dean Pees. He is too conservative and good QBs are picking us apart, and he has yet to fix the run defense. When he does bring the pressure, good things happen. Romo’s lone interception was a direct a result of pressure. And the few times we did generate a decent pass rush, Romo was stymied. I understand there is risk in running a high-pressure defense, but we are getting torched playing conservatively. Since we are getting beat anyway, why not at least play for the big play?

The penalties. Glad to see we are still on top/near the top of the league in this category –NOT. Week six fellas- not sure why we are having so many mental lapses. Bet the refs cannot wait until Oakland comes to town. There will be so much laundry on the field, it will look like a Goodwill truck crashed into Laundromat. Coaches have got to fix this NOW. Houston is certainly not going to gift us like they did Green Bay. And what was the deal with the penalty late in the game against Jimmy Smith? It looked like he was taunting the receiver and he gets called for encroachment? What in the blue-blazes was that?

The injuries. Not anybody’s fault, but man, this could be a potentially big problem. Losing Webb, ouch. Ngata may be nicked up. And of course losing Ray. Ray may have lost a step, but there were so many other things he brought to the table.

Houston lost, Pittsburgh lost and Pittsburgh is nearly as banged up as we are. So on that score we are looking pretty sweet. However, losing Webb, with Suggs being out, plus Ngata getting nicked, guys are going to have to step up and step up immediately as the Ravens fly to Houston and we are going to have zero margin for error against the Texans. In my mind, the question is, can the Ravens offense take a step forward and pick up the slack of a porous and now injury depleted defense?