A Much Needed Win

Sports and Bets — November 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm by

To say the Ravens had to have the game yesterday against the Titans would be a huge understatement. The 21-7 victory came with other week 10 gifts, as the Steelers lost to the 1-8 Jets and Cleveland knocked off Cincy. Ironically, the Ravens still will have to stew over the fact that they are in last place in the division during their week off.
The first quarter definitely did not go the Ravens way, as the Titans held the ball almost the entire quarter. The first drive the defense could not get off the field on third down, as they surrendered five first downs. But true to form, the stout Raven red zone defense was able to create a turnover on the goaline and stop the Titans.¬†After three runs and a punt by the Ravens, backed up deep in their territory, the Titans put four more first downs together. They scored on a very nifty play from the three yard line. That was the last time all day the Titans mounted anything against the Ravens’ defense. From that point on, they sacked Mettenberger five times, four of which came from the combo of Suggs and Dumervil. It’s imperative going forward that those two are constantly creating pressure on the quarterback to help out this secondary.

I was impressed with Danny Gorrer, as I thought he held up pretty well on the outside. Ironically, it wasn’t the outside corners the Titans were attacking in the passing game, but over the middle. Early in the game Delanie Walker was having success working the intermediate routes over the middle. Anthony Levine, a safety by trade, also got some time at corner and did a decent job. The Ravens corners held the Titans receivers to just 7 catches for 100 yards. Granted, they will have a much tougher task heading to the Bayou in two weeks, but it’s a start.

Timmy Jernigan is coming along nicely after an injury derailed the first part of his season. He is acclimating himself nicely to playing the five technique on run downs in the rotation. He also registered his first sack of the season. Haloti Ngata is back playing at his usual pro bowl caliber style. The Ravens only gave up 68 yards on the ground yesterday, and Ngata was credited with a forced fumble.

Offensively it’s funny to note that Joe Flacco went 16-27, exactly the same line as Zack Mettenberger. On a day where the Ravens were able to run the ball consistently, Joe didn’t have to do much. He didn’t do much, which leaves me a little worried going forward. That kind of painfully mediocre performance may win games against bad teams, but it won’t win you games against decent teams. The Ravens need to pull themselves together and get things fixed on this bye week. The passing game has become a bit stale over the past three weeks, and the pass protection has come under fire. Although Flacco was only sacked once yesterday, he did take quite a few hits.¬†Justin Forsett enjoyed a great day rushing 20 times for 112 yards and two scores. The Ravens ran the ball a total of 31 times, as Bernard Pierce got back into action carrying 8 times for 31 yards. Taliaferro was obviously being punished for his costly fumble last week, as he only saw late action.

Torrey Smith had a nice day, grabbing 5 balls for 75 yards and a touchdown. He is still only averaging under 45 yards a game, but he does lead the league in drawing pass interference penalties. It was nice to see Kyle Juszczyk get back involved in the passing game. He added three catches for 26 yards, and I feel like when he gets going in the passing game it’s a huge boost to the rest of the offense.

In the end a win is a win and a 14 point win in the NFL is nothing to balk at. I just know that this team isn’t there yet if they want to compete in the playoffs and beyond. I remember losing four of five games limping into the playoffs just a few short years ago, and we all remember how that turned out. Coach Harbaugh and staff need to get this thing turned around, and going in the right direction. I do still believe they have it in them.

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