Ravens Grind Titans Into Submission. Protect Home Turf 21-7.

Sports and Bets — November 9, 2014 at 9:09 pm by

It started off ugly for the home Purple on Sunday as the Titans dominated the opening quarter at the Big Crabcake.  The Ravens ran a total of five plays in that opening frame and seemed almost helpless as the Titans dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  The Titans put together two long drives, the first of which ended when the Ravens recovered a fumble by Shonn Greene on the Baltimore one yard line.  The second Tennessee drive ended in a touchdown and suddenly, the heavily favored Ravens were in a quick 7-0 hole.

The Ravens tied the game in the second quarter on a nine yard Justin Forsett run on 4th and 1.  Forsett took the pitch left and beat the linebacker to the edge.  That 7-7 score held to the half and the Ravens went to the locker room followed by a smattering of boos from the Baltimore faithful.

While I myself am not really one to boo the home team- I couldn’t really blame the folks who did for doing so.  The Ravens looked like shit and had definitely come out flat.  It was quite a boo-able moment babes.

But the Titans and their first half were fake- the second half was different.  Actually, to be fair to the defense, for the defense the last three quarters were different.  The Ravens D shut the Titans down for the last 45 minutes of the game.  The Titans had nine possessions in the last three quarters of the game.  Seven of those possessions were three and outs and the Titans’ last possession ended with a waiver-wire stud, Danny Gorrer, interception.  The Ravens defense sacked LSU product and NFL rookie, Zach Mettenberger, five times and completely and utterly dominated the Tennessee offensive unit.  Elvis Dumervil led the way with 2.5 sacks.

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Meanwhile, the offense got out of their funk.  They did it by staying true to the run game.  The Ravens officially ran the ball 34 times, which continues the 30-carry and win stat.  (In every win this season the Ravens have 30 or more rushing attempts.)  This was a meat-grinder of a victory for our beloved home squad.   Joe Flacco was pedestrian at quarterback, going 16/27 for 169 yards and adding beautiful touchdown throw to Torrey Smith in the fourth.  But sweet TD throw or not, Flacco looked a bit off.  The Titans were able to get pressure on him at times and Flacco was affected by it.  He threw off of his back foot a lot and seemed out of sync with his receivers on a lot of throws.  But Joe did settle into a rhythm on the TD drive in the third quarter, hitting four different receivers on the five pass plays of the drive.  He also threw the perfect 32 yard strike to Smith in the beginning of the fourth to essentially seal the game.  Flacco wasn’t perfect, but with the grinding run game and the stout Ravens’ D, he didn’t have to be.  The Ravens won this game not by relying on Joe, but by grinding out the ball on the ground.

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Game Notes

Torrey Smith played his best game of the year.  He had 5 catches for 75 yards.  He  caught several balls on quick slant routes and his 32 yard TD was awesome.  He showed superior speed in getting open and superior strength as he pulled his arm away from Blidi Wreh-Wilson, who was holding it.  It was so 2012 playoff Torrey.  The Ravens need him to emerge down the stretch.

It was nice to Kyle Juszczyk and Marlon brown involved in the game plan.  They both had key catches (Brown had two) in the Ravens’ third quarter TD drive.

Justin Forsett beasted out 112 yards on 20 carries to go along with two TD runs.  This guy has enough speed to get the edge and he can run between the tackles no problem.  He also showed great vision and patience on his 11 yard TD burst in the third quarter.   He is currently third  in the NFL with 721 yards rushing on the season.

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Timmy Jernigan recorded his first sack as a pro.

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Elvis Dumervil in now second in the NFL with 10.5 sacks.  What a monster.  He abused former Raven Michael Oher a few times.  Doooooooooooom.

The secondary was helped tremendously by that Ravens pass rush, but they still played pretty well on their own.  A much tougher test comes after the bye in New Orleans, but  considering what they’ve been through this past week, I’ll take hat I saw out there.  The bye will help this group the most.  Gotta love that Gorrer pick.

The Ravens were awful on third down, going 4/13 and not converting their first one until the third quarter.

The Ravens were helped by a conservative Ken Wisenhunt in the second half.  When you play scared on offense and play not to lose- you usually lose.

Terrence Brooks destroyed Delaney Walker with a tough and legal stick.  Lower the boom.

Delanie Walker Ruled Out With Concussion After Taking Massive Hit

 

The Ravens get a bye and then it’s off to New Orleans.  That will be an interesting match-up to say the least.

Go Ravens!

 

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gif: deadspin

 

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