Ravens’ New Offense Stinks Up First Half, Ravens Drop Opener To Bungles

Featured, Sports and Bets — September 7, 2014 at 11:42 pm by

After Joe Flacco floundered and chucked away the first half in one of the worst quarterback plays I have ever seen, my phone vibrated with a text.  It read, “Shit ain’t changed from last year, not one bit.”  My Grandmother had hit the nail on the head, shit hadn’t changed.  The Ravens offense in the first half looked stale, beleaguered and outclassed, just like they had in 2013.  Flacco looked awful, throwing a pick and throwing passes to no one on some plays. And his lack of awareness and his pathetic roll out that culminated with a falling down flop and throw while time expired in the second quarter, cost the Ravens points and made everyone wonder if Scott Mitchell was done with the Biggest Loser. But even when Flacco was on target, the Ravens’ skill players rewarded him with drops or poorly run routes.  Steve Smith looked like Steve Shit in his first two quarters as a Ravens, dropping passes and looking lost.  He wasn’t the only one, Jacoby Jones dropped a ball and played poorly in the return game, and Torrey Smith did his best David Copperfield imitation and disappeared himself from the football field entirely.

r dc

The running game also got off to a poor start.  Bernard Pierce wasn’t breaking tackles and then fumbled in the second quarter on the Ravens’ 20 yard line on a first down run.  The Bengals recovered and Pierce earned himself a spot on the bench.  (And on the bench he stayed, Pierce didn’t see another snap.) He finished the half with 6 carries for 14 yards.  There were no holes to run through and when their were, Pierce couldn’t escape tackles from linebackers and safeties.   It was an ugly 30 minutes.

Yet despite the hideous offensive football and the field-shortening turnovers, the defense kept the Ravens in the game, holding the Cincinnati offense to five field goals.  Cincinnati Offensive Coordinator didn’t help his own cause by calling some weird plays on several third downs, including a QB draw from the Baltimore four on a third and goal play in the first quarter.  The Ravens couldn’t get a ton of pressure on Andy Dalton, but the run D was stout and the bend but don’t break-philosophy worked well in stalling drives and causing big incompletions on several Bengal third downs.  Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t uphold their end of the bargain in the first half.

Sound familiar?

r fl sack

Bu the second half was  different for the purple offense.  Steve Smith emerged, finishing with 7 catches for 118 yards, including an 80 yard TD bomb in which he bitch-armed Pac Man Jones on his way to the house.  Dennis Pitta caught a shit-ton of passes (10-83), and Torrey Smith, Owen Daniels, and  even Kamar Aiken all made nice plays and contributions.  And Flacco found his rhythm.  Whether you love the guy or not, you gotta admit that Joe has an extremely short memory and he remains calm, cool, and collected no matter what the circumstance.  Dude doesn’t get rattled.  That allows for big comebacks and big plays, and for a while the game had a Ravens’ comeback, and win, feel to it.  Joe would finish with 345 yards and 35 completions, and the bomb to Smith Sr. gave the Black Birds the lead in the fourth quarter. But the Bengals would answer with a TD bomb to AJ Green and the Ravens’ final drive would fall short at the Cincy 16 yard line after Flacco was sacked twice to end the game.  So while the Ravens recovered offensively, it wasn’t enough after the incredibly poor and ineffective start. Too little, too late, babes.  The slow starts need to stop.

Sound familiar?

The Steve Smith Sr. TD.   Ice Up, Son!

ss

 

Game Notes and Thoughts

Justin Forsett played well in spelling the benched Pierce.  Forsett finished with a touchdown and 70 yards rushing on eleven carries.  He also caught five passes for 14 yards.  His good play coincided with the Ravens offensive turn around.  OC Gary Kubiak abandoned the run for a bit in the first half, but recommitted to the ground game in the second half.  It paid off, giving the offense some complexity and allowing Joe to work off of some play action.

Kyle Jusczcyk and Marlon Brown were not involved in the offense, which was surprising.  Brown, to me, is a better receiving option than Jones, and Jusczcyk was deeply involved in the passing game in preseason.  Neither got nary a sniff on Sunday.

r kyle

CJ Mosely was real solid in his debut.  The defense as a whole, if it can stay healthy, will improve as the year goes on.  A top five ranking may not be out of the question.

This game was a weird game to figure.  I couldn’t tell if the game featured two good teams playing each other in a slobberknocker, of if there were two average teams out there playing each other for early season control of an average division.  Time will tell.

While many will call the final stats fake and they will poo-poo the second half play of the Ravens, I won’t dismiss it so easily.  The Ravens offense pulled a complete 180 and made the game an interesting one. The Ravens offense dominated a very good defense in the second half, opening running lanes while Flacco spread the ball around to multiple receivers in rhythm. Add the signature Flacco bomb, and it was a productive final 30 minutes of offensive football. (Of course the last two plays of the game sucked and it was a comeback that came up short, but they did move the ball well in the last 3o minutes.)  But these slow starts are just killer.  Terrell Suggs said it best after the game, “You can’t spot a good team 15 points.”.

The slow start thing now has a definite Flacco feel to it.  There have been enough different offensive coordinators here implementing enough different game plans, it’s not coaching. Flacco needs to fix this issue.  These slow starts and first half funks are killing his career and the Ravens.

We’ll get to see if the Ravens can avoid a slow start in their next game soon enough.  The Steelers come to town on Thursday night.

4 Comments

  1. There was no QB pressure either. Need to help the corner backs some.

  2. RR will be married for a few more weeks! Punk should be in jail.Congrats to the team for releasing the beater!

    • SHUT UP CLOWN YOU SOUND REAL STUPID!! THAT MAN HAS SHOWN REMORSE FOR WHAT HE DID AND DID EVERYTHING THE NFL ASKED OF HIM SO SHUT UP INTERNET GANGSTER

      • You… most likely thought OJ was innocent, Jackson was not a child molester,Jesse and Al are real GOD fearing men,BHO is doing a good job in the WH… I could go on and on,but I have to go to WORK which is something you most likely don’t know the meaning of.Have a nice day you and your pipe.

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