Ravens On A Roll: Babes Talks Ravens/Panthers

Featured, Sports and Bets — September 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm by

Sunday was a pretty damn good day for Baltimore sports.  Both the Ravens and the O’s won and the Steelers lost.  Can’t ask for much more than that.  Yes, it was a depleted Carolina team that the Ravens beat, but nonetheless, the Ravens dominated them.
Steve Smith looked like he was from another planet.  The guy was playing like a man possessed out there.  Through four games Smith looks far more like a twenty five year old than a thirty five year old.  Smith is averaging 107 yards a game with three total touchdowns, that’s something we’re not use to seeing from our wide receivers in Baltimore.

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The combination of Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro rushed 29 times for 124 yards, nearly a 4.3 ypc average.  That is significant against a usually stout Carolina run defense.  Anything over four yards a carry means offensively your staying on schedule in the down and distance.  This allowed the Ravens offense to keep a good rhythm going all game. Even in the first quarter where they didn’t post any points, they still moved the ball effectively and won the field position battle.

babes forsett
Undrafted rookie left tackle James Hurst did a good job filling in for Eugene Monroe.  Carolina didn’t record a single sack of Joe Flacco, in fact he was hardly even pressured all day.  Flacco had himself a lovely day going 22-31 for 327 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Holy shit, was Joe Flacco really fantasy relevant yesterday?!
It was nice to see the Ravens get Marlon Brown some targets.  He snagged 3 balls for 31 yards.  Not a huge line, but if he can provide some help in the “possession” receiver role going forward, it will soften the blow of losing Dennis Pitta.  I would much rather see Brown get targets than Jacoby Jones.  I’m getting tired of seeing Jones drop passes left and right.  At this point, Jones is basically only good for threatening the top of the defense with his speed.  Maybe next week they can try to use him on some receiver screens to regain his confidence.  Then again, he’s a professional football player, he should be able to catch passes, and we shouldn’t be talking about his confidence.
The other great thing about the Ravens’ offensive performance yesterday was that they were scoring touchdowns as opposed to settling for field goals.  It was so much nicer to see 28 on the board  in the third quarter instead of a 16 or 20.  Good teams score touchdowns rather than settle for field goals.
Defensively, the Ravens harassed Cam Newton every time he dropped back to pass.  By the end of the first half, Newton wanted no part of that Ravens front.  Elvis Dumervil really came alive with 1.5 sacks and a bunch of pressures on Newton.  Terrell Suggs got in the books by sharing one of Dumervil’s sacks, his first half of the season.

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The entire front did a great job limiting Carolina on the ground.  The Panthers were only able to muster 67 yards rushing.  The outside linebackers did a great job of keeping the edges, something that needed improvement from earlier in the year.
The touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin was definitely on Darian Stewart.  The Ravens were in a straight cover 2, and Jimmy Smith carried Benjamin up the sideline until he passed him off to Stewart, who was inexplicably preoccupied with looking into the middle of the field.  Stewart needs to know the situation, the formation, and his responsibilities.  He was lined up on the weak side of the formation, it was 3rd and 13, and Benjamin was the biggest threat on that side of the field.  His eyes should have been rotating back and forth between the quarterback and Benjamin.  I feel like his eyes were caught up in the middle of the field looking for a crossing route to jump. Defense is predicted on knowing and executing your responsibilities.  Stewart did neither on that play.

babes stewart

I’m also not a big fan of Matt Elam having to cover a receiver one on one on the outside.  He gave up a first down on a comeback route early in the game to Jericho Cotchery.  I know the Ravens were shorthanded with Webb out, but they need to scheme better than forcing Elam into that man coverage.
Hopefully this momentum will carry on for the Ravens as they travel to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts.  It’s a big conference test and if the Ravens can manage a tough fought victory, it would really go far in the standings.  Every conference game is extremely important, and stealing this road conference game would catapult them into the elite tier of AFC teams.


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