So Close You Can Taste It

Featured, Sports and Bets — December 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm by

We did it! We beat the Big Ben led Steelers at home to take control of our own destiny. That has to feel really good to this group, who has struggled for much of the season. An uncharacteristically bad October turned into a successful November, which the Ravens escaped with their fate in their own hands. We now have sole possession of the sixth playoff spot in the AFC, if only until Sunday, it still feels good.

The first three quarters might have been the best I’ve seen the Ravens play this year. Yes there were some negatives, but the defense was dominant, the offense moved the ball, and we built a nice lead. It would have been nice to see some of those drives that ended in three end in seven, but we can’t say we’re not used to that here in Baltimore. We know at the end of the day field goals will translate into a great chance to win the game due to our dominant defense. It’s a mind-set that Baltimore fans have  adapted to over the years.

It’s not surprising that the offense has started to click a little more because we’ve been throwing the deep ball with success. That’s what this offense has to do to be successful. It’s working guys, we need more and more shots to Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, two or three a quarter in my mind. When you look at our offense from the outside, what defenses have to gear up to stop is the deep ball. Make them do it, both of our outside receivers are very good at not only hauling in the deep balls, but also drawing long pass interference calls. Just like in baseball a walk is as good as a hit, same goes here. A long pass interference call is just as good as a long completion. So much of our offense has opened up now that teams are forced to respect the deep ball again.

One thing that has to stop is the mental mistakes. The Ravens had four false start penalties at home, that is not gonna fly against playoff caliber teams. The Ravens also need to learn how to close out games. As good as the defense has been this year, they have been completely unreliable at the end of games. It took a dropped pass by Emnanual Sanders to end this game, otherwise we would have seen overtime. Another thing I’ve been noticing over the past month is that Terrell Suggs, as good as he is, takes some plays off. I wish he would take himself out more often and let a fresh Pernell McPhee or Courtney Upshaw take a crack at a pass rush.

For the first time this year, I really feel optimistic about our chances moving forward. The offense seems to take baby steps forward every week, and at this pace we might actually be able to get a good lead on somebody and put them away. (As opposed to the adoptive formula of this Ravens team, of getting a lead, letting it evaporate, and causing heart failure to a huge percentage of their fan base as they let the game come down to a final drive.)

I’m not gonna touch on much about Mike Tomlin. He knew what he was doing, and honestly what he did worked. He’ll probably catch a much deserved fine for it, but at the end of the day he prevented a touchdown for his team. A loyal reader to the site, wrestling Coach Scott said, “I’ve coached sports for thirty years, and that was the biggest bush-league move I have ever seen!”  Coach Scott, I think you stated it perfectly.

 And for God’s sake can we please take care of business next Sunday while at home against the Vikings! Please, can we not play down to our competition? We need to get on Minny early and pound them, don’t give them a reason to stick around in the game. This is a classic trap game, last game of a three game home stand where you have already registered two big wins. With a tough Monday night matchup the following week, the Ravens cannot overlook the Vikings. Stay focused guys ,and get us our first winning record since early October.

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