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Ravens/Panthers Post Game Recap

In the NFL the ball bounces in funny ways sometimes, and today the ball bounced in favor of the Panthers. NFL films could actually put together a montage of plays showing how every bounce went their way. That said, the Panthers won because they are the better team. When the first half ended with the Ravens down 24 to 7, the one consolation was that you knew the game was over and you didn’t need to watch any more of it. The number one defense in the NFL did not look like it today they gave up 36 points and 386 yards, and they didn’t generate any turnovers. The Panthers executed several long-sustained drives one of which was 99 yards. Coach Wink could not keep up with the excellent play calling form the Panther’s offense and the Ravens defense was ineffective and sloppy at times. The Ravens record is now 4 and 4 half way through the season and they do not look like a playoff caliber team and I don’t see them going 6 and 2 to finish the season which is what they would need to do in order to be in position for a playoff spot. Other thoughts on the game are below:

• Ravens get a TD on their opening drive burning 7:10 minutes and all this in spite of committing three penalties. The play calling on that drive was nothing short of brilliant
• Alex Collins scoring on a 14-yard run is something that this offense needs to see more of if they are to contend for the playoffs
• Ravens tackling is sloppy at times and they too often give up yards after contact
• Terrible missed call on Cam grounding the ball and he wasn’t even close to getting out side of the tackle box
• Lamar Jackson’s throw on 3rd and one from the nine-yard line was a horrible throw and Snead was wide open and positioned for a big play and key first down. This is exactly why you need to give Lamar time to grow into an NFL quarterback
• Norv Turner may not have been a very good head coach in the NFL but he is a good offensive coordinator and he out coached the Ravens big time today
• Collins coughs up the ball as he is hit 6 yards behind the line of scrimmage as the O line leaves a lineman completely untouched. The turnover turns into 7 points for Panthers.
• Jefferson and Weddle are solid in the run game but they are not getting the job in coverage
• DJ Moore absolutely owned the Ravens secondary today with 9 receptions for 90 yards and 2 rushes for 39 yards
• The Ravens defensive front could not touch Cam today, and even when the Ravens blitzed with 5 or 6 – the Panthers O line did a great job picking up the pressure. The Ravens desperately need a dominant pass rusher in next year’s draft – because they don’t have one today
• Special teams penalty nullifies a first down on a fake punt which would have been big for the Ravens. Coach Rosburg is having his worst year with Special Teams since he joined the Ravens
• Buck Allen absolutely screwed up when he didn’t the first down late in the 2nd quarter – he caught the pass out of the backfield and all he had to do was lower his head and drive, but instead he does a juke and loses his momentum coming up short.
• Snead had an off day with two offensive penalties which are drive killers, a dropped pass, and he was no help in defending Flacco’s second interception. He seems to have regressed the last two games which is disappointing
• Not sure what Flacco was thinking when he threw that interception at the end of the half, but there wasn’t a Raven within a mile of that pass and it gave the Panthers the ball with great field position which ended in 3 points as the half expired
• Panthers had 4 straight possessions that resulted in points which tells you how ineffective the defense was in the first half
• Although it failed to convert – he Ravens going for it on 4th and three early in the 3rd quarter was a reasonable call being down by 17 points and the defense struggling
• Luke Kuechly is an outstanding linebacker and when you can run down a running back (Collins) from behind you know that have a football player
• Hurst had another drop today which is really disappointing but it was great to see him get his first TD
• Panthers tight end Greg Olsen again proved that the TE position is the kryptonite for the Ravens secondary as he caught 4 passes for 56 yards and 1 TD. Ravens linebackers simply cannot cover that position
• You may not have seen this but there was a play where Cam faked a handoff inside and then boot legged to the left. He actually did it on back to back plays with the first play gaining 8 yards and the second attempt went for a rushing TD. After the first play Weddle yelled at Suggs for cheating inside and not holding the edge and believe or not Suggs went ahead and did it again on the next play. I mention this because I called out Suggs last week for doing this – to be clear his job is to hold the edged and keep any ball carrier from going around end – to quote Coach Billecheck – “do your job”
• CJ Mosely had a tough day missing several tackles and terrible in coverage
• Both the Bengals and the Steelers won today and they now beginning to put some distance between the Ravens in the standings

Game Predictions                                                                                        Game Statistics
Score      Ravens 24 Panthers 23                                                               Ravens 21     Panthers 36
Turnovers      Even                                                                                            Minus 3
Net Rushing Yardage       Ravens 88  Panthers 122                        Ravens 101 Panthers 156
Net Passing Yardage       Ravens 290 Panthers 253                        Ravens 224 Panthers 232

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Christian McCaffrey has 7 receptions for 72 yards                     Nope, 4 catches for 11 yards
• Ravens commit 8 penalties for 88 yards                                                     Close, 9 penalties for 68 yards
• Flacco has 2 passes blocked                                                                       Did I say blocked passes – I meant intercepted passes
• Refs make terrible calls                                                                          Correct, several missed calls

Keys to the Game
• Win the turnover battle!                                      Nope, minus 3 on the day
• Attack Cam and don’t let him run                    Nope, 10 carries for 52 yards
• Close the game in the 4th quarter                      Nope, Ravens weren’t even in it

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