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Ravens/Raiders Post Game Recap

As predicted the Ravens won decisively at home proving again that when you run effectively you can take over games. The fourth quarter was all Ravens today as they shut out the Raiders and at the same time scored 14 points. I will point out that the game was a one score game until the Ravens took over in the fourth. Lamar was quiet in the first half but had some big runs in the second half and most of them ending with him going out of bounds and eliminating any contact. Nice to see the Ravens win a game that they are expected to.

If projections are accurate Flacco should be ready to go next week so there will be lots of drama in the Baltimore sports media this week as to which quarterback should start next week when the Ravens travel to Atlanta to play. Other thoughts on the game are below:

• Ravens not only get their first turnover since the late 90’s but they actually get a score on the play from T-Sizzle who picked the ball off the ground, eluded defenders and then out ran the Raiders Receiver Marcel Ateman to the end zone. Sizzle reminded me of Ed Reed when he held the ball like a loaf of bread
• Judon had a big game getting three sacks and one of them a forced turnover. That said, his sprint exiting the field of play after his third sack was a head scratcher for me and I hope that I never see that again
• The Ravens defense is susceptible to the reverse because our outside linebackers tend to cheat inside instead of holding their positions on the edge
• Raiders start the game with the ball on the 18-yard line and drive the length of the field to score a TD – burning over 6 minutes of the clock. Their big play occurred on 4th and one when they hit an uncovered TE for a 30-yard gain. Not the outcome the Ravens were looking for when they deferred to the Raiders to start the game.
• If he stays healthy Edwards is going to be a very serviceable RB because he runs up field and consistently gets positive yardage – no happy feet for him behind the line of scrimmage waiting for holes to miraculously open up
• Cyrus Jones came alive in the punt return game returning one for 70 yards for a go ahead score. He also had a 27-yard return that was called back because Chuck Clark gets called for a push in the back
• John Brown had a poor day with a drop and missed scoring opportunity because he developed T-Rex arms
• Congrats to Jackson and Mark Andrews who connected for the longest play this year from scrimmage which went for 74 yards
• I have been saying this all year, but our four-man rush is absolutely non-existent and I think it is time to give some other players more snaps to see if they can do better
• Lamar has a way to go on his decision making and it is going to take some time before he learns the game. He gave up a lot of yards on roll outs where he could have gained some yards going out of bounds but instead threw the ball away. His two interceptions in the first half were costly and kept the game close
• Ravens burned all three-time outs in the 1st half due to personnel snafus – the coaches need to do better so the TOs can be used for late minute drives
• Doug Martin ran well against the Ravens front seven gaining 4.5 yards per carry which makes you wonder why Gruden didn’t use him more in this game
• Humphrey did a great job defending passes today and he had his hands in the receivers hands all day long
• Buck Allen’s days being suited up on Sundays may be numbered with Edwards and Montgomery grinding out the ground game. Buck by comparison looks indecisive and slow
• Gus Edwards had a big day again today with 118 yards on 23 carries. He didn’t play much in the 4th quarter and I hope that was to give him a rest and not because he was injured
• Stanley completely manhandled his defender when Lamar scored from the 5-yard line and he pushed the guy into the end zone
• The Ravens first possession in the second half garnered seven points and burned 7 minutes off the clock
• Ravens won the time of possession today holding the ball for more than 34 minutes which is amazing considering that the Raiders had the ball for more than 17 minutes in the first half
• Ravens Offensive line played well today and were dominant in the run game – I was especially impressed with the way they got push off the line to generate open lanes
• How good was it to see Crab get a TD pass against his former team – and especially sweet because it was on 3rd and goal and we needed the 6 points
• Orlando Brown’s holding penalty which negated the 50-yard pass to Brown was costly and backed up the Ravens causing a three and out – and I might add was totally unnecessary to protect Lamar
• Marshall Yanda being brought off the field for the concussion protocol apparently pissed him off big time as he was highly combative when requested to leave the field
• Ravens defense held the Raiders to just 249 yards today and they will hold their position as number one defense in the league but they just don’t look like a number one defense to me when I see them play

Game Predictions                                                                                                                     Game Statistics
Score Ravens 27      Raiders 16                                                                         Ravens 34      Raiders 17
Turnovers   Even                                                                                                        Minus 1
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens 178      Raiders 88                                  Ravens 242      Raiders 67
Net Passing Yardage       Ravens 190      Raiders 182                                Ravens 174        Raiders 182

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Lamar cracks 80 rushing yards            Almost – 11 carries for 71 yards
• Ravens call a fake punt            Incorrect – no fakes today
• Ravens TOP north of 33 minutes            Correct – 34 minutes today
• Refs make terrible calls              Correct – missed an illegal pick and several holding calls

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers
• Lamar leads Ravens to second straight win

Keys to the Game
• Play possession football             Correct
• Force turnovers                          Correct, one forced fumble and a score
• Stop the run                                 Correct – Raiders had just 67 yards on the ground

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