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Ravens/Cardinals Post Game

The Ravens hold on to win against the Cardinals and start the season 2 and 0, but for a game that was supposed to be a blow out this game did not live up to the hype. It was a game of two halves with the Ravens looking good in the first half and then coming out for the 3rd quarter looking lackluster. Half way through the 3rd quarter I was wondering who it was that came out of that tunnel dressed in purple and white. Fortunately, the Ravens played a solid 4th quarter to keep the lead and to close out the game.

Lamarvelous had a very good game and went 24 of 37 for 272 yards and two TDs. He also led all running backs with 120 yards on 16 carries. There were times when he was running for the sidelines that I thought he had no chance of turning the corner and lo and behold he rips around the edge for a big run. To be clear, the Ravens would not have won today without his running game, as Ingram was held in check for most of the game and the Cardinals front four was stout against anything up the middle. Mark Andrews was also big with 8 receptions for 112 yard, and one TD. The chemistry between Lamar and Andrews and Brown is giving a big boost to the offense as well as giving opponents a challenge.

Other thoughts on the game are below:

• The Ravens committed 10 penalties and most of them by the offense. These are self-inflicted wounds that hampered the offense from keeping drives alive and scoring more points.
• You can see why Kyler Murray was an overall number one pick and he is going to delight Cardinal fans for a long time coming. He threw 40 passes today and no picks – not bad for a rookie
• The Ravens defense was stout against the run giving up a stingy 20 yards but got torched in the air today for 329 yards and at times looked confused and, on several plays, missed coverages.
• The refs missed the call on interference on Brown and then NY got it wrong as well – I don’t know how you can’t throw the flag on that play
• Justin Tucker is worth his weight in gold – he just makes field goals all day long. I never bite my nails when he lines up to kick – the guy is pure money
• Ravens defense was great on 3rd down giving up just 2 out of 11, but they gave up too many big plays downfield that permitted the Cards to get into scoring position
• The Ravens first possession was absolutely brilliant and Lamar Jackson was sharp and composed going 5 for 5 for 74 yards with a 27-yard TD pass to Andrews. The play calling was perfect and they took advantage of what the Cardinals gave them.
• The Ravens won this game in part because they were tough in the RedZone otherwise we may have had a different outcome
• Really didn’t like the play called on 4th and 3 in the first quarter, felt that the Ravens should have done a slant or button route instead of a roll out pass downfield. To me when you are throwing on 4th down you need to go with a high percentage play – otherwise just punt the ball.
• Ravens had tough sledding on the ground game at times, but part of that was the Cardinals played 8 in the box making a tough to run in the middle
• Brandon Carr just has to do a better job playing the ball in pass defenses, he got burned on a few today and he had tight coverage but just didn’t make a play on the ball
• Suggs registered 3 tackles and 2 assists, but his name was not called much today and he didn’t register a sack
• Offensive line committed way too many penalties in this game and Orlando had a few to his credit. They have to clean that up.
• Really disappointing to see the Ravens offense go three and out to start the 3rd quarter. Those drives are supposed to be tone setters for the second half and in this case, it gave the Cards a sense of life when they stop you cold and get the ball right back.
• The 40-yard pass from Murry to Fitzgerald on the first offensive play in the 3rd quarter was absolutely embarrassing to the defense. They left Larry wide open and 5 Ravens players could not tackle him – they looked confused and soft.
• Ravens defense was called twice for having 12 men on the field – inexcusable!
• Some of the things that I appreciate about Mark Andrews is that he finds the seam, he catches the ball, and when he does his routes on 3rd down he knows how to go past the chains.
• Fourth and one inside the 10 – you cannot let the clock run out for a delay of game penalty. Lamar or Harbs should have called a time out – just bad clock management
• With just a few minutes left in the game and 3rd and long for the Ravens – Lamar throws a perfect strike downfield to Brown who made a beautiful over the shoulder catch. It moved the chains, put them within FG range and essentially ended the game and the hopes of a Cardinal comeback. Those are the kind of plays that you need to have a winning season
• Judon is a good player but this year he is taking his play to the next level. He is playing with a lot of intensity and seems to be near the QB on every drop back
• Special teams committed two penalties today one of which negated a big run back that would have given the Ravens great field position
• I am guessing that the Ravens are thrilled to get the win, but feel like that they have a lot of work to do to get better in order to beat the better teams in the NFL

Game Predictions
Score         Ravens    30      Cardinals    16           Ravens    23      Cardinals    17
Turnovers           Plus  2                                                          even
Net Rushing Yardage         Ravens   161      Cardinals    72           Ravens    182        Cardinals    20
Net Passing Yardage         Ravens    292      Cardinals    269           Ravens    258      Cardinals    330

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Peanut leads all tacklers with 7 tackles and 1 assist           Incorrect, that would be Carr
• Chris Moore has 3 receptions and 1 TD           Incorrect – not even targeted once
• Suggs does not record any sacks           Correct – not even a whiff
• Refs make terrible calls           Correct – too many to mention

Keys to the Game
• Contain Murray and don’t let him run on you           Correct – 3 attempts for 4 yards
• Control the clock 35+           Correct – 37:38
• Protect the rock           Correct – No turnovers

One comment

  1. Always so great to hear your analysis and breakdown. I think the game was more in our hands than the score showed. Getting to kneel down in the victory formation on their 5 yard line is always a good sign that you won pretty handily. I disagree about Murray, I think he is a fine quaterback and shows a lot of poise. However, with the stacked receiving core for Arizona I think he depends on throwing up the ball and letting his receivers make him look good. Also I agree that Justin Tucker is simply the best player at his position, maybe ever! Lamar is really amazing this year and can beat you in so many ways, he looked at adversity today and also refused to beat himself, which is a great sign. Finally, I am so glad you mentioned Judon, I was thinking the same thing! Thanks, Dan.

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