Another week, another heartbreaking loss, another disappointed group of Baltimoreans. The repeat button has been on the past three weeks for the Ravens and they can’t seem to skip to the next track. They have had a chance to win the past three games in the closing minutes, but could not finish off their opponents. Now, you can look at that one of two ways. You can say at least they were in every game with a chance to win or you could say that they don’t know how to win close games. I say, they need to learn how to win close games. That is what this league is all about. Moral victories don’t count when you’re vying for a playoff spot in December and January. If the Ravens don’t learn how to shut the door on the opposition, they will be sitting home watching the teams they couldn’t finish off instead of playing against them.
It seems like whenever Ray Rice gets the ball, he runs for about 20 yards before someone can manage to tackle him. He slips through tacklers and wiggles his way down the field while using his signature move, the low-center-of-gravity-turf-push-off (that’s the best name I could think of). You would think that with him being as small as he is that defenders would be able to get him down with ease, but that’s not the case. He uses his low center of gravity to his advantage and when he gets close to the ground he simply springs himself back up by using the turf. It’s a great idea if you ask me! Anyway, Rice finished Sunday’s game with 10 carries for 77 yards and two touchdowns and 10 catches for 117 yards. Can you say all-purpose back? This guy is amazing and Willis McGahee’s days as the starting running back may be numbered.
The “Oh, S***” Moment(s)
The Vikings’ first two offensive possessions, which consisted of consecutive scoring drives that only took 13 plays and six minutes and 56 seconds to complete. Talk about starting quick. Before the Ravens could get off the plane and put their pads on, it was 14-0. This was not the way they wanted to start the game, especially on the road against a 5-0 team that has Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and a stifling defense. But the Ravens’ defense responded nicely and they stole some points as well as some momentum just before halftime. And we all know what happened after that.
The “Give the Guy a Break” Award
I’m so tired of hearing how everyone wishes the Ravens would’ve kept Matt Stover. The Baltimore Sun had the nerve to highlight the fact that they bet the Ravens are kicking themselves for releasing Stover in the offseason. Did everyone forget that Stover missed eight of 21 attempts from 40-49 yards over the past two seasons? The Ravens didn’t just release him for any reason. He simply didn’t have enough leg to kick long field goals anymore and he could barely get the ball inside the 15 on kickoffs. So, everyone needs to stop living in the past and bashing Steven Hauschka for missing a 44-yard field goal. Granted, he is an NFL kicker, but he is young and hasn’t experienced these pressure-type situations yet. Now if he continues to miss kicks like that, then the Ravens have a decision to make. But stop wishing for Stover back because he wasn’t cutting it anymore. We’ll see how much the Colts like him when they need a 50-yarder to advance in the playoffs.
Now that I got my rant out of the way, I’ll look ahead to Week 8 when the undefeated Broncos come to town. I don’t know how the Broncos keep winning, but they do. Josh McDaniels has his team playing top-notch football right now and his players are completely buying into what he is preaching. Maybe it’s the rolled up hoodie sleeves with the long-sleeve undershirt. Whatever it is, the Broncos defense is playing lights out and Kyle Orton isnt making mistakes. Forcing Orton into making those mistakes will be crucial if the Ravens are going to win the game. Both teams will be coming off their bye week when they face each other, but both are on completely different ends of the spectrum. The Broncos are riding a six-game winning streak and the Ravens are on a three-game losing skid. This one ought to be fun.