The Ravens put together a solid victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. Both teams entered at 7-3, but the Ravens proved to be the more proven of the two. Here are my thoughts on Baltimore’s 17-10 victory over the Bucs.
- Flacco/Mason back “on the same page” – The term John Harbaugh used in his Monday press conference after the Joe Flacco/Derrick Mason spat a week ago was “on the same page.” This week Flacco targeted Mason 12 times in the first half and connected with him on a 10 yard touchdown reception in the 2nd quarter. In fact, the first pass from Flacco was thrown to Mason. Derrick caught a franchise high seven passes in the first half. I guess they’re okay. By the way, I completely predicted that one, let’s ignore my other prediction.
- McClain, Oher and Landry banged up – Ravens fullback Le’Ron McClain, offensive lineman Michael Oher and safety Dawan Landry were banged up in this one. McClain and Oher were escorted to the locker room after they had their legs rolled up on by defenders. Scary plays, but both did not seem too serious, John Harbaugh had to tell Oher to get down when he was attempting to limp off the field with a sprained knee and McClain left with an ankle sprain. Similarly, Buccaneer Cody Grimm was hurt in the same type of injury. Dawan Landry suffered a concussion, but remained on the sideline.
- Cundiff continues to boot – Billy Cundiff continues to play at a Pro Bowl level. He has 30 touchbacks, which leads the NFL and even though his third kick of the day was short of the end zone he made the tackle on Michael Spurlock. Cundiff also got some love from the Fox game crew during the broadcast.
- Flacco’s highs and lows – Joe Flacco became the franchise leader in touchdowns passing Vinny Testeverde with his 52nd. Joe threw a beautiful 63 yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap, which was the longest play of the season for the Ravens offense. Flacco did force some balls to receivers in the first half and threw a interception to Aqib Talib, it was Flacco’s first interception at home since November 29 of last season against the Steelers, but it occurred just after a near interception on the play before. Overall, Flacco had a solid game and threw for 186 yards in the first half.
- Defense bends, doesn’t break – The Bucs put some pressure on Baltimore’s secondary and we even saw some bursts from LeGarrette Blount, but the Ravens held the Bucs in the red zone in the second quarter forcing a field goal and stopped them on a crucial 3rd and 6 in their own territory to hold their 17-3 lead. The Ravens put a lot of pressure on Josh Freeman all day, which made up for open receivers downfield. Terrell Suggs’ sack streak was snapped, but he was a vital part of the pressure on Freeman and helped force the near interception in the third quarter. The defense allowed the Bucs within seven when Freeman connected to Kellen Winslow with 3:05 left in the game.
- Slow 2nd half for the offense – Once again, the Ravens got comfortable with their lead and let their opponent creep up on them. The Ravens had just 70 yards in the 3rd quarter after scoring 17 points in the 2nd.
Bring on the Steelers.