The score says it all, Ravens 37 Panthers 13. On paper this was a dominant performance by the Ravens with 14 points scored by the defensive and the first three hundred yard performance of the year by Joe Flacco, but the Ravens have a few holes on their roster that even the 1-9 Panthers were able to expose. Here are my thoughts on this week’s game.
- The NFL should be ashamed – In 1995 the NFL added two expansion teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers, overlooking Baltimore as a potential city for a new team. Today, 15 years later, the Ravens go down to Carolina for their first win against the Panthers in the regular season and the teal blue seats were more plentiful than the teal blue jersey wearing fans. Ravens fans flooded Carolina and proved once again that Paul Tagliabue and NFL got it wrong back in the mid-90’s. I just wanted to start Quick Hits by pointing this out. Now on to the actual game.
- Early start for the offense – If you missed the first five minutes of this game, then you missed the fastest start by the Ravens offense all season. On the 98 Rock post game show I heard Jamison Hensley say that he thought it was the fastest start the offense has had since their playoff victory against New England. Except, this week the Ravens faced potentially the worst team in the National Football League as opposed to an offensive power house on the road in a playoff game. Nonetheless, Joe Flacco connected with T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a 56 yard pass 33 seconds after the Ravens offense took the field and Baltimore was able to start quickly for the first time all season.
- Reeeeeeeed…the kick returner – Baltimore’s kick and punt return games have been a big area of criticism since the season began. This week the Ravens announced that David Reed would be handling the duties and he did so with three returns for an average of 45 yards and a long of 84. I’m glad to see that issue is settled, not if we can only find a guy to do that for punt returns.
- Reeeeeeeed…the safety – After letting the Panthers come within seven points of lead with an 88 yard touchdown reception to David Gettis from Brian St. Pierre, Ed Reed stepped up as the playmaker he is to pick off St. Pierre and then lateraled to Dawan Landry for the Ravens first defensive score. Whether you think Reed is responsible for Baltimore’s lacking coverage in the secondary or not, he seems to make up for it with flashy plays like this one. The question is whether that type of play will kill the Ravens against better quarterbacks than Brian St. Pierre.
- Highs and lows – The defense had its faults exploited by a stay at home dad, but put together two defensive scores in 11 seconds. Offensively, Baltimore spread the ball to eight different receivers and gave Joe Flacco lots of time in the pocket, but fell asleep in the third quarter.
Great win on paper, I’m just still not sure this team is poised to beat the NFL power houses.