As I’m watching the final minute of the Ravens vs. Patriots, I’m hoping to write about how despite incredibly sloppy play the Ravens squeaked out another win. That wasn’t the case.
Here are a few things I noticed about Baltimore’s first loss of the year.
- Chris Carr hurt us all around – Whether it was his fumble to start the game, his illegal contact call, or poor secondary play, Chris Carr was a huge weakness for the Ravens in this game.
- Offensive Rollercoaster – The Ravens offensive took the field with swagger and scored in their first possession with a 20 yard TD pass to Derrick Mason. Things seemed to go downhill from there and didn’t recover until their final drive with under two minutes. The play calls were dumbed down and didn’t recover until it was two late. Example: 4th and 1 on the Baltimore 45, 5:17 to go and you hand the ball off to Willis McGahee in an empty backfield? Bad play call, our offense is too good not to convert.
- Don’t look the wrong way at Tom Brady, it’s a penalty – The refs didn’t want Brady to have another season ending injury and they made sure of it. Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs had questionable late hits on Brady and whistles were blown pretty early on sacks throughout the game.
- The Ravens D was exposed – I’m no football genius, but I know the Ravens secondary is their weakness. The Pats exposed this all day and the Ravens hardly adjusted. They put some pressure on Brady throughout the day, but it was spotty at best. Domonique Foxworth got schooled on a quick, short, wide open pass to Randy Moss to give the Pats a 10 point lead.
- “You can’t let that happen” – I was saying that all day. Whether it was Kelley Washington‘s dropped pass in the first half, an unsportsmanlike conduct call on the “Baltimore Bench”, an intentional grounding call on Joe Flacco, or Mark Clayton missing that 4th down pass that ended the game. There were too many “You can’t let that happen” moments.
- On the bright side – Ray Rice had an outstanding day. He’s been quiet in the first three weeks, but he tore the Pats defense apart with 11 carries for 103 yards and 5 receptions for 49 yards. Derrick Mason had a good game too, a touchdown and 88 yards receiving.