What a difference a week makes. The Ravens couldn’t have dominated the Detroit Lions much more than they did on Sunday, outplaying them in every facet of the game to the tune of a 48-3 victory. The Ravens gained a franchise-best 548 yards of offense against the woeful Lions defense. Their 308 rushing yards was more than the entire Lions offense, who only finished with 229. There wasn’t a point in the game where the Lions looked like they had even the slightest chance to win.
The Ravens had some miscues on the first couple drives, but it didn’t take long for the onslaught to begin. It looked almost as if the Ravens were playing their practice squad instead of another professional football team. The Lions gave a concerted effort in the beginning, but they caught the Ravens at the wrong time as they were still rather furious about their performance in Green Bay last Monday night. Even with their win on Sunday, the Ravens are still on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned, but they did get some help last Sunday with the Jaguars and Broncos both losing. The five and six seeds are currently occupied by the Broncos (8-5) and the Jaguars (7-6) with the Ravens (7-6), Dolphins (7-6) and Jets (7-6) close behind. The good thing for the Ravens, though, is that if they end up with the same record as the Broncos they get in because they beat them head-to-head in Baltimore earlier this season. So if the Ravens can just win the games they SHOULD win in the last three games, they should earn the No. 6 seed at worst. But let’s get back to the beating that took place on Sunday afternoon.
Ray Rice made this decision pretty easy after his stellar performance on Sunday. The cold and rainy weather didn’t stop Rice from having the best statistical game of his career. He rushed for a career-high 166 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries and racked up 53 receiving yards as well. Rice started out the game just as hot as he ended it, even though he didn’t play much of the second half because of the drubbing they were putting on the Lions. The only thing Rice did wrong was putting the ball on the ground in the red zone on the first drive, but he surely made up for it by gaining 219 total yards, only 10 yards less than the entire Lions offense. Rice also topped 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his young career and also added to his team-high 68 receptions. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, this guy is simply amazing. And if there is any team in the NFL that has a formula for stopping him, I’m sure there are coaches out there who would pay good money to find out what it is. I can honestly say that I can’t wait to turn on the television every Sunday, or Monday, and see what this guy will come up with next.
The “Oh, S***” Moment
This moment is for the Lions since the Ravens didn’t exactly have one to speak of. The first quarter wasn’t too bad for the Lions because the Ravens made a few mistakes and only lead 3-0. But when Derrick Mason bounced off two Lions defenders en route to a 62-yard touchdown catch and run, it was just a sign of what was to come for the lowly Lions. The Ravens then proceeded to put a hurting on the Lions’ defense as well as their offense. The Ravens’ defense played with an intensity that I haven’t seen in a while and the offense actually had some sort of rhythm. I understand it was against the Lions, but you have to gain some confidence from somewhere and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. This Sunday’s game against the Bears could present another one of those opportunities and the Ravens need to take full advantage of it.
This week’s awards were short and sweet, but there wasn’t much to say about this game except that the Ravens beat a team they should’ve beaten. The only thing that is scary about Sunday’s game against the Bears is that the Ravens could be looking ahead to the game in Pittsburgh, which is likely to have huge implications on the playoff scenario. If the Ravens are able to get after Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler and force him to make mistakes, which he is prone to do; they should win relatively easily. The Bears’ defense has some weak spots that the Ravens can take advantage of, and they should be hitting on all cylinders heading into the matchup against the Steelers in two weeks. This is what should happen. Now let’s see what actually does happen.