Played Like a Raven – Dawan Landry
The fourth year safety has been having a very lackluster year, and has very obviously not been the player that he was prior to sustaining a spinal cord concussion last season. However, on Monday night, Dawan Landry showed glimpses that just maybe he is returning, slowly but surely, to his pre-injury form. He racked up four solo tackles, including one for a 3-yard loss and had another tackle, that would have went for a loss of 4 yards, nullified by a 12-men on the field penalty by the Ravens. Landry’s 48-yard interception return touchdown provided the knockout blow that Ravens fans had been nervously awaiting all night.
This may come as a shock, but Landry now actually leads the team with his three interceptions. Granted, the entire team only has 9 picks through 9 games, well below 2008′s 26 in 16 pace, but…there it is.
Hopefully this was a sign of things to come for Landry. We’ll gladly take the interceptions, especially considering the lack therof coming from anybody else in the secondary, but it was his return to sure, aggressive tackling that bodes well for #26 moving forward.
Did Not Play Like a Raven – Wide Receivers
For the fourth straight week, this dubious honor goes to not a single player, but an entire group (previous three were: offensive line, anyone who got flagged, and secondary). This time it was the Ravens’ wide receivers who failed to make the trip to Cleveland. The group, as a whole, managed only THREE catches all night; all were, of course, by Derrick Mason. Mason’s long reception on the night was 41 yards, but about 30 of that came after the Browns DB whiffed and ran right by Derrick – it was by no means a stretch-the-field type catch.
The “howlitzer,” as Jaws put it, on Flacco’s shoulder was never on full display, due to, among other problems, the wideouts failing to get any separation down the field. Some blame also needs to go to Flacco, who still throws high way too often, and the offensive line, who seem to give Flacco much too small of a pocket, especially in front of him.
Despite the high throw, it was nonetheless a very catchable ball from Joe to Mark Clayton on a slant route from the slot – one that likely would have resulted in a long catch-and-run touchdown had Clayton pulled it in. It’s a play that an NFL wide receiver needs to make.
Kelley Washington went without a reception for the first time all season, and was targeted only once.
An inability to move the ball in big chunks and put points on the board, against a lowly defense such as that of the Browns, does not inspire confidence for the upcoming contests against Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Green Bay. This group, along with pretty much everybody else on the offensive side of the ball, needs to step it up in a big way over the season’s final seven games.