Time to change things up a bit around here. Lest Mighty Mouse Ray Rice continue to win the “Play Like a Raven” award every week from here on out, I thought it was best to just rename the thing in his honor. As such, “Play Like Ray Rice,” will be given out after games until further notice.
Played Like a Raven Ray Rice – Paul Kruger
Sure, the rookie second round pick from Utah racked up all of ZERO individual tackles (2 assists) Sunday night, and did little to get pressure on fill-in Steelers quarterback Dennis Dixon…but when we look back on this game years from now, it will be Kruger’s overtime interception that jumps to mind first.
Hell, with the lack of pass rush that the formerly blond-fro’d defensive end managed, Dixon may not have even realized #99 was on the field…he certainly didn’t know where Kruger was when he tried to go to Santonio Holmes on Pittsburgh’s final offensive snap.
So is T-Sizzle’s absence negated by the presence of Kruger? Of course not.
As Coach Harbaugh pointed out, Kruger will have to continue to improve if he wants to see increased snaps with the defense. But with his game changing pick in the extra period, Paul showed a flash of the potential impact-player talent that he displayed during the preseason, and made sure that those voices that had been questioning the Ravens’ coaching staff regarding his lack of playing time only get louder.
Congratulations to Paul Kruger, who played like a Raven against Pittsburgh. Let’s all hope he can build on this moving forward.
Did Not Play Like a Raven Ray Rice – Dominique Foxworth
By the same token that we have taken to calling the outstanding player of the week “The Ray Rice,” we could almost call the goat of the week “The Dom Foxworth.” Whatever Foxworth was trying to do on Dixon’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes – from his spinning around in circles “coverage” attempt, to his “I’ll just escort this guy to the end zone” tackling FAIL – there should be a clause in his massive free agent contract that requires he forfeit half of his pay for that sort of thing.
Wow, was it bad.
Those of you who went to the game may be able to confirm this for me, but I’m also willing to bet that Foxworth again fell down in coverage at some point during the night, yes?
This year’s football outsiders almanac , a pretty reputable source for NFL information, had described Foxworth as solid, if unspectacular, based on his career play going into this season. Now, it may be the pressure of playing for his “home” team, or alongside guys he used to cheer for like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, but Dom has been, and continues to be, a huge disappointment in Baltimore.
The Sun’s Mike Preston had this to say in today’s Q&A Session:
Foxworth signed a deal that will keep him in town for at least two more years. At this point, all you can do is coach him up and hope that he will improve. Right now, he appears to be shellshocked. It’s like he has seen a ghost and is afraid of getting burned. He has to learn to relax, and put the past behind him. Foxworth is a nice kid, and he is actually better than he is showing. With that being said, there is little the Ravens can do at this point.
Not exactly encouraging words. Like the Ravens, I guess we had better just hope hard that Foxworth improves. The only potential silver lining to the situation is that Foxworth’s bad play makes the good play of Lardarius Webb look borderline spectacular.
With Greg Jennings and Donald Driver on the docket next week in Green Bay, there are ominous clouds on the horizon for the secondary.
Thanks to the Baltimore Sun for the pics in this post