Ravens/Chargers Open Thread/”Live” Blog: Ray Lewis Wills Ravens to Finish Off 31-26 Win

September 20, 2009 | Glenn Clark

7:31-It wasn’t pretty, but it is a WIN. 2-0. Thank God. Hit the Purple Haze and I’ll have a column up later tonight.


7:29-One stop. Then let’s go home. PLEASE.

7:28-The Chargers-to me-are more likely to score from the 25 than the 5. It’s weird.

7:26-I have always enjoyed Brandon Manumaleuna’s name. I do not enjoy him making catches in the final 2 minutes.

I DID enjoy that play by Frank Walker though.

7:24-Well, at least I haven’t lost 50 pounds of sweat or anything.


7:20-Hauschka with the big boot on the road, now the Ravens defense can’t flinch…..AGAIN. Phillip Rivers just did this 6 days ago…..

7:19-I’m well aware that the Bears beat the Steelers and the Ravens have a chance to move into 1st place in the AFC North. But thank everyone for reminding me. It’s Week 2. I’m more worried about getting a MAJOR win on the road.

Steve Hauschka could get the chance to make a big kick here.

7:18-Is Dick Enberg aware that 2 plus 7 equals 9?


Now they need to put this in here.

7:16-383 yards passing for Rivers. Wow.


7:13-They CANNOT sit back in prevent defense here. Of course, they’ve basically been doing that all game, so why would anything change now?

7:10-When you’re trying to grind the clock, Le’Ron McClain is usually a better option than Willis McGahee. But as long as McGahee stays inbounds. And it’s nice to see Mark Clayton IS in Southern California. Of course, it was nicer when he was catching the ball than when he was dropping it.

7:04-Thank God Fabian is moving. That didn’t look so good there for a second. If you’re Norv Turner, are you going for it here? I’m at least thinking about it. The Ravens know how to grind a game away on the ground.

7:00-I repeat, it is NOT EASY to go across the country and beat teams on the road. This is more difficult than it could have been though.

6:57-Trying to be a level-headed analyst; if a team throws the ball 100 times, they’re going to have success. They must be punished for the number of passes they throw will devastating hits. The Ravens have NOT punished Phillip Rivers enough today.

6:54-The 4th quarter of a 1 possession game is not necessarily the time for trick plays. By not gaining much of anything, the Chargers were able to send Merriman and get that pick from Cason.


6:51-Michael Oher finally flinches. He had been off to a HELL of a start to his NFL career. That was rough. Dan Fouts says “blame the officials” for Oher’s jump.


Let’s not forget that as frustrated as we want to be with the pass defense, the Chargers are a good passing team (very good team overall) playing at home and trying VERY hard.

6:48-At least they can still stop the run…….

6:43-It looked like Mike Tolbert was checking to make sure Chris Carr was still alive after he hit him. Crushing.

6:41-Should I be the one to ask what’s going on with Frank Walker? And spare me the “He can’t play” stuff.

6:39-Holy crap. In triple coverage. The Ravens’ secondary has been a MAJOR issue. Wow.

6:35-Via Twitter, Nestor Aparicio (in San Diego) says Domonique Foxworth “is no McAlister.” Which only reminds me that NO ONE ELSE is either. Chris McAlister was REALLY good. I mean, REALLY good.

6:33-Phillip Rivers looks like the type of quarterback who is easily rattled and clearly flustered when things aren’t going his way. If the Chargers are going to have any chance of climbing back, he will have to get his head back in the game.

6:29-Tough break for Hauschka and the Ravens there. Looked like a really good kick, but it probably would have gone out of bounds had Sproles not caught it.

6:24-Now Forrester is going to be un-addressable. He said Todd Heap would catch a TD today, and look at that. Ravens up 12; which makes my 3 point SD win in OT pick look pretty stupid.

6:22-Phillip Rivers: If you try to throw the ball to the ground ever time, you are going to get picked. Thankfully Dawan Landry was there this time. Nothing funnier than watching a TERRIBLE decision by the man who could never beat Maryland when he was at North Carolina State.

6:19-Chris Chester has played well again this week after playing well last week against KC. Of course, so has Ben Grubbs; but we just expect that.

6:16-You’re supposed to do better than that when you get 2nd chances. Disappointing. Meanwhile, Prescott Burgess made another nice Special Teams play. Those things helped him stay on the 53 man roster, and help him stay off the scratch list every week.

6:13-Sam Koch just got a gift from the officials and Larry English. A gift he will GLADLY take. Chargers D has been tough early on in the 2nd half.

5:57-I’m going to have another Blue Moon and hope the Ravens can figure out a way to stop the big plays. A win in San Diego would be a win no matter how it came; but this hasn’t been a picture of perfection thus far.

5:54-After Haruki Nakamura nearly sacked Phillip Rivers, I understand Norv Turner’s concern; but just forfeiting an offensive play makes little sense to me given the fact that they were having success throwing the ball on the Ravens. This was the end of the first half, not the end of the game.

5:51-Is Dick Enberg watching another game? Dick, I love you; but maybe the time away doing the U.S. Open didn’t exactly keep you sharp for the start of football season.

5:46-To those who are saying that maybe NOW the Ravens were better off with Rex Ryan than Greg Mattison; maybe you’re right. This is certainly a different brand of Ravens football than we’re used to.

I didn’t see Trevor Pryce’s late hit there. Was it bad?


5:44-ABSOLUTELY the right decision by Norv Turner to go for it here. Field goal at questionable length; and they wouldn’t leave the Ravens much time to hurt them the other way.

Did John Harbaugh just try to “ice” an offense? Interesting.

5:39-Was that “The Squirrel” from Kelley Washington? I certainly enjoyed it, but didn’t necessarily enjoy the backpedaling. I know he was wide open, but get in the endzone BEFORE the celebration. The celebration was fine though.

Did I mention that Darren Sproles should have a nickname? Jerry Rosburg can’t be happy.

5:38-Why would the Ravens be playing for a Field Goal right now? Why wouldn’t they be playing to get 6? Don’t think I agree, Dick Enberg.

5:32-Nate Kaeding doesn’t miss many long field goals, he certainly won’t miss many chip shots.

Remember how the Ravens were incorporating Mark Clayton and Kelley Washington into the offense last week? That was fun.

5:29-Dick Enberg: Love you, but there’s no reason for you to tell us that Ray Lewis’ middle name is Anthony. It isn’t interesting, and it doesn’t make you a better broadcaster. Some real information would be worthwhile. Thanks.

5:25-Does Darren Sproles have a nickname? He should.

And I don’t think Fabian Washington had any argument there to say that Domonique Foxworth earned an offensive interference.

Antonio Gates with another big play, huh? Well; nothing but good today………

5:23-Joe has overthrown his receivers a bit today. He did that last week too. It’s okay as long as he isn’t getting picked and the Ravens are winning.

5:16-Good job by Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson to make sure they didn’t give up on the penetration Ray Lewis got on that play. As I said to Eric Aaronson today on “Section 410”, Phillip Rivers will use “The 5 D’s of Dodgeball: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge” to avoid tacklers. The Ravens must make sure they bring him down.

Hell of a punt by Scifres there, too.

5:13-Dangerous but TOTALLY necessary tackle by Brendon Ayanbadejo there on the Sproles return.

Also-Legedu Naanee was probably just as well to run out of bounds there. The Chargers are going to continue to take shots downfield (like the one they just tried to Chris Chambers) until the Ravens toughen up in coverage.

Attention Dawan Landry: PLEASE don’t take out Ed Reed. Thanks.

5:07-I know Kevin Burnett bailed them out there, but that was a DANGEROUS ball for Flacco to throw to Todd Heap there. Wow.

You think every time Ray Rice sees Willis McGahee plunge in for a TD he thinks to himself “That must be fun.”

Also, a note to Steve Hauschka. Extra points don’t help me in Fantasy Football. I appreciate this offense scoring TD’s, but I could use a 54 yarder from you. Thanks.

5:03-Other than the pass in the flats to Derrick Mason, have the Ravens completed a pass to a Wide Receiver? I guess Cam Cameron is thinking “They don’t have any D-Linemen, why WOULD we throw the football?”

5:00-Calm down Chargers fans; Jacques Cesaire is okay!!!!

What a catch by Ray Rice on 3rd down. You just want the ball in his hands.

4:55-I’m confused. Does Chris Carr WANT to be this team’s returner? I mean, if he doesn’t; shouldn’t he just let John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome know?

The only good thing about Justin Bannan getting banged up is the fact that the Ravens are very deep on the D-Line. Unlike the Chargers-who now have a group that might as well include Little Ethan playing opposite Oher, Gaither, and company.

4:52-Dawan Landry did a nice job there of trying to strip the ball before Phillip Rivers hit the ground.

Kaeding, Scifres, and Sproles give the Chargers a VERY dangerous Special Teams bunch. Jerry Rosburg has his work cut out for him.

Good to keep the Chargers from getting into the endzone there after getting into the red zone.

4:50-14 straight games with a sack for the Ravens, as pointed out by CBS’ graphics department. With Nick Hardwick and Louis Vasquez out, Haloti Ngata should be able to get up the middle.

4:48-Well. Michael Bennett on the ground; then Malcolm Floyd abusing a 1-on-1 matchup with Malcolm Floyd. As I said, they’ll use the run to set up the downfield pass.

4:45-Not smart from Matt “Jack Hunter” Lawrence. For a guy who’s only on the roster for Special Teams, it probably isn’t good to ever have an official describe something you did as “totally unnecessary.”

4:41-What a statement drive Willis McGahee just capped off. “You don’t have any D-Linemen? Think we’ll just shove the ball down your throat.”

4:36-Darren Sproles and Ray Rice are SO similar. Eerie.

4:33-By the way Forrester, it’s a good thing you bought me a Jay-Z ticket, because the Orioles are DEFINITELY going to be swept again. I’ll save you having to purchase me 5 more Chinese lunches….

4:31-How many 99 yard drives have the Ravens ever given up? I don’t have a media guide in front of me. What a disaster.

4:27-Is there a quarterback in the NFL that throws the ball into the ground more than PhiLLLLip? Of course, when Darren Sproles is hauling in 81 yard TD passes, it doesn’t much matter. Christ.

4:26-You can’t allow Vincent Jackson to get a 1st down there. Phillip Rivers was willing to check down, and the Ravens should have been there to contain it.

4:23-Lardarius Webb apparently wants to make this week’s “Tuesday Top 7.” That’s the type of play you make when you’re trying to help your team win a game. Kelley Washington can dance all he wants, but that was all on the rookie out of Nicholls State.

4:21-Earlier in the preseason, Matt Birk and Joe Flacco had some communication issues on snaps. It had been weeks since I had seen something like that. This could have something to do with the noise. The Ravens were working with speakers pumping in noise this week in Owings Mills.

4:19-Was anyone else confused by the fact that no Chargers defender attempted to down that ball as it was rolling backwards towards midfield? Ummm……..thanks?

4:17-The heat could make guys a bit more “chippy” today. Also, the Chargers know they need to establish Sproles in order to be able to open up the rest of the field. No luck so far.

4:15-Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts on the call today on CBS. I know Dan Fouts is a Hall of Fame Chargers QB, but I expect him to be completely fair today. Seriously.

4:06-Rex Ryan is about to turn into the most impossible person to talk to. His ego will be the size of the Statue of Liberty after this one. You know he expects a parade through Manhattan, right?

3:49-Remember when MLB was considering a move to get rid of the Twins and Expos? I think the Redskins and Rams would be good choices for the NFL to consider doing the same thing with. Jesus. Thanks FOX for considering Baltimore as a secondary market to that football craphole that is the District of Columbia.

3:29-One more note: The 3rd quarterbacks for today’s game (these are also scratches) are John Beck and Charlie Whitehurst.

2:50-Here are your inactives for today’s game:

S Tom Zbikowski (concussion)
LB Dannell Ellerbe
OT Oniel Cousins
OL Tony Moll
TE LJ Smith (hamstring)
DT Brandon McKinney
DE/LB Paul Kruger

FS C.J. Spillman
RB LaDainian Tomlinson (ankle)
C Nick Hardwick (ankle)
OG Louis Vasquez (knee)
WR Buster Davis
LB Atwan Applewhite (Hamstring)
DE Travis Johnson (groin)

Also, DT Jamal Williams (triceps) was placed on IR last night, activating DE Andre Coleman from the practice squad. Ogemdi Nwagbuo is expected to start in Williams’ place.

2:43-Quick Chargers/Ravens history lesson. The Ravens are 3-3 all-time against the Bolts; but just 1-3 at “The Murph.” The Chargers pummeled the Ravens 32-14 in their most recent matchup (11/25/07) just weeks before Brian Billick was fired. The Ravens are 2-0 against the Chargers in Baltimore.

The Ravens come into today’s game off a “closer than it looks” 38-24 win over the Chiefs in Week 1, the Chargers rallied in the final moments to beat the Raiders 24-20 on Monday Night Football to start the season 1-0.

1:48-We’re still 2+ hours from kickoff today at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, but I’m going to open this up a little bit early today. We’re going to make some small changes in how we do this moving forward, as this blog will be less of me explaining what just happened (as I know you’re watching the game anyway), and more about offering a place for everyone to provide their own analysis. I’ll still be providing plenty of my own, for the record.

The Ravens and Chargers each come into today’s game 1-0, but the similarities don’t end there. The teams are similar in their young QB’s, their running style, their outside linebackers, and their defensive backs who work better as a unit than individually.

I’ll have plenty more to preview as we go forward towards 4:15 (and I scream at my computer every minute my fantasy football team isn’t getting points from Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald), but please feel free to chime in with your own thoughts, score predictions, etc.