Gut check victory for the Ravens today. And here’s to Joe Nedney pulling it wide right. Which brings this question, among others, to mind: How many games has this team won in its history due to the opponents’ kicker missing a crucial attempt? It’s a lot, that’s for sure. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take it – but it sure is hard to suffer through, isn’t it?
Give Special Super Extra Credit to that O-Line for today’s win. I counted it up during the 2nd Half after my halftime blog. SEVEN YEARS of COMBINED NFL experience between LT to RT. THAT is impressive, folks! They opened enough lanes for Willis to get 88 rushing, and McNair had time in the pocket. If you’re trying to get excited about an uneven performance, think about the efforts of those young men today. The future definitely looks bright for this unit, and the Ravens’ collective eye for talent deserves plaudits for acquiring these guys. I know those guys learned some valuable lessons out there today, and it will serve the franchise well as the season rolls along.
Quinn Sypniewski did a credible job filling in for Todd Heap as the only TE active. Although I would have liked to see him make that catch down the seam in the 2nd Quarter.
Speaking of receivers, how about D-Mason? This guy’s having a terrific year, coming up big in every situation. And his late 4th Quarter catch on 3rd and 4 sealed the deal. And he battled off what looked like an ankle tweak earlier in the quarter. He’s a pro’s pro.
Sterling effort defensively. Two plays are all they really allowed. Good, constant pressure, both off the edges and up the middle, against Dilfer. I like our chances through the bye week if they continue those efforts. But it will be nice to get Rolle and Pryce back to add depth.
A friend called me right after the game and said, "We’re the crappiest 3-2 team in the league". I can’t disagree, but just look at the amount of regulars out or hurt during this game. Wins like this build character and help win games in the crucible of November and December. The confidence gained by those young Ravens today will pay off in spades later this year. Mark my words.
Next week is the second straight potential game against an opponents’ backup QB. Then Buffalo, which could make it three in a row. I like the Ravens’ chances under those circumstances.
As for Billick’s decision to throw on 2nd and 5 with 2:38 to play and the 49ers down to two timeouts, well, I think I’ll just have to tune in tomorrow to Drew, Bob and Rob to hear all the opinions.
But I think you already know which way I’m leaning on that call…