So, it wasn’t quite the walk-in-the-park most of us expected. Not by a longshot.
Here are the bullet points from today’s 38-24 win over the Chiefs.
1. I watched the whole thing again on my Comcast DVR and went over several of the key parts of the game. In all fairness, Kansas City looked like they wanted it more than the Ravens — looked like they worked harder at it. Let’s hope that was just the Ravens playing down to their level of competition. KC isn’t very good – I doubt they win 6 games this year – but they “manned up” today, even though they were inferior from a talent standpoint.
2. Derrick Mason is so vital to the Ravens offense…I’m not sure we all realize how important that dude is, but he’s the straw in the drink. Gets open, catches it, fights for it. He’s terrific.
3. Putting Troy Smith out there in “whatever” role that was today is just insane. I don’t get it at all. If we don’t have a WR capable of running around out there as the 5th guy, we’re in trouble. No sense at all in risking Smith. I don’t get it.
4. Chris Chester had a nice game. Unheralded.
5. There’s no kicker controversy in Baltimore. Hauschka is the kicker. On the one he missed, he hit the ball perfectly, it just drifted a little with the wind. I’ve always been a Stover fan, but they just need to move on and sink or swim with Hauschka. And I think they’ll swim with Hauschka. He’ll be fine.
6. I don’t know what the hell Todd Haley was thinking about with 1:40 to play in the game, going for it on 4th and 18 from their own 13 yard line. WTF? Punt the ball there. Anything could happen on the punt — roughing the kicker, fumble on the return, ball could have bounced weird and hit a Ravens player…ANYTHING could have happened, who the hell knows? Going for it on 4th and 18 there is just giving up. With two time-outs left, KC would have probably been able to get it back with 35 seconds to play assuming the Ravens went 3 plays and then punted themselves. As it was, KC got it back with 27 seconds to play trailing by 14. Going for it on 4th and 18 with 1:40 to play? I didn’t understand that move by Haley AT ALL. Poor coaching there.
7. Joe Flacco is really good.
8. John Harbaugh did the right thing by going for it on 4th down in the final minute of the game. I know some of the gamblers didn’t think so — and some were thrilled — but kicking it there leaves too many variables. Run it in and go up by 14 or don’t get the TD and give them the ball back with 99 yards to go and 35 seconds on the clock. Harbaugh did the right thing.