Stolen Identity

December 08, 2009 | Chad Lamasa

I will admit, I missed the vast majority of the first half of the Ravens game, as I was busy watching the Caps, shut out division rival Tampa Bay on the road last night. If it was anything like what I saw in the second half I’m glad I did.
There were just so many issues in this game that I find it hard to even write a blog. Where do you start?
Maybe I’ll start at the end of the game. Johnny Unitas almost singlehandedly invented the two minute drill in the 1958 Championship game. Last night the Ravens destroyed it.
With under two minutes on the clock and down two scores you have to have a sense of urgency. I’ve seen snails move faster than the Ravens did between plays on that drive. It was almost as if the Ravens had conceded the game to the Packers.
Players were wandering to the line as if it were two minutes left in the third quarter. The play calling was horrific on this drive. The commentators were even commenting on how we needed to go to the end zone, instead of those short passes and rushes for virtually no gain.
Cam Cameron seems to have reverted back to the 1-15 season he had with the Dolphins two seasons ago. The play calling has been vanilla all season. What happened to the three headed monster rushing attack of last year? Where are the trick plays with Troy Smith? In my opinion (unless something really drastic changes in the final four games of the season) it may be time to change offensive coordinators.
This brings me to the rest of the coaching last night. John Harbaugh almost seemed more interested in hosting a family reunion on the sidelines than paying attention to the game. Why was Jim even there? And why is he barking at the refs? And while I’m at it why was Ed Reed coaching the defense?
I heard Drew mention that this morning, but I was thinking the same thing while watching the game last night. Is that a knock against Mattison? Is the league going back to player coaches?  Reed may make a good coach after he’s retired. Until then I say we let our coaching staff coach. 
What has happened to Joe Flacco? It seems like Kyle Boller tied him up, locked him in a closet and came out to play in his jersey.
The interception in the end zone should never have happened. If it was the last play of the game and that gives you a win ok go ahead and try it. I could even see if it were on a fourth down play. Where it happened in the game made no sense.
On a second down play, Flacco was pressured to move out of the pocket. I can’t for the life of me figure out why he threw the ball. He had eluded the defender and had about four or five yards of clear sailing in front of him. Tuck the ball and run! Worst case scenario he gets tackled behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of a couple of yards and it’s third down. At least you still have the ball.
Best case, maybe he gains a yard or two and stretches over the goal line for a TD. I would have even accepted him just running out of bounds with it. But throwing across his body, over both sets of hash marks to a guy that was covered, was a bad decision.
Onto the penalties. What can you even say about a game that featured 23 penalties for 310 combined yards? I heard a couple of people trying to blame the refs. They called a tight game but it was fair game. The Packers were called for 11 penalties to the Ravens 12. They weren’t allowing guys to get away with anything and that’s fine. The teams should make adjustments to that.
How many of those penalties were pass interference calls? At this point in the season those should not be happening. Especially on the offensive side of the ball. The call on Mason was the right call. However, having been in the league as long as he has, he should know to keep his mouth shut after a call. Getting called for unsportsmanlike like conduct and turning a 47 yard gain into a huge loss is unacceptable.
Either Mason or Harbaugh, possibly both, will say it’s because Mason is a competitor. I’m sick of hearing that. Every guy that plays in the NFL is a competitor or they don’t stay in the NFL. You can be a competitor and not take stupid penalties.
If you want to be a playoff team, that needs to be corrected and quickly. But penalties have plagued us all season, so I really don’t think it’s going to change now.
I had high hopes for the Ravens in the beginning of the season, now I’m just hoping for a .500 season. We’re not mathematically eliminated, but we might as well be. Even if we do make the playoffs, I don’t see a deep run for them.
Oh well, at least I still have the Capitals to hang my championship hopes on.