You Play The Coach – Game Ball Picks – Week 5

October 12, 2008 |

After hearing some phone calls on the Comcast Morning show today and reading some of the comments on the message boards, it’s no wonder outsiders have Baltimore pegged as a bandwagon town. I used to defend our civic fanhood, but many fair-weather fans are showing their true colors today.

Flacco is a rookie and he’s going to have games like these. But, hey…we’re 2-2 and we’ve been competitive against Pittsburgh and Tennessee, two of the AFC’s best. If only we could close out games…

Some post-game thoughts:

-A good team would have found a way to be 3-1 right now. I realize strange things happen in the NFL and sometimes you get a L when you deserve a W; but a good team would have scratched out a win against either Pittsburgh or Tennessee. The defense has been dominant, but special teams are a mess and the offense simply has to score more points. The Ravens are an improving team with a lot of up-side, but we aren’t good yet. That’s not to say we couldn’t be good a few weeks from now, because we have a lot of useful tools at our disposal.

-The Suggs penalty was certainly questionable. It’s becoming increasingly evident that no whistle was blown and that he glanced Collins’ helmet at best. But, in all fairness, the refs have made one thing painfully clear to the players: if you touch a quarterback in the head, it’s gonna be 15 yards every time.

-Speaking of the refs, yesterday’s crew really needed to swallow the whistle a little more. There have been several games all over the league where referees have affected the flow or the outcome of the game, and to me, that is simply unacceptable. They are becoming a part of the game a little too much. Goodell needs to implore some laissez-faire officiating policies.

-I’m really sick of talking about Frank Walker, because, frankly, he sucks. But I don’t like our chances with Walker on Harrison/Wayne next week (assuming Washington is a no-go with his shoulder injury). I’ve said it since the pre-season; this guy is a hot-head and a liability. And Oglesby/Walker on Gonzalez? Yikes…if we don’t pressure Peyton he’s gonna have a field day.

-Over/under – games until Ed Reed misses a start: 2.5

-This performance by a healthy Ravens defense thus far has been nothing short of spectacular. They are the lone reason we are in these close games with playoff teams. We’ll see if that holds up next week with a depleted secondary…you might see Bob Haynie out there in dime packages.

-Willis McGahee needs to become more of a factor in this offense. I think the reason why he hasn’t been is more due to his conditioning level than his injuries. He just looks gassed…and take it from a coach…your conditioning level most definitely contributes to how susceptible you are to injury, and that is true of all sports. Le’Ron McClain cannot be our feature back. He should get the ball and grind it out when we have leads in the second half, but McGahee should be the one dictating the pace of the game.

-We really need a #1 receiver…Mason would make a great #2 don’t you think?

-Flacco has shown good progression in reading coverages and knowing when to flush the pocket. He just needs to learn to not play above himself or above the game and know when to throw the ball away. I don’t blame him for making mistakes…Tom Brady makes mistakes. But it’s exciting to watch this guy progress. He can make any throw on the field.

-The injury report should be really interesting this week. I think if the Ravens were healthy they’d beat the Colts…check back later this week for predicitions.

My game ball goes to Ray Lewis. There’s no need to continually go over what this guy brings to the table. He continues to make my jaw drop.

Who gets your game ball?

Editorial Note: Feel free to give a game ball to someone who doesn’t play for the Ravens, if, objectively, you feel like they deserve it.

Results From Previous Weeks:

Week 1 vs. Bengals:

My pick: Ray Lewis. Your pick: Ravens Offensive Line

Week 3 vs. Browns:

My pick: Ray Lewis. Your pick: Ravens Offensive Line

Week 4 @ Pittsburgh:

My pick: Joe Flacco. Your pick: Joe Flacco