You Play The Coach – Ravens Game Ball Picks for Week 4

September 30, 2008 |

In the third installment of “You Play The Coach,” I’m giving my game ball to Joe Flacco, even though I think Ray Lewis is equally deserving.

I’m giving my game ball to Flacco, however, in fear of becoming too repetitive, as I gave #52 my game ball after the first two Ravens wins.

But we saw A LOT out of Flacco last night.

Simply put, he has a pro arm, and he’s the best player to ever line up behind center in the short history of the Ravens franchise.

What we all were anticipating was confirmed last night. This guy IS a franchise quarterback; and yes, I’m making that claim after three games. This guy is the real deal.

We saw him throw strikes to his receivers, while not throwing costly interceptions under pressure on the road. He also demonstrated that he can put a little touch on the ball, as seen when he lofted a perfect pass over Troy Polamalu (and his hair) for his first NFL touchdown pass.

He led a game-tying drive in the 4th quarter under the pressure of Dick LeBeau’s blitz packages on national television.

And that’s refreshing to see from a QB in a Ravens uniform.

The fumble that gave the Steelers the lead was just as much Jared Gaither’s fault as it was Flacco’s. Maybe he should have tucked the ball, but then again, how many times did we see Big Ben step up in the pocket last night and break tackles in that OT period?

That’s all he was trying to do…make a play. You can’t blame the guy for that. Instead, blame the protection from the tackles that left him vulnerable and face down on the turf. He was blindsided.

And if not for the injury to McClain late in the 4th quarter, which effectively ended any hopes of a 2-minute drill by forcing the Ravens to take their final timeout, I think we would have seen him execute a beautiful 2-minute offense. Especially considering he executed his best drive as a pro football player just one possession earlier, as Glenn Clark already explained in his Crabs and Beer segment brought to you by Miller Chill.

I agree with Drew…the AFC North is a race to 9 wins.

The Ravens WILL compete for the AFC North crown throughout the entire season. Last night, despite the Ravens loss, Pittsburgh proved that they were not a dominant team in this division. We beat the stuffing out of them for 55 minutes of that game.

Three positives to take away from this game:

-As a team, the Ravens deserved to win that game. If not for a few stupid decisions by a few individuals, this team would be 3-0.

-The Steelers have the toughest schedule in the league with a suspect offensive line and a depleted running attack. If you can’t run the ball or protect the QB, you will not be successful in this league in the long run.

-Finally, except for the overtime portion of the game, Flacco out played a Super Bowl winning QB for the vast majority of the contest.

If that doesn’t get you excited, check your pulse.

Results From Previous Weeks:

Week 1:

My pick: Ray Lewis

Your pick: Ravens Offensive Line

Week 3:

My pick: Ray Lewis

Your pick: Ravens Offensive Line

Week 4:

My pick: Joe Flacco

Your pick: ?????

So…who gets your game ball in week 4?