Many of us, myself included, tuned into the NFL Network last night expecting doom and gloom for the purple and black. But the Ravens shocked the nation last night, crashing the star-studded party in Big D to commemorate the closing of Texas Stadium.
Terrell Suggs said it best: “I hope they enjoyed their little ceremony. I guess we were kind of like the dynamite.”
Once again, Derrick Mason proved his worth and his toughness by fighting through a painful shoulder dislocation to catch 6 balls for 66 yards and a touchdown. He also might have saved the game by recovering the Le’Ron McClain fumble. You could see it in his eyes – he was in obvious pain every time he lifted himself off the turf. Easily one of the grittiest performances I’ve seen from a player in a long time, especially at the wide receiver position where there are more divas than tough guys.
The defense played very well, confusing offensive coordinator Jason Garrett for the majority of the game. Suggs had another gem of a quote concerning Garrett after the game: “I wonder what team he wishes he was coaching tonight?”
Ray Lewis and Suggs were in Tony Romo’s face all night and Ed Reed’s MVP stock continues to rise. A few things that concern me:
-There were plays to be made early in the game, but Dallas just couldn’t convert them when they needed too. I don’t like seeing Corey Ivy and Frank Walker covering Terrell Owens.
-Late in the game the defense played soft again. At one point late in the fourth quarter after McGahee scampered into the end zone, they only rushed two down lineman and allowed Romo to make a big pass play down field which set up a Cowboys score. I’d like to see that changed.
Other than that, it was a dominating performance by the Ravens defense. Aside from the touchdown pass he allowed, Fabian Washington played another great game and continues to be a shut-down corner in replace of Chris McAlister.
Joe Flacco continues to answer all of the national media’s questions. Their latest – Will Joe Flacco be rattled in a playoff atmosphere on the road?
Answer- Of course not.
After fumbling deep in Baltimore territory on the first drive…he could have cracked. When he was getting smacked around all night by the Dallas defense…he could have wavered. In a playoff atmosphere, on the road, on national TV, and with every sports fan in the country watching…he could have crumbled…he SHOULD have crumbled. Someone should tell this guy that he’s a rookie. Even when he wasn’t playing well the last two weeks, he still carried himself like a veteran. He easily outplayed the $67 million dollar man with the hot girlfriend.
So it’s a great Sunday to be in Baltimore. No football hangover this week, but I’m sure there are thousands of plain old-fashioned hangovers out there. Have an aspirin and a cold shower and recover next to the tube today. Watching the NFL will be a lot of fun if you’re a Ravens fan. I’m certain that Dallas fans can’t say the same.