Ripping Refs Is For Losers

September 17, 2012 | Thyrl Nelson

2. Predictable offense


It’s been a running theme in the Cam Cameron / John Harbaugh / Joe Flacco era and it reared its head again. The Ravens ran 39 of their 67 offensive snaps from the shotgun and ran the ball exactly twice from that set. The reason play action works so well for the Ravens is because it keeps the defense honest and makes them account for the pass. What the Ravens have done from the shotgun formation over the last several seasons essentially announces to the opposing defense that here will be no running. Opposing defenders are then free to pin their ears back and sell out to the pass. The Eagles took full advantage of those pre-snap “announcements” on Sunday. And again, where was the hurry up?


3. Free runners in the secondary


Maybe Bernard Pollard is much more of a “glue factor” for the defense than we gave him credit for, as the Ravens didn’t seem to be the same after his departure. Maybe it was Ed Reed being Ed Reed. He caught a tipped pass that basically fell into his lap, but he also allowed himself to be hurdled by Brent Celek and left Cary Williams absolutely naked on his over the top coverage on Jeremy Maclin’s touchdown. Maybe it was the lack of a pass rush, seemingly too tentative about not allowing Vick to run. Whatever the cause, Celek, Maclin (while he was in) and DeSean Jackson all ran mostly unmolested through the Baltimore secondary for most of the day. Dare I say Kyle Boller could have lit the Ravens up under those circumstances?


4. Michael Vick


The Ravens allowed a glorified running back to light them up through the air on Sunday. As much as many like to bash him (myself included) Vick torched the Ravens for 54 more yards than he had against the Browns last week on 24 less passing attempts. His knack for running the ball kept the Ravens off balance all day and allowed him to carve up their defense. The absence of Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson to contain the edges has left the Ravens defensive front gun-shy and on Sunday they paid the price.


5. The Eagles are good


Forget their struggles against the Browns in week 1; it sure looks like they did. The Ravens went on the road, in a short week against a team looking for a boost in confidence and hungry to get it. This was, in some ways, predictable. Vegas saw the Ravens as a 2-point underdog this week despite last week’s impressive showing. The Ravens to their credit held it to 1, which should be of no consolation to anyone.