Drew’s Morning Dish — Fri., September 6

September 06, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Well, we weren’t gonna win ’em all anyway.

How’s that for being Mr. Positive this morning?

Actually, there IS a positive from Thursday night’s ass kicking in Denver.

The Ravens’ team plane landed safely at BWI Airport just before 6am Friday morning.

Unfortunately, the entire defensive backfield was on the flight.  I’m kidding.  I think…

How ugly was the 49-27 de-balling in Denver?  There were Old Mill High School cheerleaders who were more pretty back in 1981.  (Yeah, I know…hard to believe.)

After looking very much like a defending Super Bowl champion through 30 minutes of season-opening football, the Ravens imploded over the final two quarters Thursday night, embarrassing themselves in front of a national TV audience and leaving themselves open to a plethora of questions over the next ten days before the Browns come to town as the home-opener-sacrificial lamb on September 15.

Where to start?

As my Dad used to tell me, “this is going to hurt ME a lot more than it’s going to hurt YOU…”

It hurts me to put Dallas Clark on blast — he just showed up here three weeks ago.  But, that drop at the end of the first half was a real momentum killer.  It reminded me of last January’s AFC championship game in New England when Tom Brady and Co. botched the final half minute of the second quarter and were forced to kick a field goal to go up 13-7 instead of 17-7 at the intermission.  There’s a huge difference between being up six points (one score) and ten points (two scores).  If Clark catches that ball late in the second quarter, it’s 21-14 instead of 17-14.  Would the Ravens have gone on to win if Flacco and Clark connect for a TD there?  Probably not.  Read that again:  Probably not.  In other words — who knows?

The Jacoby Jones injury was huge.  An already suspect Baltimore receiving corps was reduced to nothing more than Torrey Smith and newcomer Marlon Brown — and although both of those guys acquitted themselves well on Thursday night, you’re not beating anyone in the league with just those two players.

Michael Oher got hurt and rookie Rick Wagner came in.  The best part of the night for Wagner?  His name was spelled correctly on the back of his jersey.  Other than that, it was a complete disaster.  Red-headed step children all over the country were feeling bad for him.

The good news for Gino Gradkowski?  Because Wagner had to play, GG wasn’t the worst Ravens offensive lineman on Thursday night.  Can we blame Matt Birk for that one?  After all, he took Gradkowski under his wing a year ago.  I’m joking, of course.  That said, Gradkowski was pushed back and shoved around more than Eminem’s ex-wife Kim.

Cornerback Corey Graham had so many holes in his game the Ravens gave him a kevlar vest to start the 4th quarter.  Michael Huff wasn’t much better.  Neither was Jimmy Smith.  The good news for those three?  They only see Peyton Manning once in the regular season.  And that’s the truth.  To keep Thursday night’s debacle in perspective, you simply have to keep in mind that the Ravens likely won’t face an offense that dangerous and that prolific over the final 15 regular season games.

The failure to challenge the Wes Welker catch in the 3rd quarter was clearly a game-changer.  There’s nothing else to say about that.  Someone upstairs in the press box wasn’t able to get to John Harbaugh in time and it completely altered the complexion of the final two quarters of play.  Blame it on Harbaugh if you want — after all, Corey Graham was pleading with him to challenge it — but the truth is the coach gets his information from a staffer who has access to the TV replay.  That was obviously a HUGE blunder in the game.  Huge.

Hold on a second — the Broncos just scored again while I’m writing this.  It’s now 88-27.

Anyway, that was brutal on Thursday night.

Somewhere, even Frank Walker was laughing at how inept the Baltimore secondary was…

Shut up, Frank.

There was even a blocked punt last night, which has only happened to Sam Koch three times in his entire career.

Not much went right in the second half, which is what most people will focus on over the next ten days.  The Broncos, of course, are a pretty good team.  It’s not like the Raiders plowed us last night.  But, if that’s the kind of defensive performance we’re going to see six or eight times this season, it’s gonna be a long 2013 campaign.


9 Comments For This Post

  1. John in Westminster Says:

    Would have loved to have seen Elam and Brown out with the defense last night. Huff and Ihedigbo were soft and our linebackers couldn’t cover. Would they have done any worse?

    It sure would have been nice if this was a home game…NOT!

  2. Anegelos is worse than Irsay Says:

    Well, just think of how happy good ole Peter Angelos was last night. Rest assured, he loved watching the Ravens get blown out on national television all the while knowing he played a small part in it. Absolutely disgusting that the defending champs had to go on the road for the first game because a worthless, embarrassing, classless organization took precedent over one of the best in sports. I’m 100% done with the Orioles while he is the owner. I just can’t stomach putting any support or money behind his organization. It’s not enough he’s ruined baseball in Baltimore, but he has to do all he can to bring down the football team. At least Irsay had the decency to leave town. Angelos revels in sticking it to Baltimore year after year anyway he can. Here’s hoping his Orioles lose every game they ever play while he’s the owner. GO WHITESOX!

  3. unitastoberry Says:

    It went pretty much how I thought it would minus the injuries. New defense HOF QB vanilla covergages second half drubbing. On offense no TE and dropped balls by Dixon. They will get better folks if they can stay healthy and focused. I hope Pees gets more creative as the season goes on and teaches guys to cover aka Smith. Its good they played the best team in the AFC on the opener.

  4. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Thank God we won our previous game…the Super Bowl

  5. Gil From Perry Hall Says:

    Drew, you need to give credit where credit is due. Wagner did pounce on Joe Flacco’s fumble late in the game after his man tackled Joe and forced the fumble.

    So much to think about but consider this: Your phone lines would be burning up with “Fire Cam” if he presided over A SIXTY TWO passing attempt game by our QB with so few running touches going to Ray.

    Ray 12 carries (the game’s leading rusher with 38 yards), 8 receptions, ?? targets

    BTW I do not believe that Denver took away the run. I think the Jones and Oher injuries, indirectly and directly took it away.

  6. The Armchair QB Says:

    Can’t find fault with anything you point out, Drew. The bottom line is that one game does not make a season, but it did make a loud, bold, clarifying statement that this team is NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME!

  7. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Drew, what was the attendance numbers at the O’s game last night, just curious? (DF: They announced 17,000. Looked like 7,000 or so in the building.)

  8. Jason Manelli Says:

    Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you. Last night, we were dinner.

  9. Carlos Henry Says:

    Ray Lewis retires, was finished and a shell of himself anyway. Nothing the team could do. It was time anyway as much as we love him. Ed Reed leaves for Houston and is also a shell of his former self due to injuries and NFL wear and tear. OK, he isn’t the playmaker he once was anymore and I don’t think he’ll make any significant impact for the Texans going forward. Ellerbe and Kruger also moved on in free agency. They won’t be the players they were here for Miami and Cleveland and you can take that to the bank. Any non-believers need only reference Ed Hartwell, Adalius Thomas or Bart Scott. All of those losses the Ravens could do without, believe it or not. The one player they couldn’t afford to lose was Anquan Boldin. Even if Pitta doesn’t get injured they still needed Boldin opposite Torrey Smith to be able to make defenses defend the entire field as they did in the playoffs. Then again who needs Anquan when you have Ed Dickson, Dallas Clark and Brandon Stokley to pick up the slack. I love Ozzie Newsome as much as any other Ravens die-hard but he made a mistake with that move. Sorry to say it, but it’s the truth. The defensive communication and play can and will improve. The lack of viable WR targets and production will not. “Buckle Up” Ravens fans. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

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