That should shut up the Joe Flacco detractors.
For a week, at least.
Talk about earning your sixty million dollars, the Ravens quarterback did that and then some on Sunday in Miami, engineering an offensively challenged unit to a gritty road win in Miami, 26-23.
It wasn’t all Flacco. Torrey Smith was the other offensive player who showed up, along with occasional contributions from Tandon Doss and Ed Dickson, but it was essentially the Flacco and Smith show that carried the Ravens to an important win over a Dolphins team that’s not nearly as good as they first appeared.
Make no mistake about it, though, the Ravens won on Sunday because Flacco was able to stay upright despite a woeful first half of protection from his offensive line. And, when the Super Bowl MVP needed to make a throw, he did, even though Baltimore fielded just three healthy wide receivers (Smith, Doss and Deonte Thompson).
Legit quarterbacks win games like the Ravens won on Sunday in Miami. Flacco earned his money yesterday.
Baltimore football fans are used to seeing their purple birds squeak out three point wins when parts of the engine aren’t hitting on all cylinders. Those victories are often filed away under “a win is a win…” It’s become a familiar phrase over the years, albeit a frustrating one, but Sunday in Miami was one of those wins where you want to bellyache about it before realizing there was really no reason for the Ravens to win in the first place.
I know this much: 3 and 2, as in Baltimore’s current record, is much better than 2 and 3.
I also know this: Miami, while not very good in my opinion, might fluke their way to nine or ten wins this season given that they play the Bills and Jets twice, plus the Steelers once. That win total could also closely resemble what the Ravens wind up with by the end of December. If, somehow, the Ravens and Dolphins finish tied for one of the AFC’s playoff spots, Sunday’s win in Miami would be the tiebreaker.
Any way you slice it, Sunday was a big win for John Harbaugh’s team.
They’re offensively challenged…yes.
Their secondary isn’t very good…admitted.
Until Sunday in Miami, their run game was basically non existent.
Yet, they’re 3-2 through five games, with injuries all over the place.
Back in the old days when the Orioles were really good, there was a style of play at Memorial Stadium called “The Oriole Way”.
What you saw on Sunday in Miami, with a plodding offense and a bend-but-not-break defense, is affectionately referred to these days as “The Raven Way”.
The United States President’s Cup team nearly turned a laugher into a historic collapse, but the one guy on the team immune from back nine failings produced huge pars when it mattered most and the Americans won the bi-annual golf event against a spirited International team.
That Tiger Woods turned out to be the guy who sunk the winning putt shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s done that three times when Fred Couples has been the USA’s captain.
That Woods needed 18 holes to dispose of pesky Richard Sterne is also not a complete shock if you know anything about Sterne. He’s a feisty South African, cut from the same cloth as his captain, Nick Price, and destined to join the likes of Trevor Immelman, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen as guys you’ve never heard of who wind up winning major titles in their career. I’m not sure which one he’ll win – the British Open maybe? – but Sterne will be a major champ at some point soon.
Woods, meanwhile, is still the guy you want with the ball at his feet and a club in his hand with the whole competition on the line. Bad back or not – and who knows about that? – he’s not making a mistake down the stretch when it matters.