A win is a win. Ravens now 3-2

October 07, 2019 | Dennis Koulatsos

Thoughts from yesterday’s Ravens win over the Steelers:

  • Ravens improve to 3-2, 1-1 in the AFC North Division, and in the process drop the Steelers to 1-4.  The 2-2 Browns are at San Francisco for a Monday Night match up.  The hapless Bengals – whom the Ravens face next at M&T Bank Stadium – are 0-5.
  • This was a great win for the team.  I know those who were looking for style points came away disappointed, but this was a big one for a number of reasons.
  • This was a bitterly contested game, won on the road against the Ravens’ biggest rival.
  • Steelers had very tough offensive and defensive lines that played hard.
  • Pitt o-line gave QBs Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges ample time to go through their progressions and find open receivers downfield.
  • Ravens pass rush was non-existent; no pressure on QBs is concerning.  Front 7 aren’t winning one on one battles; blitzes aren’t getting home.
  • Thank God for Brandon Williams – he is a difference maker.  In the NFL, defensively job 1 is stopping the run.  If you can’t understand that, then you don’t understand football.  Lots of people disliked the sizeable contract that Brandon Willams earned, but even they would say that the Ravens defense is “different” without him.  Michael Pierce is good, but he’s not great.  That’s reserved for BWill.
  • Lamar Jackson has a lot of areas he can improve upon, but he also makes plays that few QBs are capable of making. Late in the game, facing a critical 3rd and 5 situation, he ran a naked bootleg to the weak side, and was trapped by the sideline and two Steeler defenders.  Jackson put them on skates, cut it up field for a 7 yard gain and a first down.  Incredible!
  • Earl Thomas is coming on strong and is making a difference.  He’s improved from game to game and is getting comfortable in Wink Martindale’s defense.
  • Ravens wide receivers and tight ends must work on getting separation.  Don’t see many of them getting themselves open with any degree of consistency.  Think it’s past due to get Jaleel Scott off of the practice squad and on to the active roster.  And while we’re at it, has anyone seen Miles Boykin?
  • Marlon Humphrey is a rising star, for sure.  Can’t wait to get Jimmy Smith back.  The whole defense will level up as a result.
  • Feel bad about Tony Jefferson’s knee injury.  Good guy in the locker room and in the community.  Feel good about DeShon Elliott/Chuck Clark/Anthony Levin replacing him.  Ravens are deep at safety.  Tony was great in run support but had some lapses in his coverage game.  Team has a shot to improve pass coverage here.  Someone had to say it, so there.
  • Justin Tucker is not the greatest kicker in the league today.  He is the greatest kicker in NFL history.  To put away not one but two field goals on the devilish – open end of Heinz Field with the swirling winds and all, was simply amazing.  We are watching history folks.
  • The referees were awful.  I even had a Steelers fan comment to me midway through the third quarter that we were getting robbed by the calls.  I told him not to worry, as it was going to be their turn soon.  When #92 tackled Jackson in the 4th quarter and summarily received a 15 yard roughing the QB penalty, he quickly quipped “You were right.”
  • The zebras are making a lot of these games unwatchable.  If you weren’t a Ravens or Steelers fan, you’d probably  have turned the game off at half time.  No way should the officials have as much impact as they do towards the outcome of a game.  It’s neither good for the league nor the brand, and certainly not the fans.