I’m not sure why I’m surprised at today’s loss.
So far the 2011 Ravens have shown us that they play well in “Big” games and come up small against teams with losing records.
Here’s my thoughts about the game:
- It’s absolutely maddening. How do you explain a loss to a team that had not lead in a single game this season at halftime? How do you explain how journeyman Tavaris Jackson was able to dissect the Ravens secondary with little pressure in his face? The term letdown is going to be used ad nauseum all week by both the local and national press and you have to wonder if that’s all there is to this loss. I know that its hard to bring the same level of intensity every week and you don’t always have your “A” game with you but good teams find ways to win. They may slip here and again but usually they beat the teams that they are supposed to. That’s why the Ravens are so hard to figure. They hold wins over Pittsburgh (TWICE), the Jets, and Houston who are all contenders for top team in the AFC. But their losses especially to the Jaguars and now the Seahawks are at best head scratchers. Teams with limited offensive potential who scored enough while keeping the offense in check. The pattern has been established. That said, I’d be more shocked if they lost next week when they host the Bengals than what happened today. It just seems to be the trend and I’m not sure why.
- The Offense sputtered out the gate again. The Running game was totally abandoned and it seemed as if Cam Cameron went into panic mode way too soon. They rushed only 12 times for 75 yards. That’s averaging 6.3 a rush! It makes me wonder why they signed Vonta Leach. Ray Rice carried the ball 5 times. FIVE TIMES! FIVE TIMES! Mr. Cameron I want answers.
- Special Teams has been a concern all season and this time they helped cost the team a game. David Reed who has been shaky most of the season had an embarrassing outing. Two Fumbles and a ridiculous Unsportmanlike penalty for taunting. It’s time for Reed to find a seat while Laquan Williams or maybe Tandon Doss gets shot to win the job. Once again Billy Cundiff can’t seem to hit Field Goals when the team needs it – he missed two long tries today and swung momentum to the home team.
- Joe Flacco followed up a great game in Pittsburgh with an uneven effort in Seattle. He got little help from multiple drops by receivers but he missed open targets too. His accuracy seemed spotty and could have been picked off more than once today.
- The defense is beginning to concern me. They looked pretty bad today against a very poor offense and when the team needed stops from them at the end of the game they simply couldn’t contain Beast mode. The Ravens cut the lead to 5 and with two penalties had Seattle on their own ten with First and Twenty with 5:52 in the game. The Ravens needed a Three and Out but instead let Seattle run Twelve plays and the clock out. The lack of pressure on Tavaris Jackson is also something to take note of. Yes, they used Shotgun to buy Jackson time but the Ravens didn’t seem to have many answers to slow one of the worst offenses in the league. They also failed to generate any turnovers which didn’t help matters.
- Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta were bright spots today. Dickson hauled in 10 passes for 79 yds and 2 touchdowns while Pitta caught 4 for 49. Both players continue to develop into threats over the middle in the red zone.
- I have to mention that were beaten today by Steven Hauschka. Certainly Ravens fans remember running Hauschka out on a rail several years ago when his missed kicks cost the team a few games before. This time it was Hauschka who delivered while Cundiff came up short. Should I mention that getting both gives the Ravens a one-point win? Nah, didn’t think so.
- Make no mistake this was a total team loss today from the coaches to the players. The coaches for not adapting their game plan and the players for getting outworked on the road (again). Now a crucial game is set up for next week with the Bengals as they come to M & T.
- Back to the Defensive ineptitude. They gave up plays of 21, 23, and 50 yards. I know that the turnovers put them on a short field but the Ravens didn’t get blown out only because Jackson and his offense are that bad. What is also troubling was that none of the Ravens stars on Big D made a huge impact.
- Return of the End Around. A play call that usually brought groans from fans and negative yardage to the stat sheet was actually successful not once – but TWICE today. I will also give Cam props for the creative Halfback option from Ray Rice.