Dime Coverage: Lions vs. Ravens Pre-Season #2

Well, that sucked.

You’ll have to excuse my blunt nature. It’s late and I’m wrapping up my report as I sit in a hotel room in Cooperstown when I should be getting some sleep to prepare for a big day of baseball fun with my younger brother and father.

My head is swimming trying to figure out the Ravens uneven and lackluster performance tonight. I do know that if I were Head coach John Harbaugh I be pretty unhappy with tonight’s effort and I’d have plenty to review with my team as they prepared for the what is usually considered the most important of the fake games next week.

Here’s just a few thoughts for you to ponder about tonight’s game:

  • The Ravens “new” offense (a.k.a. Sugar Huddle) under Joe Flacco moved the ball much better than they did last week however they just couldn’t seem to finish drives in the endzone. Dropped passes and penalties were once again the culprits as they had to settle for Field Goals. This point seems standard for this offense but I think they will get better only because they have to. Given most of the game to operate Tyrod Taylor looked awful last night and numerous times missed open receivers. He’s seemingly opened the door to a competition with Curtis Painter. Luckily for him Painter didn’t do that much with the five minutes he was given in the Fourth Quarter.
  • So that meant that the kicking battle took center stage as Billy Cundiff and Justin Tucker went to a draw. Cundiff hit attempts of 33 and 44 yards while Tucker boomed one from 50 and 45 as well. Did I say draw? Tucker did also execute an Onsides kick late in the game too so maybe that gives him a slight edge tonight. At any rate I’m finally starting to buy into this thing as a true competition only because the kid from Texas has been lights out so far. Will he ultimately unseat Cundiff? Stay tuned.
  • Calvin Johnson Megatron is good great. In fact I think all announcers should simply refer to him using his nickname from now on because he’s a football cyborg destined to destroy all defenses and shatter receiving records. He took turns abusing Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith but then again he does that to almost any corner in the league.
  • Speaking of which I am not ready to go into panic mode with the Ravens defense…yet. In the first Quarter the Ravens looked like their usual selves and it was not until some starters had left (Ray Lewis, Ed Reed) that Stafford’s group got cooking. The lack of pressure is going to be a consistent theme all season especially with no Sizzle to do his thing. The Ravens didn’t bother Stafford much tonight (Zero Sacks) and they paid for it. Let’s also keep in mind that Jimmy Smith hasn’t been healthy and Williams is working back into form. Both showed a definite need to revisit form drills.
  • Special Teams is still a concern for me. Penalties twice wiped out two exciting runbacks – one which was a touchdown and could have changed the momentum. On the positive side Deonte Thompson and Asa Jackson each looked quick and showed great burst on their respective returns.
  • While I’m on the subject Coach, could you explain why you have Lardarius Webb back returning Punts in a meaningless game? He’s only our top Corner and recently signed a super duper million dollar deal. Why risk it?
  • The Offensive Line did a much more complete job tonight. I’m also firmly convinced that rookie Kelechi Osemele needs to start. I have no idea where at this point. I just think that he’s one of our top five lineman and you always want your best out there. He’s physical and nasty and I like that he’s on my team.
  • The backup running back spot still looks pretty muddy at this point. Bobby Rainey was the breakout player in Atlanta but after this game I’d give the ball to Damien Berry. He rushed only 3 times for 13 yards but he┬áled the team in catches with 6 for 59 yards. Bernard Pierce actually played with little to show on the stat sheet while Anthony Allen continues to look like a player who’ll end up cut in a few weeks. Ultimately I still see the Ravens trying to upgrade here through Free Agency.
  • It’s always fun listening to Brian Billick do color. He’s does a nice job and being a know it all analyst seems to suit him well.
  • To finish on a positive note Christian Thompson’s jarring hit to cause a fumble and halt a potential touchdown was a great play. Of course it would only make sense that Omar Brown was on the recovery.
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One Response to “Dime Coverage: Lions vs. Ravens Pre-Season #2”

  1. […] table. As for punt returns, my colleague, Matt Jergensen stated…”there is no reason for┬áLardarius Webb to be returning punts in preseason, a meaningless […]

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