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Dime Coverage: Post Game Thoughts on Bengals vs. Ravens MNF

Yeah, he’s still got it!

Now that’s the way to announce your presence with authority in front of a national audience.

No doubt the talking heads will be screaming with delight over the Ravens offensive explosion this evening and someone wil make them the odds on favorite to go to a Super Bowl. I certainly won’t go that far just yet. It’s only one game and there are many challenges left to overcome on the way to the playoffs.

I’m a firm believer in enjoying the moment and after tonight’s performace I’ll be typing this one up with a huge smile on my face.

Here are a few thoughts on the big win:

  • After a game like tonight there will be plenty of accolades and good feeling to toss around and I’ll start with the obvious – Joe Flacco. If tonight is any indication as to what kind of season he’s going to have this year he just may finally silence his critics for good. As someone who has watched Flacco’s progression from rookie to now fifth year season veteran tonight was a revelation. Flacco, acted, threw, walked, and talked the part of a big-time quarterback. He stepped up to the line, he barked out his signals and displayed arm strength on deep passes (Boldin’s TD) and touch on others (Pitta’s TD). This is the Flacco we’ve been waiting to see. The one we’d hoped he’d become if only he got the chance. Well I’ll admit that we fans may not always see the forest for the trees and if Flacco does go on to have a career season I’ll be glad to give the coaching staff all the credit for bringing Joe along slowly. It takes time to be a real NFL signal caller and Flacco may have just made the next step up.
  • Ray Lewis. Lewis entering his 17th season in the NFL continues to amaze me. He came into camp the lightest we’ve ever seen him in years and he put some of that speed to good use tonight notching several open field tackles without help. Over the past few days he commented on his relationship with Art Modell and how his death has affected him. It may sound cheesy but he’s dedicated the season to him and hopes to win one final Super Bowl trophy this year. In game one Lewis more than did his part with 13 Tackles (11 unassisted) , 1 Sack and a forced fumble. I’ve run out of adjectives to describe this guy on the field. He’s just special.
  • Now back to the new look, high powered Offense. Baltimore finished with 430 Total yards and punted only twice. Cam Cameron held nothing back with reverses and even double-reverses on the menu in an attempt to keep the Bengals off balance. Flacco dialed up long distance connecting with Torrey Smith on the Ravens first play from scrimmage for a 52-yd gain. From there Flacco spread the wealth and hit seven different receivers to hit almost 300 yards passing on the night.
  • The Offensive line was one of the big questions heading into this evening. The group responded with a pretty strong outing overall but the coaching staff threw us one more curve ball in the starting lineup. Rookie Kelechi Osemele started at Right Tackle, Michael Oher moved to Left Tackle but the biggest surprise was third-year man Ramon Harewood at Left Guard not the vet Bobby Williams. One of the oldest starting lines got young fairly quickly and they accounted themselves pretty well. They did give up three sacks and the pressure I saw came mostly from Geno Atkins bullying Matt Birk up the middle.
  • There were concerns about Ray Rice’s role in this new offense. I’m not sure why, Rice can catch the ball as well as run with it and had 95 Total yards and two touchdowns. I like watching him line up as a receiver and create mismatches for the defense.
  • The Defense had it’s struggles in the First Half giving up chunks of yardage and a late touchdown before the half kept things close. The pass rush was weak and Dalton appeared way too comfortable while the Bengals ran the ball with effectiveness too. But give credit to Dean Pees and his unit for making the necessary half-time adjustments and holding Cincy to only three after the break. The pass rush also seemed to come alive with a much larger Haloti Ngata getting two sacks to lead the way. The group had four for the game. They also created turnovers winning the battle 2-0.
  • Ed Reed. It’s nice to forget about all the controversy and drama of the pre-season and just sit back and watch this just play football. His pick-six helped him surpass Rod Woodson for the most interception return yards in history (1,497).
  • Jacoby Jones showed tonight that maybe he can be an effective third option and caught three passes for 46 yards. Speed kills and the Ravens receivers have it to spare. It’s the first time they’ve had this much speed..well..ever.
  • The replacement officials were bad. But then again what else did you expect? I don’t even want to waste space recounting poor spots, and clumsy calls. Come on NFL let’s resolve this thing soon.
  • Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden were more than adequate in the booth though I really missed Ron Jaworski. “Jaws” is so prepared and professional and he’s honestly better than both guys put together. But in football three is often a crowd and things flowed better with a two man crew calling the game.

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One Response to “Dime Coverage: Post Game Thoughts on Bengals vs. Ravens MNF”

  1. Thomas Crowley says:

    Watching the new look offense last night was fun. I get chills thinking what this team can do this year?

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