If you wanted a demonstration on how to cover receivers and defend well against the pass, the Monday Night Football game showcasing the Ravens visiting the Packers was not the game to watch. Point blank, the game was overshadowed with the amount of airtime the refs received as the Packers came out on top ,27-17.
Last night, the Ravens came out as if the cold weather had shut down their ability to play football. From Joe Flacco to the secondary to the lack of pressure on QB Aaron Rodgers, there was not one phase of the game where the Ravens performed like a team in the hunt for the Wild Card. Matter of fact, they played like prey instead of a predator which is definitely not a good look for a Raven.
It's clearly evident that the Ravens are shook. Flacco has taken ten steps back, the secondary is still donating downs and yardage like they are trying to get some tax savings before the end of 2009 and pressure from the defense is a lack thereof. Getting behind 17-0 is not a way to start the game. Someone needs to inform this team that this is not a NASCAR race where you can start out slow and pull a Jimmie Johnson because the Ravens do not have the time or crew chief Chad Knaus making adjustments at halftime.
Where is QB Joe Flacco? He must have gotten bit by a vampire because his decision making is bleeding his team out of life. Flacco's line last night was paltry and disappointing with 127 yards, one TD and three interceptions including one in the endzone. You can't have a JaMarcus Russell-like 27.2 QB rating and think you are going to win. Someone needs to put out an Amber Alert for Flacco.
One thing that could be counted on from the beginning of the season were the Ravens' Tubbies on the Line. The Tubbies are nimble with quick feet and “afa-letic.” Last night, the Tubbies let the Packers sack Flacco 3 times and had him eating grass 8 more times. Flacco can move his feet but the Tubbies were missing in action last night as the pocket collapsed like Jenga. Put down the sammich and get back to work, Tubbies.
While there is a glimmer of hope for the wildcard for the Ravens, Jesse Jackson's “Keep Hope Alive” campaign may be the only thing keeping the Ravens from packing up their lockers up and heading for vacation. HC John Harbaugh needs to up the energy and urgency while getting his team to play disciplined ball. With a favorable closing schedule and the Steelers on the horizon, the Ravens have to play like predators.
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Written by Lea Anderson