Christmas began early for the Ravens as they began their final stretch of the season with a win against the lowly Detroit Lions, 48-3. If the holidays are to deliver cheer to the Ravens locker room, the performance yesterday is exactly what was on their “Dear Santa letter” as HC John Harbaugh and his reindeer righted their sleigh.
Rainy conditions kept Rudolph's (QB Joe Flacco) red nose bright, as he went back in time to his early season form going 13-20 with 230 yards and 1 TD. 65% completion rate will get almost any team a win and keep the children knowing that Santa is on his way.
While Rudolph was steering the sleigh, Dasher/Dancer (RB Ray Rice) was racking up yardage like fees at the check cashing spot on payday with a personal high of 219 total yards and eclipsing the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the first time in his young two year career. Dasher/Dancer has become the Ravens playmaker who is liable to catch a case in the endzone every time he gets the rock.
Prancer (WR Derrick Mason) continued to be the favorite WR of choice for Rudolph with 5 receptions for 94 yards. Rudolph is still relying heavily on Rice and Mason, but he is going to have to spread some of the holiday cheer and love to Donner (TE Todd Heap) and Comet (WR Kelly Washington) because the predictability of the offense and Rudolph has become a problem of late for the Ravens. CC has to find a way to break him of a habit that has been crackish as of late and force him outside his comfort zone. Rudolph has to learn keep the defense honest with each of his talented reindeers.
The Ravens D went back to their Scrooge mentality and became rather stingy with the yards. Scrooge only gave up 229 total yards with 103 yards of rushing. Blitzen, Ray Lewis, led the way with 9 tackles and his usual high-octane performance. Cupid, Chris Carr, finally showed a love of defending the long ball by intercepting Lions QB Dante Culpepper.
The Ravens looked good in their defeat of the Lions, scoring the most points since 2005. The wildcard race is murky at best with the Dolphins, Jags and Broncos leading the Ravens in the wildcard hunt. If the playoffs are the goal, then Vixen (penalties) is the deterrent keeping them from looking like a playoff contender. Let's see if they can roast Da Bears on the open fire next week…
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Written by Lea Anderson