After two weeks of inconsistent play on the offensive and special teams side of the ball, the Raven return to the Nest for their season home opener against the Cleveland Browns. Can the Ravens get back on track? Will Flacco stop getting high off his own supply of wide receivers and return to his ways of 2009 when we fell in love with him? Or will CC (Cam Cameron) continue to let it fly against the lowly Browns?
Joe Flacco and CC are examples of two kids at Christmas time who are so excited to play with their new toys – Bionicles (Anquan Boldin) and a Transformer (TJ Houshmazadeh). The Rock’em Sock’em Robot (Ray Rice) and the Legos (Le’Ron McClain and Willis McGahee) get thrown in the corner only to get dusty and forgotten about. Once the newness wears off of the new toys or they become too difficult to put together or play with, the love returns for the sturdiness and always full of fun Robots and Legos. Its the same for the Ravens offensive identity. CC has convinced his playmate Flacco that the Bioncles and Transformers are the joint, so the hell with the other toys. However, Flacco has developed a problem – his mechanics are off. Maybe the excitement of having so many toys to play with has him so shook that he is dropping his elbow, throwing off his back foot and letting the ball sail to his receivers. You can’t play with your new toys if you can’t get the ball to them. So, this type of game presents the option of getting back to Rice, McClain and McGahee and the short to intermediate passes. There is nothing wrong with playing with your new toys, but don’t forget the ones that gave you so much excitement and fun in the past.
Special teams and the secondary will either be a supporting cast in the Browns WR and return specialist Josh Cribbs highlight reel or they will keep him contained. Since Father Time (Ed Reed) is M.I.A. for another 4 games, it will be up to Dawan Landry and Tom Zbikowski to keep up with Cribs. Any plays where they end up behind or to the side of Cribs, will result in TD’s and a Top 10 in Sports Center.
Defensively, DT Haloti Ngata is going to get at QB Seneca Wallace from every defensive scheme that Matty (Greg Mattison) calls. Wallace will be tasting grass at some point this Sunday because Ngata got the memo this spring/summer that the Ravens are in need of a pass rush. Rushing yards for the Browns will be miniscule at best and this will result in the Ravens decreasing their rushing yards per game from 105. CB Lardarius Webb is creeping on the corner in the nickle packages and the knee is looking good. We should expect his time on the corner to increase this week.
This matchup gives Flacco to return to his former self and right his wrongs. 4 INTs in one game was unheard of last season. Getting high off your own supply will do that to a brotha’, but Flacco and CC will roll with a heavy dose of Rock ‘Em Sock’Em Robots and some Legos.
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Written by Lea Anderson