Two plays and two players impacted the Ravens game at the Steelers this past Sunday. Both QB Joe Flacco and CB Lardarius Webb possibly became the players we knew they could become, when they lead their team to victory at Heinz Field, 17-14.
Yes, Flacco is still having those moments where you want to ask him WTF were you thinking and can you not see the defenders? He produced one interception that was a soft throw into coverage to Derrick Mason, who gave little effort to catch. But Flacco was steady and calm when it counted, directing a final 68 second drive with precision, pump faking the safety and laying a dime to WR TJ Houshmanzadeh in the endzone. Flacco finished the day 24-37 for 256 yards, 1 TD and a passer rating of 82.7. But when it mattered in the closing seconds of the game, he went 4-4 marching 40 yards down the field with a passer rating of 147.9. Dimes, calm and cool win the game.
Defensively, LB Jameel McClain, Haloti Ngata and Ray Lewis did their thang and put the pads to the Steelers offense. But it was Webb who went highlight reel on a throw from Steelers QB Charlie Batch to WR Mike Wallace. Webb went step for step in speed with Wallace, as the ball cam down you thought Wallace had the ball, but Super Man Webb went acrobatic on Wallace, got his hands on the ball and somehow prevented the catch. This play quietly solidified what Super Webb and the secondary have been doing to opponents: holding teams to a League best 119 receiving yards per game.
The Ravens left a lot of points on the field Sunday and at times it was ugly to watch. Flacco is still getting used to his new weapons, but he spread the ball around to new and old with dimes to WR Derrick Mason and TE Todd Heap throughout the game. The running game was held together by Willis McGahee until he got hurt and Ray Rice made Steelers miss with his limited play. The defense finally got their first TO but the TO ratio is still unfavorable. 4 games in and the Birds have Webb and Flacco making statements to the rest of the league that they have arrived.
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Written by Lea Anderson