October 11, 2009

Ravens Lose to Bengals Before Game Starts

How do you lose a game before the opening kickoff? The Ravens came into today's home game against the Cincinnati Bengals with an offensive game plan that aimed to stay away from Cincinnati's strength - cornerback Leon Hall, instead of playing to their own strengths. Derrick Mason was targeted zero times. The entire offensive consisted of delayed handoffs to Ray Rice and short passes to Rice and Heap. Other than a play made entirely by Rice, the offense was worthless all day, relying on Ed Reed's interception return for a touchdown.

The bottom line is that the Ravens should have respected that the Bengals had played four close games already. This is not a game they wanted in 13-10 or 17-14 range. They wanted this game in the 20s or 30s. By playing conservatively, the Ravens put their suspect secondary one breakdown away from losing for the entire game.

In fact, they want every game in the 20s and 30s this year. The Ravens have very good depth at every position except DB. In nickelback situations, the Ravens are forced to put Chris Carr and Frank Walker on the field. Carr contributed an illegal contact and Walker contributed a pass interference on Carson Palmer's last 80-yard game-winning drive.

Of course, the officiating was again atrocious. On the game-winning drive, Ochocinco literally tackled Dominique Foxworth on an overthrown ball. I mean he actually wrapped him up and took him down. In the second quarter, following a failed Cincinnati challenge, the officials inexplicably misspotted the ball at the 20 rather than the 25. The announcers were all over it, but no one on the Ravens sideline was jumping up and down.

It is possible the Ravens did not give the Bengals's front seven adequate respect in planning this game. Marvin Lewis has what he's been searching for since arriving in Cincinnati. He now has playmakers on all three levels of the defense, Odom on the line, Maleuga as a backer, and Leon Hall in the secondary. Every great defense either has one playmaker on each level, or three playmakers in one level. The Bengals have the formula, and a healthy Carson Palmer with a viable running game. They are a real threat to win 10-12 games this season, plus they've now beaten Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

Cam Cameron and John Harbaugh let the officials and New England beat them twice. That cannot continue if they hope to go the places they expect to go this season.

2 Responses:

Anonymous said...

Right on. The Ravens so far are a fraud and definitely losers. Nver has there been such crying heard over the fruited plain. Coaches are plucking games from the Mr. Tough Guy like taking candy from a baby! Harbaugh, another fraud! Oh yea and how 'bout the greatest young quarteback in history? Not to forget..."you can't run against the Ravens". See, Harbaugh would have fallen for that; Marvin Lewis inexplicably didn't!

Anonymous said...

Ravens Suck.

Ravens started the season against weak teams (Chiefs 0-5, Chargers 2-2, Browns 1-4) and boosted their ego. When challenged by strong teams the Ravens collapsed. Look for two more losses in the upcoming games against Denver and Cincinnati.

Summer is here and there's never been a better time to try your hand at online sports betting. Place your bets on your favorite horse with horse racing or even try your luck with your favorite football team. Enjoying sport is just a click away!