Blog Entry

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

Posted on: September 23, 2008 5:04 pm
The Ravens have looked decent to this point in this season. They have beaten both teams from Ohio (Bengals and Browns) which last year would have been amazing for this Ravens team...... this year not so much. Even while boasting a 2-0 record there are still questions that need to be addressed by the organization. Can McGahee stay healthy for the entire season? Is Joe Flacco our answer at quarterback for this season? I think the first question has been answered to some degree. With McGahee out Week1 and limited Week 3 Le'Ron McClain and Ray Rice have stepped up in a big way posting over 230 yds. and 2 TDs. The second question deserves a bit more scrutiny. If you ask a variety of NFL "experts" they will without a doubt say that he his their answer at QB this year pointing to a 2-0 record as proof. I say its not as black and white as they make it seem. With the formidable defense of the Ravens along with a strong running game the Ravens ar off to a great start in the 2008 season. I simply don't trust Flacco with my team down 5 with under 2 minutes left to lead them down the field for a winning score. His stats alone provide enough of a reason to be  hesitant. Through two game Flacco has no TD and 2 INTs while posting a dismal 55.7 passer rating. But, the Ravens have boxed themselves into a corner. They CAN'T remove Flacco as starter with the fear of him losing confidence. I still believe that this year, this team should be lead by Troy Smith.

Troy Smith started a few games last year for the Ravens. He only won one of his starts but did not turn the ball over on a regular basis. I like to think of the Ravens as the Bears of the AFC. No QB, just hard nosed defense and a strong running game. Regardless of who plays QB, Clayton, Mason, and Heap need to step up. Heap has been a non-factor for nearly a year and a half now and needs to return to the TE we remember from a couple of years ago. Mason is getting older but is still as good of a receiver as they come. I think it was a mistake to put Flacco in so soon but I understand the choice beings that the only other two QBs on their roster were both out. Only time will tell what is in store for Flacco. As long as the RBs stay strong and they maintain at least a slight lead in their games they should be ok offensivly.

Now , on to the game. The Ravens could not have picked a better time to meet the Steelers. With Roethlisberger nursing shoulder and hand injuries the Steelers will have to rely on Parker to carry the load. The Steelers were out muscled last week against the Eagles and the only other defense I believe can repeat this would be the Ravens. With McGahee nearing 100% and the defense playing at a very high level I like the Ravens in this matchup.

Key Matchup: Ravens D- Line vs. Big Ben- If they can get to him early look for Ben to become rattled and make mistakes like he did last week at Philly.

Key Player: Derrick Mason- In order for Flacco to succeed he must rely on his wide-outs. Who better to rely on then your veteran?

Ravens 20 - Steelers 16
Category: NFL

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: September 26, 2008 1:24 pm

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

I agree with bmorewinz. i think yours and everyone elses scrutiny of flacco is way off base. the guy has looked more poised in the pocket and outside, more than all the quarterbacks before him. i counted 8 dropped passes in week one, one of them a touchdown to heap that hit his hands, so his stats should be better. but really its irrelevant because stats don't tell the tale on Flacco. this guy is OUR future and i think he will silence the critics, but please continue to make us underdogs, because we like to stay under the radar. we play 7 playoff teams this year including the formidable NFC East, i think we have a chance to contend for the division, especially if win this week. go ravens!

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: September 26, 2008 8:18 am

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

First of all calm down. Secondly I already admitted to not knowing the Ravens in and out, but you must admit, this is a good article for someone who has "never seen a game". I understand you defensive of Flacco but isnt this waht sports is about. Debating? Flacco has played two games against the two worst defenses in the league with 3 turnovers and one touchdown with one of the worst passer ratings in the league. I am sorry if I am not ready to crown him. THATS MY OPINION! Dont take shots at me as your feeble attempt to back up your statements.

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: September 26, 2008 12:44 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 18, 2007
Posted on: September 24, 2008 7:15 pm

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

I have said this before and it bares repeating. This game will be won or lost in the trenches. If the Ravens can stop the run early and force Pittsburgh to throw the ball early the Ravens # 1 ranked Pass defense will have a solid chance at making it a very long day for Big Ben thanks to a Pittsburgh offensive line that I personally think is sorely missing the presence of Alan Faneca. On the other side of the ball the Ravens will need to be patient and play good old fashioned hard nose smash mouth football. They may not have success initially in the running game but if they stay committed to the run I think it will yield high dividends in the fourth quarter when LaRon McLain has shown a real talent for punishing opponents and eating up the clock. Joe Flacco will need to remain calm and be patient for the Ravens to pull out a win.

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: September 24, 2008 6:27 pm

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

I wouldnt say the O-line is great just yeat. They did only face the two worst defenses in the league but they are getting there.

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: September 24, 2008 5:51 pm

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

"The Steelers will put 8 in the box and attack the very vulnerable Ravens offensive line you might even see polamalu blitz three or four times to cause the very immobile flacco alot of trouble."

WOW, I didn't read your post before I posted my last message. Vulnerable O-line? They've been dominant in their previous two games! ..and Casey Hampton is out for the Steelers. Immobile Flacco? ....did you see his 38yd TD run? He scrambles quite well actually, he did it a few times in the Browns game.

Sheesh...know the facts before you make empty claims.

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: September 24, 2008 5:49 pm

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

I think Flacco is mature beyond his years, the first INT was a bad read, the other a hail mary pass that Mason should have attempted to break up. Flacco makes smarts decisions, has a strong arm, can see the field clearly, he's accurate, and maybe more important than all of those things, he's poised in the pocket.

I think people are judging him too hard, I mean he's just a rookie. I think he's done one hell of a job thus far. This game in Pittsburgh is going to be a real tough test for him, Lets hope he passes with 'flying colors'.

...oh, GO RAVENS!

Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: September 24, 2008 1:39 am

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

I agree with all of this. couple thing stick out to me are that the running game will be no factor in this unless they open up for short dumps or two back sets. The ravens cannot match up if they run a hard nose rushing attack. To answer the question about Troy Smith being the QB that will be answered this week. The Steelers will put 8 in the box and attack the very vulnerable Ravens offensive line you might even see polamalu blitz three or four times to cause the very immobile flacco alot of trouble. And coach that the steelers are down and out without parker. well i think your wrong. Rashard Mendenhall will go right in and take all the pressure off of Rothlisburger and tear into the heart of the ravens def. The one thing i hope the steelers realize is that this deff will not give up the big play. To beat the ravens they are going to have to shorten the field and let holmes beat them with short timing routes and use Heath Miller to there advantage with plays across the middle to the vacant spot left by Ray Lewis.

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: September 23, 2008 7:01 pm

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

Thanks for the update coach, I wasnt aware that Parker was out. This should definatly play into the Ravens favor, this is a big game for them. A win and the are 2 up in the division.

Since: Jan 24, 2008
Posted on: September 23, 2008 5:36 pm

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

I agree with you that Troy should be the starter but it appears fate intervened on Flacco's behalf, and as long as they don't have an excuse to take Flacco out (injury/poor play/losing) I don't see any way they take him out.

but the battle just got a little more uphill in this one for the steelers, it appears Willie Parker is going to be out

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