In my humble opinion, this is everything a Ravens’ fan wants to see from their team in a game. There was an outstanding aerial assault (Flacco – 17/29, 248 yds, 2 td)(Mason – 9 rec, 136 yds, 1 td), a commanding ground attack (Rice – 21 att, 154 yds)(McClain – 14 att, 34 yds, 1td), and a stifling defense (Suggs – 42 yd int return for td). The game was tied at 13 at halftime. The 3rd quarter was almost completely controlled by the Browns as they jumped out to a 14 point advantage until McClain cut it to 7 with little over a minute left in the 3rd. As they entered the 4th quarter the Ravens found themselves trailing by a touchdown and in need of a couple plays to tie the game. They forced the Browns to punt after a 3 and out and Figurs was able to return the punt into Browns territory. A Touchdown pass to Mason and a field goal by Stovar gave the Ravens the lead with a little over 5 minutes remaining. A interception returned for a touchdown by Suggs wrap the victory up for the Ravens.
The Ravens offense has really come into its own the last couple of weeks. Flacco has looked amazing with 5 tds and 0 int the last three games. McGahee was a game time decision and was supposed to get some carries but with the way Rice was running, there was no use risking it. Rice needed to step up with the absence of McGahee and 154 yds later step up he did. On another positive note, this marks the first time this season that the Ravens had two WR with a touchdown in a game (Mason and Clayton). The defense keeps their rushing streak alive for another week as they shut down former Raven Lewis. There was one play in the game that may have made this on closer than it actually was. Anderson’s touchdown pass to Edwards was a fight for the ball between Walker and Edwards with Walker coming out of the scuffle with possession. Though Walker clearly came out with the ball the touchdown was still rewarded to Edwards.
WEEK 10 PREVIEW
The Ravens moved to 5-3 and a potential tie for first place in the AFC North. They have to travel to Houston this week in a makeup game of their Week 2 matchup which was rescheduled due to the Hurricane that ravished Texas. The Houston Texans come into this game at 3-5 but their record may be uncharacteristic as to how good this team really is. They boast one of the top 5 offenses in the NFL and will be matched up against one of, if not the, best defenses in the league. Something has to give. Matt Schaub may not be available for this game but they have a very capable backup in Sage Rosenfels. The Ravens corners must be able to contain Johnson and Walter and the linebackers must find a way to shut down Owen Daniels. Daniels has risen to elite status when it comes to tight ends this season. He has over 500 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns thus far this season, not to mention he is a fairly decent blocker. The Texans also boast a Rookie of the Year candidate in Steve Slaton. Slaton reminds me of a young Brian Westbrook as he is as much of a receiving threat as he is a running threat. Suggs, Lewis, and Scott are going to have their hands full with Slaton and Daniels.
KEY MATCHUP – Frank Walker vs. Andre Johnson – The only way they can hope to contain Slaton and Daniels is to stop Johnson. If Johnson is open often this game look for the Ravens to double him leaving the middle of the field open.
PREDICTION – Baltimore Ravens – 27 – Houston Texans – 24
SIDENOTE – I truly hope it doesn’t happen but I see the streak of not allowing a 100 yd rusher coming to an end this week. If not this week then Week 12 against Philadelphia. These are the only two I possibly see happening.