Tag:Derrick Mason
Posted on: January 10, 2009 9:04 pm

Titans - Ravens observations

First of all, I've seen a lot of fans complaining about the expired play clock play, so I will address this. I've seen this happen in just about every week this season and previous ones. On the field, you do not have the benefit of seeing the play and clock simultaneously. So, as the CBS announcers (who I thought were really good today) pointed out, they look at the clock until it expires and then look down to see if the ball is snapped. To the fans that can see both at the same time on the TV screen, it is clear that it had expired. To the umpire, it is not so easy. Many times the ball is snapped just after the clock expires and not called. It is part of the human element of the game. This call was no different, but because it was at a critical juncture, it gets a lot of attention. Aside from this call, the refs officiated a very good game and were good about not flagging for the scrums after plays knowing the situation.

Next, there has been a lot going around that the incomplete pass from Flacco out of his endzone should have been a safety because Flacco stepped out of bounds. I thought when it happened live that he did as well, but Jeff Fisher obviously got some good info from above that he didn't since he didn't challenge it. After the game they showed that play from that endzone camera, which gave a great view that clearly showed that Flacco did not step out.

I also have to give some props to Justin Gage. He played an outstanding game. I have to wonder where he's been all season. The Titans have a very good, young receiver that they need to hang onto and get more involved next year. Also, I was impressed with Collins. He still has a lot left in the tank. The Titans front lines also played really well. The offensive line blocked well and handled Baltimore's blitz schemes. The Defensive line plugged the rushing gaps and got pressure a few times on Flacco (who handled the pressure very well). Chris Johnson's injury really hurt too.

On the Raven's side, Derrick Mason is a warrior. I've gained a whole new respect for him watching him play through his injuries this year and still be a huge contributer. The Dallas game in particular stands out as one of the guttiest performances by as Wide Receiver ever. Also, the most significant contribution he has made is one that most people won't recognize, but he's mentored Mark Clayton into an outstanding receiver. Clayton has made some of the best catches I've seen in a Raven's uniform the past few weeks.

Finally, Flacco is starting his 18 game tomorrow. Let's stop calling him a Rookie. He's played well enough to earn the removal of that label. He didn't do a lot in this game, but when he needed to, he made some big throws. 3 come to mind. 3rd and medium and Flacco drops in between the corner and Safety to the sure hands of Derrick Mason for a TD. HUGE. Throwing into double coverage to the hottest receiver in the league, Clayton and trusting him to get the ball was also huge. Finally, the play clock play. That was a big time throw to Todd Heap. Of course all the things that he didn't do, like turn the ball over or take a sack, were just as important.

This was a great game. Time to see what the rest of the weekend has to offer. 14-7 Cardinals... I'm intrigued.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com