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  1. #16

    Re: Thursday Night Observations

    Observations, in no particular order of "blame %":

    1. The decision to have the CBs play off the l.o.s., coupled with the quick drop of CP, allowed Cinncy to pick us apart with those 10 yard +/- passes all night long.

    Hunch: Marvin Lewis knows our predictable tendencies quite well, and neither Rex Ryan on D nor BB on O did much after halftime to adjust anything.

    2. McNair had one of his worst outings as a Raven. Along with the poor passing, he just flat out looked as lost as could be out there. I just cannot believe that on those plays when he stood there for 4 seconds or more, looking all over the place, NOBODY was open besides the backs circling out of the backfield. Were both sides playing with the same number of players?

    Hunch: 3 main contributing factors to the poor passing, although these don't address the look of lostness McNair displayed all night long:

    A. 3 days rest not enough
    B. Wet ball
    C. Possible sore elbow from the hit he took in the Pittsburgh game.
    D. The fact that he NEVER went vertical allowed the Cinncy D to press our WRs -- almost daring them to try to go long. And since they didn't, we got no respect at all on our WRs.
    E. The patterns (i.e. trying to do a double move 5 yards away from the CB) were poorly designed or poorly executed, resulting in a very ineffective passing game, which persisted all night long.

    (DISCLAIMER: This is in no way a backdoor to the whole SM/KB discussion. I am aware of the separate sub-board specifically for that, and I understand and respect how that works here. This is simply a note on what might have been done after the first half during which SM and the offense were 100% ineffective.)

    Now, there were 2 main ways that the dismal performance of McNair and the offense could have been addressed at the start of the 2nd half -- leave SM in, or substitute Boller. Obviously, the decision was made to leave him in, and the results are what they are. It's pointless to debate any "woulda/coulda/shoulda" issues as far as what might have happened had he been replaced at some point in the second half. The bottom line stands: It was one of McNair's -- and the offense's -- poorest outings this year.

    3. Jamal seemed to show moments of intensity, and overall, did a decent job. The times he gained little or no yardage, it seemed as if the O-line totally collapsed around him. I'm not a big JL fan, but when a guy gets mobbed 2 yards behind the l.o.s. almost as soon as he gets the handoff, I think it's unfair to blame it all on him. And as far as the decision to run him late in the fourth quarter, that's on BB, not JL. All in all, I think he was good enough to contribute to a "W", if the other parts of the team were as good as he was.

    4. I have no idea what happened to Todd Heap. I know Marvin Lewis was keying on him, but they must have been throwing blankets over him or something. He turned into the invisible man out there.

    5. Lousy clock management. Not only at the end of the 1st half, but that ridiculous display with around 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter, with zero points on the board, proceeding as if there was all the time in the world. I'm sorry -- it's one thing for McNair to project a sense of calm in the huddle; it's quite another to squander precious minutes huddling up instead of going no huddle/hurry up when the situation demands it. There are certain things over which a team has no control, and I accept that. But I simply do not accept incompetent clock management week in and week out at this level of professional football. If BB can't figure it out, then freakin assign someone to do it for him. It's beyond absurd and unacceptable for this to come up constantly with this team, especially with so much on the line.

    6. Intensity was low for a game with so much on the line. Whether that relates to BB's "attitude" about having to play such a key game on only 3 days rest is mere speculation. What's a fact is that the Ravens didn't show up to play, and the Bengals did.

    7. I personally found that after-the-game-display between Ray Lewis and Chad Johnson appalling. It's one thing to be a graceful loser; it's another to give the impression that there was no real disappointment at having been outplayed, outcoached, and generally outclassed.

    8. Losing is always less satisfactory than winning. But at times, losing -- when you know you did your best -- has elements that help offset the disappointment of the loss, especially when valuable lessons are learned in the process. However, in this instance, the loss was made more bitter because several of the "old lessons" (i.e. poor clock management, inability to master throwing a football in the rain, Fassell-ball, etc.) reappeared, indicating that we're NOT learning the important lessons from games lost in the past that we need to.

    9. We're 9-3, and still in a solid position in the AFC North. So no, the sky is not falling; it just clouded up and rained all over our parade.

    GO RAVENS!!!
    Last edited by skaybaltimore; 12-04-2006 at 10:48 PM.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Re: Thursday Night Observations

    My concerns about the game were these.....

    Too many 3 and outs with the lack of our passing game, especially by failing to complete passes. Jamal was showed a couple of good breakout runs, yet became very predictable by the play calling, and was picked up easy by the Cinn D. I feel we should have pounded Jamal more even if it meant some 3 and outs all by the running the ball. We were not far behind in points and I feel it would have ultimately opened up and led to some major gains on the ground, and furthermore opened up our passing game as needed.

    McNair played poorly as a whole. There were times in the 2nd half where he had great protection, yet he seemed to "panic in the pocket." Especially when he was called for intentional grounding in the 4th quarter when he through out of bounds. This was very uncharacteristic of him...just wonder what his mindset was at this time.

    Receivers failing to get open. Heap was extremely quiet for the entire game, and where was the long ball, especially with very decent QB protection as stated above?


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