Monday, October 12, 2009

What We Learned: Bengals 17, Ravens 14

It was not a goo day for the state of Maryland. No matter where you went, the pain of football was evident, the Ravens lost, the Redskins lost, the Terps lost. In Baltimore this loss was very painful and now many people are in panic-mode. Obviously we are only five weeks in, but with the strength and depth of the AFC, things could be problematic for the Ravens soon, especially with Minnesota coming up.

Things We Learned:
The Reason the Ravens Lost: The Bengals Played Better
It was not the referees or anything like that; the referees were fine. Give all the credit in the world to the Cincinnati Bengals. Their defense stuffed the Ravens offense and allowed next to nothing except one somewhat-fluke Ray Rice touchdown pass. Joe Flacco was constantly being pressured and the running game was not enough to win. Then on the flip side, the Bengals offense was constantly on the attack and led an 80-yard drive to win it all. Had the defense been off the field a little more, then everything for the Ravens might have been fine, but Carson Palmer is too good to be kept down. The Bengals played a great game and legitimately beat the Ravens, no two ways about it.

Conservative Offense? With no McGahee?
Cam Cameron chose a strange time and way to put a conservative offense on the field. Ray Rice did fine, but Willis McGahee saw almost no time on the field, and the Ravens kept running at strange times. Before this, Joe Flacco kept airing the ball, and although the complaint was that he was throwing too much, at least that offense was effective. The offense was terrible, and the reason why the Ravens were in bad shape all game. We hope that Cameron didn't lost confidence in Flacco for the game.

Next Draft: Ravens Need a Cornerback
There is no two ways about it. The current cornerbacks cannot handle the air attacks on the top teams. So far Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, and Carson Palmer all ripped apart Dominique Foxworth and Co., and next Brett Favre may have the chance. Although the unit is not bad, it is clear the Ravens need a top-tier, tall cornerback to cover the most dangerous receiver.

Ravens Need to be Ready for Minnesota
The Ravens have a problem, they are 3-2 and a number of AFC teams look solid, including two others from the AFC North. 11-5 might not be enough to secure a wild card berth. Minnesota is a perfect 5-0 with a solid passing attack led by you know who. Plus, Adrian Peterson is one of the best backs in the game. The defense will need to be ready plus Joe Flacco will need to get out of the funk; the Vikings will not be generous.

Harbaugh's Ravens are Disciplined
Obviously we are disappointed with the field play plus some of the hits. But after the game, the Ravens were not complaining about the refs or anything like that. They focused on what they did wrong. They know they have to improve, which is a good quality for this team to have.

(Photo credit: Baltimore Sun)

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