The Baltimore Ravens rallied late to beat the Buffalo Bills in OT, 37-34.
What a game.
I knew the Bills were going to go down swinging, but they did more than just swing. The Bills stood up pound-for-pound against a much better Ravens team.
Here are 5 things we can learn from the game:
- Ed Reed is BACK! What a way to make a statement by getting 2 interceptions and a forced fumble in his 2010 season debut. Reed just might have saved the Ravens from an upset loss to the Bills today. We learned that Reed is not rusty at all, but he did get a little shaken up at the end of the 3rd quarter when he grabbed his second interception. Sill, Reed looked great out there.
- The Ravens secondary weaknesses finally showed. Even with Ed Reed leading the secondary, they Ravens allowed over 506 total yards of offense, a very uncharacteristic statistic. With Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on fire with at least 2 TDs in the past 3 games, the Ravens failed to end that streak. Fitzpatrick completed 29-43, throwing for 374 yards and 4 TDs. We learned that the Ravens secondary is not as great as we thought. Teams are starting to take notice of the success that Kyle Orton and Tom Brady had in the past 2 games. Cornerbacks Lardarius Webb, Fabian Washington, and Josh Wilson are going to have to step up their game, and soon.
- Joe Flacco is playing really good football. Since throwing 4 interceptions against the Bengals in week 2, Flacco has thrown ZERO for the past 4 games. He’s also thrown 5 touchdowns in the last 2 weeks. We learned that Flacco finally has it in him to lead and rally his team to victories. If we want any shot at Super Bowl, we need a quarterback that can play the way Flacco is playing right now. Good thing we have Flacco.
- Willis McGahee isn’t ready to be a backup. Even with just 11 touches, McGahee made the most of each carry. He had 64 rushing yards for the day and even scored a touchdown. After being practically “benched” last weeek, McGahee proved to the coaches that he belongs in the game plan. We learned that McGahee is still a touchdown machine. He’s proving that his age does not play any factor into his abilities. I hear you Willis.
- The bottom line? Sugar Ray Lewis. Add another game winning play to Lewis’ resume. His performance today showed what legends are made of. Did you see him chewing out his defense near the end of the half? I got goosebumps. After what was probably the most inspirational speech ever, the Ravens forced a fumble on the kick off. It didn’t stop there. Add 2 more interceptions and another forced fumble, and you erase the 500+ yards of Bills offense. We learned that Ray Lewis is one of the greatest defensive players to ever play the game of football. Not many players have the ability to boost the entire team’s playing ability. Not many people are like Ray Lewis.
Some game thoughts from fellow staff member, Gene Winner:
-Flacco played well. He has been much better with accuracy and only thew one questionable pass that could have resulted in an interception. Has anyone noticed how he has protected the football much better since the Cincinnati game? Even better, he’s using all of his play0makers.
-Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron was really aggressive, but almost too aggressive. He called 3 passing plays to start the game, rather than trying to test the Bills porous defensive line with the run game. And McGahee’s fumble almost cost the team the game. But you have to like that flea-flicker gadget play.
-The defense played sloppy and were back to their old ways of last year (cornerbacks giving up too many TDs and defensive line missing too many tackles).
-The only two players on defense who had a great game were Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. It was really great to see Reed get a few INTs and cause a fumble with that huge hit. He definitely appears to be bulkier in his upper body and looks strong.
-Secondary: After being consistent for the first 4 games, the corners have fell apart the last two weeks. Head Coach John Harbaugh finally got tired of seeing Fabian Washington get beat by Bills receivers, so he pulled Washington out of the game and replaced him with Josh Wilson. But that didn’t even solve the problem.
-The Pass rush: There were a few good moments for the pass rushers, which helped cause the interceptions. But overall, they were non-existent and made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Joe Montana. Terrell Suggs really needs to add a spin move to his pass rushing; he was ineffective for the most part of today.