Welcome to Week 3! I’m settling in, getting comfortable with my laptop, watching the end of Giants/Eagles. This weeks live blogging could have an added extra wrinkle: my daughter Erin will be around. She finds computers fascinating, and she also likes to press buttons. Soooo, if I’m updating a little less frequently, I’m probably “negotiating” with a willful 3 year old.
So, it seems the injured players are getting a week to rest, though Andre Gurode will get the start at guard for Ben Grubbs this week now that he has had more time to adjust to both the new offense and the different position. WR Lee Evans and CB Dominque Foxworth are also taking the day off.
Oh, good. Kevin Harlan and Solomon Willcotts. They make me pull out my hair only slightly!
First series ends with a punt by the Rams. The defense looks better, thus far, than last week, but I’m already seeing a couple of red flags that I hope St. Louis can’t exploit, especially with RB Steven Jackson able to go in today’s game. Now time to see if the Ravens offense can bounce back after last weeks performance.
Welcome to the Baltimore Ravens, Torrey Smith! First NFL reception for the WR is a 74 yard TD, and the Ravens are out to a 7-0 lead. QB Joe Flaccos throw shouldn’t be overlooked either, he put it right in the breadbasket and made Smith look doubly good.
They mentioned on the broadcast that this was Flacco’s longest completion, as well, so congrats to him. For now, anyway, I’m sure at some point he’ll have one longer.
After CB/KR Lardarius Webb staked the Ravens to great field position after a solid punt return, the Ravens stall out (with a little help from RT Michael “Mr. Penalty” Oher). Flacco scrambles on a 3rd and 22 to get back in to field goal range (though stopping Ravens fans hearts with careless ball control, a fumble, and his own recovery), but K Billy Cundiff sends the high snapped ball wide right. Back to the defense.
4:39, Ravens 14, Rams 0:
Flacco connects with Torrey Smith again. It looks like they might have wanted to put Smith active earlier than today, his speed coupled with Flaccos arm is creating a lot of open looks down field.
The defense looks a lot more solid now, and they bottle up the Rams quick and force a punt. The very pass happy offense is now back on the field with a chance to go up 3 touchdowns by the end of the 1st quarter. RB Ricky Williams just slashed his way for 21 yards, and then Flacco connects with Torrey Smith AGAIN! I’m inclined to agree with Kevin Harlan: This is unbelievable! Ravens 21, Rams 0.
Defense looks really tight, and Rams QB is getting beat up and rattled. Ravens DE Terrell Suggs gets another sack to add to his impressive stat totals.
4:54, End of the 1st Quarter, Ravens 21, Rams 0:
Quarter ends with a Ray Rice sighting. The Ravens featured RB was pretty quiet that first quarter, and it’s hard to argue with that right now. I suspect we’ll see more Rice and Ricky Williams with a 21 point lead, though I also can’t discount the Ravens trying to put a few more quick strikes on the board while the iron is hot. The offensive line looks better this week.
Billy Cundiff misses from 51 yards, again. I’d be a little more upset about this, but right now, looking at the score, its hard to see it as a huge negative. On a side note, I really need to update my staff photo, that is so out of date. Yeah, it’s that kinda game that I start thinking about my staff photo.
Torrey Smith finally caught a pass that wasn’t a TD. But it was a nice grab in the jaws of the defense for a first down.
5:25, Ravens 24, Rams 0:
After a beautiful run by Ray Rice (and a 15 yard personal foul at the end) puts the Ravens in the red zone, the offense stalls, but this time Billy Cundiff bangs through the 21 yarder. Team looks to be firing on all cylinders at this point.
5:39, Halftime, Ravens 27, Rams 0:
Billy Cundiff puts a 31 yard FG through as time expires. Torrey Smith was hobbling a bit during the last series, hopefully that’s nothing serious. Not only is he looking good, but the Ravens can ill afford dropping more players to injury.
This game, up to this point, is exactly what the Ravens needed after last weeks bad game. A desperate 0-2 Rams, at home, and Baltimore just punches them right in the mouth.
6:01, Ravens 30, Rams 0:
After an offensive series to open up the second half which made it clear that John Harbaugh wants the Ravens to keep stepping on the Rams throat, Billy Cundiff puts another 3 on the board. Ray Rice is looking really good, but really, with St. Louis not being able to tackle anybody, of course he would.
6:14, Ravens 30, Rams 7:
No goose egg for the Ravens today, as Bradford runs for his life and manages to get away with a floater to the end zone to WR Brandon Gibson for 6. The Rams moved the ball somewhat in that drive, though they did try everything in their power to shoot themselves in the foot. The Ravens defense seemed to be playing more of bend defense, and I can’t blame them. It’s like they’re saying “sure, move the ball like that, eat all the time off that clock you want.”
I really have to say, I think Sam Koch is a woefully underrated punter outside of Baltimore. He’s so consistent, and consistently good. In other news, in the second consecutive series, the Rams are moving the ball much better. I still think the defense is somewhat relaxing (they’re still hounding Bradford like mad, though), but at some point they do have to tighten it back up.
I kinda missed the end of the 3rd quarter. My daughter was yelling about food, and about what she wanted to eat vs what was being offered. In fact, she’s still putting up a fight about it. Unlike the Rams, who punted away. Yeaaaah, I segued that like a pro.
I have to wonder why the Ravens are still so intent on passing at this point. The only thing that comes to mind is that HC John Harbaugh and the rest of the offensive coaching staff are concerned about the run blocking of the offensive line. Harlan and Willcotts think backup QB Tyrod Taylor should come in on the next offensive series to save up/protect Flacco from injuries, and I agree.
6:58, Ravens 37, Rams 7:
DT Haloti Ngata celebrates his contract extension with a fumble recovery and TD, his first career touchdown. This bailed out the offense, who turned the ball over themselves.
Game winding down, it’s all but academic at this point. Beyond the reliance on the pass when it should have been “run it down their throats” time, and some of the starters remaining in the game in garbage time, I have no qualms with this game. Exactly the bounce back game the Ravens needed.
7:13, Final, Ravens 37, Rams 7.
What more to say about this one, really?