Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Heartbreaker III

This story is getting old---and more heartbreaking. The Baltimore Ravens lost their third game in a row in a different fashion: a missed field goal at the buzzer by Steve Hauschka. The Ravens lost 33-31 to the Minnesota Vikings.

Granted, the Ravens defense was getting chewed up by all-time great Brett Favre. Favre threw three touchdown passes and played pitch and catch all day against over matched corners Frank Walker and Domonique Foxworth.

The Ravens have now fallen to 3-3 entering their bye week. The good news? Running back Ray Rice has become one of the best backs in the NFL leading the league in yards from scrimmage. Joe Flacco once again led the team down the field with a chance to win the game. Flacco threw two touchdowns and had 385 yards passing. The man is a star, ladies and gentleman.

The bad news? This Ravens defense is having issues. They can't cover, rush the passer, or stop anybody from scoring points. Well, Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln??? Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison really needs to figure some things out. Quite frankly, Dawan Landry is a shell of his former self, which is a shame because before he injured his spinal cord, he was developing into a very good strong safety. In no way am I suggesting Landry was a pro bowler in the making, but he didn't need to be. The Ravens miss current Jet Bart Scott. Scott was a terrific all-around football player. He could cover, rush the quarterback, and tackle with the best of them. The man played with an incredible amount of passion and heart. Tavares Gooden and Daniel Ellerbe have not filled his shoes quite yet. Do I believe they will? Yes, they are both very, very young. People don't remember that it took Scott four years to crack the starting line-up. Both Gooden and Ellerbe are in their second and rookie years, respectively, and both are under the age of 24. Give them time.

The Ravens need this bye week to get ready for the stretch run, and to get the defensive back on track. The Ravens need to win at least seven out of the next ten games to reserve a wild card spot. Can they? Why not? They went 9-2 last year. Am I being optimistic? Maybe. However, this team has heart and is run by a coach, gm, and owner who believe in doing things right by hard work. Obviously, Dan Snyder and Vinny "the village idiot" Cerrato are not members of the Raven fraternity.

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