A Burgundy and Gold Obsession

    • Ravens Game

      Ok.....take your shots. I have my admittedly anecdotal take on last night's game. Following are some observations that are not reinforced with actual stats or deep analysis.

      first...the Skins:

      - RGIII is not seeing the field consistently. I have no idea if it is the speed of the game, new offense, so called "instinct"....but there is an established pattern now (really going back to last season) of throwing into tight coverage..often leading to picks. Don't forget the pick that happened early in the game that was nullified by a penalty. Per previous posts, to me, he looks a second behind what is evolving on the field. how he executes just doesn't look "crisp" to me. Yes, that is not a scientific term. To my mind, he is executing with the efficiency of a Brown's QB and not...say.....a Wilson, Kapernick and certainly not a Luck. He just doesn't seem to be seeing the opportunities, seeing them quickly, making the right decision, and executing inside the what I would term the "success envelope". he's taking too much damn time to understand what is going on and making the right decision inside the window of opportunity. He is hurting his team presently.

      - this offensive line is a liability...IMO. Trent yes....he's fine. but the rest of the line? at the point-of-attack and in pass pro (even mano y mano running) they are consistently being overmatched physically. While the passing game is a mix of QB and line issues, I'm not seeing those moments like the Brady's and Mannings where the QB has a lot of time to make a decision. they're there...just not a lot. it seems all too often that pocket is collapsing way too fast.

      - I thought the RBs weren't as crisp last night. too much lateral stretching and not enough single cut and head downfield. may have been blocking. don't know. running game is still gonna be a strong plus...and we played an upper tier defense with a stout line and good LBs....but it was bottled up at times.

      - receivers are getting open. the offense is just totally out of synch right now. it better get its act together or TX is going to embarrass this team.

      - on the flip side...so far we haven't done much "sexy" stuff on offense - play calling wise. don't know if that is because the coaches are just trying to install the basic packages and foundation plays...or because the offense is behind enough that there's no point calling the more complex plays.

      - defense surprised me last night. this could be a very good D. on the other hand, and Harbaugh mentioned this at the first half break, Haz was throwing everything but the kitchen sink at B-More. so we don't know how much of the defense's success was due to pre-season complexity the other team hasn't prepared for and how much is bona fide talent. but to my untrained eyes....it looked good. some takeaways:

      . these guys swarm to the ball. there always seem to be 2-3 guys converging. many fewer YACs than last season

      . the run defense looks good. it has its lapses, but overall it looked good to me. players are keeping to their assigned gaps, trail pursuit is working as designed, we are stopping a good percentage of running plays in the backfield....all bodes well.

      . Couldn't see it on TV but the secondary....by inference...must be playing better. Flacco had time at junctures last night but went down just the same to what I imagine would be logged as coverage sacks.

      . the tackling is so much better than last season. only qualification is that there does seem to be a pattern..at times....of tackling with shoulder hits rather than wrapping the receiver. don't know if that is what they are being taught, a deliberate effort to cause fumbles or a response to the penalty flag orgy that is now NFL football.

      . Keenan Robinson is impressing. this guy is all over the field making plays. Clark is turning out to be more valuable than I first thought he would be. Amerson is playing smart football. Breeland is gonna be a quality member of this secondary. for a rook...that cat always seems to be around the ball and he knows how to tackle. great draft pick. Murphy is making plays also. This is not going to be a dominant defense....but it's going to be top 15 and possibly top 10....IMO......it it continues to progress as a team. I wouldn't worry about Merriweather. based on what I saw on replays and what he said after the game....I think he is adjusting his style of play enough to accommodate the refs. you can see he's not launching head to head but using the shoulders more.....TV pundits are saying his problem is that he lowers his head and therefore loses is positional reference too early as he initiates a tackle. I guess my main take-away is that he is not out there just trying to unload as as an unguided missile. work to be done...just not as much as some think.

      - special teams look great to me. you can see..almost every play now....how the players are executing the concepts they are being taught. Roberts is looking good. just not sure if you risk an important starter like that in return roles. not sure where they go with the kickers. looks neck & neck to me.

      Ravens have issues IMO:

      - this is not a superbowl quality team IMO. MD must be a funny tabaccy legal state if they believe that in B-More.

      - yea...Ray Rice didn't play. just the same...the running game didn't look all that dominating to me. aside from back-up issues....I thought the Skins front seven won the battle at the line of scimmage when it cmoes to the run game. Ravens say the run game is the lynchpin to the offense...well.....I'd be concerned were I them.

      - I didn't see a dominant passing game either. I saw Steve Smith winning battles out of shere will and skill.

      - I saw the Skins bottle up some of your more deceptive plays (e.g., the end around).

      Misc Thoughts

      - Could be just me...but I don't see Griffin getting angry/pissed at the appropriate times on the sidelines. when I watch interviews...he seems to be saying "yea...we aren't clicking...but it's there....it happened in OTAs and training camp." he knows better than me....but I'm not buying it. I think there are real execution problems and a QB who may be deceiving himself into thinking he is further along than the facts merit. two themes in this post: Griffin's self-realization...and his reaction to bad play. really ties into a previous theme on "presence". when I see QBs in control react after bad play...they are agitated on the sidelines letting others know what is expected and mad with themselves- cuz they know what SHOULD be happening. I can't tell if RGIII is operating in this self-generated fantasy land built around twitter sphere and all the other media distractions that keep him from seeing real, hard, cold facts. put another way...enough with the friggin excuses. EXECUTE.

      - the first team offense has accomplished very little so far. they have been bottled up by good defenses....who are not throwing intricate blitzes at the QB far as I can tell. heck...NE went pure vanilla and B-More had 3 CBs out of the game recovering from injuries. the Brown's physically outplayed the offense at times.

      - new coach, new system, and all that. we may have to temper expectations. it could take longer for this offense to integrate and achieve some degree of efficiency...especially at the QB position.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Ravens Game started by fansince62 View original post
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