Alrighty fans and players we are officially in uncharted waters at 2-2. While I am not a big fan of talking records until about half-way through the season I will say that we have seen it all. We've been blown out, won a tight game, blown a team out, and lost a close game. Our record could just as easily be 1-3 and 3-1.
I will also admit with the Bills game that I thought it was their game to lose at the end, but it just didn't happen.
But anyways the purpose of this topic is to talk about what no-one else is talking about. I think there are some contributing factors going on that have taken a back seat to other more popular topics.
The first of which is the ever popular topic that the team and specifically the defense is missing Lewis and Reed. While this is true (especially to the fans) to an extent the bigger topic should be on how the replacements are doing. Through 4 games Daryl Smith has been a difference maker, and he energizes the defense with his play on the field. Michael Huff has been an achilles heel to our defense and I'd go further to say that this defense misses Pollard too (another under-rated topic.)
Big athletic tight ends have run rampant on us this season and has been the [profanity deleted] in the Ravens armor so far this year. Last year this wasn't the case, Lewis/Ellerber/Pollard performed well against tight ends and I think Pollard gave the secondary a fear factor. Couple that with teams afraid to go over the top because of Reed and the defense could stack the box more often than not. Unfortunately we didn't have the front seven that we have this year or we could've been top 10 last year.
Furthermore, and more to the point I am very disappointed in watching Michael Huff. He doesn't play with the physicality that is exemplary to the Ravens. I see him get into position to make plays and he stops short on making the tackle. There were 2 plays he should have blown up on Sunday had he continue running through and I don't like him covering tight ends either. Really outside of Jimmy Smith I don't know if anyone in our secondary can cover elite tight ends, and Jimmy shouldn't be covering them often.
Now on the offense's side of things I see issues dating back to last year. Road woes plague the offensive line, and I think communication specifically on the road is the biggest issue. This leads to a trickle down effect of too many three and outs, quarter back pressure, and limited running space. This group needs to play more physical, with confidence and in unison or this will turn into a very long season.
I will say that the brightest spots on our offense is Torrey Smith (who has the stats to back it up) and Joe Flacco.
Feel free to disagree about Flacco, but I would dare to say we would fare far worse without him. He has looked sharp, he has looked poised, and for the most part has been accurate. There are moments I wish he would throw the ball away instead of taking a sack, and the end zone pick against Buffalo was him trying to do to much.
Lastly, I would say another under-rated topic about the offense is the under utilization of Rice in the passing game. Without Pitta I thought we would see Rice more in the slot, but he has been non-exsistent in the passing attack.
All in all I think the Ravens are due for a good bit of self scouting, and try to build on the positives while cleaning up the negatives. It is still our division to lose, so let's defend this division title!
EDIT: Ok so c h i n k in the armor is profanity eh?
Edited by Dudeman, 01 October 2013 - 11:16 AM.