Anyone who has any complaints about the defense right now is delusional. The defense needed to step up with Ben out, and they more than held up their end of the bargain. The only TD was via special teams, and both FG's were following turnovers by our offense (the first of which gave the Ravens the ball at our 12, so that was only a 4 play, 4 yard FG "drive" that our defense "gave up"...another 3-and-out that happened to result in a FG because of where they started). Ray Rice has 20 carries for 40 yards. Flacco was 20-32 for 164 yards. Torrey Smith had 1 catch for 7 yards. It was a monstrous defensive effort overall (it didn't appear as dominant as in years past because of the lack of marquis SportsCenter type plays, but they were effective nonetheless). Just look at their drive summaries...most of the time, Baltimore possessed the ball for only a minute or two before punting it back to our Steelers.
Baltimore Drive Summaries
START QTR POSS. YARD PLAYS YARDS RESULT
14:17 1 01:38 BAL 34 3 8 Punt
10:31 1 02:09 PIT 12 4 4 Field Goal
06:59 1 01:50 BAL 14 5 20 Punt
03:33 1 00:00 BAL 37 1 63 Touchdown
01:27 1 02:24 PIT 30 9 48 Missed FG
11:07 2 05:02 BAL 20 7 15 Punt
04:39 2 03:16 BAL 28 8 32 Punt
00:12 2 00:12 BAL 15 1 -1 End of Half
15:00 3 02:02 BAL 30 3 9 Punt
09:27 3 02:38 BAL 38 8 41 Field Goal
00:34 3 01:13 BAL 36 3 -6 Punt
10:13 4 01:37 BAL 19 3 8 Punt
04:13 4 03:08 BAL 13 6 27 Punt
My post-combine mock draft:
1. NT Louis Nix, Notre Dame
2. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
3c. S Deone Bucannon, Washington State
4. OT James Hurst, North Carolina
5. WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State
5c. CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
6. DE Deandre Coleman, California
7. ILB Max Bullough, Michigan State
Ike, Clark, Allen, and Lewis are collectively playing better.
If The Calf can come back, he can be the key to freeing up Timmy to attack in the box. And that's a boost to make Harrison/Wood more effective. And we could go into the playoffs getting some turnovers. I'm liking the way this is developing.
no irrational lebeau threads again this week, that's for sure.
if arians had called that game, this place would have exploded.
I'll be honest. I'm not real happy with a couple of players for things that happened last night. The biggest gaffe was Keisel right before the 2 minute warning. Veterans should not be making boneheaded mistakes like that. There are always players that make mistakes and deserve the treatment they receive but that's just normal fan stuff. I can't really be mad at anyone last night for their contributions. That team hung in the game with a fine opponent without their team MVP from last year, their starting QB, and their best defensive player. Can we really ask for more than what we got? Of course I want Dwyer to stay in the game for longer than 3 plays at a time.....of course I want Mike Wallace to go after the damn ball on 2nd and 11 when all he has to do is actually make a play on the ball but overall the team performed about as well as could be expected. I actually don't mind where this team is right now. Are they going to the Super Bowl? Probably not with the road that they would have to travel but a playoff run can be realistic if Ben, Antonio, Marcus, and Troy can come back down the stretch and contribute. Even if the team slips to 6-6 before Ben comes back in the weak AFC they can realistically still make a run. Baltimore probably has the division now unless they find a way to slip up down the stretch which isn't out of the question with a west coast trip next week, Pittsburgh, New York (Giants), Denver, and @ Cincinnati still left on the plate. Either way I will be okay with a Wild Card in a year where it just didn't seem that the stars would align. This team has a good core and can be competitive for years to come!!!