The news that came in Monday was pretty terrible: both Ladarius Webb and Ray Lewis are done for the season. This is piled on top of Ngata feeling a little bruised and Suggs possibly being eligible to practice after his injury.
The Ravens are hurting right now, although this time Reed is the one feeling fine. Now the Ravens are heading to Houston to face a Texans team that fell from the unbeaten ranks, in dominating fashion, and hope to prove to everyone they are still dominant.
When things look their worse for the Ravens, opportunity tends to arise to help the team. If you recall from last year, Ray Lewis was injured and missed 4 straight games.
Our record during that period: 4-0. Even though we were 4-0 last year during his absence, our defense did great the first two games before showing vulnerability for the last two. Sadly, at his age and the number of seasons played, his level of play is now a great disadvantage on our team. Let’s hope either Ellerbe, McClellan, and/or McClain really step up into their starting roles!
However, it should be noted that our defense hasn’t been its usual self this year even before the two mentioned starters went down. Sorry to say, but this appears to be on the Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees, who is in his first year of coaching our defense. If it wasn’t for our offense’s emergence, our record could very well be at 1-5, rather than at 5-1 owing to the replacement referrees’ mishandling of our week 2 loss.
This appears to be a great time to get Ray Lewis involved in the defense coaching. Think about it: how many times have you watched him in the game, pointing and barking orders to other teammates right before a decisive sack/interception occurs?
Also, do you recall the 2009 season playoff game against the Colts when Reed had two interceptions from Peyton Manning? During the game, before Reed got these interceptions, there were two more instances where Reed could’ve intercepted the ball had Ray not unsuccessfully tried to jump the same route also and ran into Reed.
Ed Reed has been already considered the best Free Safety in the league for many years for his great instinct, yet against arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks who is known for his use of the audible at the line to confuse the defense, both Reed and Lewis knew where the ball was heading. Wouldn’t you want either guy to call plays for the defense?!
Expect some big changes in the next 3 weeks, the first upcoming with a visit to Houston. There have been only 4 instances in the history of the NFL (including before the AFL-NFL merger) where a team allowed 200+ yards of rushing two weeks in a row. That’s not something that is ordinary for any team or season and you should not expect it to continue.
The Ravens are likely studying hard on the parts of tape from the Houston-Green Bay game wherein the Packers shut down the Texans many running attempts, which in turn made Matt Schaub’s pass attempts more obvious and easily defendable. This will be a game for redemption on the Ravens’ part as well.
After the game this Sunday, the Ravens will be off for two weeks since Week 8 is their designated bye week. At that time, I’ll start blogging about the Terps’ upcoming basketball season. Maybe some updates about baseball, although its harder without the Orioles to watch anymore.
Until next time.
P.S. I just realized I was off slightly on my prediction for the Cowboys-Ravens game, where I guessed the final score would be 28-26! (The final was 31-29) Three points off each isn’t too bad…
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