Maybe it is not so much what we learned, but more what we’ve confirmed about the Baltimore Ravens and their chance to be an elite team this season.
Here are a few of my personal confirmations:
Joe Flacco is a Pro Bowl quarterback —In three straight weeks, the Ravens have lost three straight games that have come down to the wire. And the only reason the Ravens were even close enough to the wire to come up short in a photo finish is because of Joe Flacco.
Greg Mattison is certainly not Rex Ryan —I alluded to this in a post last week about how the Ravens' “exotic” blitzes of the past were more out of necessity than flair. Chris Carr is terrible. Frank Walker is terrible. Domonique Foxworth and Fabian Washington are serviceable. It seems that when the Ravens are able to blitz, things go better for them than when they don’t. But trust me, nothing will get better for this team throughout the season if opponents can continue to air it out down field confidently.
Ray Rice is what Reggie Bush Should Be —I’m sure a lot of people were wondering why Ray Rice has maintained his starting position, while Willis McGahee has received more of the meaningful carries with scoring opportunities. Yesterday showed us why. Rice is the new Marshall Faulk, able to make plays out of the back field and on passing patterns. Show me a linebacker that can matchup with him, and I’ll show you somebody Rice practices against everyday in training camp.
As I said last week, it’s certainly not panic mode in Charm City. The Ravens have lost three straight games to three playoff caliber teams—and two of the three have the potential to reach the Super Bowl. Still, there’s a lot that the Ravens have to get right over the course of the season, or the projected 11-12 wins we thought they could take this year could easily turn into eight or nine.