For the Baltimore Ravens, it was a familiar loss.
The Ravens were flying high after a 30-7 blow-out agianst the Undefeated Denver Broncos. People were talking, could the Bengals really beat the Baltimore Ravens twice? Carson Palmer and Co. answered that question clearly.
The Bengals set the tone early.
Cincinnati gained 369 total yards and 20 first downs to the Ravens’ 215 yards and 16 first downs.
Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer completed 20 of 33 passes for 224 yards, while Joe Flacco went 18-of-32 for 195 yards and two interceptions.
Running back Cedric Benson topped the 100-yard mark for the second time this season, totaling 117 yards on 34 carries, while Ray Rice could only muster 48 rushing yards.
The question in Baltimore remains.
What happened to our Defense? Under Rex Ryan, the team never fell below 6th ranked overall in Defense. The purple and black are currently ranked 13th overall, and tied at 19th with Denver, Kansas City and Tampa Bay on Pass Defense. This ranking will only continue to drop as the season presses on if they continue to allow the big plays. Fans are asking, How doe's a team that was one game from the superbowl in 2008 fall so far?
Fingers are being pointed and arguments are being made.
Was young John Harbaugh the answer?
Is Greg Mattison, with just a year experience in the NFL, the right answer in Baltimore?
Was bringing in Dominique Foxworth from a 17th ranked pass defense in Atlanta really the best choice?
Dominique Foxworth has speed. But coming it at just 5'11 and 180 pounds it seems that his abilty to stop the big plays are slim. He has just one int. agianst a stuggling Cleveland Browns team. He's defended just 8 passes this season. Foxworths contract consist of 16.5 mil guranteed money. Where's the tape that made GM Ozzie Newsome say "There's our guy?" I haven't seen it yet and so far every team has explotied our weak pass defense.
Ed Reed is in coverage, which takes away his abilty to follow the quarterbacks eyes and come up with those big time interceptions.
When he became head coach of the Baltimore Ravens last year, John Harbaugh wanted to shed the team's reputation as a defense-first, offensively challenged unit.
I don't know about other fans, but I love my Ravens defense and would prefer to have an 18th ranked offense then an 18th ranked defense.
Harbaugh released an 8 time pro bowl corner back in Chris McCalister. We all know something was going on behind closed doors with the two. You don't just drop a Superbowl corner for no reason. His injury? He had surgery. Reportadly he can't pass a physical. Still I don't agree with the choice to replace him with Foxworth.
Fans are rallying, asking why The Ravens aren't blitzing. The fact of the matter is that the Team is building young guys into their own. The team is at a loss for the Pass coverage situation and it seems we don't have a suitable linebacker to fall back into coverage.
Half the time, it seems that these guys can't even figure out whats going on the feild themselves. Some guys play some plays, and some guys play other plays. It seems it's hard to get the team on the same page.
It was easy to pull Denver's Kyle Orton off balance. This is his first year as starter and he's only been in the league for 3 seasons. Orton has the abilty to get the job done, he's a great short passer. However he has flaws. He's known to lose accuracy on deep balls.
In the coming weeks, we play the best quarterbacks in the league.
Harbaugh is 15-9, overall
The Ravens defense is allowing 25.8 pts per game.
Compared to the 15.2 on average our 2nd ranked defense allowed last year.
Is this the team talent? Was Rex that Important? Mattisons Defense barely looks avearge. It seems that the Ravens cannot disguise a blitz.
Was Mattison qualified to become a defensive coordinator in the NFL after coaching in the league only one year as a linebackers coach?
Was he promoted because his close, personal relationship with head coach John Harbaugh and his dad clouded Harbaugh's judgment?
Let's face it, being the defensive coordinator in college isn't quite the same as being a defensive coordinator in the NFL. It's like going from driving an AMC Pacer to cruising in a BMW. In college, talent is important. You recruit better players, you win....bottom line. And it's sure not tough to recruit talented players to Florida.
In the NFL it's different. Every team has players. The talent level is a lot closer, except in Cleveland....sorry, I couldn't resist. You've got to be able to scheme, create chaos to cause mismatches that are in your favor. The coordinator is much more important. I'm stupid and I know that much.
So Maybe Mattison is in over his head. I hope I'm wrong, but it had to be said.