Baltimore Ravens 23, Washington Redskins 3
Last week's stream-of-consciousness recap was received more warmly than I had any reason to expect, so I agreed to try it again this week.
Of course, last week the Redskins were the blowouter. This week they were the comparative blowoutee.
How that will affect the reception herein remains to be seen.
Once again, these are "live" notes taken during the game, edited only for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Where I had referred to players by initials only I have identified them (for those who need it) in parenthesis after the first reference only.
Enjoy. If you can.
- few minutes til gametime. No idea what to expect--same surprising team from last week, or the first time we see the Mike Shanahan Redskins look like Redskins teams from the past few years?
- pizza hot. beer cold. life good.
- Mike Sellers at midfield for the coin toss...that's one big sonofabitch to be carrying the rock.
- AH (Albert Haynesworth) with a smile and earbling. Too much money for one man unless the man is special. AH is special but not the way he thinks.
- The New Redskins: 1st 3rd down conversion attempt...Donovan McNabb (DM) gets protection, finds receiver, threads needle, converts 3rd and long. Last year we're punting...
- second 3rd down...3rd and 14...DM rollout play to Cooley...no Redskins QB has made that play since ...Theismann maybe?
- there's a confidence in their bearing we haven't seen in a while.
- of course, two quick procedure penalties don't fully support that notion.
- Anthony Armstrong. 45 yards on third and long. Was WIDE open. Against the Ravens? Nitpick: ball underthrown, should have been TD.
- (Fred) Davis drops TD. Ouch. great protection though...
- before 3rd and goal...drive already a success. Sets tone, gets crowd going, gives offense confidence, makes Ravens think. It's all about the QB making plays.
- on 3rd and goal, DM may have been protecting Armstrong by throwing behind and not leading him into safety waiting to kick his ass.
- underthrow on bomb to Armstrong comes back to haunt.
- Graham Gano...1 for 1.
13 plays, 5 minutes.
- Kickoff coverage so far in preseason just okay. No huge gaps but enough lane/bubble to make one pucker.
- Defense starts a little soft again...edge still scares me against the run. Carriker and Golston need to hold their ground. LB's getting lost in traffic.
- 3rd down play...sweet. Everyone dancing/milling around, settle in just before snap with just two down (linemen). Taste of things to come.
- ugly 3rd down conversion attempt on 2nd offense possession. No spark. Very conservative.
- FREDDY DAVIS making up for the dropped TD with epic punt coverage. Meaningless as far as preseason game setting but speaks volumes about attitude. Nice to see, Fred.
- not liking the run defense. There, I said it.
- DM avoids safety...LJ (Larry Johnson) avoids getting hit. Boo.
- someone please tell me LJ just isn't a preseason player. Man is showing nothing.
- awful 3rd and 1. Ravens had play smelled out. TW (Trent Williams) pushed back.
1st Quarter thoughts. Big picture? They're holding their own physically. Dropped passes a concentration thing...tired legs, hands, heads. Davis holds that end zone ball it's 7-0 and we're smilin'. OL protecting well, not much movement on run though--room to grow. Defense a little scary, not very stout on the line against the run but flowing to the ball and tackling well. Still...zero points allowed. Take that every time.
- offenses attacking us on the edge both run and pass. Too much real estate out there.
- ref embarrasses himself with delay of game call on Fletcher. Dude. Seriously. Oh, and no call on clear hold on Orakpo. Sorry excuse for NFL refereeing.
- first look at goal line defense. Bad breaks from refs...gotta suck it up. AC (Anthony Carter) has tough chance on INT...can't blame him but damn.
- LL (LaRon Landry) down...is either cramped or smart enough to avoid a 12-man penalty.
- notice the crowd before 3rd and goal snap? Am I imagining it or is there attitude there?
- great D...Hall holds the outside and forces man back into help. And didn't even get his unform dirty. Forces FG.
Ravens 3, Redskins 3
- penalty on KO return. sloppy play all of a sudden...lack of concentration or reaction to tough play? hoping the latter--be nice to have a team with attitude. You can always dial it BACK--you can't always ramp it up.
- 3rd offensive possession. Zero running room on 1st down...Sellers down...CANNOT lose starters from this team, not deep enough yet. Serious or not, bet we won't see him again in preseason.
- McNabb to Moss for 23...you know, I could get used to seeing an intermediate and deep passing game again...been so long I'd forgotten what it looked like.
- while writing that, DM under-throws bomb badly, gets it picked. Ugh. Not much of an effort by Moss to break it up either.
- Fletcher going sideline to sideline. What a frickin pro this guy is.
- FORCED TURNOVER. Like. LL with big hit...lucky bounce up into the air that comes down in friendly hands. wait---friendly bounce? for Redskins? hmm...
- Terrell Suggs is a great player. And something of showboating punk. T. Williams getting a valuable lesson in NFL DE speed...Suggs showing not above a little look-at-me even in preseason vs a rook.
- tough series for DM...the Ravens are in his head a little. too many free blitzers...no gameplan or adjustments...preseason sucks.
- Anthony Armstrong is going to make this team.
- special teams swarming
- Ravens asserting themselves physically--key for Redskins to keep composure and not get taken out of game.
- Fletcher takes down Flacco for another stop...defense hanging tough.
- JT (Joe Theismann) ragging on refs for not calling holding on Ravens all night. Joe is a smart, polished professional TV announcer.
- Really? Ravens decide preseason matters and run fake punt. Ok Harbaugh...
- JT illuminates us by telling us Ravens did a good thing there by showing the NFL that they do, in fact, have a fake punt in their arsenal. JT is a moron.
- Cannot lose Kareem Moore. From the look on his face and Fletcher's reaction I think we just did. That seriously sucks.
- KM sitting up...after hurt on fake punt. so much for 'no trickeration.' Ravens just lost a little of my respect.
- don't much like what I'm seeing...Redskins coming a little unglued in face of adversity?
- and then promptly answer with 2nd big play from DM to Moss. New day?
- DM moving in the pocket, settling down, making plays. You have to have a QB.
- delay of game on Skins. definitely not the same level of focus as last week...penalties, dropped balls, etc.
- Moss has chance to make monster catch in traffic but jarred out. Need WR to make that play.
- defense spending too much time on the field.
- same as last week--opposing offensive player goes hands to the face of Skin in the open field and no call... wtf?
- DHALL looks like he's taking the rest of the night off. Gane up on that play to the deep sideline. Preseason, right? Hope so.
- strange challenge call by Shanahan...looked like obvious catch in real itme.
- either Hall is really embarrassing himself or Doughty is WAY out of position.
- (Marc) Bulger is good. Accurate, poised, quick. Redskins lucky to stop that drive with a dropped pass on 3rd.
- what, no fake field goal?
- receivers really letting DM down...except Armstrong. Did I mention he'll make the team?
- Devin Thomas is just good enough to piss you off.
- hell, AA may START for this team.
- DM taking a beating. OL needs to get real, real fast.
- Gano misses badly...long chance but still. Somehow I knew that was going to happen...man's wearing a Redskins uniform.
Bad news: Injuries! Redskins lost their focus a bit after the fake punt/injury to Moore. Yeah it's bush league, but it's the kind of thing that happens in football games. Ravens started bullying Redskins a little. Not badly but noticeably. No running room, but looks like run/pass ratio out of whack (check stats)--Kyle working on something? KS leting DM throw even in face of rush. DM needs to show a little quicker pace getting ball out. Still, factor out obvious drops and he's had a helluva half (minus the INT--that was just bad).
Good news: Defense playing tough. Really looking forward to seeing scheme/adjustments--right now it's pure reaction. Swarming good. Out of position bad. McNabb and Cooley dialed in. WR's running free--great sign given pass pro for DM has been mostly good.
Redskins showing promise but getting a good measuring stick tonight on where they need to go. Ravens are looser and more polished.
- Bulger too quick on release to delay blitz .
- good opening series for coverage, 3 and out...be nice to see a drive from Grossman.
- CRUSH block on Banks' return. Ouch. And of course a flag. It's like the old days on teams all of a sudden.
- have to check the numbers but Kyle is focusing on the pass a lot tonight.
- is that why? no movement on the run again. not good.
- Bidwell punting like a maniac. And thus endeth any further mention of punters in this blog entry.
- Doughty keeps showing up just after the catch tonight. If Moore's out for a while he'll need to do better.
- Ravens are dictating pace of play on both sides of the ball...Redskins reacting only.
- And then reality set it. Long, methodical drive by Ravens...pass rush didn't get there, coverage a step late.
- game over.
- Doc Walker rocks...starts Orakpo interview mentioning all the non-holding calls on Ravens. one thing for fan to bitch about refs, another when former players see/say it.
- Kyle S still not dialing it back...wide open playcalling. Screens to counter pressure packages. Like it. Get some spark.
- Baltimore plays only one style of defense, preseason, regular season or post. Redskins not prepared to face blitz packages--not surprising and no cause for serious worry. Regular season they prepare for all this. Ravens have different agenda in preseason.
- don't expect much the rest of the way. The buzz is off this "game" and both teams going through the motions.
- Chris Wilson hurt? Coach's nightmare. Get this "game" over with.
- Nothing that's going to happen in the last 10 minutes to track here. Time to start digging through the wreckage and seeing what, if anything we learned tonight.
QUICK REACT THOUGHTS
- One thing we know...Redskins aren't going to go undefeated in preseason.
- Too many guys got banged up tonight. Might have lost our starting FS.
- What is Davis doing on the field with 6 minutes left in a 23-3 preseason game?
- Redskins aren't as good as they looked last week or bad as they looked this week.
- KS didn't counter the blitz with short passes except that one drive. In regular season I don't expect pass rush to be as totally disruptive as it was tonight.
- Be interesting to track how many times Baltimore rushed at least 6 guys. Seemed like they were bringing multiples from every direction all night long. No way you can waste time gameplanning for that in presesaon.
- Preseason sucks...it just sucks less when your team wins.