First Impressions of the Baltimore Ravens' Victory in Dallas (Top 10 Style)

Derek KreinerContributor IDecember 20, 2008

10. DeMarcus Ware should be the Defensive MVP.  This is coming from a lifelong Ravens fan, and after watching that man play for a full game, he is a special talent.

9.  The Dallas Cowboys were just out coached tonight.  Superior offensive, defensive, and special teams play calling helped the Ravens compete and eventually win this game.  That fake field goal call was genius.  And yes I know it's only genius if it works.  It did work, and so it's a genius call.

8.  Ed Reed should be in the running for Defensive MVP.  After re-watching the Ravens-Steelers game from last week, I was shocked to see Ed Reed fall down and allow a catch on a crucial third down, but then I couldn't stay mad at Ed for long. How many games has Ed Reed single handily won this Baltimore team?

7.  Tashard Choice went three rounds too late in the draft this year.  He has put up substantial numbers against the Steelers, the Giants, and the Ravens, going for over 100 total yards in all of those games with two touchdowns.  He has 416 Yards on 79 carries (5.3 Yards Per Carry) and 20 Receptions for 177 Yards. 

This is for the most part in three games, against stellar defenses.  Just as a comparison, Darren McFadden has 100 carries for 451 yards, and 22 Receptions for 234 yards.  Also, if you haven't seen it, this will make you like Choice even more...

6.  Willis McGahee needs to become a better blocker if he wants to keep his place on this team. The long run was great, but this is two weeks in a row he has let rushers blow by him without even getting a chip on them.  Luckily he redeemed himself this week.

5. Le'Ron McClain needs to hold onto the ball a little bit better.  Luckily for the Ravens, his fumbles always seem to bounce the right way, but if he doesn't improve this could come back to haunt the Ravens.  Also, he should not be in the Pro Bowl as a fullback, this is a tailback plain and simple.  He's not even the best pure fullback on the team, let alone in the AFC.  I love Le'Ron, but let's be honest. He got to the Pro Bowl for playing tailback not Fullback.

4. The Ravens Secondary has come along nicely.  After the loss of Chris McAllister and Dwan Landry, I thought this team was heading down the road it went down last year, but this is a team with a different mindset and instead of moaning about their injuries, they use them as motivation. 

3.  82 Yards and 77 Yards on back to back offensive plays.  Wow.  Just Wow.  My girlfriend called when the game was 19-17 and I paused the game to talk to her, long story short (making a long story short is a skill she should learn by the way) I didn't get to see the plays live, but did get to hear the reaction of the other people in my house going crazy. 

This Ravens' running game just gets so pumped up for the fourth quarter it is like they can sniff a victory.  Willis McGahee partially redeemed himself for his poor play so far this year.  He can fully redeem himself if his fresh legs can lead this team deep into the playoffs.

2.  The Yamon Figurs experiment is officially over.  When you have former players calling you out for being afraid to take a hit it's bad.  When one of those former players is Deion Sanders, it's very very bad.  Yamon just seems a little hesitant to hit the gaps running and seems to have become a little gun shy and lost his burst. 

It's almost as if in his brain this is the way it goes as the ball is in the air toward him A: Catch the ball B: 10 Percent of the time fumble the ball C: The other 90 Percent of the time run into the back of my closest teammate.  I'm not saying he won't have a successful career, it's just time to get him off kickoff and punt returns.

1.  After watching the performance put forth by Derrick Mason tonight, T.O. should be ashamed of the effort he puts forth on the field.  Derrick Mason made life easier for his quarterback, a lesson T.O could use.  Derrick Mason played with a shoulder that dislocated itself at least twice tonight, and could barely move his arm, and yet played with a passion and a drive that propelled him to a night with six catches for 66 yards, a TD, and a fumble recovery. 

T.O. finished with five catches for 63 Yards, and a TD, and also cut off his routes, screamed at Adam Jones for giving up a touchdown, dropped an easy touchdown, didn't look back, and showed poor effort on a play that he could have made. Playing with one less arm, and far less natural talent, Derrick Mason was an inspiration to his teammates, not a detriment, and showed himself to be the anti-T.O., and a player who could play on any team I root for in a heartbeat.

Honorable Mention: Ray Lewis, the offensive line in the second half, Cam Cameron, Rex Ryan, Sam Koch.


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