Here are some talking points I got out of the game today. Honestly, I’m feeling too lazy to post a full recap.
- Joe Flacco was awesome. What impressed me most was his mobility, stepping up in the pocket, scrambling, throwing outside the pocket. Just an incredible performance from him. Some throws were off-line and a little mistimed, but that should improve, just like last season. I do think that he needs to be more patient with the long balls, but it was great to see him throw deep.
- Kelley Washington won’t be talked about much, but whenever he was in, he did something. He threw a block on a running play or distracted a cornerback while the Chiefs were in zone coverage to get Mason or Clayton open. He’ll be a great role player this season.
- Todd Heap is back.
- The Steve Hauschka era has arrived in Baltimore, and he impressed me for the most part. He looked calm and not too anxious, which was a big thing today, considering that almost every Raven looked pretty anxious.
- Chris Carr wasn’t very impressive in the return game. Nothing more beyond that, let’s hope that it improves.
- The hero of the day for the Ravens was the offensive line. They gave Flacco so much time and opened up holes for McClain and McGahee on 3rd and shorts, and were the main reason the offense set a franchise record for total yardage.
- Ray Rice quietly hit the century mark for today. He and McGahee will be an awesome 1-2 punch this year. Which leads to…
- Willis McGahee looked stronger, quicker and more into the game than he ever has as a Raven. He was big in the passing game and was running like he did at Miami. If he continues this form, then either he or Rice, or even McClain will sneak up on other teams.
- Ed Reed will probably have a Nmandi Asomugha-type role this season. No one will ever want to throw in his direction. That’s why he didn’t have a big game today, he didn’t get many opportunities.
- Fabian Washington had a very nice game, without being too flashy. He deflected at least one pass, and made some good plays on rushing downs. He’ll quickly progress to #1 cornerback status.
- The linebackers and d-line need to improve their pass rush. It was weak today, and that’s why the Chiefs passing game was able to achieve success late in the game. They need to adjust to the loss of Bart Scott, and fast, because Philip Rivers is no Brodie Croyle.
- My player of the game on offense is Joe Flacco. My defensive POTG has to be Jarrett Johnson. He was the best pass rusher today and forced the fumble. He’s always a guy who teams don’t plan for. My special teams POTG is Steve Hauschka and my unit of the game is obviously the O-Line.
More to come tomorrow.