Joe Flacco had perhaps the best game of his career, Torrey Smith wasn’t far behind and the Ravens flipped the script of the AFC championship game and scored a final seconds field goal to beat the Patriots 31-30. Here are my notes.
- Flacco had, what i believe is his best game as a Raven, and I cant say enough positive things about him. Flacco, aside from one errant ball that probably should have been a game sealing interception, was absolutely perfect. He attacked the Patriots corners and safeties, use the play action masterfully and continuously found open holes in the defense.
-Flacco has now out-dueled Brady in two consecutive match-ups. Flacco finished 28-39 for 382 yards 3 TDs and 1 INT. Brady completed a lower percentage of his passes going 28-41and threw for less yards, 335, and touchdowns, 1.
-Torrey Smith, on what has to be one of the most difficult days of his life, had one of his best games. He had 6 receptions for 127 yards and 2 scores and the Ravens need every bit of that. Smith should be developing a reputation as a Patriot killer. In two games against them he has had 9 receptions for 209 yards and three touchdowns, two of those scores were game-breakers. Torrey Smith might have been the X-Factor that has given the Ravens the ability to beat the Patriots instead of just play them close.
-There should be no complaints about play calling this week (except for maybe the choice to go for it on 4th and 1 instead of kick a FG). Flacco threw for almost 400 yards and 3 scores and Ray Rice had 150 yards and a score, Bernard Pierce also got involved with close to 30 total yards.
-Jacoby Jones had the best game of his Ravens career with 3 receptions for 86 yards, all of them coming in the second half. He is the receiver the Ravens have been searching for to fill the no. 3 role. Jones also drew the pass interference penalty that set up the game winning field goal.
-The Ravens defense struggle most of the night, but at the end of the game when it mattered, they came up with a pair of huge stops. Lardarius Webb also caught an interception, but it was overturned on a questionable defensive holding penalty.
-The Ravens are now 2-1 on the season and remain in the drivers seat of the AFC North. they now have a 1 game lead on the Steelers who fell to 1-2 and they own the tiebreaker over the 2-1 Bengals. the Browns are essentially out of contention after their 0-3 start.
-The Ravens will face the Browns on a short week this week. Get ready for some Thursday night football Baltimore!