The Ravens arent playing well overall, The falcons are pretty much having their way and they lead at the half. Heres what I saw.
-A.Q. Shipley got the start at center. HE got off to a rough start, drawing a 15 yard facemask penalty on the Ravens first play and not really getting much push on a couple of run plays on the first series. He didnt get much better from there. he was pushed around quite a bit and had an illegal snap in the second quarter.
-The Defense was pretty hot and cold. it looked like there were several mis-comunications in the secondary that led to big passes over Jimmy Smith. Smith appeared to be expecting inside help because he was giving up the inside routes for free, when no help came Smith ended up looking bad. I am not convinced Smith is the one at fault there. The front seven played great, Smith was everywhere, Dumervil was a nightmare. For the most part they were great, they just had some more communication issues they needed to sort out, next week that will be a big thing to watch.
-Matt Elam got the start tonight at strong safety. This gave the Ravens the lineup they have been projected to have since the draft with Elam and Huff at the starting safety spots. Elam played pretty well overall, if he has truly taken Ihedigbo out of the starting role, he probably wont be giving it back any time soon.
-For the second game in a row, Daryl Smith looked liked the best player on the field for most of the night. Smith has long been an unheralded player in Jacksonville, but he looks better than he has ever been. He was sniffing out screens, putting pressure on Matt Ryan, bottling up backs and coving tight ends. He did everything and he did it all nearly flawlessly. He is going to be a steal of a signing if he can stay healthy.
-Holy Torrey Smith. Smith was again the Ravens best WR(as if there was any doubt) and tonight he got his big play. He turned a simple quick pass into a 77 yard race to the endzone which he won in Usain Bolt style. That is to say, with ease. It capped a one play drive and took all of 16 seconds. nice work Torrey.
-Arthur Brown….wow. Josh Bynes, look out. Arthur Brown has officially arrived. Brown was a complete stud with the second unit tonight. He made back to back plays in the Falcons backfield and looked every bit as instinctive as advertised before the draft. He moves like he has a rocket strapped to his back. once he saw his key, he was at the ball in a flash making the play. He was, in a word, awesome.
-The Ravens offense was dreadful. aside from Torrey Smiths TD. Other than that, I think they had one first down. John Harbaugh said that it might be the worst half they had ever played. ouch. This had the feel of a game that got away from them early and then the wheels fell off. It almost seems like they will keep sending the starters out until they do something, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Flacco and Co. in the second half.