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Ravens’ Afternoon Delight Over the Raiders


There were plenty of surprises in the Ravens’ home win over the Oakland Raiders, but the same date that usually brings the Ravens to the party came to steal the show.

Defensively, the Ravens did exactly what they were supposed to do. More pressure on JaMarcus Russell and the running game than they could stand. They bent a little bit in the latter stages of the game, but it was too late.

Now that THAT’s out of the way, Joe Flacco catching passes? Troy Smith throwing passes? It could only go down against the Oakland Raiders, but it went down without a hitch.

Flacco looked poised enough that Cam Cameron decided, “what the heck, let’s just throw a little Wildcat at em’.” And in a town that cheers for runs and passes going for positive yardage, we were suddenly treated to option runs, trick plays, and long throws.

This wasn’t your father’s Raven offense. This was something new. Something that was willing to be experimental. Something that was prepared for the defense it was facing.

And most of all, something fun to watch.

But there are a few questions that come out of this game. We’re all happy for Troy Smith getting a chance to get in on the season as a dual threat option, but could this mean a reduce role for Flacco? After all, if you’re willing to send your first-round, quarterback-of-the-future draft pick out on go routes, are you sending a message about the direction of the team? At least for this season?

Same thing with the running game. We saw a lot of Ray Rice this afternoon, and what we saw was good. Does that mean it was good enough to supplant Willis McGahee as the speed back of choice for the Ravens?

Enough of spoling the afternoon. Let’s just rejoice in the fact that the Ravens have a quarterback who not only can hit a receiver on a crossing route, but might also line up and run one.