Great performance today by the Ravens. Not only did they get a huge blowout playoff win, but it was against THE Patriots, and it was IN Foxborough. Today was Tom Brady’s first playoff loss at home, the Pats’ first home playoff loss in over 30 years and the first 4-turnover game (or 3-turnover game) in the playoffs. And yes, you read correctly. I wrote “blowout”. The game was not 19 points close. The first touchdown was a fluke. I’m not deadset on the decision of a fumble recovery being wrong, but I don’t know what John Harbaugh was thinking in not throwing the red flag. The second touchdown was legitimate, but 33-7, possibly even more than 33 if things went right is undoubtedly a blowout.
Some big performances from Ray Rice, Domonique Foxworth, Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Dawan Land….ok, you get the picture. A lot of guys stepped up today, and there were some pleasant surprises (Frank Walker) and some guys who finally proved themselves in a big game (Dwan Edwards). Reed and Suggs returned well from their injuries, and Ray Rice set the tone for the game right away. Willis McGahee continued his crazy touchdown form with two more, and Dawan Landry was great in the secondary. The offensive line was blocking well at times, and was a little suspect at other times, but zero penalties. No holding, no blocking in the back. In total the team had 3 penalties for 15 yards, which in my opinion, was a big reason for success. No pass interference. Only offsides, a lineman downfield and something else trivial.
Joe Flacco was disappointing in the passing game. He did well at handing the ball off, I’ll give him that, but when he needed to make a play, and it’s not like there were a lot of times like that, he didn’t step up. A couple errant throws, a lot of forcing passes to Ray Rice, he just didn’t look comfortable. Hopefully the lack of passing helped him with his ankle, but his form needs to improve for the Colts game.
If the Ravens play like this every game, no team can beat them. They’re good enough to beat the Colts, it’s just whether the good team without the penalties and with the big defensive plays shows up, or the team that lost games against the Vikings and Bengals shows up. Should be a fun playoff run.