Ravens Throw Away Golden Opportunity, lose 23-24 to Eagles


September 16, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) celebrates the winning touchdown with this team against the Baltimore Ravens during fourth quarter action at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-US PRESSWIRE

Joe Flacco couldn’t believe it, Ray Lewis looked visibly upset. Vonta Leech looked like he wanted to rip someones head off, but none of that helped the Ravens avoid a 1-1 start to the season after enduring their first loss of the year in Philadelphia. Here are my thoughts.

-Flacco had a great first half and looked like he was on his game, but the Eagles D(more on them later) clamped down in the second half and limited him to less than 35% completions in the second half in addition to an INT.

– The Officiating was terrible. I’m not going to blame any loss on officials, the job of any team is to make sure the officials aren’t in a position to make a bad call that can turn a game. That said, the Ravens WRs were getting mugged all day. In the broadcast I watched the commentators showed clips and commented on 4 missed PI calls, I saw at least 1 more. Torrey Smith was having his jersey held all game and Jacoby Jones was getting harassed 10-15 yards up the field by Nnamdi Asomugah on almost every play. I won’t say the Refs cost the Ravens the game, but they certainly made things a little harder. Joe Flacco commented in his post game presser that the replacement refs were “affecting the integrity of the game”. The call against Jacoby Jones on the touchdown throw was also extremely questionable.

-Justin Tucker is the Ravens next big thing- Tucker hit 3 out of 3 FGs today, 2 of them from greater than 50 yards, in 2 1/2 years, Billy Cundiff went 1-9 on FGs of 50+(5-19 career). Tucker is now 2-2 in 2 games. on the season Tucker is 6-6 on FGs and 7-7 on XPs.

– What happened to the no-huddle?- Last week the Ravens went no huddle on 38% of their offensive snaps, they went no huddle or muddle huddle on 62%, this week they might have gone no huddle five or six times.

-Ray Rice is still a beast- Rice didnt feel as effective as last week, but he actually had a better game. He finished with 152 yards on 22 touches, that is almost 8 yards per touch.

-Dennis Pitta also had a big day for the second straight week, he had 8 receptions for 65 yards.

-Flacco showed some old fashioned inconsistency in the second half. he was almost perfect in the first half, but bombed in the second half. Flaccos biggest problem though, was the lack of a clean pocket. The offensive line has to improve quickly because it was a disaster in the second half, Flacco was hit on almost every play.

-Courtney Upshaw looks like the real deal- Upshaw got the start this week and I’m not sure he didn’t win the job back today. he finished with 6 total tackles and showed a lot of tenacity in defending the run and he got after Vick and forced him out of the pocket quite a bit, against a normal QB(say Tom Brady perhaps) he would had a monster day.

-Run D stout- The Ravens Run defense improved vastly from week one, they held LeSean McCoy to just 81 yards on 25 carries. That is a 3.24 YPC average, not to shabby against an elite RB.

-The silver lining to this game? The Ravens will still have a tie for 1st in the AFC North. falling behind is a bad thing to do in this division and the Ravens will avoid that fate for at least a week.