Ravens dominate Titans: Handing out 3 game balls
Wins don’t get much better than the beat-down the Baltimore Ravens delivered to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. It’s time to hand out three game balls.
After a week of depressing drops that had the fan base calling for his head, Michael Crabtree came back as a humbled man and showed his worth to the Ravens. Crabtree became Joe Flacco’s best friend during the blowout, catching six passes for 93-yards and his second touchdown of the season (his first since week one). Against a formidable Titans secondary, Crabtree stood tall.
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Guys like Malcolm Butler and Adoree’ Jackson didn’t stand a chance today. Crabtree took some extra time out of his day to take extra snaps with Flacco all week and spent even more time with the jug-machine. It certainly paid off this week, and makes Crabtree deserving of our first game ball.
Just a few short months ago, I wrote about how Za’Darius Smith was in-store for a breakout season in 2018 here. Through six games in 2018, Smith has proven me right and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon. “Za-Za” took down Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota three times, including a strip-sack that put an emphasis on the kind of day this defense was having.
It’s hard to standout when your team records a franchise record 11 sacks in one game, but “Za-Za” managed to lead the team today. Better yet, he’s also the current leader on the team entirely for 2018. His 5.5 sacks on the season tie his career high from way back in 2015 when the young man was a rookie. There is still more than half the season left to play and Smith is just getting started. For his performance against Tennessee, we are awarding Smith a Ravens game ball.
Don “Wink” Martindale:
Dean Pees may have “retired” only to take on the same role with the Titans he had with the Ravens, but he sure as hell isn’t missed by anyone in Charm City. That all has to do with the fantastic play-calling from Defensive Coordinator Don Martinadale. For years now, Ravens fans have been waiting for the right mind to take all this talent on defense to the next level, and it looks like “Wink” Martindale is the man to do it.
Sunday’s win against the Titans provided Baltimore with its first defensive shutout of the season while recording a franchise best 11 team sacks. In fact, the Ravens actually recorded more sacks than they allowed pass completions versus the Titans. Try and let that sink in for a second…
Despite a decent offensive showing, which was more about capitalizing on touchdown opportunities, the defense carried nearly all of the team’s weight. What the Ravens defense has done this year is beyond remarkable and historic, and it all ties back to Coach Martindale. Here’s to you, coach, and take this game ball as a token of appreciation from all of Ravens Flock!