The Ravens returned home and returned to the win column with a 27-14 thumping of the Denver Broncos in front of a soggy crowd. It was a game that I attended with family and even though the weather washed out our attempts at a proper tailgate it did not dampen our joy at waving many of the Broncos faithful farewell at the game’s conclusion.
Rain or not it was hard not to smile especially when Ray Lewis was dancing in the tunnel one more time, and in his yellow Hall jacket no less.
So here we are in Week Four already (moves fast) and with it a trip to the Big Ketchup Bottle.
It’s time to get serious so let’s do it!
- Handle with Care- So far one of the biggest stories of this young season is the multiple flags that have been thrown any time a defender gets near the quarterback. I’m sure no one is more frustrated than Clay Matthews at this point but it’s clear that players, coaches, and fans are having difficulty adjusting to the new rules. This also doesn’t bode well for this weekend’s game in Pittsburgh. I mean how are you supposed to bring down a 240 pound quarterback without getting a little rough. Roethlisberger thrives on extending plays and getting defenses to scramble and as we saw last week in Tampa he has no trouble channeling his inner Neymar if the situation calls for it. He even “joked” this week about wanting a flag any time Terrell Suggs got close to him. I guess I would too. It’s only going to make the task of beating Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, something the Ravens haven’t done since 201, that much more difficult.
- Illegal Procedure- I was supremely annoyed last week that the referees did not make the correct call on Justin Tucker’s blocked field goal. I mean it’s against the rules. You can’t jump over a stationary player to make a play on the ball. Well, it was finally confirmed that the refs blew it, not that it matters now. Not that the confirmation has come from league (shocker) but Special Teams coach Jerry Rosburg said that his protest of the play had been confirmed through various channels. It all makes little sense to me and honestly the game last week was called as sloppily as the weather. Let’s hope for better against the Steelers.
- Players to Watch- Last week (Collins – 18/68/ 1 TD, Williams – Denver 120 yds. team rushing) On the offensive side it’s all about Joe Flacco. He’s off to a great start so far and is 11th in the league at his position with 6 touchdowns against 2 interceptions. He’s had success in Pittsburgh before and the Ravens need a huge game from him to pull off a win against their division rival. Jimmy Smith has been the key to locking down Antonio Brown in the past several meetings but with Smith finishing up his suspension I’d look to Marlon Humphrey to be tasked with keeping him in check.
Legend of the Game
Kick Returner / Wide Receiver
Played for the Ravens (2012-2014)
Jones was drafted in the third round of the 2007 draft by the Houston Texans. He was signed to a two year contract by the Ravens in 2012 where he had his most successful season. He was a dangerous return man and became the first player to return two kicks for touchdowns of 105 yards or more in a season. His most memorable moments were during the road to the Super Bowl as he was on the receiving end of the 70-yd “Mile High Miracle” in Denver and a 108 yd. touchdown return in Super Bowl XLVII against the 49ers.
Jones was released in 2014 after diminished production and spent brief stints in San Diego and Pittsburgh in 2015. In March of 2017 he played for the Monterrey Steel of the National Arena League. In September of the same year he signed a one-day contract with Baltimore to retire as a Raven.
Game Day Playlist – Song of the Week
“If this doesn’t make you smile
You don’t have to cry
If this isn’t making sense
It doesn’t make it lies”
I’m a big Soundgarden fan so I’ve been waiting to put one of their lesser known tracks on the list. In my opinion this song is about perception and that there are two sides to every story or perhaps it’s about the great unknown beyond existence or maybe it’s about drugs….yeah probably drugs. Good tune though.
Cousin Justin’s Betting Parlor
Last week was an absolute bloodbath.
Vikings upended by the Bills!?!
Luckily for yours truly I went with Kansas City as I rode the hot hand of Patrick Mahomes to another victory, this time over the 49ers. In fact with the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo for the season picking against San Fran for another week might be a smart play. I did say might.
So who did I pick this week?
Despite last week’s upset at the hands of the Titans (stay away from division games) Jax looks like a strong play as the come home to battle a struggling Jets team that just gave the Brownies their first victory in what seemed like decades. The Jets will look to pound it on the ground to take the pressure off Sam Darnold, which should have some success. Blake Bortles, yes Blake Bortles will lead this team to a win this week taking advantage of a shoddy Jets defense.
Game-Time Snack of the Week
Southwestern Egg Rolls
Why go to Chili’s when you can make these at home?
Happy Football Everyone! Go Ravens!