Opening weekend is in the books and we got just a small sample of what this year holds in store for us. Ravens fans could not have been happier with the results as all divisional competitors took one on the chin while Lamar Jackson looked like a possible MVP candidate against the hapless Dolphins. Jackson and the offense were so good that multiple franchise records were broken.
So is it safe to say that the Baltimore offense could be one of the league’s best?
Not so fast my friend – welcome to week two.
- The Franchise – Lamar Jackson was perfect last week. He finished the game with a perfect passer rating – so it’s true. His offense was so good that it set franchise records. Points (59), Touchdowns (8), Total Net Yards (643) and an 85% completion percentage were just a few of the impressive numbers from Sunday’s bloodletting. But numbers aside Jackson looked vastly different and much improved from the player that was under center in January. His passes were tight, his footwork solid and his decision making near flawless. He was in command of the offense from the first snap where Mark Ingram rambled for a huge gain. Everything was clicking and while some weeks will be much tougher and mistakes are bound to happen you had to feel at the very least that our franchise quarterback had indeed put the work in and should lead the charge to another potential playoff appearance.
- Sizzle’s Return – It didn’t take long for the 16-year former Baltimore vet to make his way back home as his Cardinals march into M & T. The former first-rounder and sure fire fourth Ravens Hall of Famer holds multiple records of his own most notably games played in purple (229) and sacks (132.5). Suggs admitted that it will be “kind of weird” to be on the opposing sideline in Baltimore but as he mentioned in this week’s interview, “it was just time”. Time for him to go home and get a chance to play for his hometown. Personally I’d expect a fired up and fresh Suggs to likely grab a sack (he had two in week one) and do a dance and the most fans will probably cheer as long as it doesn’t impact the final outcome. Suggs became a star here and there was talk this week if the team would acknowledge him with a video tribute or special salute. I hope not. There will be plenty of time for that when he retires. Until then he’s just another player that needs to be blocked.
- Who to Watch– On offense keep your eyes glued to Willie Snead. He’s the sure handed slot receiver and the chain mover of this offense (along with Man-drews). Miles Boykin may be a bigger target and Marquise Brown may be the game breaker but Snead is reliable and I expect a solid game from him. On defense the Ravens secondary is already being tested. Jimmy Smith is injured for several weeks so it’s next man up in Anthony Averett who stepped in against the Dolphins. Wow, that was quick with first Tavon Young and now Smith down it proves that you never have enough corners in this league.
Legend of the Game
Years as a Raven (2000-2001)
Sharpe was selected 192nd overall in the 1990 NFL draft by the team he is most associated with, the Denver Broncos. Over his time in Denver he proved to be an excellent route-runner and a threat to score on any down. Sharpe played ten seasons in Denver winning two Super Bowls with the Broncos. He was signed by Baltimore as a free-agent in 2000 and helped power the franchise to a Super Championship of their own. My favorite memory of Shan-non was his catch and run against his former teammates in the Wild Card round. It gave you a sense that the Ravens had something special. Sharpe eventually returned to Denver to retire a Bronco. He finished his career as the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060) and receiving touchdowns (62) by a tight end, until Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten surpassed those records. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2011. Currently he holds evil at bay by telling Skip Bayless just how wrong he is on the television debate show, “Undisputed”
Game-Time Song of the Week
It’s 8 AM, this hell I’m in
Seems I’ve crossed a line again
For being nothing more than who I am
So break my bones and throw your stones
We all know that life ain’t fair
But there’s more of us we’re everywhere
This just sounds like Baltimore to me. A song that would be played on 98 Rock in between Kirk prepping the ballgame this weekend or at your local tailgate by some of the purple faithful.
Maybe it’s just me?
Cousin Justin’s Betting Parlor – Survivor Pool
That was a close one. My pick of Pete Carroll’s Seahawks over the Bungles nearly blew up in my face. But, Bungles gotta’ bungle. So week two begins anew and I don’t need to buy back in to the race so who do I choose this week?
Yep, no doubt.
I usually hate, hate, hate picking divisional game unless I absolutely have to so that disqualifies the Pats over the Phins and Texas over Jags and Chefs over Ray-dahs. The game won’t be the massive blowout it was in South Beach but the blackbirds should be able to push their record to 2-0 in front of the home crowd.
Game Time Snack of the Week
Is there anyone who doesn’t like tacos?
Can’t say that I’ve ever met anyone that fits that description. So here’s ten different ways to go Mexican this weekend.
Happy Football everyone! Go Ravens!