Game #5: Smash Mouth Football Bloodies the Broncos

Ravens: 31   Broncos: 17

For some reason the Ravens have a history of being able to exert their will against the Denver Broncos.  It was no surprise to see the vaunted early season passing attack of Denver be reduced to a couple of meaningless long scores at the end of each half.  The toughness of Baltimore earned them another double digit victory against the visiting Broncos.

For a change, we will focus on nothing but the positives as we give out a number of game balls:

Offensive Line — Let’s deal with them as a group.  They were solid in both pass protection and finally getting the running game untracked.  They gashed the Broncos all day and especially enjoyed putting the game away with the late drive in the fourth quarter.  For the most part they kept Flacco on his feet in the passing game as well.

Fabian Washington — Must have been eating his Wheaties during the week.  He was all over the routes of the Bronco receivers — breaking at just the right moment to arrive simultaneously with the ball.  This was the best he has played and he seemed to be enjoying every minute of it.  Now if we could only translate this into some interceptions.

Billy Cundiff — Those booming kickoffs for touchbacks kept Denver pinned back all game.  What a weapon!  The explanation after the game by the coaching staff makes you think that there is some harmful over-coaching taking place: “Recently we just told him to forget about all of the specific instructions we had been cluttering his mind with and just kick the Heck out of the ball.”  Glad to know that those expensive coaching salaries are worth every penny.

Overall Toughness and Resiliency — When you get stuffed four times inside the five yard line on your initial drive it can take some of the starch out of your swagger.  But Joe Cool was unruffled and just took them back down the field on the next drive and made sure they stuck it in the end zone.  He made a couple of key runs — especially putting his shoulder down and running over the middle linebacker and then picking up a key first down with another strong run up the middle.

Ed Dickson — We can look forward to some more passes down the seam from this rookie tight end.  He has excellent hands and ball awareness to adjust to the ball in the air.  He described the Flacco lob as basically a punt — but when it came down he was the only one in position to make the catch.

Jason Phillips — The crunching hit he delivered on special teams to cause the turnover had to be satisfying for a player who so far has been known more for penalties than for on field production.

Morgan Cox — This might be a surprising selection — but have you heard his name called at all this year?  That’s how it should be for a long snapper.  Last year’s adventures with Matt Katula (probably due to his painful elbow) have been put behind us.

Cam Cameron — He is going to have to get a bigger trophy case.  He did an excellent job of spreading the ball around to different receivers.  He got everybody involved in the offense and kept pushing the right buttons in the running game as well.  When he brings in McGahee to spell Rice he dials up a 30 yard TD scamper.  Way to go!

Ray Rice — Nothing we like better than 133 yards on the ground.  He was patient in hitting his creases and kept in a nice rhythm all game long.  With all of our offensive weapons, teams will have a difficult time game-planning against the Ravens.