Monday, November 10, 2008

Wins are bigger in Texas

Can you believe that people were once talking about the Ravens 2008 season with low expectations? I myself even pontificated whether or not the Ravens could get to 4 wins this year.

Shame on me for not believing. Talk about a pleasant surprise.

Even if it was only the 3-5 Texans they beat yesterday, the Ravens sent a message. They finally have a QB in Joe Flacco and they finally have an offense to go along with their still-dominating defense.

The Ravens scored a season high 41 points en route to a dominating win over the Houston Texans, 41-13, and were once again running on all cylinders.

Joe Flacco turned in another solid game, going 15-23 for 185 yards and 2 TD’s. In the four games since the Indianapolis meltdown where Flacco threw 3 picks, he’s thrown 6 TD’s and 0 INT’s. He also completed another long TD pass, this time connecting with Yamon Figurs for 43 yards.

Tight End Todd Heap came back from the dead, hauling in 2 TD’s for 58 yards. If Heap can start contributing like this week to week, the Ravens passing offense is going to start to scare opposing defenses if they haven’t already. No longer can opposing defenses stack the box to stop the run. They have to worry about Flacco’s ability to throw the deep ball, which the Ravens have done successfully for 2 TD’s in two straight weeks as well as the now successful “Suggs Package” with Troy Smith lining up under center (Smith tossed a late-game TD to Todd Heap).

I wonder if Terrell Suggs is happy yet?

For the second straight week, the Ravens got a huge performance from their running back. This time it was Willis McGahee, rushing 25 times for 115 yards and 2 TD’s.

And even though the defense allowed 355 yards of total offense, they stepped up when it mattered most, picking off Texans’ QB Sage Rosenfels 4 times including a Haloti Ngata tipped pass and catch for an INT in the endzone, preventing a Houston TD. Ray Lewis also had 2 INT's, and Samari Rolle, fresh off of the injury report, caught one too.

The win in Houston has given the Ravens a four game winning streak, and they have rattled off the first two wins on a three game road swing. They are tied with the Steelers for first place, although the Steelers currently hold a tie-breaker over the Ravens.

The 3-game a road trip comes to an end next Sunday, as the Ravens travel to the Meadowlands to take on the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants who won last night to improve to 8-1.

And even though the Ravens sent a message with their win yesterday, to go into New York and beat the Giants, would strike fear into the hearts of the NFL.

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