Sunday, January 4, 2009

One Game Down, Three To Go

Congratulations to the Ravens on dominating the Miami Dolphins to advance to the next round of the playoffs with their 27-9 victory. Four picks (two by Ed Reed including one returned for six) and a fumble recovery pretty much doomed Miami. Joe Flacco was just OK behind center, but Le'Ron McClain pounded out some quality yards and the Baltimore defense did their thing. Chad Pennington threw for a good number of yards but was knocked around all day and made a couple of mistakes (I won't blame him for all four interceptions, but any QB should have more sense than to lob the ball into the air when Reed is patrolling out there). The Dolphins' defense played well, but it wasn't enough to make up for the 21 rushes for 52 yards and largely dink-and-dunk passing attack on offense. It even got to the point that it seemed it was better for the Ravens when Miami had the ball. [It was, by the way, easily the most lop-sided of the four playoff games played this weekend.]

I know they're a six seed and have a rookie QB and coach, but I really feel the the Ravens are playing well enough right now to beat any team out there. They play the Titans next week, who beat the Ravens earlier this year 13-10. Baltimore outplayed Tennessee in that game but lost as Kerry Collins led the Titans down the field at the end of the games for the winning touchdown. Given the improvements from Flacco and McClain, as well as a healthy Ed Reed, I really like the Ravens' chances.

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