Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Saw The Sign

Yes, I am quoting Swedish pop bands. But a win like this one makes people do strange things. Quick thoughts on the game:

  • That was the first complete game I have seen all season
The Ravens came in with a good game plan, albeit an obvious one. Run. The. Ball.

And they did. They mixed Ray Rice and Willis McGahee and got 200 yards on the ground. More importantly it controlled the clock, kept the Saints offense off of the field and kept the Ravens defense off the field. And it opened up the passing game (Dickson's TD was a direct result of the Saints playing the run and overloading the line, letting Dickson slip out uncovered after originally staying in to block).

  • Greg Mattison has a pulse
The defense held Brees and company to 7 4th quarter points and also got some big stops (as much as everyone complained about how tired the defense was last week, if they had made any one of the 4 4th down plays they wouldn't have been so tired). There were no plays I saw where the defense beat themselves, just plays where the Saints executed / got lucky (the Lance Moore TD comes to mind). It was a great team effort on short rest against a red hot team with one of the best offenses in the league.

  • If the MVP award truly went to the best player in the league, Haloti Ngata would have to be in the conversation
If you want to win an MVP (or a Heisman Trophy) you need to be a QB or RB. Sure there is the Defensive Player of the Year Award, but that isn't the same thing. But if the MVP really went to the most valuable player, Ngata would be in the running. He has been a beast this year, and the last 2 months he has been playing at a whole new level (and requiring so much attention that teams have had to slide blockers towards the middle, allowing Terrell Suggs and Jarrett Johnson to cause some havoc coming off the ends).

The Ravens have enough talent to win the Super Bowl. There has been no question about that. The question has been can they put it together, and can they do it for a whole game. Today they did that. Now the question is "Can they do it again"? We'll find out about that next Sunday against Cleveland.


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