I thought the Ravens came out flat, and sometimes that can be expected after a long layoff. It's not just a matter of learning how to play on the road, but adjusting to styles. Kansas City has talented cornerbacks and the
pressed up on the Ravens receivers, and that gives the Ravens problems. The Ravens have to use more motion, run more rubs, crossing patterns and just make more plays in one-on-one situations.
Defensively, again, it's not about being home or away, but just executing and winning some one-on-one matchups. The Ravens made adjustments in the second half, but it shouldn't have taken that long. Going into the game, they had to know Kansas City was going to pound the ball. Against the run, the Ravens have to get better efforts from their defensive linemen because the inside linebackers aren't very physical. The cornerbacks seemed to play better last week, but I'm still not sure about the pass rushing because the Chiefs don't throw a lot.
The Ravens are 4-1, but there is room for a lot of improvement.
John, I never heard Joe say that and it seems out of character for him. We're only five games into the season, but overall Flacco has played pretty well when given the time to throw. I believe the Ravens will pay him what he deserves and am confident he will be in Baltimore for a long time. Flacco made his share of mistakes Sunday, but he had a lot of help in that stinker as far as poor pass blocking and dropped passes.
Steve B: After Sunday's K.C. game, do you think we will see any changes on the starting offensive line next week against Dallas? I know one thing: if our line blocks against Houston the way it did Sunday against the Chiefs, Flacco will be lucky to survive.
I still say the starting offensive line should be
at left tackle,
at left guard,
at right guard and
at right tackle. The Ravens, though, believe otherwise. Oher just doesn't have the physical tools (long arms, long torso) to be a quality left tackle and Osemele lacks the proper foot speed to go one on one with speed rushers.
It's a young group and hopefully they will get better. Not for my sake, but Flacco's health.
Errol Phillips: Is there any way to beef up the pass rush for the remainder of the season? What we've got now just isn't working. Could it be the defensive coordinator as well as the personnel?
I think Dean Pees is doing the best he can with what he has to work with on that side of the ball. The Ravens have blitzed a lot but eventually you have to win one-on-one matchups. Except for tackle
, there hasn't been one lineman to provide steady pressure. Most of the pressure has come from linebackers like
, or off the edge with a corner or safety.
Young guys like
need to get better.
Come on Dean, you are trying to tell me that Reed isn't a lean, mean tackling machine. Come on, man.
It is what it is, and it has been that way for four to five years. I will say this, that Reed has been more of a team player this year than in previous seasons. He has practiced well and works well with the younger players. He speaks to the media and compared to previous seasons, he has played better.
But it is all about his contract, which is up after this season. Reed has been on good behavior. Attitude, though, doesn't translate into more tackles in this case. Your analysis is pretty spot on.
Carolyn: Would you agree that our corners play opposing receivers too far off the line? Secondly, can you defend Ed Reed's lack of engaging receivers on deep patterns and over the middle 20 yarders? It seems like he is always standing around at the end of every play and rarely in them.
With the exception of
, I just think the Ravens' cornerbacks aren't very physical. They don't get their hands on receivers and hold them up at the line of scrimmage. They just turn and run with them and then lose track of the ball. The Chiefs didn't throw a lot, but I thought both
were solid. Against K.C., you could play soft because the Chiefs weren't going to beat you down the field.
As for Ed Reed, Ed is Ed. He makes big plays in big games and that's basically why general manager
keeps him around. When he is on his game, Reed plays the best center field of any safety in the league, but he isn't going to dazzle you by blowing up a lot of receivers or running backs.
David A. Randall: The Ravens are facing a very difficult dilemma -- Ray Lewis. It is apparent that the weight-loss strategy is not working. Who will be the one to tell Ray that he's done? John, Ozzie, Ray himself, or another teammate?
Lewis will probably play this season and next unless the Ravens win a
this year. As long as the Ravens continue to win, they will allow him to play until his contract expires. Because of his passion for the game and him being the face of the organization for so long, he is untouchable. No one really wants to fight that fight over at The Castle and tell him to move on or retire.
It's a story we see a lot in sports where a player hangs on too long. It's kind of sad, but we all want a happy ending. I think the Ravens would like to get to the postseason and then hopefully veterans like Reed and Lewis can make enough plays to get them into the Super Bowl.
But the final call on when he decides to leave will be Lewis' decision. I have said and written that this will never fully be
's team until Ray Lewis leaves. I still believe that, and it is clearly evident.
Run more rubs, crossing patterns and use more motion, especially with
. Of course, to run crossing patterns, requires better pass protection for the offensive line. When teams press up, receivers have to win one-on-one matchups.