Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston answers a selection of reader questions about the Ravens' 24-23 loss to the
John in Westminster:
Mike Preston: John, my call is very simple. The officials stink, and it will be that way until the regular guys come back. With that said, I think the Ravens should stop whining and complaining, and just play. The referees are trying hard, but they are replacement officials. If I was
The bottom line, if I can borrow that from
Mike Preston: I thought that myself, but they apparently think Joe Flacco is in the same class with
Flacco is a good quarterback, certainly good enough to win a
I'm not going to say he is still inconsistent like previous years. I think he just had a bad half. It happens. It's up to assistant coaches -- CAM CAMERON -- to pull the plug on Flacco every once and a while.
There are some quarterbacks you live and die with even on bad days, like
JJ in Colonial Beach, Va.: Where was the hurry-up offense for the Ravens? Why did they seemingly go away from it when it appeared to work so well in Week One?
Mike Preston: We never seemed to get a straight answer on that from Harbaugh. He alluded to
I knew the Ravens would struggle this season, especially early, but that group has some serious problems.
Hopefully, no one will blame the performances on the officials. They are the scapegoats for the losers every week.
Alan: After the refs properly overturned the call that
Mike Preston: When you're that close to the end zone, there is always a receiver in the area. Plus, how can you prove it was grounding? The ball did slip out of Vick's hand before he pushed it forward. Regardless of what anyone says (see Ray Lewis), the officials got the call right.
They were two of 100 for the day, but they got that one right after they initially screwed it up.
Jami: The pass to
Mike Preston: Jami, it was pass interference on Jones. After the game, the Ravens complained about the Eagles mugging their receivers down the field. Well, why didn’t the Ravens do the same thing to the Eagles? I’ve seen
You can push off when the two players are close to each other, but you can't get caught with your arms extended. Jones had his arm out and that's why he drew the flag.
Bob K.: Could you please tell me why John Harbaugh did not use his two timeouts at the end of the game? Had he used them quickly, he may have been able to force a fourth-down punt. What was he saving them for?
Mike Preston: I really don't know. As of today, he still had two left from that game.
But those timeouts didn't matter. If the Ravens had made plays, they would have won. I know some people like to scrutinize everything, and I do, but that's a little too much. I had some questions after the game, but they weren't any about timeouts.
Mike Preston: Mattison was bland, but Pees isn’t. He has tried a lot of different things to get a pass rush and to play better defense, but there are a lot of holes to fill. There is no
The Ravens have some young guys out there playing, like
In Baltimore, we're used to having a Top 10 defense. If the Ravens finish in the Top 15 and they can score some points, they'll be OK. Right now, fans need to have patience with the defense.
Aaron A.: What are the Ravens going to do for a second cornerback?
Mike Preston: Aaron, they can't do anything. Those are the best on the roster. What you see is what you're going to get. But don't give up hope. Williams is still struggling with a hip injury and Smith needs more playing time.
If they don't pan out by midseason, Harbaugh should sign the First Lady.
Dr. Ken from Frederick: I love
Mike Preston: Not only did Flacco go to him too many times, he stared him down from the moment Pitta left the line of scrimmage. I know Pitta might be his go-to guy, but let’s not get carried away. After all, he is a tight end and certainly not to be confused with
As for the Eagles, they played double man and pressed the Ravens at the line of scrimmage. In some cases, the Ravens weren’t physical and strong enough to get off the line of scrimmage. With veteran
Mike Preston: Mr. Wilson, I just looked at the NFL's all-time roster and I didn't see your name in there either. But after reading you question or your statement, I must admit I went home and felt bad because I offended you. I hit the dog and kicked the cat. I confess, I am just one miserable person.
So now, I have come to the conclusion that I will no longer write anything negative about the Ravens. If they give up 400 or so yards of total offense, I will ignore it. If they allow 75 points, I will only write about the greatness of the other team. If Flacco throws four interceptions, I will not give any commentary.
You see Mr. Wilson, I don't want to be an objective journalist anymore. You have opened my eyes. My goal is to make you happy. I belong to you. And I will make this agreement right here and right now. If I ever write one more piece criticizing the Ravens, then you have the right to never send me any more of your stupid questions and silly statements.
Is that cool?