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Week 8 Gameday Thread: Ravens vs. Steelers


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19 minutes ago, wackywabbit said:

It wasn't my favorite playcall, but I actually thought it was going to work 1 second into the play. If it was a throw and it didn't work, then Roman would have even more heat, IMO. That particular drive was fueled entirely by runs.

To your broader point, I AM gaining more and more confidence that this team IS getting ready for the playoffs. Playoffs were never a doubt for us with this 7th seed addition. Does it really matter if round 1 is a road game at buffalo vs a home game against the Colts/Raiders/Browns My opinion is no. They are letting Lamar do things and that has included some extra throws in situation where they don't need to. Lamar wasn't careless against the Chiefs, they just had an ineffective offense. He tried to do more today and it burned us in a big way a couple times. But, if we end up with rematches against the Steelers and Chiefs, which is the goal, the end result of the prior matchup isn't going to be a factor. 

I ran out of likes, but this perfectly captures my feelings on it. We loss to the Steelers in a winnable game. Could we have probably beat them by spamming the run attack move? Absolutely, I do it all the time in fight games like Mortal Kombat... but when you run into a legit opponent, you can’t beat them with just a few spam moves (at that point you need to spam combos 😂) and the same is true of this team.

In 2019 we spammed one of the best moves in the game, MVP Lamar Jackson and the rushing attack he influences, but we still lost when the opponent knew how to counter it. So at this point 2020 should be about building up new moves so that opponents have to plan for it all... and then we can beat them by spamming that move that worked so well for us in 2019 or if they block it, a new move we learned along the way this season.

And I can’t help but feel like, if the refs didn’t kill that last drive with their ineptitude (forward progress versus out of bounds as well as TO vs penalty) then we might have gotten a chance to experience this Ravens squad with a new move... Lamar leading this team to a comeback victory when down and needing a TD to win.

Which is what most pisses me off about this loss and not the bad playcalls by Roman on the 4th down, the waste challenge/TO by Harbaugh on the Hollywood play, and not the crappy decision making by Lamar in that reared a few times in the game... I’m most bothered by the refs glitching the game before the new move could land firmly on our opponents jaw. Pisses me off.

Edited by diamondbull424
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Ball Street Journal (@BSJPodcast) Tweeted:
#Ravens 🚨FUMBLE🚨

@Lj_era8 fumbles in the #RedZone and the #Steelers catch a break 😬
https://t.co/oEgkiyudcy

 

Lost in the fumble on that play, was the fact that we had Boyle and Gus responsible for blocking Bud Dupree there and not PB RT Orlando Brown Jr., what’s more because Boyle and Andrews are running their routes at the same depth, Boyle runs into Andrews drag route and disrupts his timing, which causes Lamar to have to hitch and go from his primary route (Andrews) and go to his secondary route, Hollywood. But because Dupree is already in his grill (because Gus decided to perform a terrible cut block on him vs putting a hat on him when Dupree had reduced momentum from the Boyle chip block) to keep the pocket clean... that play had no chance from the start.

Lamar might have been able to pass it to Hollywood earlier on the drag where the sideline wouldn’t be his friend, but Hollywood also wasn’t looking at Lamar at the time when Lamar would’ve had to make that throw. So if Lamar throws it, it’s a solid chance at being picked due to Hollywood not seeing it and thus it falling into the hands of a defender.

There is far more to blame on this play than Lamar’s deciding to hold on to the football to try and make a pass. Big Ben had this EXACT same type of fumble occur to him against our defense, yet his team was lucky enough to recover it. But Hollywood, Gus, MAYBE Andrews (if his route was supposed to be deeper from the start or something), and Roman/Culley can also be blamed for this plays failure. As Roman called this lunacy, Gus delivered a poor block choice, Andrews maybe didn’t run his depth enough (?), and Hollywood for not looking until 3 seconds in.

The best play to be made there was Lamar feeling Dupree and deciding to just tuck it in tightly and just run it himself... but then you get a guy thinking that and you miss the magical plays where he releases the ball just in the nick of time to complete a laser TD throw to Hollywood vs taking off and getting stuffed or falling to the ground prematurely because he “felt pressure.”

People can fault Lamar here and that’s fair, that misjudgment cost the team points and momentum... but just do it knowing he wasn’t the only one that made big mistakes on that play... he just couldn’t bail out the offense, like he did on his 1st TD pass where he was facing instant pressure.

Edit: With as many turnovers as he had, Lamar was a 1 minute TD drive away on an elite defense from, IMO, being a net positive on the day... and I think that’s worth noting as much as his faults and mistakes in this game.

Edited by diamondbull424
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2 minutes ago, M.10.E said:

I think my biggest issue with the interceptions is that they aren’t even on contested throws down the field. I won’t fault a guy for taking a shot, but these ones are just bleh. 

I think the Andrews interception (the second one) wasn’t THAT bad. I knew it was dangerous when he threw it because of how many jerseys were in the area... but when you consider that the route concepts in this offense CONSISTENTLY feature such designs, you can’t fault Lamar for taking shots with what he has to work with too much. Could the pass been a PERFECT pass and been one foot higher with a little more speed and it would’ve led to a completion? Absolutely. But that’s a perfect pass that’s needed on that play, which is bananas when you’ve got Andrews 1v1 on a route. Boyle and Ricard shouldn’t be running similar route depths as Andrews.

On the first play that was absolutely bad, indefensible. But on the first drive of the game and with no other good pass scripts/designs to get you into a rhythm? It’s not something that’s unexpected. Roman consistently tends to call our passing attack from pass #1 as though, it’s 3rd quarter. Some QBs are elite rolling out of bed, but Lamar is a rhythmic passer. He gets better with the more passes he completes as he starts to feel in the groove. Yet Roman refuses to do a few checkdown to Dobbins or short hitch to Hollywood/Duvernay, etc type throws. Passes that are an extension of your run game essentially, but that let Lamar get into a groove with slinging it. Lamar also responded well enough to that turnover by immediately leading a TD drive the following possession

So I may be “defensive” but I do think these are factors that good coaches take into account when building a scheme. People (not you or our fans, but mainly the media) praised Roman for designing this “perfect” offense for Lamar to succeed and thrive within (which was mostly constructed within a bye week), yet fault only Lamar for the mistakes and not the wizard that designed this “perfect offense for Lamar.” If it were so perfect, he would notice such faults as have been pointing out in these GDTs and put our personnel in the best position to succeed.

Personally I think the Louisville scheme that Bobby Petrino used was a far superior passing attack to what Roman has provided Lamar. I think something closer to what Kliff Kingsbury is running would work well for Lamar schematically, even if his arm isn’t quite as strong or accurate as Murray. I think Lamar is the better runner and has better processing speed/field vision as a passer to makeup the difference.

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7 hours ago, M.10.E said:

I’ll take that chance (him getting more expensive). You can never overpay a true top 3 QB. 

My stance is a bit different than most, but I don't think you can overpay a QB you can win with - in the playoff - he doesn't even have to be a top 3-5-7 QB. There are very very few QB's who can translate a bad roster, bad coaching into W's and Super Bowls. That QB is a unicorn (doesn't exist and poops rainbow icecream)

If we go by the history, the most teams which wins Super Bowls does it with a great roster a non-elite QB who happens to hit his strides in the playoffs - this even goes for the Patriots with Brady as he has had less stellar performances in the playoffs. For every Peyton Manning carrying his team to a Super Bowl victory, there are the Nick Foles, Joe Flacco, Eli Mannings. 

Get a QB you can win with, even on a big contract, and build a team around him, and I believe Lamar is still such a QB. 

Even Tannehill after his bad seasons in Miami made sense to extend as he works within that system in Tennessee.

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5 hours ago, diamondbull424 said:

Lost in the fumble on that play, was the fact that we had Boyle and Gus responsible for blocking Bud Dupree there and not PB RT Orlando Brown Jr., what’s more because Boyle and Andrews are running their routes at the same depth, Boyle runs into Andrews drag route and disrupts his timing, which causes Lamar to have to hitch and go from his primary route (Andrews) and go to his secondary route, Hollywood. But because Dupree is already in his grill (because Gus decided to perform a terrible cut block on him vs putting a hat on him when Dupree had reduced momentum from the Boyle chip block) to keep the pocket clean... that play had no chance from the start.

Lamar might have been able to pass it to Hollywood earlier on the drag where the sideline wouldn’t be his friend, but Hollywood also wasn’t looking at Lamar at the time when Lamar would’ve had to make that throw. So if Lamar throws it, it’s a solid chance at being picked due to Hollywood not seeing it and thus it falling into the hands of a defender.

There is far more to blame on this play than Lamar’s deciding to hold on to the football to try and make a pass. Big Ben had this EXACT same type of fumble occur to him against our defense, yet his team was lucky enough to recover it. But Hollywood, Gus, MAYBE Andrews (if his route was supposed to be deeper from the start or something), and Roman/Culley can also be blamed for this plays failure. As Roman called this lunacy, Gus delivered a poor block choice, Andrews maybe didn’t run his depth enough (?), and Hollywood for not looking until 3 seconds in.

The best play to be made there was Lamar feeling Dupree and deciding to just tuck it in tightly and just run it himself... but then you get a guy thinking that and you miss the magical plays where he releases the ball just in the nick of time to complete a laser TD throw to Hollywood vs taking off and getting stuffed or falling to the ground prematurely because he “felt pressure.”

People can fault Lamar here and that’s fair, that misjudgment cost the team points and momentum... but just do it knowing he wasn’t the only one that made big mistakes on that play... he just couldn’t bail out the offense, like he did on his 1st TD pass where he was facing instant pressure.

Edit: With as many turnovers as he had, Lamar was a 1 minute TD drive away on an elite defense from, IMO, being a net positive on the day... and I think that’s worth noting as much as his faults and mistakes in this game.

I think most who saw the play live felt he would tuck and run once the first hit on the ball came. I think he was locked in on Andrews getting open eventually behind in the end zone for a TD - which was not good considering he knew there was already a guy behind him. He had yards if he tucked and ran, or the same amount of yards if he went for Brown. 

Just a bad decision overall

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34 minutes ago, AFlaccoSeagulls said:

Ferguson/Bowser played great.

Probably a Top 2 game if not his best, for Ferg. The Steelers Tackles seem more vulnerable to power and he made himself known. After an abysmal Rookie year, I'll take any flash of hope we can get from Jaylon. Hope he can really develop down the stretch here. 

46 minutes ago, AFlaccoSeagulls said:

Also, lost in all of this is how our defense missed exactly zero beats without Judon on the field.

I'm sure FA will drive up his price, but god is he tanking the value of any potential comp pick we'll get for him. 

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14 hours ago, DreamKid said:

Mekari will probably see more time going forward. Harbaugh said Phillips is getting an MRI on a high ankle issue.

 

Mekari was the ONLY reason I was okay with us passing up on Tyler Biadasz come Draft time. I expected a lot from him this season. I mean he was IMO on a similar level at center as Skura having never played the position before, yet with more experience I felt that he had PB level ability there. I’m glad to see that, like Chuck Clark, an injury has at least allowed him to display his ability in-game once again. There’s no way in my heart that I believe that Skura beat Mekari outright for the center position. Nor does it seem plausible that Philips beat him out either.

Mekari just went up against one of the best fronts in football and while you can find a few plays here and there where he struggled 1v1, FTMP he more than held up while also provided plus ability in the run game. Either he just suddenly awakens on gameday or similar to other position “battles” our coaches make some weird decisions when picking the “winners.”

The only thing that could make this plausible is that because Mekari is being worked at so many different spots (OT, OG, C), he wasn’t as “focused” and perhaps looked worse based on not being allowed to specialize. Which again would be the coaches fault for not allowing Mekari to specialize to best afford him the chance to be an NFL starter.

Edited by diamondbull424
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