The Baltimore Ravens showed they are a playoff caliber team, beating the Detroit Lions handily, 44-20. Here are my instant reactions from the dominating performance.
January Joe Flacco is back and I’m loving it.
Quarterback Joe Flacco played arguably his greatest game this season, going 23-36 for 269 yards and two touchdowns. After having some receivers drop passes early, Flacco and the offense started clicking. Flacco had tons of time in the pocket, which helped him read the field and find the open receiver.
I was thoroughly impressed by Flacco’s throws toward the sideline. He made sure he put it right where only the receiver can catch it, and they did.
Alex Collins has proven he can be a feature back
Collins finished today rushing for 75 yards on 15 carries for two touchdowns and caught two passes for 23 yards.
It’s astonishing that Collins was just a practice squad back until early this season, now he is top five in yards per carry. Collins’ two touchdowns today has put him at four over the past three games. Let’s not forget how fun that tug of war celebration was.
Collins has shown, thanks to his Irish dancing, that he can be patient enough to find the second hole and burst through. He may not break off those long highlight runs, but he continually can gain positive yardage.
The Ravens Defense is better than we thought
Yes, losing Jimmy Smith for the season with a torn Achilles is the worst thing that could happen, especially right before the Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they showed today they will bend but not break.
Rookie Marlon Humphrey was attacked over and over once he took over, but eventually got the last laugh when he notched his second career interception late in the game.
The Ravens still somehow leave the middle of the field open, which needs to be fixed for next week, but they can force turnovers when they need to. Eric Weddle joined Humphrey in the interception fun, returning his 45 yards for a score. Weddle also had a great strip sack that Willie Henry returned for 16 yards.
The Ravens came out and showed what they were made of in the first of two “prove it games” today. Still comfortably in the playoffs as a six seed, the Ravens need to prove themselves next Sunday vs. the Steelers that they deserve to be in. Especially after the loss of Jimmy Smith. Celebrate the win Ravens Flock, we deserve it.