Todd Monken Needs a Pass
I have spoken a lot on social Media blaming coaches, media, and the NFL being rigged with the entire Taylor Swift debacle. But I mainly blamed Todd Monken for game plan Sunday vs. The Kansas City Chiefs. I have had some thought on this over the past 48 hours and I came to the conclusion that I can’t blame Monken fully for this and you guys shouldn’t either. Here’s why:
A year ago us Ravens fans had the same conversations about Mike MacDonald being worthy because he was blowing Big leads in 2022 to the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fans, including myself, were ready to ship MacDonald out of Baltimore. But then 2023 came for Mike MacDonald and he led a top defense in 2023 winning the NFL triple crown (leading the league in Sacks, Turnovers, and opponents points per game). Also having players like Kyle Hamilton and Patrick Queen All Pro and Pro Bowl player respectively. Now Ravens fan don’t want MacDonald to leave Baltimore after his defense led the Ravens to the AFC Championship game vs Kansas City. Holding the Chiefs to 17 points (all in the 1st half). Sunday was more evidence that Mike MacDonald coaching jump from year one to year two is the reason why Monken should be given a pass.
Now let’s get to Todd Monken…
Todd Monken came to Baltimore in 2023 after leading the Georgia Bulldogs to back to back National Championships. His mission was to come to Baltimore and give Lamar the full set of keys to run Monken offense. Similar to Mike MacDonald in year 1, Monken had a lot of hiccups throughout the season. Not being able to score in the red zone early in the season, drives stalling out after having nice drives, and one of my most important factors: Having that “put away drive” late in the game. You might look at the scores and say “How can you say that when they averaged 28.4 points per game?” Yes that’s true but it was harder for the Ravens to reach that goal.
Now to the AFC Championship game…
Monken got away what worked for the Ravens all season and that’s running the ball down team’s throats. Averaging over 150 yards on the ground in 2023. The Chiefs had one of the worst run defenses all season and the Ravens only ran the ball with their running backs a crazy 6 times. The times they ran the ball during the game. They were very successful doing so. I don’t know if the narrative was to prove to everyone that Lamar is the stellar passer (which he is) but Monken got away from what they did so well all year long. Also not helping the defense out as well after the defense shut the Chiefs out in the second half. I have a gut feeling that Monken heard the outside noise and turned Lamar into this full time passer. Which is why the Ravens lost to the Chiefs on Sunday, instead of just focusing on the plan that got the Ravens to the AFC Championship game. I solely believe that if the Ravens would have ran the ball like Buffalo did a week prior on the Chiefs, the Ravens would be on their way to Las Vegas for Super Bowl 58.
Lastly, can us Ravens fans just sit and look forward to 2024? Like Mike MacDonald, Todd Monken can easily light the world on fire in 2024 for the Ravens and have the same turn around for the Ravens offense likeMacDonald had for the Ravens defense. The Ravens do have Zay Flowers, Lamar Jackson, Tyler Linderbaum to build around on this offense as a positive outlook.