Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ravenous Defense

The Ravens were in top form today when they routed Miami 27-9. It seemed like every time Miami started to get something going the Ravens defense put a stop to it. Chad Pennington had a league low 7 interceptions during the regular season. He had 4 in this game. This was a game where everything went right for the Ravens and everything went wrong for the Dolphins. I mean, they're kicker even missed the extra point after their only touchdown of the day.

I feel a little bad for the Dolphins, but not too bad. While it was good to see Pennington show the Jets that they shouldn't have given up on him for another old gunslinger this season, it was even better to see the Ravens control this game and move onto the next round against Tennessee. I'm still a little in shock. I knew this game was winnable. That's not it. It's that the Ravens are in the playoffs at all. I spent the whole season trying not to get my hopes up. Just waiting for the inexperience to rear its ugly head. Waiting for the magic to end.

And now here we are. The Ravens are headed to the second round of the playoffs. They are playing some of their best football of the year. Ed Reed who started out the season with serious nerve damage to his neck had two interceptions today. One of several two interception games this season. And our inexperience rookie quarterback who didn't even get one vote for rookie of the year is doing the most important thing, he's not making mistakes. Sure his numbers weren't great today, but that's not what matters. Joe Flacco did give Miami a chance to come back in the game. And he topped that off with a rushing touchdown to seal the Dolphins' fate. He just played solid mistake free football.

I think the game next week will be much harder than today. But Tennessee is beatable. One big play or a different call and Baltimore could have won when they faced the Titans in the regular season. But this isn't the same Ravens team. This a team with a much more mature quarterback and a defense that is looking unstoppable. It's going to be a tough game. But not impossible.

I congratulated one of my friends on the Eagles win after the game today. His response...see you on Super Sunday. It's a little too early to start hoping for that. But man did the Ravens play great football today.