Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ravens-Titans Live Blogging: First Half Goodness

Had company for this one -- the Five Tool Ninja -- and, well, super-detailed blogging can only happen for games we care *way* too much about. So take what you get, Ravens and Titans Fan...

> Dan Dierdorf tells us that we can't compliment Joe Flacco enough for their 11-5 record. Actually, I'm pretty sure you can. "Joe Flacco is the best quarterback in the AFC!" See, I just did it.

> The difference early: the Titans aren't terrified of letting Kerry Collins throw the ball, and he does it well. The Ravens, not so much.

> Chris Johnson makes a big play out of a screen, and the Titans pass blocking is good enough to let Collins find Justin Gage -- who I told you would do something in this game -- to put them in the red zone. Johnson takes it in from there, and the home team is looking very good early. 7-0, Titans.

> After an 8 yard screen on a backward pass to LaRon McClain, the Ravens finally get a first down when Flacco runs a long yard on a 3rd and one -- with no backs in the backfield. Trickery. It's backed up by a roughing the passer flag, and the way the Titans are controlling the line, they will need help to maintain drives. It looks like a drive stall after a Derrick Mason holding penalty, a long out to Clayton that can't get the feet down, a dropped screen to McClain and an unnecessary time out...

And in a play that will wind up giving them half of their total yards for the first half, just when it looks like it won't be a game, Flacco hits Mason for a 48-yard touchdown on a breakdown in coverage, but also a great throw. Dierdorf's man crush on Joe Flacco is becoming Favrian right now.

> These teams, you will be surprised to learn, just don't like each other. They've failed to exchange thank you notes, and disagree on matters of religion and politics!

> Johnson ends the first with back to back solid runs, the latter for 32 yards, and neither team looks like they packed their defense today. Either that, or Chris Johnson is just that much faster with a bye.

> The second quarter begins with the Titans stalling, as second and third down defensive pressure pushed them back. On a 4th and 8, they don't try Rob Bironas from 47, or punt. A fumbled snap on fourth results in the change of possession at the Titans 39. In Week 15, Titans coach Jeff Fisher didn't try a field goal from 49 against Houston, and turned it over en route to a 16-13 loss. Did he just do it again? And why am I noticing this, but not the paid professionals who are covering the game?

> Instead of discussing Fisher's seeming lack of confidence in his All-Pro kicker, Dierdorf wants to talk about the firmness of the back-up center snap on third. It's a little unseemly, really.

> After a stopped drive, Baltimore's punter (Sam Koch) drops the ball at the half-foot line, and checks it back to the 2. Does every team in the NFL (you know, that isn't the Eagles) have a drop-dead punter now?

> Johnson gives Titans Fan heart failure with a cut right in his end zone; it gets him a single positive yard. On second, he barely escapes the end zone again after strong defensive line pressure. On third, a screen to Ahmad Hall ends with an orgasmic hit from Ray Lewis, but a first down. Dierdorf couldn't be happier right now. It's, well, unseemly.

> You might think that there's a credit crisis in this country, but not at the Bank of Dierdorf. I'm pretty sure he's given credit to a half dozen guys in 20 minutes of game play here.

> Johnson with 79 yards so far, which is probably the over-under for the whole game. On third and three, Collins has time for Gage again, and the Titans offensive line is winning more battles than it's losing.

> Collins to Gage Again to put them past midfield. Johnson getting comfortable enough to make cuts in the backfield en route to a 4-yard gain. Collins hits Scaife to move the chains, and Lee Suggs gets away with post-whistle stuff that tells you how the Ravens defense is not reacting well to a 10-play plus drive. Suggs then catches Collins from behind, but he's hurt at the end of the play, and Titan Fan is cheering that injury. Bad karma, Titan Fan!

> After the injury, it's 13 more to Justin Gage, who now has 4 for 67. LemDale White ends an extremely ugly play where Collins was ready for the snap. In HD, you can see Collins more or less pee himself on that. Neat! Collins then throws an awful back-foot pick to Samari Rolle, who tries hard to be Ed Reed, but can't. Ravens ball at the 12, which is OK, since an incomplete would have just led to Fisher not trying another field goal.

> Jevon Kearse reads the snap count for a run for loss; he doesn't look old or nothing. The third down is another long and gorgeous pass from Flacco to Mason, but a yard wide of being in bounds. Another three and out, and if you believe in time of possession, the Ravens are in trouble. Yards are 201 to 95 for the home team.

> I'm pretty sure that the Toyota truck voice-over announcer talks like that all the time. About everything. And that he drinks.

> Titans pick up the blitz and Collins finds Gage for a first. If they get another 50 yards, they might let Bironas try a field goal! Another blitz on second doesn't work, and Scaife rumbles for 15. The drive ends with White fumbling on a third down draw, keeping the Titans from another non-field goal opportunity. And that's your half, with the Ravens taking a knee at their own 15. The Titans have well over a 2-to-1 yardage advantage, and some real regrets over opportunities missed.

> The Ninja has a genius idea for overtime: instead of more football, just have the quarterbacks fight for it. No helmets, no shoes. Tell me you are not *praying* for Cowboys-Giants overtime. And watching either guy suffer a terribly surprising fumble in the last minute...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

deirdorf - flacco - felatio?

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