Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ravens - Colts Notes: First Half

> After the full CBS fellate for God's Own Murderous Linebacker Ray Lewis, the Colts win the toss and take a knee on the kickoff. A fake shotgun run leads to Manning to third WR Austin Collie, and the QB had all day to throw for 20 yards. RB Joseph Addai is swallowed on a shotgun run for a loss. Indy crowd a little louder than usual as Manning connects with TE Dallas Clark to set up a short third down. The fullback dive converts it, and the Colts stay huddled afterwards; not their usual pattern. In Raven territory, Manning finds WR Pierre Garcon, who shakes a hand to the head to get nine, then takes an out for the first down with a borderline late hit and/or face mask. Addai gets space and the corner for seven. Clark can't hold on as Lewis unloads on him; nice play by the LB. Third and three from the 26 sees Manning from the gun just get it off, and two Colt receivers are in the same space as the ball is nearly picked. PK Matt Stover's 44 yard try is good, and the ex-Raven tallies Three Points Of Vengeance. Colts 3, Ravens 0.

> The Ravens are, CBS tells us, the best team in the NFL on kickoff returns, and if you can clip with impunity, you should be. A big gain is called back, and the road team has to start at their own 7. RB Ray Rice can't find much around the right side. QB Joe Flacco pumps off the CB, then completes a first down out to WR Derrick Mason; that was kind of easy. An end around to WR Mark Clayton gets nine and is well blocked; the first man to Clayton got him. FB LaRon McClain converts the short second down as the Ravens play it close to the vest, but they go to a hurry up on the next first down, which is play action to Mason, another first down, and the ball to midfield. The Raven OL is doing the job easily right now.

> On first, Flacco gets pressure, Rice makes a great one handed catch, by LB Gary Brackett ends it with purpose at the line of scrimmage. Rice for three to the left, and we're looking at a field goal third down here. From the gun, Flacco gets pressure, but its due to DL offsides, and the incomplete is wiped out. Third and two is a perfect ball to Mason, who is covered but the only man looking at the ball, and that's a huge play. So much for the Ravens not winning this game due to Flacco and Mason. Rice for a few up the middle, and they've got it in the red zone as Colts Fan Is Worried. Rice has room and six yards to the left as the Colt defense is starting to look gassed. Third and two sees Flacco keep it for a converting sneak, and wow, that was easy too. First and goal from the 8, a massive drive. RB Willis McGahee gets in for the first time, shakes DE Dwight Freeney, but can't get him on the ground; it's a two yard gain. McClain can't catch a ball in the flat on play action, and while I doubt that he would have gotten in, he's a big man and just might have. Third and goal from the six has Flacco very lucky to not be showing his TAInt, as he hit DB Antoine Bethea on the numbers. Yeesh. Punter Sam Cook gets a terrible high snap down, PK Billy Cundiff converts, and it's 3-3... but Advantage, Ravens. They've controlled the ball, they look better on the lines, and they don't look like a tired team that played last week. Excellent kickoff coverage supports that point, and the Colts will start deep.

> Manning to Clark, in stride and perfect. Addai for three, and Clark drops a short second down; not his best throw. Manning to Collie on a drag route; he's not open, but the throw is perfect. Another third down at midfield sees Clark taken down before the sticks, and say this for the Ravens; they don't jump or look worried when Manning takes the play clock down low. The first quarter ends before he Colts punt, and we've got ourselves a game.

> Fair catch at the nine, then it's Rice for six with more good room from the OL. He gets two more on second when it looked like he had cutback room. Third is a big deal for the smallish Colts defense, and Flacco misses Mason as two Colt defenders jump the out route, and that's a three and out... but information for later, if the Ravens go for a big play. Cook's bad punt is taken into Raven territory, and the advantage swings back to the home team.

> Addai gets next to nothing on first, and the Colts go no huddle. Manning's second down pass is spiked high into the air, but Addai is able to collect it to get two yards and avoid disaster. On third and seven from the gun, the Colt QB has time but no one open, and a long try for Garcon misses badly. Big stand for the Baltimore defense, and the punt rolls into the end zone as PR Chris Carr does a nice job blocking the coverage. Advantage, Ravens.

> Rice gets four on first, and there really does seem to be room on every run if the Ravens stay patient. Flacco telegraphs a screen badly to Rice, who loses ground with the catch. On third and seven, the clock runs low and Flacco gets taken down for a quasi coverage sack, as Brackett and Freeney run a good stunt. Cook's punt is huge, but PR TJ Rushing makes a few men miss; the effort is nullified by multiple clips.

> Manning to Wayne on an easy underneath break for the first, then Wayne shows great hands on a slant that was hot and past the hands for another first. Wow. RB Donald Brown's first touch of the night moves it into Raven territory for four. Manning tries Wayne on an up move where the safety was closer to the ball than the WR. Third down from the gun sees Clark crawl out for the first, and that's a big play, really. Pre-snap wankery costs the Colts five yards, and that almost never happens, really. An Addai draw gets the five back, then the RB catches a ball from a heavy receiver set for seven more. Third and two is a field goal play from the 33, and the Colts crap the bed with a middle run into NT Hiloti Ngata for a loss. Very Bad Idea, that. On fourth and four, Colts coach Jim Caldwell goes for it, but the Ravens call time before the play is snapped. You don't need me to tell you it's a big play. Manning from the gun has time, hits Addai for an out, who just makes it . The Ravens are looking *very* physical tonight...

> Addai for nothing, then Manning has time to find Garcon for the first; the Ravens are covering better than they are rushing the passer. The QB finally gets hit, but not before he finds RB Mike Hart for a healthy eight, then two more for the first on a middle dive. First and goal is long yards and a lot of clock running, and Manning throws across the field to Collie for the touchdown, just a perfect throw and a nice route by the WR. The Stover PAT is good, and that's a game-changer of an eight minute drive there. 10-3, Colts.

> Theoretically, the Ravens have plenty of time to answer, but you wonder if they want to put things on Flacco. A draw from the gun to Rice gets a few as Addai staggers off with a shoulder injury; he's played well, but I have to say, I like Brown more. The Colts call time. On second, Flacco from the gun is nailed by Freeney and misses a deep ball where the WR wasn't open, and the Ravens' hold on the game looks tenuous. Third and six sees Rice drop a ball in the flat, and short of a turnover, that was the worst series the Ravens could have. The Cook punt is brought to the Colt 36 by Rushing, and Manning will have 86 seconds and two timeouts against a defense that was just on the field for a long time. Meat on the table.

> Brown collects an out and gets out of bounds for eight yards as the surgery begins. Clark on another cross for the first as the clock moves. Garcon gets five as Manning calls timeout; the clock shows 55 seconds, and so far, this looks a little conservative. Brown on a nicely called draw, and he gets nearly 20 yards and the field goal position. Wayne draws pass interference on an out and up route, and with 28 seconds left, the Colts have it in the red zone again. Baltimore uses a time out to try and stop the bleeding.

> Manning misses Garcon in the end zone on first, then Collie can't hold on as Lewis gets flagged for a helmet to the head. Seventeen seconds left on the clock as Manning tries a center screen to Clark; the TE makes a few people miss, but not Lewis, and the ball is stopped at the four yard line with eleven seconds left, as the Colts use their last time out. From the gun on second, Manning barely gets rid of the ball before pressure, and the throw is incomplete. The QB gets another play with seven seconds left as Baltimore calls their last time out. We Have Tension!

> With seven seconds left, the Colts really have few options to keep the field goal safe; I'd try a fade to Wayne, myself. From the gun, it's a slant to Wayne, who takes the hit and barely breaks the plain, and wow. There might be something to being a four-time MVP. Colts 17, Ravens 3, and what a way to close the half.

1 comment:

james said...

Thank you that was great.

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