The Baltimore Ravens looked like a completely different team on Sunday than they have so far this season. All sides of the ball played at a high level and really showed that they can be a good team. The biggest issue is consistency.
The Ravens beat the Carolina Panthers 38-10 with Joe Flacco throwing for three touchdowns, two of which were to former Panthers receiver Steve Smith. Flacco was 22-31 with 327 yards and no interceptions. Flacco looked really well all game, making plays where they needed to be made. One play stuck out to me though, and it started with a fumbled snap, and ended up with a Steve Smith touchdown. On this play Joe Flacco picked up the ball and heaved it deep to Smith. This play could’ve ended very badly for the Ravens and I feel they got lucky on that one.
Receiver Steve Smith played like an animal. He played mad the entire game and he had every right to. He was playing against his former team, who he had been with for his entire career. He had something to prove to that organization. Smith had seven receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns. I think Smith set the tempo for the game when on the first play, a play action pass from Flacco, Smith caught it about a yard from the line of scrimmage and took off for 17 yards. He turned nothing into something and handed a Carolina defender a mean stiff arm.
Running back Justin Forsett got the start for the Ravens. I believe he proved that he should start more, or at least receive a bulk of the carries. He had 14 carries for 66 yards and one touchdown. But, he ran tough in the trenches and proved that he’s a guy Baltimore can rely on. Lorenzo Taliaferro also had a good game. He had 58 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Both backs are young and could be a good duo for the Ravens going forward.
Baltimore’s defense looked impressive as well. The biggest factor that I think led to success, was putting pressure on quarterback Cam Newton. There were seven hits on Newton and a sack. When the Ravens get pressure on the quarterback the rest of the defense tends to step up and that was the case on Sunday.
The secondary struggled a bit giving up 248 yards passing, but still did a good enough job when it mattered allowing only one touchdown. I expected this to happen as the Ravens secondary is lacking in experience and are still learning, I hope to see them improve as the season goes on.
Overall the Ravens played a really good game and I expect to see more of this as they progress. The Ravens head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts next Sunday at 12 pm.
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