Yes I know, the post is late. Sorry about that. I was out of town for my Great Grandparents 75th Anniversary (yes, 75, they're old.) Just got back in town today. However, I did get to see the game, and I came away less than impressed. A few quick points before I get to the awards.
- Baltimore's Defense is FAST. They were everywhere on the field, and that was the number 1 reason that the Wildcat was ineffective on Sunday. The reverse to Cobbs was wide open, but the Raven's D closed it up very quickly. Good teams can't run on them, and nobody should've been surprised that we couldn't either.
- Our D-Line really REALLY misses Jason Ferguson. I was tempted to give him a Gameball just because his value to this team was on display yesterday. There was no penetration, and the LB's were constantly getting blocked by guards releasing to the second level. Ferguson doesn't allow teams to get blockers on our LB's, and that's one of the reason's we've been so good against the run this season. Come back soon Jason.
- Pennington made his first real bad mistake this season when he floated that pass to Terrell Suggs to avoid a sack. Suggs was on Cobbs the whole way, and Penny never saw him. That really turned the game around, because we are not built to play from behind. I don't expect too many more of those, he's one of the smartest QB's in the game right now.
On to the reason you're all reading this thing...5
5. Davone Bess - Congrats to Mr. Bess on his first NFL TD, coming on a 7 yard pass from Pennington. He ran a really nice route, coming off a pick from Camarillo, settling in the middle, and making a nice grab to secure the points. He wasn't a huge part of the gameplan, as evidenced by his 2 catches totalling 12 yards, but he gets mentioned here because I think he has a very bright future here in Miami and that first TD grab only happens once. Hopefully we'll see more of him in the coming weeks, he has great hands, incredible quickness, and really knows to get open.
4. Ted Ginn Jr. / Greg Camarillo / David Martin - All three of these guys share this Gameball for different reasons. David Martin is here not just because of his 4 receptions for 71 yards, but because of his tremendous turnaround from last year. If I remember correctly, most people here expected him to be cut during the preseason. Last season he was known for dropping passes. This year he is known for catching everything near him. Keep up the good work. Camarillo continues to be our most reliable wide receiver, consistently getting himself open and picking up yards after catches. He finished Sunday with 6 catches for 78 yards. Pennington's comparison of Greg to Wayne Chrebet is pretty damn accurate. Ted Ginn makes it in because he's finally becoming part of the gameplan, and he did not disappoint. He returned kicks for the first time this season, and racked up 93 yards on 5 chances, including a 31 yarder that set us up in pretty nice field position. Offensively, he's getting more and more involved, getting 48 yards on 4 catches, but being targeted much more than normal. The only thing missing is the deep ball, and I hope that he and Chad P. are working to get on the same page in that aspect.
3. Channing Crowder - Once again, he just always seems to be around the football. 10 more tackles this week, including 6 solo, gives him 48 on the year, and projects him to 128 for the season. Not too shabby. Still waiting on his first sack of the year, but as long as he continues to rack up the tackles and be a run-stopping force, he's ok in my book. I think his performance will continue to improve throughout the season, especially once Jason Ferguson is back in the lineup.
2. Jake Long - Simply put, he's the real deal. People questioned whether or not he could play Left Tackle in the NFL, and he's answered that emphatically. Now the question is, is he the best LT in the AFC right now? Right now, I'm not sure. But by the end of the year, I believe he'll be starting in the Pro Bowl and he'll be a top candidate for OROY. Terrell Suggs certainly noticed Long's play Sunday, saying he hasn't been challenged like that by a LT in a while, and that Jake is the next great NFL LT. High praise from a very good player. No matter how well Matt Ryan, Darren McFadden, or anybody else plays, I still say Jake was the right pick at number 1.
And the Number 1 Gameball goes to... Joey Porter - Apparently Joey took last season off and some random guy played in his place. Because he's been the same dominant force this season that he was in Pittsburgh. 2 more sacks Sunday puts his total at 8.5 this season, 2 off his career high, and we're only 6 games into this season. At 31 years of age, and after many people had written him off after last season, he's having a career year. As long as his play keeps up, he'll be joining Jake (among others) in Hawaii. Hopefully he still has a couple years left at this level, so we can look to rebuild other areas before trying to find somebody to fill the void he will leave in this defense.
This week's Turd Sandwich goes to... The Secondary. Didn't we just go through this last week? They keyed a pretty poor defensive performance overall, and they made rookie Joe Flacco look like a seasoned vet. Flacco finished 17/23, which is ridiculous, and threw for 232 yards. That's a 13.6 yard average per completion, and a 10.1 average per attempt, which shouldn't happen. He's the most interception prone QB in the league so far this year, and we couldn't get one off of him. We got close, but plays that have to made were not made for the second week in a row. If these guys don't play better, most of them will be looking for new jobs next season.
So that's it, another game behind us. Sparano and Co. have their work cut out for them. Also, I think this is the first week to not feature Pennington and Brown. We need to get Ronnie back on track next week, he is definitely our best player. Leave your compliments (and/or complaints) below..