"The offense was terrible in the first half."
I'm probably paraphrasing a bit, but I believe Ben said something along these lines in his post-game interview. You won't hear any objection from me, Ben.
23-20. OT. Win.
I'm really just biding my time until I can rip Bruce Arians a new one in my ratings. The team sucked hard, but luckily showed that they could make the appropriate adjustments to make the game competitive. As I said in the pregame show...pressure Flacco and good things will happen. Silverback and Woodley listened, and a defensive touchdown changed the attitude in the stadium.
So yeah, now we need to deal with several season-ending injuries, but those aren't excuses for losing. Its time to show who we are in this league and step up despite the adversity. But that's for another time. On to last night's ratings...don't expect blindly high ratings just because we won. There was a lot of suck:
Ben. A tale of two Bens? Who was that dude in the first half? His expressions and demeanor were not conducive to a competitive nature, and it looked like he was frustrated and confused...two things you don't want to see in your franchise quarterback. I hope Mike Tomlin punched Ben in the face at halftime, because Ben deserved that for the shitty play and defeatist attitude. However, he adopted the no-huddle and quick two/three step drops that we've been asking for this whole year so far. And guess what...IT WORKED! I know that INT slipped outta your hands, but that's another side effect of holding the ball too long, man. 3.5 of 5 helmets.
Bruce Arians. I'm gonna be painfully honest here. Any time I see Ben talking to Arians on the sideline, I immediately say, "Ben, do the complete opposite of what Bruce is saying right now." I don't understand his offense one bit and why he makes 95% of the decisions that he does. Why he was riding Carey Davis up the middle when a fresh Mewelde Moore was on the bench is beyond me. Just because he's a third-down back, it doesn't mean he can't play on first or second. Look at how well it paid off at the end of the game! I think Tomlin's been getting too much flak for the ineptitude of the play-caller. 1 of 5 helmets. Getting down early like that will bite us more often than not, dude.
Rashard. Don't wanna add insult to injury, but I was hoping for more. He showed flashes, but was stuffed on too many runs. It was something that he'd be able to work on if he wasn't injured now, but that isn't the case. Sucks that he'll basically be a rookie next year, too. 2.5 of 5 helmets.
Moore. See? Yeah, I'm the biggest Carey Davis supporter that you'll see, but Mewelde Moore is a much better option running the ball and catching out of the backfield. He came up with several huge plays late and put us in a position to win. Can't ask for much more from a guy who hasn't really been used this year. Look for Mewelde to get more touches with Willie hurt up and Beetlejuice gone. 4 of 5 helmets. Big time.
LBs. Dirty. Cotter predicted 1.5 sacks from Wood and 2 from Silverback. They finished with 1.5 and 2.5 respectively. Pretty damn good night, if you ask me. There was some stat that Silverback's last two MNF games included 5.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. Both games were in the throwbacks, do we have a jersey controversy? Go to the golden oldies all season! Wood and Silverback were huge all game, but Timmons' sack nearly impressed me the most. Dude was on a mission to end that Ravens drive, and nothing was going to get in his way. How sick is he going to be in the coming years? And how sick will Tomlin look for taking Timmons and Woodley 1-2 in his first draft as head coach? A perfect 5 of 5 for the LBs.
Jeff Reed. He's making good on me 'n Cotter's prediction of a 100% FG kicking season. One helmet for each made FG, one for making the practice one in OT and one for winning the game. 5 of 5 helmets. Where would we be this season without him?
As Cotter said, I guess this can be used as a celebratory gesture. Don't ask...we were taping the opening song for the pregame show.
Jacksonville in Jacksonville next week. Time to put this win behind us and get ready for playoff redemption.