Played Like a Raven – Terrell Suggs
With the Ravens trailing 17-7, and having just punted the ball back to New England, giving Tom Brady a chance to really put the game away early in the 2nd half, T-Sizzle came through with the play of the day for B’More. Brady dropped back to pass, Suggs b-slapped New England left tackle Matt Light, and proceeded to do his best James Harrison impression (hey, I hate to admit it, but that guy is making a living off this exact play) by stripping the ball from Brady just as he went to release it. The pigskin rolled into the end zone, where Dwan Edwards fell on it to bring the Ravens to within 3 – and the game was tense for the remainder.
On the play, Sizzle became the Ravens all-time leader in sack yardage with 437 yards. Suggs now has 2.5 sacks through 4 games – a pace, if he can keep it up, that would give him double digit sacks in a season for the first time since 2004.
Did Not Play Like a Raven – Mark Clayton & Chris Carr
While there were plenty of Ravens to touch the ball in between these two, the game in New England basically came down to:
- The first Raven to touch the ball; and
- The final Raven to touch the ball.
The first Raven to touch the ball, Carr, made the ill-advised decision to bring the opening kickoff out from 5 yards deep in the end zone. He proceeded to make it to only the Baltimore 18 yard line before being hit and fumbling the ball away to the Patriots, setting up their extremely early 3-0 lead. Later in the half, he again returned a ball that he could have simply knelt for a touchback on, only getting to the 24. Carr was replaced by Ledarius Webb before halftime; Webb twice took touchbacks, but also threw in a 38 yard return on his only attempt – 3 yards shy of Carr’s longest on the season. Carr is averaging only 24.5 yard per kick return in 2009 – unfortunately that is right on par with his career average of 24.7 (Yamon Figurs averaged 24.7 ypr for the Ravens in 2007; in 2008 his number dropped to 21.0.)
The final Raven to touch the ball, Clayton, is the obvious goat. It was a shame, too, as Clayton was having his best game since the opener against Kansas City, when he pulled in 5 passes for 77 yards and 1 TD. He had managed only 4 catches for 55 yards total in the games against San Diego and Cleveland, but was up to 5 receptions for 45 yards (3 coming on the final drive) when his potential 6th bounced off his numbers and ended the Ravens’ comeback bid. Actually, Clayton had his potential 6th reception bounce off his hands not once, but TWICE – the first time in the end zone 3 plays prior. Admittedly, that first catch would have required a much higher level of difficulty, but I get the feeling that up at the World Wide Leader, Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson were smiling and nodding at one another.