Played Like a Raven – Dominique Foxworth
Sure, Natty Joe was the easy choice. In setting career highs for QB rating and touchdown passes, he played like a Raven on Sunday, no doubt. However, I thought I’d go ahead and recognize Dom Fox here, considering how often this space has been used to skewer the guy during the 2009 season.
It was the first game in which Foxworth recorded an interception since Week 3 against Cleveland, and it was the first multi-pick game of his five year career.
Foxworth did a fine job against the Bears’ less-than-mediocre receivers, a performance that will hopefully give him some confidence going in to this week’s game against Pittsburgh’s comparatively stellar WR corps. Especially without Lardarius Webb out there, Foxworth will absolutely need to continue to Play Like a Raven in Week 16 and beyond.
Did Not Play Like a Raven – Frank Walker
Like last week, the Ravens plastered their opponent, and pretty much everyone played well.
Like last week, the starters played SO well, that many of them got to take a seat and catch the end of the game as comfortable sideline spectators.
And like last week, a guy that doesn’t usually get the chance to make many plays – made a play. And then proceeded to make an ass of himself.
Walker (who technically was in the game more because of Lardarius Webb’s extremely unfortunate and disappointing injury than of starters being taken out due to the score) picked off his first pass since Week 8 of last season against Oakland. Then, with just over four minutes remaining in a game that his team was winning by a count of 31-7, Walker inexplicably launched the ball across the field. The Ravens were docked 5 yards for delay of game, but it easily could have been unsportsmanlike conduct and 15 yards.
Ten more yards made no difference in this game, but with Walker likely to see significantly increased playing time here in the very near future, his boneheaded penalties need to stop NOW. We all remember the “loogie eye” incident from the second Pittsburgh game last year, and you can be sure the Steelers do too. Cheap Shot will undoubtedly be taunting Frank early and often come Sunday, trying to goad him into a silly flag, and if he loses his composure it could severely cost the Ravens.
The coaching staff needs to beat the importance of this game, and the utter lack of any room for mental errors therein, into Walker’s head non-stop this week. He must play like the 7-year veteran he is, and not like the loose cannon that he has proven himself to be again and again during his time in B’More.
Frank, this week is your chance to make up for the Vikings’ game.
Dominique, great job against the Bears. Now, prove to us that you can string together some strong games, against tough competition.
If Frank Walker and Dominique Foxworth can play themselves into the top half of this feature for next Tuesday, chances are the Ravens will escape Pittsburgh with a win. If, on the other hand, they fall into the bottom half, again, victory in western Pennsylvania seems all the less likely.