Played Like a Raven – Ray Lewis
Best Picture Ever?
Some surmised that the performance we saw from Lewis in the season opener against New York was a result of his personal motivations against his former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, and that it wasn’t indicative of the way the 15-year veteran was likely to play throughout the 2010 season. What those people must not have understood is that Lewis plays EVERY game with that kind of emotion. Sure, there may have been a smidge extra saved up for the Jets, but for the most part, that was just Ray “being Ray,” as they say.
His second game was very much like his first. His 6 tackles were tied for the team lead, and he threw in 4 assists for a total of 10. Four of his tackles were at or behind the line of scrimmage, as well, so it’s not like he was simply bringing down Bengals’ running back Cedric Benson after substantial gains up the middle, or tight end Jermaine Gresham after first down catches. Lewis, as he has throughout his career, was playing the game in the backfield. He also had a sack…but we all know how that turned out.
Save for one play where he missed Benson near the line at the start of the game, Ray Lewis was all over the field once again. And while he can’t still do all the things that we saw Patrick Willis doing for the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football this week, Ray still sets the tone for a defense that has yet to allow a single touchdown in 2010.
Two thousand and ten. Not 2000. Fifteen years into his career, with still only one Lombardi Trophy to show for it, and Ray is still seeing stellar performances by his defense wasted by an inept offense. His post-game tirade at the officials was a result of some bad calls sure, but we have to consider that he may have been simply redirecting some of his frustrations onto the refs from where, if he was honest with himself, his beef was really with: namely, Joe Flacco and company.
Speaking of Joe…
Did Not Play Like a Raven – Joe Flacco
They don’t get much easier than this, folks. Joe had arguably the worst game of his professional career (the only games that come close were at Indianapolis in his 3rd career start, the 2008 AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh, and least year in Green Bay – all 3 were 3 INT, 3 sack days). Enough ink and internet space has been taken up already discussing Joe’s woes, so I won’t spend much more time here dissecting his performance.
In honor of his new favorite throw, though, we put together some commemorative Nest Art for Joe the Quarterback:
Seriously, Joe, Jim Zorn, Cam Cameron…fix this, and quickly.