Skins-Ravens Wrap
by
Dec 09, 2012 -- 5:22pm

One of the most dramatic wins in recent Skins' history.  The good, bad, and more.

Good:

1.  2nd-half defense.  What a turnaround after a dismal first half.  Seven 2nd-half/OT possessions....3 punts, 2 turnovers, 7 total points.  They got better pressure on Flacco and did a better job against the run.  The two forced-turnovers were really big.  Baltimore was moving on both drives.  Jackson got the forced fumble with the Ravens at midfield on their first drive of the 3rd quarter.  Kerrigan's pressure led to the Fletcher INT with the Ravens at the Skins' 11.  After a lights-out first half, Flacco was forced into mistakes in the 2nd half that really impacted the final result.  The Kerrigan/Fletcher play in particular was all on Flacco for holding the ball on what was obviously a 5 blocking 6 situation.

2.  Kai Forbath's Field Goals.  14-14 for the season, 9 of them over 43 yards and a huge game-winner in OT.  Now, with that said, his kickoffs aren't very good and the kick after the game-tying touchdown/2-pt conversion was so close to being a play that cost them the game.  Barely into the end zone even though Jacoby Jones protested.

3.  Richard Crawford.  Not a bad debut.  3 punt returns for an average of 33 per.  Still not sure why he didn't outrun the punter for the touchdown but what a huge play.

4.  Kirk Cousins.  He comes on a 3rd and 6 with the game on the line and makes a throw that draws a P.I.  Then, his 2nd entrance into the game comes on a 2nd and 20 with the game on the line and he goes 2 for 2 with a touchdown to Garcon, then ties the game on a 2-pt conversion QB draw.  He was a clutch quarterback at Michigan State and what a job he did under pressure today.  No panic, totally under control, and a great 3rd and 5 touchdown pass to Garcon.  That's why they picked him.  You need at least two in the NFL, they got em in the draft.

5.  RG3.  It wasn't his best game but I thought he was very effective early especially with the read-option (which sliced/diced Baltimore's defense on the first two drives en route to setting an NFL first-quarter best this year with 186 total yards) but he missed a few things too.  An early 3rd and 7 to a wide-open Garcon was thrown poorly.  The 3rd and short option pitch to Morris was a bad pitch.  Morris would've easily gotten the first down.  I know this will sound nuts after the injury but I thought he could've run more on the read-option and the same from the pocket.  Still, on one leg, he made two big-time throws that got them to within striking range.  The 15-yarder to Moss and the 22-yarder to Garcon were monster plays on the final drive and he couldn't step into either throw.  Both throws were all arm.  

6.  Punt team.  Sav Rocca had a very good day and the punt coverage team did a very good job on Jones. 

Bad:

1.  RG3's injury.  Can't wait to hear those complaining about him running the ball blame this one on the Shanahans but as was the case in the Atlanta game, it happened on a pass-play scramble, not a called run. 

2.  1st-half defense.  It was bad and they were lucky it wasn't worse.  They couldn't stop the run, they couldn't rush the passer, they couldn't cover.  D-Hall was beaten like a drum and it looked like Madieu Williams was constantly out of position.  Flacco was 10-13 and 2 of the misses were his fault.  He underthrew an open Torrey Smith that could've been a touchdown.  Rice and company rushed 14 times for 91 yards.  They only had the ball for 12:32 yet rolled up 218 yards.  Not a good half for the Skins at all but not all that unusual either.

3.  Drive-killing mistakes on offense.  Penalties in the first half hurt.  Morris' fumble cost them 7 pts.  There were key dropped passes including Moss' catchable deep ball and Garcon's dropped 3rd and 3 in the 4th quarter. 

4.  Skins drop-back pass protection.  We've seen it all season-long but they really struggle when they're in obvious pass situations.  They throw it effectively out of the read-option look and first-down play-action, not when pass is obvious and expected.

More:

1.  The Garcon spot on that 2nd qtr catch/run was correct.  His knee was down short of the marker.

2.  Niles Paul's fumble was correctly reviewed and overturned.

3.  RG3 took a helmet-to-helmet hit on a scramble run in the 4th qtr that was missed.

4.  The 3rd and short option call by Kyle was a good call, bad execution.

5.  I was surprised that Baltimore didn't take a shot with 26 seconds left and one timeout in regulation and at the same time didn't understand what they were doing at the end of the first half throwing the ball with clearly no intention of trying to get into FG range.



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