By HCR Staff | Nov. 26, 2019
Here’s what we saw in the Baltimore Ravens victory over the Los Angeles Rams last night.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is in the upper tier of NFL coaches, but he and his staff were thoroughly dominated last night. The Rams were completely beat down last night, and it begs the question, what were McVay and his staff doing all week in preparation? Of course, every head coach is going to have a game like this. What will be scrutinized now is how the Rams and McVay respond. Even Bill Belichick once was dominated in a Monday night game at Kansas City, and he responded by bringing his team to another Super Bowl victory. Can McVay do the same?
QB Lamar Jackson deservedly gets all the credit for the Baltimore Ravens’ current success, but none of it is possible unless the Ravens organization shows elite discipline. The teams that have the most success in the NFL generally are the ones that run a disciplined organization, and the Ravens are among the elite. Former Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh had a vision, and owner Steve Bisciotti supported the vision. All apparently moved in the same direction, and made moves to support that vision. Now they have a Super Bowl caliber team with an electrifying and charismatic young quarterback who is poised to rule the NFL. Sounds easy to do right? Unfortunately, too many organizations do find this difficult to do because they keep getting in their own way. Simply getting consensus and supporting each other is a difficult thing among the vast majority of clubs.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was thoroughly neutralized last night, and had one of his poorest games. Aaron Donald has deservedly been given tremendous accolades during his career thus far, but an honest and objective assessment of his play last night would conclude he is not deserving of any for his performance. There were occasions where Donald was double-teamed, but mostly he was not. He even loafed on a couple of plays. We fully expect Donald to bounce back, but last night, Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman had his number.
From a roster building standpoint, the Ravens deserve a lot of credit for building a tremendous TE group and finding FB Patrick Ricard. The Ravens tight end group, plus the play of fullback Patrick Ricard, give the Ravens a physicality that is not matched by other NFL teams. In the last few years, many NFL teams have started drafting linebackers that are smaller and faster–players designed to run and play coverage. When these smaller linebackers face the Ravens, they are confronted with a physicality they don’t get to see often. As a result, the Ravens explode on people, and the results prove it. For example, Rams LB Cory Littleton is one of the better coverage linebackers in the league. However, Littleton only weighs 225 lbs, and because of this, he was invisible for most of the night. The Rams really don’t have any downhill “thumper” linebackers. Because of this, the matchup looked like it was a varsity team going against a JV team.