Don Banks has me nervous now with this article "Once left for dead, Ravens a threat again tahnks to bold Caldwell move"

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Quagmire3. Show Quagmire3's posts

    Don Banks has me nervous now with this article "Once left for dead, Ravens a threat again tahnks to bold Caldwell move"

    Everyone understood it was a bold and risky move to make at such a vital position so late in the season. But that Harbaugh guy clearly knew what he was doing, because it has quickly elevated his team's offensive production to new heights and brought a Super Bowl berth within grasp.

    No, not Jim Harbaugh with his Colin Kaepernick gambit on the West Coast, though that has worked out beautifully, too, for the 49ers. The overlooked call that has greatly impacted this year's NFL playoffs? That took place in Baltimore, when the Ravens' John Harbaugh elected to fire offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Dec. 10, handing the play-calling reins to Jim Caldwell, the team's former quarterbacks coach and the one-time Colts head coach.

    Jim Harbaugh's gutsy roll of the dice at quarterback in mid-November has gotten most of the media attention, and understandably so. But no team is a bigger surprise entry in this season's final four than the Ravens, losers of three in a row in December, and Caldwell's elevation was the key impetus of Baltimore's unexpected playoff success.

    If you haven't noticed, John Harbaugh's Ravens are in the AFC Championship game for the third time in five years because Caldwell's resurgent offense is getting the job done in uncharacteristically explosive fashion. Caldwell's work has been masterful so far, and if Baltimore is able to upset host New England Sunday night and earn its first Super Bowl berth in 12 years, it'll likely be because the Ravens offense was able to match the powerful Patriots offense point for point.

    The facts speak for themselves and underline the effect Caldwell has had, at least since his mulligan-like first game as Baltimore's play-caller, a 34-17 home loss to Denver in Week 15, just six days after he took over for the dismissed Cameron. In the past three games in which Baltimore's starters have played the whole way (not counting a meaningless Week 17 loss at Cincinnati), here's what the Ravens have produced:

    -- In Week 16 at home against the Giants, the Ravens rolled up 533 yards of offense in the 33-14 division-title-clinching win, the third-most in franchise history. Baltimore ran for a season-high 225 yards against New York, with Ray Rice and rookie Bernard Pierce both topping 100 yards.

    -- In the first round of the playoffs against the Colts, Baltimore hung up a franchise-playoff-record 439 yards of offense in the 24-9 win, with quarterback Joe Flacco throwing for 282 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 completions (23.5 average), and the Pierce-led ground game contributing 170 yards.

    -- And in Saturday's epic 38-35 upset of the top-seeded Broncos in Denver, the Ravens again set a franchise playoff record with 479 yards of offense, gouging a Broncos defense that during the regular season had ranked second in yards allowed and fourth in points surrendered. The dagger, of course, was that 70-yard game-tying strike from Flacco to receiver Jacoby Jones with 31 seconds remaining in regulation. Flacco wound up with 331 yards passing and touchdown passes of 32, 59 and 70 yards, and Rice added 131 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

    All told, even with the 23-17 loss in Cincinnati added into the mix, the Ravens under Caldwell have averaged 450.8 yards of offense and 28 points over their past four games, with superb balance (188.8 yards rushing and 262.0 passing). Baltimore is playing the dangerous underdog role in this year's playoffs, and the change at offensive coordinator was the spark for the only team left in the postseason that didn't have a first-round bye.

    Under Caldwell's steady, no-drama direction, Flacco has flourished in the past month, looking confident and comfortable as the Ravens have returned to more of the up-tempo approach that they had gotten away from as the regular season progressed.

    Never completely on the same page as Cameron, whose conservative play-calling and hesitancy to fully trust his quarterback were familiar storylines in Baltimore, Flacco is playing the best football of his five-year NFL career, and his comeback win in Denver represented his finest hour as a Raven. Baltimore had lost nine consecutive games against Peyton Manning, dating to 2001. But with Caldwell, the ex-Colts head coach and former Indy QB coach, calling the shots, the Ravens ended that hex in one of the most memorable playoff games ever. Denver hadn't allowed as many as 38 points since an October 2011 loss to Detroit, early on in the team's Tim Tebow starting era.

    It's a case of impeccable timing for Flacco, who is eligible for free agency this offseason, and has earned himself a new lucrative contract extension offer from the Ravens whenever Baltimore's latest playoff drive concludes. Who cares about the silly "elite quarterback'' debate at this point? Flacco and Caldwell look like a great pairing in Baltimore, and the quarterback's 7-4 career playoff record and five road postseason wins in five years leave him in a select class no matter what transpires Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

    But Flacco isn't the only Ravens offensive star who has responded well to Caldwell's late-season promotion. Rice has twice topped 100 yards rushing in the past four games, after reaching that level just three times under Cameron in Baltimore's first 13 games this season. Rice's 30 carries for 131 rushing yards against the Broncos were season highs in both categories, and his 45 carries for 199 yards in the playoffs leads all still-active NFL rushers.

    To upset the high-scoring Patriots (league-best 34.8 points per game in the regular season), the Ravens offense again has to lead the way, as it did in Week 3 at M&T Bank Stadium, when Baltimore rallied from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to win 31-30 on a last-second 27-yard Justin Tucker field goal. After getting past the likes of Eli Manning, Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning in the span of four weeks, the task of beating Tom Brady on the road looms as the biggest challenge of all.

    But at least the Ravens offense is on a roll and perhaps peaking at the ideal time. Caldwell may not have gotten much credit for the job he did taking over for Tony Dungy in Indianapolis, where he was largely seen as a caretaker head coach with a Hall of Fame-bound quarterback in Peyton Manning, but his credentials are being burnished by the week in Baltimore.

    Let the Ravens get past New England, and Caldwell's name might quickly surface in whatever head coaching searches still remain around the league. If nothing else, his late-in-the-game emergence in Baltimore this season has served to quickly rehabilitate his reputation league-wide, after the 2-14 collapse of the Colts got him fired last year.

    In Caldwell's case, it was the other coaching Harbaugh who made the risky but right call to toss him the keys to the offense. Colin Kapernick's spectacular success in San Franciso aside, the Ravens have their own bold move to point to as the needed and pivotal development to a deep playoff run. From coast to coast in these NFL playoffs, taking a big chance has paid off big so far.



    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130115/nfl-playoffs-jim-caldwell-ravens/#ixzz2I9FAuBsk

     

     
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  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Angel-of-Light. Show Angel-of-Light's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    Ravens offensive plan for Denver's game: run Rice on 1st and 2nd down, chuck it up on third down. Very creative, I am sure BB has no answer to this.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from neinmd. Show neinmd's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    Caldwell is well-respected as an offensive coach, as is Cameron. But Caldwell seems to adapt to conditions "on the ground" with more innovative game-time decisions, while the beef against Cameron was that he stuck with his game-plan regardless.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from themightypatriots. Show themightypatriots's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    Caldwell definitely struck fear into my heart with all those runs up the gut for half a yard.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from portfolio1. Show portfolio1's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    The Ravens are a DANGEROUS team. I think we win but if we do not play a really great game we lose.

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49Patriots. Show 49Patriots's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    You take away the fact that The Broncos have bad safeties and the Del Rio unwillingness to give Champ Bailey help after he was proven unable to defend Torrey Smith one-on-one and the Broncos BLOW the Ravens out of the water. 

    Honestly, I'd be ashamed if BB allows the Ravens to get the same types of play off his defense. All Jack Del Rio did was prove why The Jaguars were right in firing his @$$. 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from TylorTourville. Show TylorTourville's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    The Patriots have Talib and Dennard, with McCourty as their ball-hawking safety. They continue to get better, so I don't think you see Flacco complete many long bombs down the field. The Patriots will make him beat them in the middle of the field. To do this, consistency is key, and let's face it, Flacco lacks that. He is playing fast and loose right now, but I think the real issue here is the overrated defense of the Ravens against Brady and his weapons. If Brady can take advantage of the Ravens' aging linebacking core in the passing game/control the tempo, it might end up being a lot like the Texans game last week. Flacco is the least of my worries.

     

    -Tylor

    The Boston Box Score

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    As the Denver HC Fox said, to paraphrase, you do not expect to see a 70 yard pass play in the last 30 seconds of a game against your team to tie a game.  Not to take away from the Ravens', but for that one play, the Ravens could have lost.  I say could because you never know what could have happened in the remaining 30 seconds if the Ravens still had the ball.

    Keep in mind folks, we will see a fair amount of love for the Ravens given the history of how tough they play the Pats, how Flacco, for some reason, has some of his best games against the Pats, and the Ravens' D knows how to get to Brady with their defensive schemes.  If all it takes to make you nervous is an article, how in the heck are you going to feel gametime, Quag? 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from magicalhobo. Show magicalhobo's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    I'm definitely nervous and will be nervous for the Superbowl as well if we make it. The Ravens are a tough team and if I'm correct still have Pollard. We better cross our fingers that everyone comes out with their legs intact. The Ravens are also playing the whole revenge act too. I don't like that...

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Brady2Welker47. Show Brady2Welker47's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    Have to agree with angel of light..terrible play calling in Denvet game...unimaginative...predictable...not scared or worried about caldwell!

    Lets go Pats

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    Overstated a bit, they scored 17, 34, 17, 24, and 35.  And that 35 was in a double overtime game, in regulation they hadn't gained any spectacular yardage.

     

    This is a case where if the plays work then Caldwell is a genius.  He basically called run on first, run on 2nd and then Flacco bailed him out by converting third and longs which were deep passes. Barely 50% of passes were completed.  

    I doubt Flacco completes that many bombs again, he has good receivers but its just a low percentage throw that just worked more than usual at Denver.  And you can see in the games where his receivers pull down a couple less deep balls they don't even score the league average.

    This is the same coach that had Manning at QB and put up his worst production in 10 years only winning 10 games, he is no genius.  That's already been established.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from glenr. Show glenr's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    In response to shenanigan's comment:

    Overstated a bit, they scored 17, 34, 17, 24, and 35.  And that 35 was in a double overtime game, in regulation they hadn't gained any spectacular yardage.

     

    This is a case where if the plays work then Caldwell is a genius.  He basically called run on first, run on 2nd and then Flacco bailed him out by converting third and longs which were deep passes. Barely 50% of passes were completed.  

    I doubt Flacco completes that many bombs again, he has good receivers but its just a low percentage throw that just worked more than usual at Denver.  And you can see in the games where his receivers pull down a couple less deep balls they don't even score the league average.

    This is the same coach that had Manning at QB and put up his worst production in 10 years only winning 10 games, he is no genius.  That's already been established.




    It worked in Denver because their secondary screwed up and let the receivers get behind them. It has more to do with Denver's secondary making mistakes than it does with Flacco's bombs.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from glenr. Show glenr's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    In response to portfolio1's comment:

    The Ravens are a DANGEROUS team. I think we win but if we do not play a really great game we lose.

     



    We are a dangerous team. The 49ers are a dangerous team. If you want to split hairs maybe you can't give Atlanta that designation.

    Nobody who is mediocre is still playing this late.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from IrishMob7. Show IrishMob7's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    Does anybody remember the last time a BB-led Patriots team didn't beat a team after facing them at least twice in the same season?  More specifically, once in the regular season and then again in the postseason?  I seriously have no idea and am curious to see if it's ever happened.

    I know we split with the Jets in 2010 and they beat us in the divisional round that year, but I don't remember when we've ever lost to a team on consecutive match-ups in the same season.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: Don Banks has me nervous now with this article

    In response to IrishMob7's comment:

    Does anybody remember the last time a BB-led Patriots team didn't beat a team after facing them at least twice in the same season?  More specifically, once in the regular season and then again in the postseason?  I seriously have no idea and am curious to see if it's ever happened.

    I know we split with the Jets in 2010 and they beat us in the divisional round that year, but I don't remember when we've ever lost to a team on consecutive match-ups in the same season.



    Irish, the Pats, in their decisive win against the Texans, did set aside one argument about how they would fare against a team they decisively defeated in the same season.  So many thought they may not do it against the Texans.  As for this second game against the Ravens, we are seeing the same thing being said about the Ravens, hearing from some talking heads they may be the "Giants" of this season.  Defeating the Colts and getting a lucky play out of the Denver game is not like the Giants.  The Giants were dominating in their SB runs, especially their defense.  Both the Ravens STs and D were not exactly awe inspiring these last two games.  But, we shall see.

     
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