“Do You Want To Go For It?”
That’s what Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh asked QB Lamar Jackson just before a 4th and short play. The Ravens went for it and converted on 4th down to win the game and keep the ball away from QB Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. I would hope every other team would do the same thing in that scenario. This wasn’t an easy game to win. Lamar started the game throwing a pick-six and they had to crawl their way back. Thankfully for them the Chiefs defense isn’t playing nearly up to their standard of the past two Super Bowl appearances. Baltimore is a good team. Their opening week loss on Monday night football to Las Vegas was a punch in the gut, but it might have been what they needed to beat the Chiefs the next week.
Sure, the Las Vegas Raiders beat two good teams to start the season in the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m jumping to any conclusions with them just yet. They still have a flawed defense in my opinion and the fact that QB Derek Carr is throwing the ball so many times to start the season has me wondering if RB Josh Jacobs (when healthy) will be part of the offense going forward? Jacobs is a very talented back and should be a focal point to avoid the defense being exposed. I’ve seen this before with head coach Jon Gruden’s Raiders version 2.0. It didn’t end well, but with an extra game this season their fortunes could change.
One of the reasons QB Russell Wilson was supposedly frustrated in the offseason with Seattle was how the offense sputtered in the second half of the season. Besides running for his life once again, his passing prowess diminished significantly as their defense was gassed late in games. They wisely focused on ball control and re-establishing the running game to eventually clinch the NFC West. Unfortunately they forgot about that against the Tennessee Titans in their home opener. The Titans received new life with a couple ill-timed three-and-outs by Seattle. RB Derrick Henry made them pay and eventually won in overtime. This will remain a problem for the Seahawks unless head coach Pete Carroll wakes the hell up and remembers what worked for them in previous seasons.