The 5th Quarter: Ravens
By: Mark Solway
Category: Washington Redskins News
What was billed as the 'battle of great defenses' turned into exactly that, or was it just a battle of inept offenses? Regardless, the Redskins came away on the losing end of a 17-10 loss to the Ravens on Sunday night, and fell to a paltry 1-4 record on the season.
Clinton Portis said that Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense 'weren't that spectacular' in his rookie season with the Broncos. He continued the sentiment this week to hype the game. Not that spectacular? Really? Because they stuffed CP all night long. Portis managed just 53 yards on 25 carries for a meager 2.1 yards per carry. The Ravens made it extremely difficult for Portis to find ANY room to maneuver by making sure there were 8 guys in the box all night. The only bright side was that Portis did mange to hold on to the ball all night.
Mark Brunell and the Redskins' passing attack struggled yet again against the Ravens defense. While it may have been said before, the inability to pass the ball down field is making it impossible for Portis to find any running room. Brunell finished a pathetic 13 of 29 for 83 yards, with one touchdown pass to Chris Cooley. He was sacked 3 times, including once by Ed Reed which Reed returned for the Ravens' first touchdown. While it's easy to pass the blame around, a lot of it belongs squarely on Brunell's shoulders. The offensive line provided him with decent protection most of the night, but Brunell just wasn't comfortable in the pocket and continues to misfire on passes that are seemingly elementary.
How Gregg Williams continues to field a decent defense with all the injuries is unknown... but he does. Once again, the Redskins' defense played well enough to put Washington in a position to win. Even without Lavar Arrington, Philip Daniels and Michael Barrow, Williams continues to find ways to keep the Redskins competitive with the play of their defense. Sunday night, the Redskins lost Matt Bowen early and with Andre Lott already on the shelf, the Redskins are crawling pretty deep into the safety depth chart. But despite the depleted lineup, the defense played very well and although the Ravens put up 17 points, only 3 of them came against the defense. The only time the Ravens WERE able to move the ball effectively was late in the game. Another great effort for naught.
Tom Tupa had his first bad game. Tupa has been booming punts and a bright spot in 2004, but not Sunday night. Tupa had NINE punts for a very ordinary average of just 38 yards. More importantly, the Redskins gave up a crucial special teams score to the Ravens in the 3rd quarter. B.J. Sams returned a Tupa punt 78 yards for a touchdown and a score that really shifted the overall momentum of the game. All night the special teams play was ragged, and in a match-up that the two team's defense's dictated would be a field position battle, it was a bad game to have a 'bad game'.
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