The 2008 Ravens are starting to look an awful lot like the 2000-01 Ravens, and that’s just about the best compliment you could pay them.
With a suffocating defense and a quarterback who didn’t make any major mistakes — which is more than could be said about his veteran counterpart, Kerry Collins — Baltimore slipped past Tennessee in Nashville, ruining a once-promising campaign for another top-seeded Titans team before it could even get started.
Still, while Ravens rookie passer Joe Flacco may end up being the same everyone eventually associates with this Baltimore win — after all, Matt Stover had the second-most significant hand in the team’s offensive success on Saturday — this was really a classic defensive struggle, an old-school football game that was all about hits, not about speed or flash, particularly after Tennessee lost rookie speedster back Chris Johnson to an ankle injury.
More than one player lost his helmet, and the first one to go hat-less was a bruising back with a double-thick chin strap; Titans fullback Ahmad Hall. Those hits set the tone for a brutal game that saw more injury breaks than TV timeouts. Or at least something close to parity.
Just check out the video from the supershot from Ray Lewis: Read more…