Monday, November 12, 2012
Upon Further Review: Ravens
By Jamison Hensley
Revisiting the Baltimore Ravens’ 55-20 win over the Oakland Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium:
A big reason for the Ravens' offense breaking out of its recent funk was the reemergence of the tight ends.
Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson once again became factors Sunday, combining for seven catches for 126 yards and one touchdown. In any of the previous five games, Baltimore's tight ends hadn't totaled more than 44 yards receiving.
This recent slump prompted coach John Harbaugh to tell reporters last Monday that he wanted to see more production out of the tight ends. It didn't take them long to answer.
"When somebody calls you out, it’s how you respond to it,” Dickson said. "We didn’t let it get to our head and say, ‘Why is he picking on us like that?’ We worked hard and wanted to show it on the field.”
The increased production from Pitta and Dickson wasn't the result of any game plan. It came from what the Raiders defense gave the Ravens.
Quarterback Joe Flacco explained that the Raiders safeties split out wide to double wide receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, which left a lot of room in the middle of the field for the tight ends. Pitta produced five catches for a team-high 67 yards and a touchdown (his first since Sept. 23 against New England). Dickson had two catches -- both of which converted third downs, put the offense in the red zone and set up touchdowns -- and finished with 59 yards.
STAT THAT STICKS: Three -- Touchdown passes thrown by Flacco after using play-action fakes. He was 8 of 13 for 146 yards off play action against Oakland.
OVERHEARD: “I feel awesome. It was more precautionary. I could have played.” Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata after suiting up and not playing to rest knee and shoulder injuries.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Ravens (7-2) play the Steelers at Heinz Field, where they have won the past two regular-season meetings.