AFC North: Ravens-Falcons 111110

Rapid Reaction: Falcons 26, Ravens 21

November, 11, 2010
11/11/10
11:43
PM ET
Here are some early thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons' 26-21 come-from-behind victory over the Baltimore Ravens:

What it means: It means the Ravens drop to 6-3 on the season and come very close to making a big statement on the road. The Falcons are one of the NFL's best teams at home the past several seasons and needed a late touchdown catch by receiver Roddy White to hold off the Ravens. There will be a lot of debate of whether White pushed off Ravens cornerback Josh Wilson on the play. We will get Baltimore's reaction on the play in from the locker room. Many saw this as a possible Super Bowl preview and both teams put on a good show. Neither Atlanta nor Baltimore should feel any worse about its playoff chances after this entertaining and competitive game.

What I liked: Baltimore showed grit by fighting back in the fourth quarter and having a chance to win. After falling down 13 points late, the Ravens didn't lay down and took a 21-20 lead with 1:05 left after two touchdown passes by quarterback Joe Flacco. Linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs was at his best. Suggs recorded two sacks, and it was his first multi-sack game of the season.

What I didn't like: With a little more than a minute left, Baltimore had a chance to close out the game but the defense allowed Atlanta to drive down the field for the game-winning touchdown. The controversial touchdown catch by White at the end will stand out. But a slow start in the first half was the reason Baltimore spent the entire second half fighting from behind.

What's next: After a tough loss, the good news is Baltimore has 10 days to prepare against the lowly Carolina Panthers (1-7). The Ravens have a good chance to get back on the winning track and avoid their first two-game losing streak of the season. They are currently in second place by a half-game in the AFC North behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2).

Ravens-Falcons halftime notes

November, 11, 2010
11/11/10
9:48
PM ET
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons lead the Baltimore Ravens, 10-0, at halftime.

Here are some notes at intermission:

  • Perhaps after watching film of Baltimore's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Falcons went primarily with a no-huddle offense in the first half with good results. Atlanta had most of its success in the second quarter, scoring all 10 points. Atlanta running back Jason Snelling caught a 28-yard touchdown on a defensive mix up by Baltimore. The Bengals handed the Ravens one of their two losses this season by using a no-huddle offense with some success.
  • The Ravens are losing a lopsided battle on third down. Offensively, they converted on just 1 of 4 third downs in the first half and their pass protection didn't give Joe Flacco much time. On defense, Atlanta is 8 of 12 on third down and that's been the difference in controlling the pace of the game.
  • The Ravens are doing a lot of rotating at cornerback. Josh Wilson started in place of Fabian Washington, but Washington eventually replaced starter Lardarius Webb late in the first quarter. Carr and Wilson then started a defensive stand in the second quarter. All four played in the first half. I’m not sure if the rotating cornerbacks are by design or if the Ravens are trying to get a feel for the best combination of players.
  • Overall it wasn't a good first half for Webb. He got beat by Falcons receiver Roddy White on several plays and also fumbled a punt return in the second quarter, which led to a field goal by Atlanta.

Ravens' inactives

November, 11, 2010
11/11/10
7:23
PM ET
ATLANTA -- Here are the Baltimore Ravens (6-2) you won't see in Thursday night's game against the Atlanta Falcons (6-2).

Ravens

S Ken Hamlin

S Tom Zbikowski

LB Jason Phillips

OT Scott Kooistra

DT Arthur Jones

TE Dennis Pitta

NT Brandon McKinney

DT Lamar Divens

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