Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wrap-up: Ravens 37, Panthers 13
By James Walker
Here are some thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 37-13 win over the Carolina Panthers:
What it means: Baltimore took care of business and pounced on a struggling Panthers team to improve to 7-3. The Ravens remain in first place in the AFC North via a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3). The teams are heading for a major showdown on Dec. 5 in Baltimore.
What I liked: I like how the Ravens got Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice involved in the both the running and passing game. Rice rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown and also had six catches for an additional 66 yards. Baltimore's offense seems to be at its best when Rice has it going. The Ravens' defense also recorded three sacks and reached the end zone twice. Safety Dawan Landry and linebacker Ray Lewis both had interception returns for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
What I didn't like: Baltimore's run defense was gashed by Carolina backup running back Mike Goodson, who rushed for 120 yards. I also didn't like how the Ravens waited until late in the fourth quarter to pull away against an inferior team. The Ravens led 20-3 in the second half and had a chance to put the Panthers away much earlier, but allowed back-to-back touchdowns before re-establishing their dominance in the fourth quarter.
What's next: The Ravens have back-to-back home games against playoff contenders, starting next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Baltimore has to make sure it focuses on the Bucs this week and does not look ahead to a big rematch against the Steelers, which is setting up to be the biggest division game of the 2010 season.