Spitballin' By Jim Meyer

Five takeaways from last night's Ravens debacle

[caption id="attachment_18892" align="alignleft" width="300"]Ed Dickson shaking hands before last night's Ravens game." src="http://blogs.citypaper.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/1239903_10153218750765484_1687557217_n-300x225.jpg" width="300" height="225" /> Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson shaking hands before last night's Ravens game.[/caption]1. It's hard to peg 21 points on an un-thrown flag, but I'm going to do it anyway. The Ravens weren't looking like world-beaters in the first half, but they were winning. All of that changed when John Harbaugh failed to throw the challenge flag on a Wes Welker dropped ball early in the third quarter. What little wind had filled the Ravens sails jumped ship for the Broncos who put up 21 points in the period. It was the single biggest mistake of the game, and it hurt. On the bright side, as bad as that second half was, it was still better than the Keith Urban concert.2. Peyton Manning puts up a touchdown worth of touchdowns. His seven passing TDs tied the NFL record and it was the first time anyone had done it since Joe Kapp September 28th, 1969. Let me put that in perspective, the last time someone threw 7 TDs in a game, it was 69 days before The Rolling Stones played Altamont. It would be nearly three years before Nixon would go to China. September 28th, 1969 was over a decade before Earnest Borgnine invented cheese. It was a long fucking time ago. Manning's performance was historically good, or maybe more accurately, the Ravens were historically bad.Oh, and another thing. When Manning was asked about Joe Kapp on the field moments after the game, he said, "Joe Kapp, number 11, from Cal, I want to say. Canadian," and he was right! If you'd asked me about Joe Kapp I'd have complimented him on his delicious hot fries. How does anyone know that? Respect.3. This is as close to a tautology as this writer will ever get, but injuries hurt, and fittingly after a game like that, the wounds were self inflicted. Starting right tackle and enormous child of Sandra Bullock Michael Oher sprained his right ankle when teammate Marshal Yanda rolled into him at the end of a second quarter touchdown play. Semi-professional dancer and starting wide receiver Jacoby Jones left the game with a sprained knee when Ravens' rookie Brynden Trawick leveled him on a punt return.The Ravens can ill afford to lose either player, but the loss of Jones could prove devastating to a wafer thin receiving corps. Fortunately, with the Thursday opener, the Ravens have a few extra days to heal before the home opener against Cleveland, and they'll need it. Jones' injury looked bad. If there is a bright side in any of this, it's the play of 6'5" rookie receiver Marlon Brown who looked very good while catching four balls for 65 yards and a score.4. And speaking of the Ravens dearth of pass catchers, make sure to check your mail next week. You may get a letter requesting you show up for jury duty or to play tight end for the Ravens. Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark looked so bad, there's a solid chance a random citizen would be an upgrade. Ed Dickson dropped almost as many would-be first down balls as Manning threw touchdowns, and Clark let go an easy touchdown slip through his fingers in the final seconds of the first half. I've seen Easter Island statues with softer hands than these guys. With Dennis Pitta probably out for the season and Brandon Stokley looking old, Joe Flacco will be willing to trade his shiny new Corvette for a solid possession receiver.5. At least the game was on the road. Could you imagine having to drive home after that beating?

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