Baltimoreâ€™s Ray Lewis reminded fans why heâ€™s still one of the best linebackers in football with his game-saving tackle of Charges tailback Darren Sproles.Â Â
Photo Credit: Jeff Lewis for Sentinel
Around the NFL
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Staff Writer
Ray Lewis still manning the middle
Anybody thinking that linebacker Ray Lewis was no longer a dominant force needs to think again, especially that San Diego Chargers.
Chargers running back Darren Sproles had racked up 283 all purpose yards when the Chargers found themselves with a 4th and 2 on the Baltimore Ravens’ 15 yard line, down by five points with only 37 seconds to play in the game.
With the game on the line the Chargers sent their best runner up the middle. Only problem was that the Ravens sent their best linebacker up the middle. A future Hall of Fame linebacker. The result was that Sproles’ total yards was dropped to 278 as Lewis shot up the middle and ran right over him. Lewis then proceeded to dance off the field because the game was over.
It was not smart play call by the Chargers, seeing that the Ravens had held the Chargers to only 58 yards rushing up until that point. Sproles did most of his damage as a receiver and return man.
Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers had thrown for 436 yards and two touchdowns, while Sproles had only rushed 31 yards to that point. Passing the ball would have been a lot smarter then running a scat back up the middle.
The Chargers drove inside the Ravens 10 yard line four times, but had to settle for field goals each time because the Ravens defense was too hard to run against.
Rex Ryan called his shot, Jets back him up
Jets head coach Rex Ryan is a chip off the old block. The son of legendary defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, Rex has taken to calling out his opponents just the same.
Ryan said that he was not about to kiss New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s championship rings and he allowed his players to talk trash about their game against the Patriots all week.
The Jets backed up all their talk by pressuring Patriots quarterback Tom Brady all game, causing him to complete only 48% of his passes while throwing an interception with no touchdowns.
The Jets led the game 16-9 in the closing minutes and the Patriots had a shot at a game winning touchdown drive. This is the time where Brady usually shines, and most coaches use a prevent defense. But Ryan is just as aggressive as his father, and he kept calling blitzes. The Patriots did make it past their own 35-yard line on that drive.
The Jets have a very good defense, and rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez is managing the games like he is a veteran. They could be a contender this season.
The Patriots on the other hand could be in trouble. They narrowly escaped with a victory in their first game. They could have easily started this season 0-2.
Giants spoil Cowboys shining moment
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones opened the doors to let in 105,121 fans to see his $1.5 billon modern marvel as the Cowboys played their first regular season game in their brand new stadium. He had a special seat for former President George W. Bush right next to him.
Maybe Jones should not have let the New York Giants in. Better yet, maybe he should not have let his own quarterback in.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw three interceptions, and all three led to Giants touchdowns. The Giants scored 24 points off of turnovers and they won the game 33-31 on a last second field goal.
The largest crowed in NFL history watched Romo post a 29.6 quarterback rating, while Giants quarterback Eli Manning passed for 330 yards, two touchdowns with no interceptions and a 110.6 quarterback rating.
It was bad enough for the Cowboys to blow the stadium opener, but it is ever worse to blow it against a hated rival.
Drew Brees making a mockery of opposing defenses
New Orleans Saints quarterback is making the NFL look like a video game. After throwing three touchdowns in the Saints victory against a very good Philadelphia Eagles defense, he now has nine touchdown passes in only two games.
Brees threw for 311 yards and led his offense to 48 points. Week one against the Detroit Lions the Saints racked up 45 points.
The Eagles appear to have major quarterback problems. With quarterback Donavan McNabb out with a rib injury, the Eagles turned to back up quarterback Kevin Kolb. In Kolb’s first NFL start he was intercepted three times in the loss to the Saints.
McNabb looks like he will return this week, but if he cannot go, quarterbacks Jeff Garcia and Michael Vick would be much better choices than rolling Kolb out there again.
Colts lights it up in less than 15 minutes
The Miami Dolphins had the perfect game plan for their Monday Night match up with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Dolphins rushing attack allowed them to hold the ball for over 45 during the game. They rushed for 239 yards. They had 84 plays, compared to the Colts 35. They had 27 first downs, compared to the Colts 14. They converted 15-of-27 3rd downs.
That formula has win written all over it. But with only 35 plays Peyton Manning and the Colts offense produced three touchdowns and two field goals, winning the game 27-23. Now that’s efficient football.