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First Impressions: Scout Likes Offensive Push, Overall Fight


Offensively, there were plenty of things to hang your hat on. I had a feeling that running the football was possible against the Ravens defense, and they were able to do just that against a front that I thought was very physical. The offensive line, tight ends and fullback Lawrence Vickers were outstanding. Give the running backs a ton of credit as well for the job they were able to do. The holes were there and they took advantage of them. I knew the Ravens would struggle to rush the passer without Terrell Suggs in the lineup. Romo did have to buy some time, but the protection overall was very good. It was great to see wide receiver Dez Bryant have the type of game he did. Thought early in the day that Romo did a great job of getting him into the flow of the offense. The two-point conversion was a contested ball that he usually comes up with, but if I am Romo, I make that throw every time.

The Ravens have a bunch of weapons on offense and running back Ray Rice is one of the best in the league when it comes to making plays. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield was a huge factor in this game. Receiver Anquan Boldin also came to life, but you have to expect that from a veteran receiver. There were too many opportunities where he had space to work. If defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and his group could have made one more stop, then you might have had a different outcome.

All you can ask is to give Dan Bailey a chance and the offense did. The conditions, wind-wise, were not great, but we have seen him knock pressure kicks home for victories before. The 108-yard kickoff return was a huge mistake by the coverage team. The problem with the ball being kicked off from the 35-yard line is that you never know when the returner is going to bring those kicks out and the team relaxes. From my press box seat, this looked like the case, but I will study it and find out the answer. The onside kick recovery was a thing of beauty. Give Bailey and Andre Holmes credit for outstanding execution, which was key. The chances of pulling that play off are very slim, as we all know.

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