Billick was the color man in the booth and to boil his speech down to the basics, with less than a yard to go, the QB should not turn his back on the LOS to hand off 5 yds behind the LOS...
4th and inches was the same as 4th and 5 in this case.
I sure can't explain it. SD had a 4th and inches in the first half. Handed it off and the RB squirted reall low over the bodies of his O linemen who were practically on their bellies. He got the first down.
The Ravens just can't seem to execute and the poor O line play for 3.5 quarters was exemplified by that play. There was also an important 3rd and 1 in the first half. Ravens line up in bunch formation with the D totally ready for a run. The Ravens hand off to Rice up the middle and he's tackled for a loss. Why the hell are you not changing the play and spreading them out at that point. There was no crowd noise in a half empty stadium with 20K Ravens fans among them.
So is that poor play calling or poor execution. You'd almost want to see a QB sneak but we've seen Flacco get stuffed on those too. A prominent case was in New England 2 seasons ago (Flacco stuffed on 4th and an inch).
The Ravens O line has issues getting off the ball and pushing a D line backwards.
On the 4th and inches it looked like Flacco changed the play call at the line of scrimmage, maybe seeing to much beef in the middle, and I think that was a mistake. The Ravens were having some success up the middle, but trying to go around the side was just too slow developing.
On the 4th and 29, frankly we got lucky and got an incredibly gutsy play out of Ray Rice. There were not a lot of other options at that point, but if you're going to fail, you at least want to put the ball in the hands of your best player and hope he makes a play, which he certainly did.
My problem is this:
There should never even have been a 4th and 29. The Ravens had a first down on a Flacco strike down the middle two plays prior (I beleive in FG range). The refs called Yanda for holding. HE DID NOT HOLD. Not even close. In fact he was beat and his man was steaming towards Flacco as Flacco threw (for the first down).
Can't even imagine what the refs THOUGHT they saw. I know they "could call holding on every play". But obviously they don't, and by the way they DO call it there is no way Yanda held, even in a "could call it" scenario. So the whole palooza over the spot and moving the chains was effectively a make-up call whether intentional or not. No body is talking about this though.
It's easy. On 4th and inches, Ray Rice didn't get the ball. On 4th and 29, Ray Rice DID get the ball.
The refs gave an extra yard on the 4th and 29.
Luck. Pure and simple.
I can explain it. Boldin made that key block that allowed Ray to go the final 10 yards or so for the 1st down!!!!!!!!! That was key. If he doesn't make that block, Ray comes up 10 yards short.
But on 4th and inches he thinks it's better with Ray sitting on the bench.
Cam also thinks it's better to do a QB sneak when it's 3rd and a loooong 1 with Flacco just closing his eyes and pushing forward and then on 4th and inches run a slow developing handoff to a 3rd string runnung back.
Maybe the defense had something to do with it?
I'm not that schooled deep in the game like a lot of folks here, but I wonder if the SD defense just concentrated too much on deep coverage and left the short/underneath middle not adequately protected? If I was the opposition coach, I would have a defender in Rice's back pocket on every play.
On the 4th and inches Flacco changed the play at the line to the right side when the the team was jumbo package to the left on the 4 and 29 he simply gave it to the best player on the team.
If Oher just battles him to a draw, there was plenty of space for Pierce to cut back and pick up the first down... and probably several more yards. But Oher did virtually nothing on the play. In all honesty, the play would have looked exactly the same if Oher hadn't even been on the field and they ran it with 10 men.
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