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November 30, 2008

Clayton steps up

Maybe Mark Clayton took all that T.J. Houshmandzadeh free agent speculation personally. He sure looks like a big-play receiver right now. He also showed what a fine all-around athlete he is with that long touchdown pass to Derrick Mason in the third quarter.

Guess this wasn't a trap game. Flacco has done more than just take care of the ball. He has taken care of business and delivered one of the best performances of his surprising rookie season.

Obviously, I was never terribly worried, since I picked the Ravens to win big, but I felt even better when I watched the Bengals come out of the tunnel before the game. There was as little pre-game emotion as you might have expected from a 1-9-1 team. Some of the players actually looked like they were bothered by the misty, 40-degree weather.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 3:18 PM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Just football


I'm both proud of, and happy for Mark Clayton. He is a gifted receiver and seems amazingly humble and focused. I'm also hoping for the same emergence, or RE-emergence for another targeted Ravens player for criticism, Yamon Figurs.

PS: CBS put up a graphic of the remaining Ravens schedule titled "Trouble lies ahead." Well excuse me, but perhaps the trouble that is forthcoming should be directed towards Washington, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Jacksonville!

Go Ravens...kick a**.

You have to love the fact that they treat each game as a personal attack at their credibility. Not over looking anyone!
I don't care what anyone one sez.....10-6 and let the chips fall.....

!!!!!!!!!!!!GO RAVENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was still a trap game, just becaues the Ravens didn;t succumb to the trap game doesn;t mean it was not a trap game , and you have to give much credit to the coaching staff for making sure the Raven's did not take the Bengals lightly. As far as Clayton is concerned it sure was good to see him making some big plays, however he has to contnue to play in this fashion in order for him to be a threat in this league, one game does not make a player a star or a big threat , but he did take a big step in that direction today, and if he keeps performing at a high level like this it will be huge for Joe Flacco and the Ravens for them to move to the next level, they are not there yet but they are moving in the right direction! Hats off to all the Ravens and the coaching staff for not looking past this game !

Flacco deserves "Rookie of the Year" and Harbaugh deserves consideration for "Coach of the Year". And, while we're ar it, how about Bisciotti as "Owner of the Year"!

It shows that YOU have trouble telling the difference between a day of 90% humidity and a low temperature of 14 degrees in the "CHARM CITY" arena. It is to bad that the "News American" is no longer in business. Then you could be a SUPER editor.

Pete's reply: I have absolutely no idea what you're trying to say.

Pete, any idea of why Willis Mcgahee didn't play today?

Pete's reply: Not really, but I think his absense means something. I don't think it was just because Cam was going with the "hot hand."

did a bunch of bengal or redskin fans crash the sun website? lots of d and f votes???

Hey Pete, I don't know if you noticed, but even Marvin Lewis had a look that said "I have had enough" after a couple of those dropped passes by both TJ and Johnson. Good win by any standards.

Mark Clayton has always shown the potential that made him a first round choice, the only problem is consistency. I've always been a big fan of his and I think that he can perform on a more consistent basis. However, till he does the talk around Baltimore will still be about a big play receiver, so lets hope he continues to take it personal.

After Clayton's td catch, I sat at the kitchen table stunned, just smiling in amazement. I still don't know if it's for real since he's shown flashes before, but man...wouldn't it be great if Flacco's cannon arm had a burner to toss it deep to? Here's to hoping.

Well rounded win. The fact is the Ravens offense can be unpredictable in any given situation. Kudos to the players and the coaching staff. Fun is back in the offense.

Well rounded win. The fact is the Ravens offense can be unpredictable in any given situation. Kudos to the players and the coaching staff. Fun is back in the offense.

Yep.Lets hold off on that Hush signing. Clayton is starting to live up to expectations and the jury is still out on D. Williams. There might be better places to spend that money.

The commentators today repeatedly said "Joe Flacco is unflappable". No, he is UNFLACCOBLE!

Wow, what a beat down. I'm just not used to the Ravens putting a bullet into an opponents head so early, even if it was only the lowly Bengals.
Now, if they can step up against the big boys, we'll have something.
I still just can't quite believe what my eyes and ears are telling me. Seeing such killer instinct from the offense kept making me think I had the wrong game.
The rematch against the Steelers is shaping up to be quite a game.

The thing is, the only season that Clayton hasn't lived up to expectations, was in 2007, because he was struggling with injuries. His rookie year, 2005, even amidst the terrible season we were having, he still managed to get 471 yds., 2 TDs, and a rushing TD. In 2006, he was our top receiver, and McNair's top target, with nearly 1000 yards and 5 TDs. Even dealing with injury, and with last season's overall BS, he still reeled in 48 passes for 531 yds.

Point being, non of what has happened in the last few games for Clayton is a surprise. He's an amazing athlete, he was a huge draft pick coming out of Oklahoma in the first round, and despite people loving to throw the word "bust" around like it's going out of style, and despite their short memories, Clayton has always been a valuable player for us, and will continue to be.

And whoever said "the jury is still out" on Demetrius Williams, you're damned right about that. Williams was also a great pickup, an absolute steal for a fourth round pick actually. And he too had a pretty good rookie season, with 2 TDs, averaging 18 yds. a catch. Both of these guys have the ability to be "big play" receivers for us, and I've said since they were drafted that they could become one of the better tandems in the league, given the chance. Perhaps under Cameron, and if they stay healthy, we'll see that happen. Also, don't forget about Yamon Figurs, who is starting to develop as a receiver as well, and we haven't seen what Marcus Smith, another hot player out of college, can do for us.

Pete--On Thursday night we shared our optimism that Mark Clayton would show us the big-play excitement that made him a premier player at Oklahoma.

The draped out dive on the first bomb and later the one-handed snag for the 70-yard TD, good stuff.

But, throwing a 32-yard majestic spiral TD pass to Derrick Mason?

Now that's a big-play guy.

Clayton's performance topped the league in total yards receiving this week.

Congratulations to John Harbaugh for having his team so well prepared.

Long time no talk Schmuck! and wow.. What an incredible game from Clayton and Flacco. I think I'm going to zip the lips forever on disliking flacco. He is phenomenal for a rookie. However, he was playing the bengals........ hahahaha Let's see if he can get it rolling again against washington next week! What's your expectations on that game?

Pete's reply: I'll probably pick the Ravens because they are at home, but the Redskins are so unpredictable I really have no idea how that game plays out.

My favourite play besides the two big TDs was Flacco standing in there with an unblocked blitzer in his face and still getting the ball out to Clayton down at the 6. Icewater in that mans veins.

And if Harbaughs post-game "we're saving Willis for December" is true (and if I were in charge of a game against the Bungles, I wouldn't want to wear him down anymore either) that's some pretty nice foresight there. Hopefully he'll be fresh enough to tear it up against the 'Skins and Steelers.

In spite of the current euphoria over the Ravens recent success, I still have one major concern. The offensive line does a good job of blocking opposing linemen, but other blitzers have put a lot of vicious hits on Joe Flacco in the last three games. If this happens against the likes of the Bengals, what is going to happen against good defenses like the Steelers? The Ravens need to do a better job against blitzes or Flacco will be sitting on the sidelines with an injury.

Okay, with the Bungles out of the way it crunch time. Time to show up in prime time, and unlike the Billick era-win. Is this our next step ? Beat the Deadskins and Sunday night and handle Pittsburgh on the 4:15. Win one of the last two and were in!

Ned-wa wa wa please stop. If you want to worry about something make it special teams on the kick off. Can someone please kick the ball into the end zone?

Mark Clayton is a CLASS guy. A rare breed in the NFL. Glad to see him do well. Keep in mind, his is not a 100 yd/game receiver, but a role player and a true team player.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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