Bob Haynie: The Ravens Roll To New Orleans
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All hail Jim Caldwell.
Now we know why the Baltimore Ravens made a late-season change at offensive coordinator.
When former OC Cam Cameron was let go in December, a lot of us were curious as to the timing of the move. It was late in the season, Cameron had been in Baltimore for almost five seasons and the Ravens were still winning more than they lost.
But the team decided to make a move and what move it has turned out to be.
BOB HAYNIE SOUNDS OFF:
In the second half of Sunday’s AFC Championship game between the Ravens and New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., we saw Caldwell make adjustments that Cameron usually was reluctant to make.
The Patriots were controlling time of possession in the first half–and the field position battle–as they took a 13-7 halftime lead.
Even though you couldn’t have been happy, you still had to be relieved with the fact that Baltimore was still very much in the game.
All the Ravens needed to do was get the offense rolling.
That they did.
The Ravens picked up the tempo in the second half and started going no-huddle and throwing the ball. No more first-down runs for two yards.
QB Joe Flacco had his way with the New England defense.
The often maligned fifth-year quarterback threw for 159 yards and three touchdowns in the final 30 minutes as he, yet again, outplayed a future Hall of Famer.
Last weekend it was Denver’s Peyton Manning. Yesterday, it was Tom Brady. In the end, neither stood a chance.
Flacco has thrown for 8 TD’s and no picks in the playoffs. And I think Caldwell has a lot to do with it. He understands Flacco and calls the game to play his QB’s strengths.
They say that in sports, the mark of a good coach, is making adjustments.
Caldwell, and the rest of the Baltimore staff, did exactly that.
With their 28-13 victory over the Patriots, the Ravens now advance to Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans against the San Francisco 49’ers.
We’ll get into the Jim vs. John Harbaugh matchup (The Bro-Bowl as Comcast’s Brent Harris calls it) later.
For now, let’s praise Jim Caldwell and his willingness to adapt.