Bush vs. Williams is certainly fun, but the best story of the weekend for me has to be the Ravens. Could it be possible that they are now a legitimate contender? The addition of McNair, if he stays healthy is going to be huge. Throw in a strong rushing attack and a revived defense and you have to wonder how far Baltimore can go this year:
I came away from my trip through Baltimore’s training camp convinced that the Ravens’ defense might just be back. That’s looking like a solid hunch so far. Maybe it was just good karma resulting from the return to the field where Baltimore won a Super Bowl title more than five years ago, but the Ravens defense looked to be in 2000-2001 form at Tampa Bay.
Baltimore held Cadillac Williams to 22 yards rushing on eight carries, with the Bucs limited as a team to just 26 yards on the ground and 142 yards of total offense and eight first downs. The Ravens picked off Chris Simms three times, including cornerback Chris McAlister’s 60-yard interceptions return for a second-quarter touchdown.
Word of warning to the rest of the NFL: I think Ray Lewis and Co. are interested again.
I was equally impressed by the Falcons, but I did not want to pick them first for homer-factor reasons. 47 rushing attempts for 252 yards (5.4 yards/rush avg) is balls to the wall outrageous. What about the defense holding the Panthers to 215 yards? Vick managed another sub .500 effort (10-22 for 140 yards and 2 TDs), but he did not make many mistakes and he also rushed seven times for 48 yards. Not sure if the Falcons can keep it up, but it was fun being a Falcons fan yesterday.