Originally Posted by AndyWitmyer
^^ This - I actually agreed with most everything you said, but wanted to wanted to specifically focus on what you said right here. Because honestly, barring some sort of major injury, we should definitely see some kind of improvement in the offense under Batch. For him, last week was more or less a baptism by fire. But now he's had another week of practice to shake off the rust.
Batch might be old, but he's still our only veteran back-up QB with a winning record. Flacco is not an elite QB - at least not when he's facing our D - when they win, they tend to win by a few points or less. Even with Ben still out this game, when you weigh the overall strengths and weaknesses of both teams, I'd say it's probably a draw.
Except in one category. My chief concern is not with our defense or even our offense - it's our kicking and return teams that has me more than a little worried. And I'm not talking Suisham - in a close and low-scoring game, 3 pts will carry a lot of weight. I, for one, have faith in his ability to score.
But, if we allow a team like the Ravens to pick up an easy seven from on a kickoff and/or punt return...in the words of Dave Chappelle... I'll probably have to choke a b!tch! Because otherwise, with a slightly better D than Baltimore...and Flaccid Flacco being no better than Old Man Charlie...assuming the refs don't get in the way, I see no reason why we don't have at least a fair shot at winning this time.
In fact, when taking all of those factors into consideration, I'd say our odds of winning this time are probably a little better than 50-50.
That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but given the circumstances, those are the kind of odds that I am willing to embrace!
I don't believe in Batch like I used to (even his short throws were way off target and/or underthrown)... but, I think that part if the problem in the Browns game was that Charlie was FORCED to try & make a play, due to all of the fumbles.
Yes, he missed Heath several times. Yes, his arm looked shot. But, those simply resulted in incompletions.
Whereas, when he HAD to start throwing deeper, the balls started getting picked off.
I think that if the Steelers can run the ball (which they did last time), Batch won't be "forced" to attempt throws that he simply can't make. Likewise, I think that Haley now realizes that last time, he stopped calling run plays when the offense crossed the 50 yard-line. This time, expect a heavy dose of Dwyer... the ENTIRE way down the field.
Lastly, I heard Emmanuel Sanders talking about how before the Browns game, Charlie didn't look good in practice, but this week he's had "three good practices." Do I expect Batch to win the game with his arm? No. But, I do expect him to play just a little better than he did last week (e.g. no picks would be "a little better").