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How good was it to see Todd Heap, Willis McGahee and Mark Clayton step up today? Everyone wondered what role each would play coming into the 2009 season.
Clayton showed he could be the deep threat Baltimore fans have been clamoring for, producing a 31-yard touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter. On top of his 74 receiving yards and six points, Todd Heap showed he can still be a receiving tight end and helped Flacco reestablish a presence in the middle of the field. And Willis McGahee was an effective rusher and receiver, racking up 75 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
And the best part of it all?
These three guys didn’t have to step up out of necessity. What I mean by that is, McGahee didn’t have a stellar performance because Ray Rice was faltering.
The sophomore running back still led all rushers with 108 yards on 19 carries. Le’Ron McClain was able to get his touches too, including a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The same goes for the receiving corps which included, at least for today, seven men. Clayton’s reception production didn’t suffer because his tight end reemerged as a receiver. They both contributed five catches for more than 70 yards, plus six points each.
I guess when the offense produces 501 total yards and five touchdowns everyone gets a piece of the action.
Highlight/Lowlight of the game
Highlight: The 31-yard Flacco-Clayton touchdown connection was exciting, but the first touchdown of the season brought the biggest smile to my face. Flacco kept a third-down play alive for eight seconds by scrambling around in the red zone before finding Willis McGahee for a 3-yard touchdown.
Lowlight: The scariest moment of the game was Sam Koch’s blocked punt. S John McGraw recovered the ball in the Ravens end zone, giving Kansas City their only points of the first half. It looked like the Ravens were going to pull away early, but the block kept Kansas City in the game.