Ravens win with “class and cruelty”

Before I ask for your take on last night’s game (as is tradition around here), I thought I’d pass along a quote from safety Haruki Nakamura on the Ravens’ mindset going into the Monday night contest against the Jets.

With all the chatter that had gone on the week leading up to last night’s game, Nakamura told me that head coach John Harbaugh gave his team a bit of a pep talk Sunday night.

“The one thing we talked about is that we want to win this game with class and cruelty,” Nakamura said. “That was our two C’s that Harbaugh gave to us [Sunday] night. I feel like we did that. We played as hard as we could. We won with class; obviously there were some physical things going on, there were a few fights here and there, but that’s what you have to expect.”

Class and cruelty. Interesting.

Go out there and destroy someone, then give him a butt tap and make sure he’s OK.

In previous years, the Ravens might have taken part in the cruelty, but forgotten the class, leading to silly personal fouls and easy penalty yardage for their opponent. That wasn’t the case last night.

The Ravens kept their composure despite the intensity surrounding their matchup with Rex Ryan, Bart Scott and the Jets, and they weren’t flagged for a single personal foul. Matter of fact, they only were penalized five times all game for just 38 yards.

Compare that to the Jets’ 14 penalties for 125 yards, and the Ravens (who had the most penalty yardage of any team in the NFL last season) suddenly come off looking like the squeaky clean bunch.

Which brings me to my morning-after question of the week: What’s the one player, statistic or facet of the game last night that impressed you the most?

Was it the Ravens’ ability to keep their cool and limit the penalties? Was it the play of the much-maligned Baltimore secondary? Was it Ray Lewis’ smack down on Jets tight end Dustin Keller, or Anquan Boldin’s tough grab along the sideline?

What sticks out in your mind this morning as the biggest positive from the Ravens’ season-opening road win?

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