Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore Ravens

20
Dec
10

Ravens End Saints’ Streak

Ray Rice Had a Total of 233 Yards and 3 Touchdowns Against the Saints

By Jesse Jones

The defending champions New Orleans Saints had won six straight games coming into Sunday’s matchup in Baltimore, while the Baltimore Ravens are coming off a win in Houston that saw them blow a huge lead late in the game and had to win it in overtime.  So with a pass-heavy team going against an average secondary, as many like to say, it was no wonder that the Ravens were underdogs.

The scoring started early, as the Saints scored on their second possession on a Drew Brees touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham to give them a 7-0 lead.  Baltimore responded on their next possession with a 35-yard catch and run from Joe Flacco to rookie tight end Ed Dickson to tie the game.

After a defensive stop, Baltimore drove the ball again and Ray Rice found the endzone on a 10-yard run to give Baltimore the 14-7 lead.  A few plays later, Flacco found Rice in the endzone thanks to a perfect 17-yard throw to give the Ravens a 21-7 lead.  The Saints scored at the end of the half on another Brees-Graham play to cut the lead to 21-14.

The third quarter saw only two field goals, thanks to Le’Ron McClain dropping an easy pass from Flacco that would have given the Ravens a 28-17 lead.  Instead, after three, the score was 24-17 Ravens.

The Saints tied it up early in the fourth, on an incredible tipped ball caught by Lance Moore.  The Ravens responded with a field goal.  With just over two minutes left and pinned in their endzone, the Saints were down only three.  It came down to a fourth down, where Haloti Ngata tipped a pass and Cory Redding intercepted the ball.  Baltimore added a field goal with nine seconds left, and won the game 30-24.

It was very nice to see the Ravens win a game thanks to their defense (even though the game was a shootout).  Flacco played very well, not turning over the ball and throwing for two touchdowns.  The Ravens got back to the running game, as Ray Rice ran the ball 31 times for 153 yards (including a long of 50 yards) and 1 touchdown, and Willis McGahee ran the ball 7 times for 53 yards with a long of 28.  The special teams played well again, setting the Ravens up with great field position and pinning the Saints back.

The Ravens are now 10-4, and thanks to the Jets beating the Steelers, are tied for first in the AFC North.  Baltimore will travel to Cleveland this weekend before hosting the Bengals next weekend.  The Steelers host the Panthers Thursday night before going to Cleveland next weekend.

09
Dec
10

Ravens Update

By Jesse Jones

Sorry for not blogging recently, but with finals and everything, life has been very stressful.

The Baltimore Ravens are going into their Monday night matchup against the Houston Texans with an 8-4 record.  Let’s take a look at how they got there.

The Ravens entered Week 12 against the Buccaneers with the same records, standing at 7-3.  The game was a fairly dominating game for the Ravens, as they cruised to a 17-10 win (score did not indicate what the game was like) to improve to 8-3.  However, Le’Ron McClain sprained his ankle and his status for the next game was uncertain.

The following Sunday night, the Ravens hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers, and with Le’Ron McClain injured, they had no fullback on the roster.  As you would expect, it was a defensive game.  Heading into the fourth quarter, the Ravens held a 10-3 lead, but as in previous games this season, the Ravens blew it.  The offense became very conservative and stopped taking shots down the field, after converting two plays over 60 yards in the first half.  The poor offensive play hurt them, as a strip by Troy Polamalu on Joe Flacco set the Steelers up at the 10-yard line, leading to their 13-10 lead.  On a fourth-and-two from the Steelers’ 31-yard line, the Ravens opted out of a 48-yard field goal because of the wind and went for it.  The result was a pass into the ground from Flacco that was intended for an open Ed Dickson, which would have been a first down.  Pittsburgh won the game 13-10, and dropped the Ravens to 8-4, and one game out of the lead for first place in the AFC North.

Now the Ravens have to travel to Houston, who has struggled of late.  The defense has allowed 13 or fewer points in their last three games, and now have to face a high-potent offense led by Matt Shaub and Andre Johnson, who is arguably one of the best receivers in the game.  However, the Texans have the worst pass defense in the league, so look for the offense to take full advantage of that.

23
Nov
10

Ravens Claw Panthers

Ray Lewis and the D celebrate Ray Ray's pick 6

By Jesse Jones

Coming off a heart-breaking loss, the Baltimore Ravens traveled to Carolina to face the 1-8 Panthers. The Panthers were down to their fourth-string quarterback, Brian St. Pierre, and their third string running back, Mike Goodson. Enough said.

The Ravens started the game to a great start, with a 56-yard touchdown bomb from Flacco to TJ Houshmandzadeh on Baltimore’s second offensive play of the game. Baltimore would add a field goal to close out the first quarter with a 10-0 lead.

Carolina would add a field goal at the beginning of the second quarter before the Ravens increased their lead 17-3 heading into half, thanks to a Ray Rice touchdown.

In the beginning of the third quarter, the Ravens increased their lead to 20-3, before giving up a Carolina field goal a few minutes later. After three, the Ravens held a comfortable 20-6 lead.

However, the Panthers scored an 88-yard touchdown from Brian St. Pierre to David Gettis to cut the lead to a touchdown. This is when the defense stepped up. After a field goal that increased the Ravens’ lead to 23-13, Ed Reed intercepted St. Pierre and lateraled the ball to Dawan Landry, who ran the ball into the end zone to give the Ravens a 30-13 lead. The very next play, the same thing occurred. Ray Lewis grabbed his 30th career interception and ran it to the house to give the Ravens a 37-13 lead, the score they would win by. Ray Lewis is now the second player, along with Rodney Harrison, to have atleast 30 career sacks and 30 career interceptions.

The win kept the Ravens atop the AFC North at 7-3 and still remain second in the AFC. Baltimore’s run defense was shaky, giving up 120 yards to Goodson, but they stepped it up and sealed the game like the Ravens of-old. Joe Flacco had another very good day, going 24-33 for 301 yards and 1 touchdown, with a rating of 110.8.

Baltimore host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, who are a surprising 7-3. After that, the Steelers come to town for a Sunday night showdown. In order to improve to 9-3, Baltimore needs to tighten up the run defense and limit fumbles (6 in the past 2 games, 4 lost).

15
Nov
10

Ravens Come Back, Only To Lose

By Jesse Jones

Sorry for the late post, but it was my birthday weekend so I was quite busy.

Last Thursday the Baltimore Ravens faced off in Atlanta against the Falcons for the season’s first Thursday night football game.  It was the first time the first two quarterbacks drafted in the 2008 draft took the field against one another.

After a scoreless first quarter, Atlanta scored a touchdown thrown by Matt Ryan to Jason Snelling and a field goal and took a 10-0 lead into the half.  The Falcons added another field goal before Baltimore scored it’s first touchdown of the game from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin to cut the deficit to 13-7.  The Falcons started off the fourth quarter with a Roddy White touchdown grab, increasing their lead to 20-7.

This is where things get interesting.

Baltimore responded with two touchdowns, both thrown by Flacco to Mason and Heap, to take a 21-20 lead with 65 seconds remaining.  However, the game was not over.  Matt Ryan pulled out his college nickname, Matty Ice (yeah, sorry ACC fans), and orchestrated a game-winning touchdown drive in 40 seconds.  The final touchdown was a 33-yard pass to Roddy White, who pushed Josh Wilson to the ground before the pass to get open but was not called for interference.  The result was a wide open run to victory.  Baltimore would lose the game 26-21 after a failed 2-point conversion.

Many fans will be quick to say the controversial no-call was the reason the Ravens lost the game. And it does not help that Roddy White was quoted saying, “It was one-on-one coverage with one guy. But he was kind of flat-footed, and he tried to grab me, so I just pushed him down”.  But I will not.  The Falcons still would have had a chance to get into field goal range.  The reason the Ravens lost was because they simply could not stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons on third down.  Ryan went 32-50 for 316 yards and three touchdowns, and Atlanta converted 12 of 20 third downs.

Joe Flacco had another very good game, as he went 22-34 for 215 yards and three touchdowns, but also had one interception.  Ray Rice would only rush the ball 12 times for 59 yards, a 4.9 average (should have ran him more in the first half).

Baltimore is now 6-3, but still first in the AFC North thanks the Steelers getting blown out at home by the Patriots.  The team travels to Carolina this week before coming home to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next weekend.  Atlanta is now 7-2 and first in the NFC.

08
Nov
10

Ravens Handle Dolphins, Improve to 6-2

By Jesse Jones

The Miami Dolphins came into Baltimore Sunday with a perfect 4-0 record on the road. The Ravens were a perfect 3-0 at home. So who would give? Miami.

The scoring started early, as Baltimore scored on their opening drive with a 32-yard screen pass to Willis McGahee, who broke some tackles and ran it into the end zone. Miami responded on their next drive with a 12-yard Ronnie Brown run for a touchdown.

The second quarter was rather sloppy for both teams. The Ravens failed to convert great field position into touchdowns three times (including a Lardarius Webb interception), and had to settle for two field goals, the third field goal attempt resulted in a botched snap. The Dolphins looked very sloppy, turning the ball over and playing ineffectively on offense. However, they added a field goal with 15 seconds left to cut the Ravens lead to 13-10 heading into half.

This is when the game became dominated by Baltimore.

After stopping the Dolphins on their first drive of the half, Joe Flacco found Derrick Mason for a 12-yard touchdown pass that increased the Ravens’ lead to 20-10. Baltimore once again stopped Miami and drove the ball down the field, only to miss the field goal which would have increased the lead to 23-10.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Ravens held a 10 point lead on Miami. The past two games the Ravens blew 10 point leads in the fourth and ended up in overtime. Would this happen for a third straight game? No.

In the beginning of the fourth, Miami missed a field goal that would have cut the lead to seven and possibly given them momentum. Baltimore drove the ball once again and added a field goal that gave them a 23-10 lead. On Miami’s next drive, Chad Henne was intercepted once again by Ed Reed, who got his third interception in only two games this season. Baltimore added a field goal which put them up 26-10, and intercepted Henne again, this time by Josh Wilson, to end the game.

Baltimore’s offense looked sharp again, and it seems to be clicking on all cylinders. Joe Flacco played nearly perfect once again, as he went 20-27 for 266 yards and three touchdowns with a QB rating of 129.6. He holds the best quarterback rating in the NFL since week 2. Ray Rice had a solid game, carrying the ball 22 times for 83 yards and catching 7 balls for 97 yards.

The Ravens defense also played very well, forcing three turnovers, holding Ronnie Brown to 59 yards (albeit on 9 carries), and limiting Miami to 289 yards of offense. Ed Reed showed once again why he is so important to this Baltimore Ravens’ defense, as he grabbed another interception.

The win improves the Ravens to 6-2 and in first place in the AFC North, even if the Steelers win thanks to the win in week 4. And because the Cleveland Browns whooped the New England Patriots (crazy, right?), and the Eagles beat the Colts, the Ravens sit atop the AFC standings.

Baltimore has a short week to prepare for their next game, as they travel to Atlanta Thursday to play the Falcons who are also 6-2.

02
Nov
10

Where They Stand: Baltimore Ravens

By Jesse Jones

After eight weeks of the 2010 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens stand atop the AFC North with a record of 5-2. They have huge wins at New York (Jets), and at Pittsburgh, but have two close, tough losses at Cincinnati and at New England.

The Ravens are coming off their bye week this weekend, and the second half of the season is underway. So where does Baltimore stand in the NFL? Let’s take a look.

Schedule

Baltimore played four of their first seven games of the season at home, which means they play 5 games at home compared to four on the road to end the season.  They have three primetime games left, two of which are on the road (Thurs, Nov. 11 at Atlanta, Monday, Dec 13 at Houston), and a Sunday night game at home against Pittsburgh.  They also host the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints December 19.

This weekend, Baltimore faces the Miami Dolphins, who are 4-0 on the road.  They just won in Cincy this past weekend, and look to stay unbeated on the road and in contention in the AFC East.  Four days later, the team must travel to Atlanta to face the NFC South leading Falcons.  This is going to be one of the toughest stretches of the season, as Baltimore will face two good teams with very short rest.

The other tough stretch left for the Ravens will be a three-game stretch where they host the Steelers, then have to travel to play Houston on a Monday night, and then come home for a game against the Saints.  The Steelers are Baltimore’s biggest rival, and the game is always very emotional.  Houston is a very explosive team and is very competitive at home.  And do I have to talk about the Saints?  An offensive juggernaut who won the last Super Bowl.

The other games should be favorable for the Ravens.  They play at the currently 1-6 Panthers, host the Buccaneers (yes, I know they are 5-2, but they are not one of the best teams in the league), play in Cleveland and host the Bengals to wrap up the season.  Baltimore has owned Cleveland much of this decade, and the Bengals are looking pretty bad right now.

Players

Joe Flacco is having a pretty solid year so far.  His first two games were sloppy, throwing for only one touchdown compared to five interceptions.  But since then, Flacco has thrown nine touchdowns compared to only one interception.  He has showed great maturity, completely dominating New England in a game that some claim the defense lost, and leading the team to a last-second win in Pittsburgh, a place Flacco had not won before, throwing the game winning touchdown.

Ray Rice is having a quiet season, only rushing the ball 131 times for 523 yards and 2 touchdowns.  However, he is averaging 4.0 yards per carry, and Baltimore has seen Flacco throwing more and more.  Ray Rice is still a great running back, and when his number is called, he will show up.

Anquan Boldin has been a very solid addition to this Baltimore Ravens offense.  He has 38 receptions for 518 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Todd Heap has been healthy again, and is showing that he is still the player he used to be.

Ed Reed is back ladies and gentlemen.  In his first game back, and only game of the season so far, his impact was unquestionable.  He had two interceptions, has fresh legs and brought security to the secondary.  Look for this impact to continue.

Ray Lewis.  Enough said.  He has come up huge when Baltimore has needed him to.  He put a huge hit on Dustin Keller at the end of the game in New York, had the game-clinching interception in Pittsburgh, and had a strip in overtime against the Bills that gave the ball back to Baltimore which set up the game-winning field goal.

The Baltimore Ravens stand second in the AFC.  They control their own destiny.  The division is theirs to lose, and they are only one game out of first place in the conference.  Yes, the Ravens have tough games to play, but no game is certainly out of reach for this team.  The goal at the beginning of the season was the Super Bowl, and they are on track for a long run in the playoffs.

26
Oct
10

Ravens Escape Bills In “Trap Game”

Billy Cundiff Celebrates His Game-Winning Field Goal

By Jesse Jones

After coming off a very emotional loss in New England, being one game away from the bye week, Ed Reed returning for his first game of the season, and having the 2000 Super Bowl winning team being honored at halftime, there were many ways for the Baltimore Ravens to overlook the Buffalo Bills Sunday.

And it seemed the team did just that.

The Ravens took an early 3-0 lead thanks to a 41-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff, but the momentum quickly changed.  The Bills took a 10-3 lead heading into the second quarter behind a 33-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Lee Evans on the Bills following drive, and then forced a fumble on the kickoff which resulted in a Bill’s field goal.  In the beginning of the second, the Bills stretched their lead to 17-3 thanks to another 33-yard touchdown pass, only this time the pass was completed to Steve Johnson.

This is when the game turned into a shootout.

Baltimore responded on their next drive and cut the lead to a touchdown thanks to a Flacco-to-Heap 26-yard touchdown pass.  But, as they had done all first half, Buffalo scored yet another touchdown, this time a 20-yard pass from Fitzpatrick to Lee Evans again.  Baltimore scored a field goal and cut the lead to 24-13 on their next drive.  Then, CJ Spiller fumbled the kickoff and Josh Wilson recovered.  Flacco found Heap again for a 14-yard touchdown with 48 seconds left in the half, and went into halftime down only 24-20.

Baltimore kicked the ball off to the Bills to start the second half, and the first play of the drive was a Fitzpatrick interception to who else but Ed Reed.  The very next play was a 34-yard flea flicker touchdown pass from Flacco to Anquan Boldin, which put the Ravens up 27-24.  After stopping Buffalo on their next possession, the Ravens grew their lead to 34-24 thanks to a 2-yard touchdown by Willis McGahee against his former team.

Game over right?  Wrong.

Just as they did against New England, the Baltimore pass defense gave up a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter.  Fitzpatrick found Lee Evans for the duo’s third touchdown of the game, and the lead was cut to 34-31 Ravens.  Then, with four seconds left, Buffalo added a field goal to send the game into overtime.

After the Ravens did nothing with their chance to end the game, Buffalo began to move.  After a 19-yard pass that got the ball to their own 41 yard line, Fitzpatrick completed a 4-yard pass to Nelson, and this is where the controversy begins.  Nelson seemed to be stopped for a brief moment, but the Bills players ran to the pile and kept pushing him forward.  As he was being pushed forward, Ray Lewis stripped the ball from him and gave Baltimore control of the game. 

The ruling on the field was a fumble, and Baltimore ultimately kicked the game-winning field goal to win the game 37-34 and improved to 5-2 on the season.

The game was definitely not a good one for the pass defense.  The Bills, who had the worst offense in the league, scored 34 points and threw for four touchdowns, all of which came against Fabian Washington, and the defense as a whole allowed for over 500 yards of total offense, the first time that has happened since 2000 against the New York Jets.

However, the team forced 4 turnovers, 2 of which came from Ed Reed interceptions, the Ray Lewis strip, and CJ Spiller fumble.

The offense also was in sync, as Flacco threw for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The Ravens got the win, but it was not impressive.  Yes, Ed Reed had a huge game, and classic in his case, grabbing two interceptions, and they came back from a 24-10 deficit to get the lead by 10, but gave up that lead for two straight games.  Add to that the fact that the Bills were 0-5 heading into the game.

Baltimore definitely had some luck in getting the win, but sometimes, in the National Football League, you need luck, you cannot always rely on talent alone.

Baltimore is now in it’s bye week, and will look to get healthier and clean up the defense.

Stay posted for an upcoming post on the state of the team.




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