Posts Tagged ‘Joe Flacco

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.

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.

19
Oct
10

Ravens Blow Lead, Lose To Pats

By Jesse Jones

New England wanted revenge on Baltimore after the embarrassing 33-14 Ravens’ win in New England last year in the playoffs.  Sunday, they did just that.

The Baltimore Ravens scored first with a Billy Cundiff field goal, but gave up a BenJarvus Green-Ellis touchdown at the end of the first quarter to fall behind 7-3.  Flacco answered quickly with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap, and took their 10-7 lead into halftime.  Baltimore came out in the third quarter and scored another touchdown, this one from Flacco to Boldin, and increased their lead to 17-7.  After a Stephen Gostowski field goal the Ravens were up 17-10 at the end of the third.  In the fourth, the whole game changed.  Baltimore became very conservative on both sides of the ball, and it showed as they only managed to produce three more points the rest of the game.  Tom Brady and the offense started to click, and tied the game up at 20 with just under two minutes left thanks to a touchdown reception by Deion Branch and another Gostowski field goal.  Flacco and the offense would do nothing to try and win the game, as they settled for screen passes and did not attempt to go down the field.

The game would ultimately go into overtime.

In OT, Baltimore’s offense continued to do nothing and not take advantage of the defense stopped the Patriots.  Late in overtime, the Patriots started to click again and won the game 23-20 off a 35-yard field goal.  New England improved to 4-1 and Baltimore fell to 4-2.

This was the Patriots first game without Randy Moss, and Deion Branch’s first game back.  Branch did most of his work in the fourth quarter, and finished the game with 9 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown.  Tom Brady with a passer rating of only 69.5 thanks to two interceptions and 17 incompletions, but that didn’t stop him from throwing for 292 yards and taking over the game late.

Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense looked very impressive all through the game until the beginning of the fourth quarter.  Flacco finished the game 27-35 for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 119.3.  Ray Rice rushed the ball 28 times for 88 yards.  Derrick Mason had 8 catches for 100 yards, and Boldin had 4 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.

The Baltimore defense held their own until the late fourth quarter collapse, as they forced two interceptions and held the Pats to only 10 points through 3 quarters.

The turning point of the game came in the fourth quarter when Baltimore settled for a field goal instead of a touchdown.  Derrick Mason had his hands on the ball in the end zone, but thanks partially to a hit by Patrick Chung, Mason dropped the ball.  The touchdown would have put the Ravens up 24-10, and could have sealed the game.  Instead, Baltimore lost 23-20.

12
Oct
10

Ravens Beat Broncos, Improve To 4-1

By Jesse Jones

Coming off an epic win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, there was speculation that the Baltimore Ravens would have a “hangover” against the Denver Broncos.  But this was not the case.

The Ravens dominated the Broncos from the start, driving into the red zone on their first three out of four drives.  Joe Flacco and Ray Rice each scored on one-yard runs to put the team up 14-0, and Billy Cundiff added a 37-yard field goal to put the Ravens up 17-0.  With under one minute left in the first half, it seemed Baltimore was going to go into half holding a shut out.  But the Broncos first-ranked pass offense wouldn’t allow that, as Kyle Orton completed a 42 yard pass to Brandon Lloyd for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 17-7.

The second half saw a scoreless third quarter, and saw Joe Flacco look completely out of sync at points.  But in the fourth quarter, the Ravens closed the game out, as Ray Rice scored another one-yard touchdown, and Willis McGahee scored on a 30-yard run.  Denver added a field goal inbetween those scores, and scored another long touchdown pass with under one minute left in the game to Brandon Lloyd.

The Baltimore Ravens would ultimately win the game 31-17.

Baltimore got exactly what it needed, and that was a huge game by Ray Rice.  Rice had not scored a touchdown or ran for over 100 yards until Sunday’s game.  In total, he finished the game with 133 yards and 2 touchdowns on 27 carries.  Flacco played solid for the most part, going 14-25 for 196 yards with no passing touchdowns and no turnovers.

The defense gave up over 300 yards to Kyle Orton, but only allowed two touchdowns, and both came with under a minute left in each half.  So far, the pass defense seems very solid, and the run defense is great as usual.

Baltimore now stands atop the AFC North alone, with a record of 4-1.  The Ravens will travel to New England Sunday to face the 3-1 Patriots who are now without Randy Moss and brought back Deon Branch.




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