Posts Tagged ‘Ray Rice


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Ravens Beat Browns, Fix Offense

Boldin Owned Eric Wright For 3 Scores

By Jesse Jones

Seven turnovers, two straight games with 10 points, a four-interception performance by Joe Flacco.  These were perfect ways to describe the Baltimore Ravens offense after the first two games.  Yesterday against the Cleveland Browns in the home opener, this all changed.

Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin combined for three touchdowns, and eight overall completions for 142 yards.  Overall, Flacco completed passes to six different receivers and went 22-31 for 262 yards, had three touchdowns and no interceptions for a rating of 128.7.  Ray Rice carried the ball 15 times for 80 yards, and Willis McGahee carried 7 times for 29 yards.

Not all was well with the Ravens though.  The run defense, yes the run defense, was shaky.  Peyton Hillis ran for 144 yards and had a touchdown.  This performance is definitely a surprise to many, as Hillis is the backup running back for the Browns and the Ravens have had one of the best run defenses this decade.  The tackling was very poor and Hillis was running through the holes like a tank.  Much respect should be given to Hillis for his performance and effort.

The Ravens also finally allowed a touchdown, two for that matter, after not allowing any against the Jets and Bengals.  It is strange to say that the offense out-shined the defense, but that was the case yesterday.  The offense scored 24 points, and the defense allowed 17.  In the end, Baltimore played well enough to win, and improved to 2-1 (1-1 in the division) to stay at pace with the Bengals (2-1) and the Steelers (3-0).

There were two injuries reported for the Baltimore Ravens, and both are starters.  Cory Redding suffered a concussion and the extent of the injury is unknown.  What is much worse is that Ray Rice has a contusion on his knee.  His status for this weekend is up in the air, but after hearing from him, signs are pointing to him playing.  It’d be surprising to see him miss this weekend’s matchup against the team’s biggest rival.

Look for Ray Rice to get the run defense back to where it should be against the Steelers Sunday, and look to see how the offense holds up against one of the league’s best defenses year-in and year-out.


Ravens Turn Over Victory To Bengals

By Jesse Jones

The Baltimore Ravens had another playoff opponent yesterday in their division rival Cincinnati.  The Bengals swept the Ravens last season, and swept the whole AFC North for that matter.  Both teams upgraded in the offseason, mainly on offense, and both teams were very anxious to get on the field Sunday.

But for all the hype both offenses were receiving, only a total of 25 points was produced.  The Bengals offense could not move against the Baltimore defense, and failed to get into the end zone, being held to five field goals.  The Ravens managed to get the ball in the end zone once, and added a field goal.  But behind the scoring was the lack of confidence in Joe Flacco, and poor play calling by Cam Cameron.

Joe Flacco looked nervous from the start of the game, and was throwing poor passes left and right.  Yes, he was under pressure must of the game due to a good Bengals pass rush and an injured offensive line, but his passes had no zip behind them and his body language showed nervousness.  All this accumulated into one touchdown, four interceptions, and the second-lowest passer rating of his short career; 23.8.

Cam Cameron deserves some of the blame for Flacco and the rest of the offense’s poor performance.  The Ravens have always been a run first offense.  Even with the additions of Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the Ravens cannot forget who they are and what got them to the playoffs the past two years, and the AFC Championship two years ago, and that is running the ball very well and great defense.  The defense played great yesterday, but the offense played out of sync and with a new identity.  Cameron called for Flacco to throw 39 times yesterday, and that includes having the lead and being down by less than a touchdown the whole game.  Ray Rice, the Pro Bowl running back, only carried the ball 16 times, but ran for 87 yards, which includes a long of 30, and an average of 5.4 yards per carry.  Clearly Rice was finding holes in the Bengals defense to run through, but didn’t get enough chances to do so.  Running the ball more would have taken pressure off of Flacco, likely limited the number of turnovers, and would have made the offense less predictable.  I’m not saying running the ball more would have resulted in a definite win for Baltimore, but it would have made the odds much more favorable.  You cannot turn the ball over 4 times and expect to win, and it is rare for any team to throw that much and find success period.

Baltimore’s offense needs to get back to the basics, and that will start Sunday in their home opener against the Cleveland Browns.  Expect a much better performance from the Ravens offense, and watch to see if the defense finally surrenders its first touchdown of the year.


The Willis Show

McGahee Scored 3 TDs, Including a 77 Yrd Run

By Jesse Jones

The Baltimore Ravens traveled to Oakland to face the Raiders this weekend.  The Raiders had proven that they can beat good teams, such as Philly, Denver, and Pittsburgh.  The team had to win this game to reach the playoffs, and they did.

The scoring began in the first quarter when Willis McGahee punched it in from just a few yards out.  After that touchdown, it was Willis the rest of the day.  In the second quarter, the Ravens’ offense was pinned around the 5 yard line, before a big completion to Todd Heap on the first play of the drive, followed by a 77 yard McGahee touchdown run the following play.  McGahee broke tackles and stiff-armed Hiram Eugene, forcing him to stumble and fall.  In the final quarter of the game, up 14-13, McGahee scored another 2 yard touchdown.  A 21-13 lead would be enough for the Ravens.

The offensive line played very well for the run game, but for the pass game it was a different story.  Joe Flacco was under pressure most of the game, only completing 11 of 19 passes for only 102 yards.

The pass defense was somewhat shaky, but Dannell Ellerbe intercepted JaMarcus Russel and recovered a fumble in the second half to help secure a win for the Ravens.

Because the Texans beat the Patriots, it’s a lock that the Ravens will travel to New England to face the Patriots next weekend.  The date and the time of the game are still up in the air.

The Patriots lost Wes Welker today and there’s a good chance it’s for the rest of the season.  This helps the Ravens who have a banged up secondary, although Ed Reed returned today.  Tom Brady is also playing with three ribs, for what it’s worth.

This is the second consecutive year the Ravens will play in the postseason.  Last year they were 11-5 in the sixth seed, and this year they are 9-7.  What a difference a year makes in the AFC.


Ravens Send 5 Bowling

pro bowl 2010By Jesse Jones

The Baltimore Ravens are sending five players to the Pro Bowl in Miami this year.  Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are going again, and Le’Ron McClain is joining them for his second consecutive trip.  Going with them are two first-timers, Ray Rice and Haloti Ngata.

Ray Rice has established himself as one of the best all-around backs in the league, and has made fantasy owners (such as Ben Linton) very happy.  Le’Ron McClain has a lot of heart, and even though he hasn’t carried as much this year, he brings it all when he goes for blocks.  Ray Lewis is once again leading the team in tackles, and is now just two interceptions away from joining the 30/30 club (30 sacks, 30 interceptions).  His leadership and heart are unquestioned.   Ed Reed is starting as well for the AFC, which I thought was a little strange.  He hasn’t played for about a month now, and his interception totals weren’t where they were last year.  But with that being said, he is still a huge threat to any quarterback.

Haloti Ngata is making his first trip, and rightfully so.  Ngata has been a presence on the defensive line since joining the team, and is also one of the most athletic linemen in the league.  He sprints across the field to make tackles, returned an interception for a touchdown in the preseason, and is so large (340 pounds) that he fills most “holes” backs are looking for.

However, I do feel that there is one problem with the Pro Bowl roster for the AFC.  I do not like the Cincinnati Bengals at all, but the fact that nobody is going from their team to represent is wrong!!  Jonathan Joseph has had a great year, and is definitely one of the best corners in the game.  He can shut down anybody in the league and has the hands to make interceptions.  Voters, what were you thinking??

Now for those players who did not make the Pro Bowl, there is still hope.  The players from the two Super Bowl teams will not be allowed to play because the game is the weekend before the Super Bowl (another awful idea from the “commish”).  So NFL players, don’t put your head down just yet.


Detroit Gets Ran Over

Ray Rice Ran All Over The Lions

By Jesse Jones

In a must-win game for the Baltimore Ravens against the miserable Lions, the Ravens did what they were expected to do; win.  However, I’m not sure how many people thought they’d win 48-3, including myself.

The running game was in full effect, as Ray Rice rushed for 166 yards and a touchdown (over 200 total yards in the first half), Willis McGahee rushed for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Le’Ron McClain rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown.  Troy Smith, yes Troy Smith, scored a rushing touchdown as well in the fourth quarter.

Joe Flacco only threw 20 times, and completed 13 of those, including a touchdown to Derrick Mason, who did an excellent job of shedding off two tackles and running for a 62 yard score.

It’s clear to see what works the best for the Baltimore Ravens.  Run the ball.  Yes Flacco can pass, but he has an ankle injury which affects how he moves in the pocket and can affect his velocity/accuracy on the ball.  Ray Rice is emerging as one of the best backs/all-around offensive players in the league, and taking time off the clock helps rest the defense.  It worked last year, it has worked this year too.

The Ravens now sit at 7-6, 7th place in the East as the Jaguars still have the tie-breaker.  However, the Jaguars still have to play the Colts and Patriots, while Baltimore has to play the Bears, Steelers, and Raiders.  The AFC Wild Card race will definitely come down to the last week of the season.


Record Setting Day

Opening Day 2009

Opening Day 2009

By Jesse Jones

On a day where the Ravens only beat the woeful Chiefs, who were without starting QB Matt Cassel, by 14 (38-24), there were still a lot of overlooked positives:

  1. The offense put up 501 yards, the most in franchise history.  Joe Flacco put up a career highs in yards (307) and touchdowns (3).
  2. Todd Heap was back to the pro-bowl form Ravens fans are used to (5 catches for 74 yards and a TD).
  3. McGahee scored 2 touchdowns and displayed toughness that he was lacking last season.
  4. Mark Clayton showed more signs of explosiveness.  He hasn’t been consistent throughout his career, but there have been times where has has looked exceptional, such as last year at the Bengals, and today when he burnt a conerback for a 31 yard touchdown reception and over 70 total yards.
  5. The offensive line gave Flacco all the time in the world, and allowed the three-headed monster to rush for around 200 yards.
  6. The defense gave up only 188 yards.  You can’t really blame them for all 24 points, because one of the TD’s was off of a punt block, and another TD was a result of a Flacco INT, where the D took over at their own 5.

But at the end of the day, the team needs to step it up in order to go back to where they ended last year, and hopefully beyond.

The Ravens travel to San Diego next weekend.

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August 2020