Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ravens Report-AFC Championship

Ravens Report
Last Saturday, the Ravens defeated the Tennessee Titans, 13-10, to advance to the AFC Championship Game. The Titans got on the board first when RB Chris Johnson ran for an 8-yard touchdown. But the Ravens quickly responded when QB Joe Flacco fired a 48-yard touchdown strike to WR Derrick Mason. The game went into halftime tied at 7. After a scoreless third quarter, Ravens K Matt Stover hit a 21-yard field goal to give the Ravens their first lead of the game, 10-7. But the Titans tied the game at 10 when K Rob Bironas hit a 27-yard field goal with 4:26 left in the game. Then, on the Ravens next drive, Matt Stover hit a 43-yard field goal with: 57 seconds left in the game to give the Ravens a 13-10 lead. When the Titans got the ball back, the Ravens forced an incomplete pass on fourth down to give the Ravens the win.
Other Game Notes: The Titans committed 12 penalties, accounting for 89 yards. The Ravens forced three turnovers, and didn’t turn the ball over once. The Titans had more total yards, first downs, and time of possession than the Ravens did. Titans RB Chris Johnson left the game for good after a second quarter injury.
Player of the Game: Ravens K Matt Stover-2 field goals, 1 extra point, the game-winning field goal.
Next Sunday, the Ravens face division rival Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh. The winner of this game earns a spot in the Super Bowl against the winner of the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals. Last week, the Steelers defeated the San Diego Chargers, 35-24. This is the third time that these teams meet this season, the Steelers won both regular season matchups, by a combined 7 points. Steelers LB James Harrison won the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award for his work this season. Over the past 10 years, these defenses are 1st and 2nd in cumulative total defense. Ravens QB Joe Flacco has not been sacked or intercepted yet this postseason. Flacco is also the first rookie QB to win 2 playoff games. The matchup between these two teams is arguably the biggest and most anticipated game ever played between the Ravens and Steelers. In a hard-hitting and physical game, I have the Steelers winning, 17-14.
Suggestion: The Ravens have not executed very well in the red zone this year. In this game, the Ravens will need to get in the end zone when in the red zone, and not settle for just a field goal.
Key Matchups for Ravens at Steelers
Ravens C Jason Brown vs. Steelers DT Casey Hampton Edge: Hampton
Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Steelers CB Ike Taylor Edge: Mason
Ravens QB Joe Flacco vs. Steelers LB James Harrison Edge: Harrison
Ravens RE Trevor Pryce vs. Steelers RT Willie Colon Edge: Pryce
Ravens CB Fabian Washington vs. Steelers WR Hines Ward Edge: Ward
Ravens S Ed Reed vs. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Edge: Reed
Injury Report
Player Injury Status
LB Antwan Barnes Chest OUT
CB Samari Rolle Thigh DBT
DT Justin Bannan Foot QST
WR Mark Clayton Thigh QST
TE Todd Heap Back QST
LB Jarret Johnson Calf QST
WR Derrick Mason Knee QST
FB Le’Ron McClain Ankle QST
LB Terrell Suggs Shoulder QST
LB Ray Lewis Shoulder PRB
FB Lorenzo Neal Shoulder PRB
S Ed Reed Knee PRB
Player Injury Status
C Justin Hartwig Knee PRB
S Troy Palamalu Calf PRB
Well, that’s it for this week’s version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week, let’s go kick the Steelers’s butts!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ravens Report-Divisonal Playoffs

Ravens Report
Last week, the Ravens defeated the Miami Dolphins, 27-9. This is the first playoff win for the Ravens since 2002. The Dolphins got on the board first, when K Dan Carpenter hit a 19-yard field goal. Then, Ravens K Matt Stover tied the game at 3 on a 23-yard field goal. Then the Ravens took the lead for good when S Ed Reed intercepted Dolphins QB Chad Pennington and ran 64 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. The Ravens had a 13-3 lead at halftime after a 31-yard field goal from Stover. Next, Ravens RB Le’Ron McClain ran for an 8-yard touchdown to make the score 20-3. Then, the Dolphins got back on the board on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Pennington to RB Ronnie Brown (the extra point was blocked). To put the ice on the cake, Ravens QB Joe Flacco ran for a five yard touchdown.
Other Game Notes: Ravens S Ed Reed had two interceptions, making his total 11 on the season. The Ravens forced 5 turnovers, which turned into 14 points, while only turning the ball over once.
Player of the Game: Ravens S Ed Reed- 1 tackle, two interceptions, 1 interception for a touchdown
Next Saturday, the Ravens will face the 13-3 Tennessee Titans in Tennessee. The Titans beat the Ravens, 13-10, in Baltimore, back in Week 5. The Titans are the top seed in the AFC. This is a matchup of two of the best defenses in the NFL. The Titans defense ranks 2nd in the NFL in points per game, and the Ravens are 2nd in the NFL in yards per game. Titans QB Kerry Collins was the quarterback for the New York Giants when the Ravens beat the Giants in the Super Bowl, so expect Collins to want some revenge. The Titans will be playing without Pro Bowl C Kevin Mawae, which is big for the Ravens defense. History could be on the Ravens side. Back in the Ravens Super Bowl year, the 6th seeded Ravens beat the 1st seeded Titans, in Tennessee. In a great defensive battle, I have the Titans winning, 23-17.
Suggestion: The Ravens defense needs to stop the Titans rushing attack. Rookie Chris Johnson and LenDale White combine for 137.4 rushing yards a game. If the Ravens defense can’t stop White and Johnson, it will be a long day for the Ravens.
Key Matchups for Ravens at Titans
Ravens C Jason Brown vs. Titans DT Albert Haynesworth Edge: Haynesworth
Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Titans CB Cortland Finnegan Edge: Mason
Ravens RB Le’Ron McClain vs. Titans LB Keith Bullock Edge: Bullock
Ravens LB Terrell Suggs vs. Titans TE Bo Scaife Edge: Suggs
Ravens CB Samari Rolle vs. Titans WR Justin Gage Edge: Gage
Ravens DT Trevor Pryce vs. Titans RG Jake Scott Edge: Pryce
Injury Report
Player Injury Status
LB Antwan Barnes Chest OUT
DT Justin Bannan Foot QST
TE Todd Heap Back QST
LB Jarret Johnson Calf QST
WR Derrick Mason Shoulder QST
S Ed Reed Knee/Illness QST
CB Samari Rolle Thigh QST
K Matt Stover Right Ankle QST
CB Fabian Washington Neck QST
Player Injury Status
DE David Ball Back OUT
C Kevin Mawae Elbow OUT
S Tuff Harris Calf QST
CB Nick Harper Groin PRB
DT Albert Haynesworth Knee PRB
TE Bo Scaife Illness PRB
LB David Thornton Hip PRB
DE Kyle Vanden Bosh Groin PRB
Well, that’s it for this week’s version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week, let’s go kick the Titans’s butts!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ravens Report-Wild Card Playoffs

Ravens Report
Last Sunday, the Ravens defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-7. With this victory, the Ravens clinch a spot in the playoffs. The Ravens took an early 3-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal by K Matt Stover. Then, the Jaguars took a 7-3 lead on a 23-yard touchdown pass from QB David Garrard to RB Alvin Pearman. Then, the Ravens took a 10-7 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run by RB Le’Ron McClain. Next, the Ravens took a 17-7 lead on a 13-yard touchdown run by RB Willis McGahee. After that, Le’Ron McClain gave the Ravens a 24-7 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run. Matt Stover made it 27-7 on a 41-yard field goal.
Other Game Notes: Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw for a career high 297 yards. Ed Reed intercepted two passes, he had 9 interceptions on the season, leading the NFL.
Player of the Game: Ravens LB Ray Lewis- 5 tackles, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries.
Next Sunday, the Ravens face the 11-5 Miami Dolphins in Miami. The Ravens beat the Dolphins, 27-13, in Miami back in Week 7. The Ravens last postseason win was back in 2002, against the Dolphins. Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have to watch out for Dolphins LB Joey Porter, who was 2nd in the NFL in sacks during the regular season. In a very tough and physical game, I have the Ravens advancing to the AFC Divisional Playoffs with a 34-17 victory over the Dolphins.
Suggestion: The Ravens offensive line must stop the Dolphins blitz lead by LB Joey Porter. Porter, the former Pittsburgh Steeler, lead the AFC in sacks with 18. If Porter can get to Joe Flacco, it could be a long day for the Ravens.
Key Matchups for Ravens at Dolphins

Ravens FB Lorenzo Neal vs. Dolphins LB Joey Porter Edge: Porter

Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Dolphins CB Will Allen Edge: Mason

Ravens RT Willie Anderson vs. Dolphins RE Vonnie Holliday Edge: Holliday

Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown Edge: Brown
Ravens LE Justin Bannan vs. Dolphins LT Jake Long Edge: Bannan
Ravens S Ed Reed vs. Dolphins WR Ted Ginn, Jr. Edge: Reed
Injury Report
Player Injury Status
DT Justin Bannan Foot QST
LB Antwan Barnes Shoulder QST
G Chris Chester Back QST
WR Mark Clayton Knee QST
TE Todd Heap Back QST
LB Jarret Johnson Calf QST
WR Derrick Mason Shoulder QST
S Ed Reed Thigh QST
RB Ray Rice Lower Leg QST
CB Samari Rolle Ankle/Foot QST
CB Fabian Washington Toe QST
S Tom Zbikowski Thigh PRB


Player Injury Status

TE David Martin Head/Neck QST

DE Randy Starks Ankle QST

AFC Playoff Bracket

#6 Ravens #1 Titans

#3 Dolphins

#5 Colts #2 Steelers

#4 Chargers

AFC Playoff Situations: The Titans and Steelers have a first round bye. After the first
round, the lowest remaining seed plays the Titans, and the other winning team faces the