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!


steev said...

Well this is what it comes down to, as it should. Straight up, straight down. Pure and cold as a winter Sunday afternoon. The good news, both loses were razor close and losing three in one season would be a probability oddity. Also, though unlike most Ravens fans I like Hines Ward, both his attitude and his skills, the Ravens have been able to limit his effectiveness and render him a non-factor. The bad news, the fear that Jamison Hensley may be correct in his assessment that "the Ravens are too banged-up for this heavyweight fight". Can heart overcome injury? Can the gods save us from Jason's poor sportsmanship? Start the game!

steev said...

And now, as if we weren't hurting enough, we lose Rex Ryan.