Friday, November 27, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 12 2009

Last week, the Ravens lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 17-15. This was a game that the Ravens could have won and should have won. This was a pivotal loss because both the Steelers and Bengals lost, and it was a good opportunity for the Ravens to gain some ground in the division. The Colts scored on their first drive, when QB Peyton Manning threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to TE Dallas Clark. Then, new Ravens K Billy Cundiff hit a 46-yard field goal. To end the quarter, Cundiff hit again, this time from 44 yards. Cundiff came out again, and gave the Ravens a 9-7 lead on a 38-yard field goal. But the Colts quickly responded, when RB Joseph Addai ran for a 5-yard touchdown. Then Cundiff made a 36-yard field goal, to make it 14-12 at halftime. When he came out again, this time from 30 yards, he missed wide to the right, on a chance for the Ravens to take the lead. Cundiff gave the Ravens the lead later, though, on a 20-yarder. But then out came former Ravens K Matt Stover. Stover hit from 25 yards, to give the Colts the lead back. When the Ravens drove down the field next, they were getting closer to the score and the win. But then, Flacco was picked off by Colts LB Gary Brackett. The Colts were unable to score, and punted the ball away to Ed Reed with less than a minute left on the clock. During Reed's return, he tried to pitch the ball, but he fumbled, and the Colts recovered to win the game.
Other Game Notes: This was not Cundiff's fault. The Ravens had plenty of chances to win. For instance, in the fourth quarter, the Ravens had a first a goal at the one. But they couldn't get in the end zone, and had to settle for a field goal. During the game, Ravens CB Fabian Washington got hurt, and will miss the rest of the season.

Next Sunday, the Ravens face their arch enemy, the 6-4 Pittsburgh Steelers. This game is in Baltimore, and will be shown on national television, on NBC's Sunday Night Football. For the Ravens, this game is a must-win. A loss could be the end of the team's playoff hopes. The Steelers are without a doubt the Ravens' biggest and most fierce rival. Last year, the Steelers ended the Ravens season by beating them in the AFC Championship. The Ravens do have a little bit of an advantage, because the Steelers key defensive player, S Troy Polamalu, won't play. The Steelers are 2-4 without Polamalu this season, and 4-1 with him. Their two wins without him were very close games. But they Ravens are shorthanded on defense too, as LB Terrell Suggs will be out for at least a month. The Ravens struggling secondary will have to be superb on Sunday, as they will face Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who is 4th in the NFL in passing. Roethlisberger is expected to play Sunday despite a concussion last week. But still, he won't be completely on his game. If he gets hurt during the game, the Steelers will have to play third-string QB Dennis Dixon, because their backup, Charlie Batch, is also hurt. The Steelers strong run defense will be tested this week when they face Ray Rice and Willis McGahee. In a tough and physical game, and another desperation game for the Ravens, I have the Ravens winning, 26-24.
Suggestion: Again, the Ravens secondary could be vital to the outcome of this game. As I mentioned earlier, Fabian Washington is out for the year. In his absence, the Ravens signed CB Cary Williams. If the Ravens secondary can stop a powerful Steelers pass offense, they can definitely win this game.

Key Matchups for Ravens vs. Steelers
Ravens C Matt Birk vs. Steelers NT Casey Hampton Edge: Hampton
Ravens RB Ray Rice vs. Steelers LB James Farrior Edge: Rice
Ravens CB Dominique Foxworth vs. Steelers WR Santonio Holmes Edge: Holmes
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall Edge: Lewis

Injury Report
LB Terrell Suggs-Knee-DBT
LB Ray Lewis-Foot-QST
S Ed Reed-Foot/Illness-QST
C Matt Birk-Neck-PRB
TE Todd Heap-Chest-PRB
LB Jarret Johnson-Shoulder-PRB
DT Haloti Ngata-Ankle-PRB
TE L.J. Smith-Illness-PRB
QB Charlie Batch-Wrist-OUT
G Chris Komeatu-Knee-OUT
S Troy Polamalu-Knee-OUT
DE Travis Kirschke-Calf-QST
QB Ben Roethlisberger-Head-QST
RB Willie Parker-Hip-PRB

AFC North Standings
Team W L
Bengals 7 3
Steelers 6 4
Ravens 5 5
Browns 1 9
AFC North Outlook: We might as well let the Bengals run away with the division and hope for a Wild Card spot. If the Ravens win Sunday, there hopes of a Wild Card spot go up.
Correction: Ben Roethlisberger is OUT for Sunday's game.

That's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 11 2009

Last week, the Ravens beat the Browns on Monday Night Football, 16-0. On the opening kickoff, Ravens S Haruki Nakamura broke his ankle. Later in the week, he was placed on Injured Reserve, ending his season. Also in the game, Ravens LB Terrell Suggs was hurt on a low block by Browns QB Brady Quinn. Quinn was later fined for the play. In the first quarter, the Ravens put together a solid drive, and it lead to a 36-yard field goal from K Steve Hauschka. But Hauschka missed, his fourth miss of the year. After a scoreless first half, the Ravens finally got on the board, when RB Ray Rice found the end zone for a 13-yard run. On the Browns next drive, Brady Quinn was intercepted by Dawan Landry, and Landry took it 48 yards to the end zone. But, Hauschka's extra point was blocked, to make it 13-0. The final points of the game were on a 44-yard Hauschka field goal.
Player of the Game: Ravens RB Ray Rice-89 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown

Next Sunday, the Ravens will host the 9-0 Indianapolis Colts. This game is the long-awaited return of Former Ravens K Matt Stover. Stover signed with the Colts after their K Adam Vinatieri, went down with an injury. These two teams met last year in Indy, and the Colts trampled the Ravens, 31-3. The Colts are one of two undefeated teams in the NFL, along with the Saints. Their offense, lead by QB Peyton Manning, is considered one of the best ever. Manning is great at using all of his receivers, expect him to do that a lot against the struggling Ravens secondary. If the Colts can take advantage of the Ravens secondary, they could have an easy win. This will be an extremely tough game for the Ravens, and they will need to be on their game if they want to win. Ravens Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron will have to pull some tricks out of the book to confuse the Colts defense. In a tough game for the Ravens, I have the Colts winning 34-21.
Suggestion: The Ravens cannot fool around at all on Sunday. They will need to play as hard as possible to win this game. The Colts are a very tough team on all fours, and the Ravens need to find a way to stop them.

Key Matchups for Ravens vs. Colts
Ravens RT Michael Oher vs. Colts DE Dwight Freeney Edge: Freeney
Ravens RB Ray Rice vs. Colts LB Gary Brackett Edge: Rice
Ravens CB Dominique Foxworth vs. Colts WR Reggie Wayne Edge: Wayne
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Colts RB Joseph Addai Edge: Lewis

Injury Report
RB Matt Lawrence-Knee-OUT
LB Terrell Suggs-Knee-OUT
TE Todd Heap-Chest-QST
DT Haloti Ngata-Ankle-QST
C Matt Birk-Neck-PRB
QB Joe Flacco-Knee-PRB
LB Tavares Gooden-Head-PRB
LB Jarret Johnson-Shoulder-PRB

OT Dan Fedrkeil-Concussion-OUT
DB Aaron Francisco-Ankle-OUT
WR Anthony Gonzalez-Knee-OUT
DB Kelvin Hayden-Knee-OUT
K Adam Vinatieri-Knee-OUT
DB Antoine Bethea-Foot-QST
DT Eric Foster-Back-QST
DE Dwight Freeney-Hip-QST
WR Pierre Garcon-Ankle-QST
TE Gijon Robinson-Concussion-QST
QB Jim Sorgi-Shoulder-QST
WR Hank Baskett-Illness-PRB
LS Justin Snow-Elbow-PRB

AFC North Standings

Team W L
Bengals 7 2
Steelers 6 3
Ravens 5 4
Browns 1 8

AFC North Outlook: The Steelers face the Chiefs in Kansas City, and the Bengals play the Raiders in Oakland. The Ravens could fall to three games back if they lose and the Bengals and Steelers win.

Ravens Notes: Last Tuesday, the Ravens released K Steven Hauschka, after missing four field goals. Then, on Wednesday, they signed veteran K Billy Cundiff, who will kick Sunday against the Colts. Cundiff has played for the Cowboys, Packers, Browns, Lions, and many more teams.

That's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 10 2009

Last Sunday, the Ravens lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 17-7, and fell to 4-4. The Ravens played poorly on all fours, and did not deserve to win the game. The Bengals got on the board quickly, when QB Carson Palmer found WR Andre Caldwell in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown. On the Bengals next drive, they scored again, this time a 1-yard run by RB Cedric Benson. The Bengals took a 17-0 lead at halftime after a 23-yard Shayne Graham field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Ravens scored on a 2-yard touchdown run by Ray Rice. Then, the Ravens had a chance to make it a one possession game when Steven Hauschka missed 38-yard field goal, which, in a way, gave the Bengals the win. This win gives the Bengals the season sweep of the Ravens.
Player of the Game: Bengals RB Cedric Benson-117 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown

Next week, the Ravens play on Monday Night Football in Cleveland, against the 1-7 Browns. In Week 3, the Ravens beat the Browns at home, 34-3. In that game, the Browns starting QB Brady Quinn was replaced by Derek Anderson, but Quinn will start again Monday night. Browns RB Jamal Lewis is facing his former team for the last time in his career, as he announced his retirement a few weeks ago, effective at the end of the season. Ravens S Ed Reed loves playing the Browns, he has 8 interceptions against them in his career. Struggling Ravens QB Joe Flacco needs to get his game back, and it should be easy this week, because the Browns defense is ranked last in the NFL. Ravens RB Ray Rice is having a break-out season. He is averaging 126 yards per game, and is second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage. The struggling Ravens defense should get back on track Monday, the Browns offense is ranked 31st in the NFL. I have the Ravens winning, 31-10.
Suggestion: The Ravens, as a whole, need to step it up. Last year, it looked more like they were playing relaxed and having fun, but this year, the play-calling has been more conservative, and the plays have not been working that well. This team needs to play like the did last year if they want to return to the playoffs.

Key Matchups for Ravens at Browns
Ravens C Matt Birk vs. Browns DT Shaun Rogers Edge: Rogers
Ravens CB Dominique Foxworth vs. Browns WR Josh Cribbs Edge: Foxworth

Injury Report
RB Matt Lawrence-Knee-QST
DT Haloti Ngata-Ankle-QST
CB Lardarius Webb-Illness-QST
CB Chris Carr-Illness-PRB
LB Dannell Ellerbe-Illness-PRB
T Jared Gaither-Neck-PRB
TE Todd Heap-Ankle-PRB
LB Jarret Johnson-Shoulder-PRB
LB Ray Lewis-Foot-PRB
S Haruki Nakamura-Chest-PRB
S Ed Reed-Wrist-PRB
CB Fabian Washington-Thigh-PRB
WR Kelley Washington-Back-PRB

TE Michael Gaines-Hamstring-QST
OL Rex Hadnot-Knee-QST
TE Steve Heiden-Knee-QST
RB Jamal Lewis-Ankle-QST
WR Chansi Stuckey-Calf-QST
FB Lawrence Vickers-Hamstring-QST
P Dave Zastudil-Knee-QST
LB David Bowens-Knee-PRB
OL Hank Fraley-Knee-PRB
DL Coye Francies-Knee-PRB
OL Alex Mack-Wrist-PRB
TE Robert Royal-Finger-PRB

AFC North Standings
Team W L
Bengals 7 2
Steelers 6 3
Ravens 4 4
Browns 1 7

AFC North Outlook: The Bengals beat the Steelers Sunday, and took first place alone. This is a good thing for the Ravens because it means the Ravens can get closer to second place. The Ravens will not play the Bengals the rest of the year, but they play the Steelers twice.

During the Ravens games, you can check out my new blog,, in which you can listen to my thoughts as the game goes on. Updates are made after every quarter.

That's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report, see you next week!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 9 2009

Last week, the Ravens beat the previously undefeated Denver Broncos, 30-7, and improved to 4-3. The Ravens got on the board first, with K Steve Hauschka hitting a 43-yard field goal. Then, Hauschka made it 6-0 at halftime, with a 35-yard field goal. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Ravens rookie KR Lardarius Webb returned it 95 yards for a touchdown. But Denver answered, with a 1-yard touchdown run by RB Knowshon Moreno. Next, Hauschka hit again, this time from 31 yards. The Ravens lead 16-7 heading into the fourth quarter. The Ravens got back on the board, with QB Joe Flacco finding WR Derrick Mason for a 20-yard touchdown. And, to put the seal on the deal, Ravens RB Ray Rice found the end zone for a 7-yard TD run. The Ravens defense stepped up to the plate, shutting down a tough Broncos offense, to get the win.
Player of the Game: Ravens RB Ray Rice-84 rushing yards, 24 receiving yards, 1 rushing touchdown

Next Sunday, the Ravens travel to Cinncinati to face the 5-2 Bengals. Back in Week 5, the Bengals beat the Ravens in Baltimore, 17-14, on a late touchdown. In that game, the Ravens defense had trouble stopping the Bengals offense, equipped with QB Carson Palmer, RB Cedric Benson, and WRs Chad Ochocinco and Chris Henry. The Bengals have been nicknamed "the Cardiac Cats," this year, because they keep winning close games. This is a huge game for the Ravens, as a loss means they are two games back in the division. I have the Ravens winning this week, 34-28.
Suggestion: The Ravens must resemble last week's performance against Denver, meaning the defense must step up once again. If they can do that, they can win the game.

Key Matchups for Ravens at Bengals
Ravens QB Joe Flacco vs. Bengals FS Chris Crocker Edge: Flacco
Ravens LT Jared Gaither vs. Bengals DE Robert Geathers Edge: Geathers
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Bengals QB Carson Palmer Edge: Lewis
Ravens CB Dominique Foxworth vs. Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco Edge: Ochocinco

Injury Report
S Haruki Nakamura-Chest-QST
DT Haloti Ngata-Ankle-QST
S Tom Zbikowski-Illness-QST
LB Prescott Burgess-Illness-PRB
TE Todd Heap-Ankle-PRB
LB Jarret Johnson-Shoulder-PRB
LS Matt Katula-Elbow-PRB
FB Le'Ron McClain-Shoulder-PRB
CB Frank Walker-Illness-PRB

OT Andre Smith-Foot-QST
S Roy Williams-Forearm-QST
FB Jeremi Johnson-Knee-PRB
DT Tank Johnson-Foot-PRB
S Tom Nelson-Shoulder-PRB
RB Bernard Scott-Knee-PRB

AFC North Standings
Team W L
Bengals 5 2
Steelers 5 2
Ravens 4 3
Browns 1 7

AFC North Outlook: With a Ravens win, they automatically are in first place, but not alone. If the Ravens win, the are tied with the Bengals. If the Steelers beat the Broncos on Monday Night Football and the Ravens win, they are alone in first place. If the Bengals and Steelers win, they are tied for the division lead. If the Ravens win and the Steelers lose, all three are tied. If the Ravens and Steelers lose, the Bengals are alone in first place.

That's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week!