Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 16 2009

Last Sunday, the Ravens defeated the Bears, 31-7. Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw a career high four touchdowns. Flacco looked better than I've ever seen him before. Bears QB Jay Cutler threw four interceptions, and added to his league-high in picks. The Bears turned the ball over six times during the game. The Ravens scored first, when Flacco threw to TE Todd Heap for a 7-yard touchdown. The Ravens scored again, a 14-yard Flacco to Heap pass, to take a 14-0 lead into the 2nd quarter. The Bears scored their only touchdown of the game in the second quarter, when WR Earl Bennett returned a punt 49 yards to the end zone. The rest of the scoring was in the third quarter. First, Flacco found WR Demetrius Williams, who made an amazing catch for the touchdown. Flacco's final touchdown pass was 18 yards to WR Derrick Mason, who dove into the end zone to make the score 28-7. The final score of the game was a 40-yard field goal buy Ravens K Billy Cundiff.
Player of the Game: Ravens QB Joe Flacco-21/29 for 234 yards, and 4 touchdowns.

Next week, the Ravens take on their bitter rival, the 7-7 Pittsburgh Steelers, in Pittsburgh. A Ravens win eliminates the Steelers from playoff contention. The last time these two teams met, the Ravens beat the Steelers in overtime, 20-17. Last week, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for a franchise record 503 yards. The Steelers will be without star S Troy Polamalu on Sunday. Without Polamalu, the Steelers are a different and much worse team. They haven't intercepted a pass since Polamalu went down in Week 10. But Ravens S Ed Reed will most likely be out also. Reed is a vital part of the Ravens defense, but I believe that the Ravens defense has learned to succeed without him. The Ravens pass rush has not been very dominating this year, but they might get some sacks against a horrible Steelers offensive line. In another great shootout between these two teams, I have the Ravens winning 27-17.
Suggestion: To beat the Steelers, the Ravens have to play like they have these past two weeks. The Steelers are a much better team than the Lions or Bears. But they still have to play well and with heart.

Key Matchups for Ravens at Steelers
Ravens RB Ray Rice vs. Steelers Defense Edge: Rice
Ravens Secondary vs. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Edge: Roethlisberger

Injury Report
T Jared Gaither-Foot-DBT
S Ed Reed-Groin-DBT
LB Tavares Gooden-Groin-DBT
DT Justin Bannan-Illness-QST
WR Mark Clayton-Knee-QST
LS Matt Katula-Forearm-QST
C Matt Birk-Neck-PRB
WR Justin Harper-Foot-PRB
TE Todd Heap-Chest-PRB
LB Jarret Johnson-Knee-PRB
DT Haloti Ngata-Ankle-PRB
TE L.J. Smith-Ankle-PRB
WR Kelley Washington-Ankle-PRB

G Chris Kemoeatu-Wrist-OUT
S Troy Polamalu-Knee-OUT
LB James Harrison-Biceps-QST
DE Brett Keisel-Neck-PRB
RB Rashard Mendenhall-Hip-PRB
RB Willie Parker-Knee-PRB
WR Mike Wallace-Knee-PRB
WR Hines Ward-Hamstring-PRB

AFC North Standings
Team W L
Bengals 9 5
Ravens 8 6
Steelers 7 7
Browns 3 11

AFC North Outlook: The Bengals clinch the division with a win over the Chiefs or a Ravens loss. The Ravens clinch a playoff berth with a win, a Jaguars loss to the Patriots, a Broncos loss to the Eagle, a loss by the Jets to the Colts and a Texans win over the Dolphins.
Well, that's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week!

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