Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 3 2009

Last Sunday, the Ravens beat the host Chargers, 31-26. The Chargers got on the board quickly, as QB Phillip Rivers completed a screen to RB Darren Sproles, who ran 81 yards for a touchdown. But the Ravens answered when RB Willis McGahee ran 5 yards for a touchdown. Then, Chargers K Nate Kaeding hit a 29-yard field goal to give the Chargers a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Next, McGahee found the end zone again, this time 3 yards, to give the Ravens their first lead of the game. Kaeding then hit another field goal, this time from 22 yards, making it a one point Ravens lead. The Ravens answered again, as QB Joe Flacco found wide open WR Kelley Washington for a 27-yard touchdown. Kaeding would hit another field goal at the end of the half to make the score 21-16 Ravens. In the third quarter, Flacco found TE Todd Heap for a 9 yard touchdown. Then, Phillip Rivers hit WR Vincent Jackson for a 35-yard touchdown, to get the Chargers back in the game. To make it a two-point game, Kaeding hit his fourth field goal of the game, this time from 25 yards, to make it 28-26 Ravens. On the Ravens next drive, K Steve Hauschka hit what was eventually the game-winning field goal, from 33 yards. The Chargers needed a touchdown to win it. On a huge fourth and two, deep in Ravens territory, Darren Sproles got the hand-off, but Ravens LB Ray Lewis read the play, and tackled him behind the line to seal a Ravens win. The Ravens key point to success in this game was the fact that they shut the Chargers down in the red zone, as you can see by Nate Kaeding's field goal's, all from 20-yard range.
Player of the Game: Ravens LB Ray Lewis-10 tackles, 1 forced fumble, game-winning tackle

Next week, the Ravens take on the 0-2 Cleveland Browns at home. The Ravens defense needs to take advantage of a weak Browns offense, lead by inexperienced QB Brady Quinn. The Browns defense is also not impressive, and the Ravens offense, which seems to be improving week by week, will have to go at them strong. Through the first two weeks of the season, the Ravens offense leads the AFC in both yards per game and points per game. The Browns defense has given up the most points than any other team in the AFC. The Browns secondary usually does a good job of preventing the long ball, which means that Joe Flacco will have to thrown short often. TE Todd Heap should be a good target on Sunday. Last week, the Ravens did not do a good job on special teams of stopping KR Darren Sproles. This week, they face an even tougher KR, Joshua Cribbs. The Browns could get their only touchdown next week on special teams. In an absolute route, I have the Ravens improving to 3-0, with a 41-16 win.
Suggestion: The Ravens secondary has not been very successful this year, and that has to change. They need to play tighter, and ultimately, better.

Key Matchups for Ravens vs. Browns
Ravens C Matt Birk vs. Browns DT Shaun Rogers Edge: Rogers
Ravens RB Willis McGahee vs. Browns LB D'Qwell Jackson Edge: McGahee
Ravens WR Mark Clayton vs. Browns CB Brandon McDonald Edge: Clayton
Ravens DT Haloti Ngata vs. Browns LT Joe Thomas Edge: Ngata
Ravens CB Dominuque Foxworth vs. Browns WR Joshua Cribbs Edge: Cribbs
Ravens LB Terrell Suggs vs. Browns QB Brady Quinn Edge: Suggs

Injury Report
LB Jarret Johnson-Shoulder-QST
S Ed Reed-Neck-QST
TE L.J. Smith-Hamstring-QST
DT Justin Bannan-Knee-PRB
OT Jared Gaither-Illness-PRB
S Tom Zbikowski-Concussion-PRB
CB Fabian Washington-Illness-PRB

RB Jamal Lewis-Hamstring-DBT
OL Floyd Womack-Ankle-DBT
LB David Bowens-Knee-QST
K Phil Dawson-Calf-QST
DT Shaun Rogers-Foot-QST
RB James Davis-Shoulder-PRB
WR Mohamed Massaquoi-Shoulder-PRB
RB Cedric Peerman-Thigh-PRB
DL Ahtyba Rubin-Toe-PRB
P Dave Zastudil-Knee-PRB
OL Alex Mack-Knee-PRB
That's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report, see you next week.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 2

Last Sunday, the Ravens defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-24, in the season opener. This was a career-best game for second-year Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Flacco threw for a career-high 307 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 43 attempts. RB Ray Rice ran for 107 yards, and RB Willis McGahee ran for 44 yards, a touchdown, and a receiving touchdown. The Ravens set a team-record with 501 total yards. The Ravens got on the board first with a 44-yard field goal by K Steve Hauschka. Later in the first quarter, the Ravens extended their lead to 10-0 on a three yard touchdown pass from Flacco to McGahee. But then the Chiefs brought the Ravens crowd to a silence when Chiefs LB Jon McGraw blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone to make it 10-7. That score remained at halftime. But in the third quarter, the Chiefs took the lead on a 2 yard touchdown pass from QB Brodie Croyle to WR Dwayne Bowe. The lead didn't last long, as on the Ravens next drive, Flacco found TE Todd Heap for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 17-14 to end the third quarter. In the fourth, the Chiefs tied the game at 17 on a 53-yard field goal by rookie K Ryan Succop. The Ravens then took another lead, on a 1-yard touchdown from FB Le'Ron McClain. Next, the Chiefs showed that they were not giving up yet, tying the game up again, this time on a 10 yard pass from Croyle to TE Sean Ryan. But the Ravens were determined to win, and on their next drive, Flacco found WR Mark Clayton for a 31-yard touchdown, giving the Ravens a 31-24 lead with just over three minutes left. On the Chiefs next drive, they fumbled the ball, giving the Ravens great field position late in the game. Willis McGahee later scored to seal a Ravens victory. The Ravens suprised everybody on Sunday with the amount of passing they did. Last season, the Ravens run percentage was the highest in the NFL. But Sunday, they passed 42 times.
Player of the Game: Ravens QB Joe Flacco-26/43, 307 yards, 3 touchdowns

Next week, the Ravens travel to San Diego to face the Chargers. The Ravens new aerial attack could be in full effect against a average Chargers secondary. The Chargers are very tough at home, as they are 20-4 there since 2006. In the last meeting between these two teams, the Chargers blew past the Ravens in San Diego, 32-14, back in 2006. This Sunday, the Chargers will be lead offensively by QB Phillip Rivers. Rivers is 22-5 at home in the NFL and in his college days at NC State. Last season, Rivers was the best QB in the NFL stat-wise. The Chargers star RB, LaDainian Tomlinson, is out for Sunday's game with an ankle injury in last week's win over the Raiders. Tomlinson's replacement will be the versatile Darren Sproles. Last week, the Chargers defense allowed 148 rushing yards, and the Ravens piled up 198 last week on the grund, so both the pass and rush game could beat the Chargers defense up pretty badly. Mainly because of this, I have the Ravens winning, 24-20.
Suggestion: As I said earlier, the Ravens passed many more times than people thought they would and that they did last season. At one point in the game last week, Flacco, probably from fatigue, just looked very off, and was overthrowing a lot. Even though passing a lot meant more yards and more points, I think Flacco needs to be more gradually placed in the role of throwing 40 passes a game.
Key Matchups for Ravens at Chargers
Ravens OT Michael Oher vs. Chargers DE Luis Castillo Edge: Castillo
Ravens TE Todd Heap vs. Chargers LB Shawne Merriman Edge: Merriman
Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Chargers CB Antonio Cromartie Edge: Mason
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Chargers RB Darren Sproles Edge: Lewis
Ravens CB Fabian Washington vs. Chargers WR Vincent Jackson Edge: Jackson
Ravens LB Terrell Suggs vs. Chargers TE Antonio Gates Edge: Suggs

Injury Report

S Tom Zbikowski-Concussion-DBT
TE L.J. Smith-Hamstring-QST
LB Tavares Gooden-Knee-PRB
LB Jarret Johnson-Shoulder-PRB
S Ed Reed-Concussion-PRB
LB Terrell Suggs-Concussion/Chest-PRB

C Nick Hardwick-Ankle-OUT
LB LaDainian Tomlinson-Ankle-OUT
DE Travis Johnson-Groin-OUT
LB Antwan Applewhite-Hamstring-QST
G Louis Vasquez-Knee-QST
DT Jamal Williams-Elbow-QST
T Marcus McNeill-Hand-PRB
P Mike Scifries-Groin-PRB

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

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 1 2009

Hello, and welcome to the 2009-2010 Baltimore Ravens football season, and to my yearly Ravens Report.
Key offseason additons: WR Kelley Washington, C Matt Birk, CB Domonique Foxworth

Key offseason departures: C Jason Brown, LB Bart Scott, CB Chris McAlister, S Jim Leonhard, K Matt Stover, Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan

Draft Picks:
Round 1: OT Michael Oher, Mississippi
Round 2: DE Paul Kruger, Utah
Round 3: CB Lardarius Webb, Nicholls State
Round 5: LB Jason Phillips, Texas Christian
Round 5: TE Davon Drew, East Carolina, cut during Training Camp
Round 6: RB Cedric Peerman, Virginia, cut during Training Camp
The Ravens finished up a perfect preseason last week with a win against the Atlanta Falcons. Some people take a perfect preseason as a means to a great year ahead. But that is not it at all. The Detroit Lions completed a perfect preseason last year, and went on to go 0-16. So don't take this perfect preseason as a blessing.

In Week 1, the Ravens are home at M@T Bank Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have both a new coach and a new quarterback. Their new head coach, Todd Haley, was the offensive coordinator last year for the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals. New quarterback Matt Cassel started last year for the Patriots after Tom Brady's season ending injury. But Cassel was injured during the preseason, and is a game-time decision for Sunday afternoon's game. If Cassel cannot play, the quarterback will either be Tyler Thigpen or Brodie Croyle. The Chiefs main playmaker on offense is WR Dwayne Bowe. Bowe is one of the most underrated wide recievers in the NFL. If Bowe had more talent surrounding him, he would no doubt be one of the best WRs in the league. The Chiefs are not expected to be successful at all this season, so the Ravens are favored to win. I have the Ravens winning, 31-13.
Suggestion: Despite losing key defensive personnel during the off-season, the Ravens defense is still one of the top in the NFL. The Ravens will need to show that on Sunday. If the Ravens cannot stop the Chiefs unorganized offense, it could be a long year.
Key Matchups for Ravens vs. Chiefs
Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Chiefs CB Brandon Carr Edge: Mason
Ravens RT Michael Oher vs. Chiefs RE Glenn Dorsey Edge: Dorsey
Ravens RB Willis McGahee vs. Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel Edge: McGahee
Ravens CB Fabian Washington vs. Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe Edge: Bowe
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Chiefs RB Larry Johnson Edge: Lewis
Ravens DE Trevor Pryce vs. Chiefs RG Mike Goff Edge: Pryce

Injury Report

TE L.J. Smith-Hamstring-DBT
LB Dannell Ellerbe-Knee-QST
LB Brandon Ayanbadejo-Foot-PRB
DE Haloti Ngata-Foot-PRB

QB Matt Cassel-Knee-QST
WR Terrance Copper-Hamstring-QST
CB Brandon Flowers-Shoulder-QST


Well that's it for this week's addition of my Ravens Report, see ya next week.