Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 8 2009

Two weeks ago in Minnesota, the Ravens lost to the Minnesota Vikings, 33-31, and fell to 3-3. The Vikings started off hot, when QB Brett Favre found TE Visanthe Shiancoe for a 19-yard touchdown. Next, Favre found WR Bernard Berrian for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 14-0. In the only score of the 2nd quarter, Ravens K Steve Hauschka hit a 29-yard field goal, making the score 14-3 at the end of the first half. Then, Vikings K Ryan Longwell hit a 40-yard field goal. The Ravens then made it a one possession game on a 22-yard touchdown run by RB Ray Rice. But then the Vikings made it 20-10 on a 22-yard chip shot by Longwell. The Vikings then made it a three possession game when Favre found Shiancoe again, this time from one yard. But the Ravens then mounted a huge 4th quarter comeback. First, QB Joe Flacco found WR Mark Clayton for a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Vikings responded with a 29-yard field goal by Longwell. Then the Ravens proved that the game wasn't over, when Flacco found WR Derrick Mason for a 12-yard touchdown. Then the Ravens took the lead, when Ray Rice ran for a 33-yard touchdown. Now there was only 3 and a half minutes left in the game. But the Vikings drove down the field, and took a 33-31 lead. The Ravens marched down the field quickly, and had a chance to win the game, with Steve Hauschka attempting a 43-yard field goal. But Hauschka's kick went wide left, and the Vikings survived a collapse.
Player of the Game: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson-143 rushing yards
The Ravens then had their bye week.
This Sunday, the Ravens face off against the 6-0 Denver Broncos at home. Both teams are coming off a bye week. The Ravens losing this game could be detrimental to their season, because they are already one and a half games behind the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers in the division. A loss could be threatening to them making the playoffs. The Ravens defense must stop the Broncos strong offense. Broncos QB Kyle Orton has one of the best targets in the NFL, WR Brandon Marshall. The Ravens struggling secondary needs to be able to shut down Marshall if they want to win this game. Another one of Orton's targets is former Ravens WR Brandon Stokley. Ravens CB Dominique Foxworth faces his former team. The Ravens defense also needs to put more pressure on Orton, making him make passes quickly. The Broncos defense is tops in the AFC, lead by LB Elvis Dumervil and veteran S Brian Dawkins. The Broncos defense has given up an astounding 10 points combined this year in the second half. In a desperation game, I have the Ravens winning, 31-20.

Suggestion: I cannot stress this enough. The Ravens secondary has got to get it together. They are currently ranked 23rd in the NFL in pass defense. This week they face a very tough wide receiving core, and need to step it up if they want a win.

Key Matchups for Ravens vs. Broncos
Ravens RB Ray Rice vs. Broncos LB Elvis Dumervil Edge: Rice
Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Broncos CB Champ Bailey Edge: Bailey
Ravens DE Haloti Ngata vs. Broncos LT Ryan Clady Edge: Ngata
Ravens CB Dominique Foxworth vs. Broncos WR Brandon Marshall Edge: Marshall

Injury Report
T Jared Gaither-Neck-QST
QB Joe Flacco-Ankle-PRB
K Steve Hauschka-Ankle-PRB
LB Tavares Gooden-Head-PRB
LB Jarret Johnson-Shoulder-PRB
S Ed Reed-Illness-PRB
WR David Tyree-Hamstring-PRB

DL Ronald Fields-Hamstring-PRB
S Brian Dawkins-Hamstring-PRB
ILB/FB Spencer Larsen-Shoulder-PRB

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 6 2009

Last Sunday, the Ravens suffered an embarrassing 17-14 loss to the Bengals. This moves the Ravens to 3-2 on the season. This was truly a sad game to watch. The Ravens were playing without any heart, and this loss will definitely come back to hurt them later this year. After a scoreless first quarter, Ravens S Ed Reed picked off Bengals QB Carson Palmer and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. Before halftime, Bengals K Shayne Graham made a 32-yard field goal to make it 7-3. The Bengals then took the lead on a 28-yard touchdown run by RB Cedric Benson. But the Ravens responded, when QB Joe Flacco dumped off a pass to RB Ray Rice, who ran 48 yards for a touchdown. But in the last minute of the game, Carson Palmer found WR Andre Caldwell in the end zone for a game-clinching 20 yard touchdown pass. On the Bengals game-winning drive, the Ravens committed three stupid penalties, which moved the Bengals farther and farther down the field. These penalties ultimately cost the Ravens the game. Cedric Benson ran for 120 yards, the first time in 39 games that the Ravens defense allowed a 100-yard rusher. The Ravens rushed much more than they passed last week, and the rushing game didn't work. I think that the main reason for this was because they were missing T Jared Gaither, a great offensive lineman for pass rushing. Maybe the Ravens were scared that without Gaither, the Bengals defense would get to Joe Flacco easier.
Player of the Game: Bengals RB Cedric Benson-128 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 2 catches, 16 receiving yards.

Next week, the Ravens face a very tough team, the 5-0 Minnesota Vikings, in Minnesota. First-year Ravens C Matt Birk faces his former team. The Ravens have won two of the three meetings against the Vikings. Lead by veteran QB Brett Favre, the Vikings are off to a hot start. Favre is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, but this is the first time he has started a season 5-0. The Vikings also have one of the best RBs in the NFL, Adrian Peterson. The Ravens need to stop Peterson in order to win this game. The Vikings pass rush, lead by DE Jared Allen, leads the NFL with 18 sacks. That means that the Ravens offensive line will have to step it up. That will be tough, because they will probably be without Jared Gaither.
Unfortunately, I have the Ravens falling to 3-3, with a 28-20 loss.
Suggestion: The Ravens secondary has been absolutely horrible this year. CBs Fabian Washington and Dominique Foxworth have been unable to cover WRs. If they keep this up, the Ravens will not be able to beat tough opponents.
Key Matchups for Ravens at Vikings
Ravens C Matt Birk vs. Vikings NT Pat Williams Edge: Birk
Ravens RT Michael Oher vs. Vikings RE Jared Allen Edge: Allen
Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Vikings CB Antoine Winfield Edge: Mason
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Vikings QB Brett Favre Edge: Lewis
Ravens LB Terrell Suggs vs. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson Edge: Peterson
Ravens CB Dominique Foxworth vs. Vikings WR Bernard Berrian Edge: Berrian

Injury Report
T Jared Gaither-Neck-DBT
LB Jarret Johnson-Shoulder-PRB
TE Edgar Jones-Hamstring-PRB
DT Haloti Ngata-Back-PRB
WR David Tyree-Hamstring-PRB
WR Mark Clayton-Shoulder-PRB

WR Darius Reynald-Hamstring-DBT
WR Percy Harvin-Shoulder-QST
T Phil Loadholt-Ankle-QST
DE Rey Edwards-Hamstring-PRB
CB Cedric Griffin-Hand-PRB
G Steve Hutchinson-Back-PRB
FB Naufahu Tahi-Ankle-PRB

Ravens Info: This week, the Ravens signed WR David Tyree to a 2-year deal. Tyree is best known for an amazing catch in Super Bowl XLII that lead to a Giants win.

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

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 5 2009

Last week, the Ravens suffered their first loss of the season, 27-21, to the Patriots. After an early Pats field goal, Ravens QB Joe Flacco found WR Derrick Mason in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown. Then, in the second quarter, the Pats took a lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by QB Tom Brady. The Patriots were up 17-7 at halftime after a 12-yard touchdown by RB Sammy Morris. In the third quarter, the Ravens made it a one possession game when LB Terrell Suggs forced a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by DE Dwan Edwards. But the Pats got back on the board on a 14-yard pass from Brady to WR Randy Moss. Then Ravens made it 24-21 on a 13-yard pass from Flacco to RB Willis McGahee. After a Pats field goal, the Ravens had a chance to win the game on their final drive. On a 4th and 2 at the Patriots 15, Flacco threw to WR Mark Clayton, who dropped the ball, ending the game.
Player of the Game: Patriots QB Tom Brady-258 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 5 rushes, 11 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
Other Notes: Ravens LB Branden Ayanbadejo is out for the season after suffering an injury in this game.

Next Sunday, the Ravens welcome the 3-1 Cincinnati Bengals to Baltimore. These two teams are tied for the AFC North lead, which means the winner takes sole possession of first place in the division. After losing the first game of the year, the Bengals have won three consecutive games. Last season, the Ravens won both games against the Bengals. Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis was the Ravens defensive coordinator for their Super Bowl win. The Bengals were struck with tragedy this week, when the wife of their defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, unexpectedly died. Zimmer is still expected to coach on Sunday. Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco said earlier this week that he has already planned a touchdown celebration for Sunday. The dance is from the Will Ferrell movie, "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby". Bengals QB Carson Palmer has been extremely clutch this year for Cincinnati. But Palmer has a huge test this week, against one of the top defenses in the league, the Ravens. Palmer will have to take advantage of the Ravens struggling pass defense. The Ravens defense is the best in the NFL in stopping the run, but have a tough test this week against Cedric Benson, who is the NFL's fourth leading rusher. In a very tough game, I have the Ravens winning, 31-20.
Suggestion: The Ravens secondary really needs to step it up. Last week, Patriots WR Randy Moss was basically wide open in the end zone for his touchdown, as the CB defending him, Dominique Foxworth, was a few yards off of him. That can't happen this week against Bengals star WR, Chad Ochocinco.
Key Matchups for Ravens vs. Bengals
Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Bengals CB Leon Hall Edge: Mason
Ravens C Matt Birk vs. Bengals DT Robert Geathers Edge: Birk
Ravens CB Dominique Foxworth vs. Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco Edge: Ochocinco
Injury Report
T Jared Gaither-Neck-QST
CB Chris Carr-Groin-PRB
LB Tavares Gooden-Shoulder-PRB
LB Jarret Johnston-Shoulder-PRB
WR Derrick Mason-Neck-PRB
DT Haloti Ngata-Back-PRB
S Ed Reed-Knee-PRB
WR Demetrius Williams-Illness-PRB
LB Rashad Jeanty-Finger-OUT
OT Andre Smith-Foot-OUT
S Kyries Hebert-Hip-QST
DT Tank Johnson-Foot-QST
S Chinedum Nduukwe-Hamstring-QST
RB Cedric Benson-Hip-PRB
CB David Jones-Foot-PRB
LB Rey Maualuga-Knee-PRB
DT Domata Peko-Chest-PRB
S Roy Williams-Forearm-PRB
That's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report. See you next week!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ravens Report-Week 4 2009

Last week, the Ravens improved to 3-0 for the second time in team history with a 34-3 win over the Browns. Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw for a career-high 342 yards. The Ravens got on the board first when RB Willis McGahee found the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown. The Ravens took a 10-0 lead into the second quarter after a 36-yard field goal from K Steven Hauschka. After another field goal from Hauschka, McGahee scored again, this time from 15 yards, to give the Ravens a 20-0 lead at halftime. Then, the Browns benched starting QB Brady Quinn for former Ravens QB Derek Anderson. The only score of the third quarter was a 9-yard run by Ravens RB Ray Rice. Then, in the fourth quarter, the Browns got on the board with a 29-yard field goal from K Billy Cundiff. To end the game, Flacco found WR Derrick Mason for a 72-yard touchdown.
Player of the Game: Ravens WR Derrick Mason-5 receptions, 118 yards, 1 touchdown
Next Sunday, the Ravens head to Foxborough to face the 2-1 New England Patriots. The Ravens have never beaten the Pats. These two teams met in Baltimore on Monday Night Football two years ago, when the Patriots barely held on for a 27-24 win. In two games in New England, the Ravens have scored a combined six points. The Pats offense is lead by star QB Tom Brady. Brady missed last season with a knee injury, and is yet to return to form. At running back, the carries are split between Fred Taylor and Laurence Maroney. Patriots WR Wes Welker is 50/50 for Sunday's game, and hasn't played since Week 1. The Patriots defense is likely to be without two of their stars, DT Vince Wilfork, and LB Jerod Mayo. The Ravens have scored the most points in the AFC, and are second in the NFL with 34.3 points per game. The Ravens defense will try to resemble what the Jets did to the Patriots in Week 2, when they shut down the passing game. Jets head coach Rex Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens from 2005 to 2008. In a nail-biter, I have the Ravens winning, 31-27.
Suggestion: On Sunday, the Ravens need to blitz, blitz, blitz. They need to put pressure on Tom Brady, make him make a pass he doesn't want to make.
Key Matchups for Ravens at Patriots
Ravens RB Willis McGahee vs. Patriots LB Adalius Thomas Edge: McGahee
Ravens WR Mark Clayton vs. Patriots CB Shawn Springs Edge: Springs
Ravens RG Chris Chester vs. Patriots DT Vince Wilfork/Ty Warren Edge: Wilfork/Warren
Ravens NT Kelly Gregg vs. Patriots C Dan Koppen Edge: Gregg
Ravens CB Fabian Washington vs. Patriots WR Randy Moss Edge: Moss
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Patriots RB Fred Taylor Edge: Lewis
Injury Report
LB Taveres Gooden-Shoulder/Head-QST
WR Derrick Mason-Illness-QST
QB Troy Smith-Illness-QST
DT Justin Bannan-Knee-PRB
LB Antwan Barnes-Shoulder-PRB
TE Todd Heap-Back-PRB
LB Ray Lewis-Head-PRB
DE Trevor Pryce-Illness-PRB
WR Kelley Washington-Groin-PRB
LB Jerod Mayo-Knee-DBT
T Nick Kaczur-Ankle-QST
WR Wes Welker-Knee-QST
DT Vince Wilfork-Ankle-QST
QB Tom Brady-Shoulder-PRB
CB Leigh Bodden-Thigh-PRB
RB Laurence Maroney-Thigh-PRB
DT Mike Wright-Shoulder-PRB
That's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report. See ya next week.