Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ravens Report-Divisional Playoff

Last week, the Ravens beat up on the New England Patriots, 33-14. This was the first time in Ravens history that they have beaten the Patriots. The Ravens offensive line was spectacular, opening holes for Ray Rice and Willis McGahee. The one downside to this game was the lack of production from Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Flacco completed just 4 passes for 34 yards and an interception. The Ravens scored on the first play from scrimmage, as RB Ray Rice ran 83 yards to the end zone for a touchdown. The score was 14-0 next, when Ravens FB Le'Ron McClain ran for a 1-yard touchdown. The Ravens kept piling it on in the first quarter, as Rice scored again, this time from one yard out. Ravens K Billy Cundiff made a 27-yard field goal to make the score 24-0 at the end of the first quarter. This was one of the Ravens best quarters in franchise history. The score was 24-7 at halftime after Pats QB Tom Brady found WR Julian Edelman for a 6-yard touchdown. Next, Cundiff hit a 23-yarder to make the score 27-7. Then Brady found Edelman from one yard to make it a two possession game at the end of the third quarter. The final score of the game was a 3-yard run by Ravens RB Willis McGahee (the two-point conversion failed). The Ravens defense was outstanding, forcing four turnovers and sacking Brady three times.
Player of the Game: Ravens RB Ray Rice-159 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns

Next Saturday night, the Ravens will head to Indianapolis to face the top-seeded Colts. The Colts have not won a game in almost a month. When these two teams faced each other earlier this year in Baltimore, the Colts came away with a close 17-15 win. In 2006, the Colts beat the Ravens in the same round, that game taking place in Baltimore. The Ravens will look for some revenge on Saturday night. Colts QB and NFL MVP Peyton Manning leads the Colts offense. A key matchup in this game will be Ravens S Ed Reed, who has had success against Manning and the Colts, versus Manning himself. The banged-up Colts defense is lead by LB Gary Brackett. Colts WR Pierre Garcon got happy news this week when he found out that his parents, living in Haiti, had survived the devastating earthquake. This game will be a nail-biter, and a great game to watch, but I have the Colts winning, 27-17.
Suggestion: It will all come down to the Ravens secondary. If they can shut down Peyton Manning and all his target, I think the Ravens could win this game.

Key Matchups for Ravens at Colts
Ravens S Ed Reed vs. Colts QB Peyton Manning Edge: Manning
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Colts RB Joseph Addai Edge: Lewis
Colts DE Dwight Freeney vs. Ravens RT Michael Oher Edge: Freeney
Colts LB Gary Brackett vs. Ravens RB Ray Rice Edge: Rice

Injury Report
T Jared Gaither-Ankle-PRB
LB Tavares Gooden-Knee-PRB
TE Todd Heap-Back-PRB
WR Derrick Mason-Hand-PRB
S Ed Reed-Groin/Foot-PRB

LB Gary Brackett-Quad-PRB
DE Dwight Freeney-Foot-PRB
DE Robert Mathis-Shoulder-PRB
WR Reggie Wayne-Knee-PRB

If the Ravens win on Saturday, they will play the winner of the Jets/Chargers game on Sunday.
That's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week!

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