This week's version of my Ravens Report is dedicated to the memory of my great-grandmother, Myna. We all love and miss you.
Last week, the Ravens pulled out a close 24-17 win over the Browns. This was Anquan Boldin's breakout game, catching 8 balls for 142 yards and 3 touchdowns. Now we know why the Ravens got Boldin. The Browns got on the board first, when Phil Dawson hit a 38-yard field goal. The Ravens quickly scored, when Flacco found Boldin for an 8-yard touchdown, their first connection of the day. Their second came in the second quarter, this one a 12-yard floater to give the Ravens a 14-3 lead. The score would go to 14-10 at the half when Peyton Hillis pounded in a 1-yard touchdown, the first touchdown the Ravens have given up all year. After no score in the third quarter, the Browns took the lead in the fourth when Seneca Wallace threw a 1-yard touchdown to Benjamin Watson. Then the Ravens took the lead for good, as Flacco found Boldin from 27 yards out, the Ravens final touchdown of the day. Billy Cundiff would add on a 49-yard field goal, and the Ravens came away with the victory.
Co-Players of the Game: Ravens QB Joe Flacco-262 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns
WR Anquan Boldin-7 catches, 142 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns
Next Sunday, the Ravens head to Pittsburgh take on their biggest rival, the 3-0 Steelers. The Steelers have been playing without suspended QB Ben Roethlisberger, and have surprisingly won all 3 games behind great defense and QB play from Dennis Dixon and veteran Charlie Batch. Batch will start for the Steelers on Sunday. Even with Batch at QB, that's not who this Ravens defense needs to worry about, because RB Rashard Mendenhall can break loose at any time. Mendenhall is the biggest factor on this Steelers offense, and if the Ravens can shut him down, then they can win this game. Now to the Steelers defense. Led by S Troy Polamalu and LB James Harrison, the Steelers have been one of the most dominant defenses in the league. Joe Flacco is known for struggling against them, so he will need to finally break loose and beat up on this Steelers defense. Ray Rice was injured last week but is expected to play Sunday, he will need to pound in, and get this defense tired early. In another tight game between these teams, I have the Ravens pulling it out, 16-13.
Key Matchups for Ravens at Steelers
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall Edge: Lewis
Ravens CB Fabian Washington vs. Steelers WR Hines Ward Edge: Ward
Ravens WR Anquan Boldin vs. Steelers CB Ike Taylor Edge: Boldin
Ravens C Matt Birk vs. NT Casey Hampton Edge: Hampton
T Jared Gaither-Back-OUT
LB Tavares Gooden-Shoulder-OUT
WR Donte Stallworth-Foot-OUT
DE Cory Redding-Head-QST
RB Ray Rice-Knee-QST
QB Dennis Dixon-Knee-OUT
G Trai Essex-Ankle-OUT
DT Chris Hoke-Knee-OUT
That's it for this week's version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week!