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Tag:Baltimore Ravens
Posted on: November 17, 2008 10:25 am
Edited on: November 17, 2008 10:40 am
 

Recap Week 11

 

I am sure everyone is already aware of the outcome to yesterday’s game between the New York Giants

and Baltimore Ravens so I will not get into the negatives of the Ravens performance just yet.  I will,

however, address some (very few) positives from this game.

-          Joe Flacco showed, to a certain degree, that he can put a team on his back offensively when he lead them to a touchdown on the opening drive in the second half.

-          The Ravens defense did a decent job keeping tabs on Plaxico Burress limiting him to 47 yards on 3 catches.

-          Matt Stovar broke the NFL Record for most consecutive PAT’s made by drilling his 372<sup>nd.</sup>

-          The defense continues its streak of not allowing a 100 yard rusher.

-          ……… That’s all I have……..

       

      Now for the bad….

-          The defensive line was completely dominated all game long. They allowed the Giants to run for a total of 207 yards on 33 carries. That number is including a 36 yard run by Jacobs in the 1<sup>st</sup> quarter and a 77 yard run by Bradshaw in the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter. Below is a chart showing what the Ravens have allowed rushing this year.

 

 

                     

 

-          Unlike the success the Giants had running the ball the Ravens running backs amassed on 47 yards on 19 carries. Their leading rusher, Joe Flacco, Had 57 yards on just 6 carries.

-          After pulling the game within 10 in the beginning of the 3rd quarter Flacco threw a 50 yard touchdown pass to Aaron Ross. Only problem with that is the Aaron Ross is the starting corner for the Giants. (Though I cannot give him the blame on this one being that the ball hit off of Mason’s hands and helmet before being picked.

-          Eli Manning was only sacked once, but, for the most part, he had time in the pocket to pick apart the defense.

-          Though Flacco was only sacked once he was hurried into making bad throws which lead to two interceptions and running for over 50 yards.

-          Time of Possession and penalty yards were basically equal for both teams meaning the Giants defense was giving yards up to their own 30 then they put the clamp on.

This was a growing experience for the Ravens. It was obvious that the Giants were just the batter team mechanics wise. They played their style of game and the Ravens were never able to make them uncomfortable. The Giants Offensive Line should get the game ball for this one. They opened lanes all day for Jacobs, Ward, and Bradshaw as well as allowing Eli to have some time in the pocket. Besides the interception by Ray Lewis before Halftime there weren’t too many mistakes from the Giants.

Even with the loss the Ravens are 6-4 and if the season ended now would be the last wild card team. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier from here. They have 3 NFC East opponents remaining, Pittsburgh, and only 2 sub .500 teams in Cincinnati and Jacksonville. I believe that in order for them to make the playoffs they must finish at least 10-6, which means they would have to go 4-2 against the toughest part of their schedule. Anymore games like this and their playoff hopes could be gone.

Category: NFL
Posted on: November 12, 2008 10:10 am
 

Ravens - Giants PREVIEW

At this point last season the Ravens were down and out with nothing promising to look forward to in the up coming season. Their defense was aging, quarterback situation in utter ruin, and many devastating injuries to key playmakers on both offense and defense. There was nothing to cheer for, no playoff hopes, and no end in sight for a dismal offense and poor play calling. Their fate was altered in the offseason when the organization decided that a change in regime was needed from the old Baltimore football which had been strangling the very fan base that made them since 2001, to a relatively unknown coach with fresh ideas and tons of energy to boot. Of course there were nay-sayers, those few who supported Brian Billick 100%. You would have thought, and right fully so, that the Ravens could go shot for shot with any offense, I mean facts are facts, they had two coach’s running their offense (Brian Billick and Jim Fassel) who had faced each other a few years back when the Ravens defeated the Giants and were crowned Super Bowl Champions. It took a special teams coach from Philadelphia (John Harbaugh) and a coach (Cam Cameron) with a 1-15 record just a year earlier to turn this offense around. I know many fans circled this date on their calendars’ when the Ravens schedule was released simply because they were facing the Super Bowl Champions. Others, like I, looked to this game as a release, a release from the downward spiral the Ravens were thrown into after their Super Bowl XXXV victory of the Giants and a release from the tyrannical offense of once Giants Head Coach Jim Fassel.

The Baltimore Ravens (6 – 3) get the chance this week to exercise their demons as they head away from home to face the New York Giants (8 – 1). Both teams come into this game boasting two of the best defenses in the league as well as dominating rushing attacks. The Giants must contain Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, and Le'Ron McClain if they hope to beat the Ravens this week. The Ravens have contained numerous rushers throughout their streak of not allowing a 100 yd rusher and I don’t see Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, or Ahmad Bradshaw (Earth, Wind, & Fire) being able to end the streak. Joe Flacco had been nothing short of impressive in the past four games throwing for six touchdowns and no interceptions. Todd Heap as well as the offensive line has stepped up in a big way these past couple of weeks and have this offense clicking. The Giants defense has been suffocating as of late and leads the NFL in sacks. This is an ultimate test os strentghs with the Giants damging rushing offense against the unmovable force that is the Ravens rushing defense.

KEY MATCHUP – Ravens OFFENSIVE LINE vs. Giants DEFENSIVE LINE – The Ravens must control the battle up front to allow the running game to get going and give Flacco the time he needs to find his open receivers down field.

KEY PLAYERRay Lewis and Terrell Suggs – It is almost a given that Eli Manning is going to make so poor throws, Lewis and Suggs need to be there to make him pay for it.

PREDICTIONBaltimore Ravens 21New York Giants 20

Category: NFL
Posted on: November 10, 2008 8:11 am
Edited on: November 10, 2008 6:35 pm
 

Could it be?

I sat down around 8:00 PM Sunday night with my plate of pot roast with mashed potatoes and extra brown gravy ready to catch the Eagles vs. Giants game when I noticed the score bar at the bottom of the screen and decided to take a look. Nothing out of the ordinary, Titans win, Lions lose, Ravens win an Steelers lose and they are tied for the AFC North. Wait! What was that last thing again? Ravens win? No, No, after that. Tied for the AFC North with the Steelers. THAT'S IT!

Whether you’re a Ravens Fan or not I am willing to bet just about everything that you wouldn’t have had them in this position, this late in the season. You would have pointed to a rookie Head Coach and rookie Quarterback to back up your arguement but could never quite count out the defense. Everyone who has at least a passing interest in the NFL knows that the Ravens have one of, if not the best defenses in the NFL. No real surprise there. You figured Joe Flacco would sputter a bit and that he did for the first few games. You knew that this Ravens team was a run first, run last, and run every time in the middle type of offense. For the most part you would be right about these statements, until Week 7 that is. In Week 7, everything changed. For the next four games the defense wasn’t just good, but unbreakable, Joe Flacco did not appear as a rookie, but as a seasoned vet, oh yeah, and the running game was good to. It seems as if everything the Ravens have done since Week 7 culminated in Week 10. The running game was unstoppable, the defense was outstanding, and Todd Heap HAD 2 TOUCHDOWNS! I can’t believe I just said that. All in all the Ravens have been amazing as of late. Only five short weeks ago they were pounded by the very same team that used to be Baltimore's beloved franchise not so long ago. The Ravens and their fans were embarrassed and heartbroken by the loss. The Ravens could have just rolled over and died deciding that it would just be a rebuilding season, but instead they chose to fight. They rallied their troops behind the veteran leadership on the defense (Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed), the running game (Le'Ron McClain, Ray Rice, Willis McGahee) helped take a little pressure off of Flacco, the offensive line decided it was time to block, TODD HEAP HAD 2 TOUCHDOWNS, (I have a strange feeling I mentioned this before) and Flacco developed poise and decision making ability.All of this happened in just four weeks.

I am honestly not sure how the Ravens record will look at the conclusion of this season, nor, in the grand scheme of things, do I think it really matters. The Ravens have already surpassed all expectations for this season and we still have seven games remaining. The determination the Ravens have shown recently is something to be admired not just by their fans but also by the NFL. The Steelers come into Baltimore on Week 15 in what could almost definatly be the deciding game for the division. Regardless of whether the Ravens win or lose the game, they have defeated their critics this season. Sure, a win against the Steelers and potentially winning the Division is not something you give up on but I like to think the Ravens fans, win or lose, are thankful for the heart, passion, fire that they see in their team every down in every game, something that hasn’t been seen for a few years.

So I ask you...... Could it be? Could they be the AFC North Champions?

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com