Tag Archive | "afc north"

Ravens Loss is No Big Deal

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Ravens Loss is No Big Deal

Posted on 03 December 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

There’s plenty of blame to go around in the aftermath of the Ravens loss on Sunday at the hands of the Steelers, and I’m quite certain we’ll be assessing that blame and going over the shortcomings of the team for the majority of this week on the airwaves and blogosphere at WNST.net. In the grander scheme of things however, this should have been an easy outcome to predict. It can be simplified as easy as the following; the Ravens had little to play for on Sunday and the Steelers had everything to play for.

Knowing what we know about both of those teams, we should have known enough. Ravens and Steelers has been universally recognized as football’s best current rivalry and for some the best rivalry in sports period. That legacy didn’t begin with Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger; they just made it more interesting. For the last 12 years at least, through Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright and Jeff Blake and Troy Smith, through Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich, the Ravens vs. the Steelers has been, more often than not, a slugfest decided by a minimal number of points in the latest stages of the game. There was no reason to guess that this one would be any different.

 

A loss would have dropped the Steelers to 6-6 and put a serious damper on their playoff hopes. It wasn’t exactly do or die for Pittsburgh, but it’s about as close as it gets in week 13 of the NFL season. For the Ravens however, a win didn’t mean much. A win over the Steelers, coupled with a Bengals loss at San Diego would have cemented the AFC North for the Ravens, but for all intents and purposes the Ravens are the AFC North champions. Whether it became official in week 13 or has to wait until week 16 or 17, it’s near impossible to imagine the Ravens not winning the division.

 

A win on Sunday would have had the Ravens playing the Broncos in Week 15 with the second seed in the AFC and a first round bye in the balance. A loss on Sunday has still left the Ravens looking ahead to a week 15 showdown with the Broncos with the second seed in the AFC and a first round bye in the balance. All Sunday’s loss vs. the Steelers did for the Ravens was to delay their inevitable clinching of their own division, and to serve internal notice that there’s still work to be done.

 

The Steelers played like a team that needed desperately to win on Sunday; that’s because they were a team desperate to win on Sunday. Pittsburgh, coming off of two consecutive losses (in their own division no less) is left with no choice but to embrace the remainder of the season with a playoff caliber of urgency. The Ravens on the other hand had nothing really to gain from a win on Sunday, and they also played just that way. Assuming that the Texans can’t be caught, as I think most do, the Ravens could afford to lose one of their final 5 games and still hold onto their second spot in the AFC as long as that loss didn’t come against Denver. Now they’ve lost it and restored a sense of urgency (hopefully) to the remainder of the season.

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The Ravens couldn’t beat Charlie Batch – in Baltimore, no less

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The Ravens couldn’t beat Charlie Batch – in Baltimore, no less

Posted on 02 December 2012 by Drew Forrester

Now, before you all go nuts, you have to admit this:  The Ravens deserved to lose one of those kind of games.

We just never expected Charlie Batch to be the one pulling the rabbit out of his hat in the final six minutes.

Playing with a patchwork offensive line and a quarterback closely resembling your high school gym teacher, the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off a stunner on Sunday, using a late 10-point surge to nip the Ravens, 23-20, and keep their playoff hopes very much alive.

After two months of winning games in the most unlikely of fashions, the Ravens got the tables turned on them.

And the harsh truth is this: The Ravens are 9-3 and, frankly, that record might still be a game or two on the generous side.

But the fact is, they’re 9-3 and in control in the AFC North, despite not nailing the coffin shut on the Steelers, who now put themselves in excellent position over the last four weeks with three home games and the likely return of Ben Roethlisberger in the next seven to fourteen days.

I have to write this again, in bold, just to convince myself it really happened: Charlie Batch beat the Ravens.  In Baltimore. 

I thought the Orioles making the playoffs was bizarre, but this is even more crazy.

Charlie Batch.

No friggin’ way.

The Ravens will go back to work now, needing to figure out what’s going on with their offense (two TD’s…again) and how their defense could allow a 3rd stringer to drive the Steelers sixty yards in six minutes with the game on the line.

(Please see next page) 

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An open letter to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin

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An open letter to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin

Posted on 29 November 2012 by Drew Forrester

Hey coach, I hope this finds you well and preparing to enjoy a wonderful Holiday season with your family and friends in Pittsburgh.

(Actually, while I think you’re a helluva football coach, I have to admit I giggled my ass off last Sunday watching you squirm your way through that press conference in Cleveland after your football team lost to the lowly Browns.  So, for obvious reasons, I’d probably rather you not be well.  If that makes me a bad guy, so be it.  I do, though, hope you have a great Holiday season.  I’m a Ravens fan, not a Grinch.)

Based on the whispers coming out of Pittsburgh about Ben Roethlisberger, it appears as if you’re going to have him back for this Sunday’s big game in Baltimore.  What a warrior that guy is, huh coach?  A month ago on a Monday night, he suffered some whacky rib and shoulder injury that could have killed him if he would have reached for the remote control the wrong way and now, suddenly, he’s going to risk life and limb to play against the Ravens?  Holy canoli. I’m impressed.

(Are you guys nuts Coach?  Why would you risk the best player on your team for one game?  You know you’re getting your ass kicked down here on Sunday no matter who stands behind center.  I realize you have to paint the best picture you can for your team, but in your heart of hearts, you’ve seen this play out over the last couple of years and you know for sure it’s going to play out down here again this Sunday.  Your team can’t beat the Ravens.  You’re going to get your feelings hurt, Roethlisberger or not.)

We have a lot of respect for the Steelers here in Baltimore, Coach.  We know as long as you guys have a pulse, you’re always capable of pulling off one, two, three or even four wins in a row and then somehow weaving your way through the pile of post-season teams to return to the Super Bowl.  Truth be known, we’d rather NOT see your team in the playoffs if we could pick and choose our playoff opponent.  Somehow, you always seem to nip us in the end when the chips are down in January.

(As S.E. Hinton once wrote (she’s a she, by the way, in case you didn’t know), “That was then, this is now”.  Yeah, we respect the Steelers here, but the Ravens are now the kings of the AFC North and your team is chasing our team.  With Roethlisberger at quarterback – and getting assistance from the refs like you usually do – the Steelers always have a puncher’s chance of beating anyone.  Without Roethlisberger, you’d be hard pressed to win the SEC.  And if it comes to pass that you’re fortunate enough to make the playoffs, you’ll be one and done without a home game, so we won’t see you in this post-season anyway.)

Go ahead and throw caution to the wind, Coach.  Tape Big Ben up and bring him down here on Sunday.  Your team has a much better chance of winning that way.  And, as you know, the standings are such that you really are in “must-win” territory these days.  You don’t have a choice, I suppose.  You have to go with Roethlisberger.

(Don’t be a dummy, Mike.  Leave Roethlisberger on the bench and let Charlie Batch be the QB of record in a 30-10 loss.  No one will blame you.  You can talk about “not risking a career” and “we have faith in Charlie” and “injuries are part of the game” and everyone in Pittsburgh will understand.  If you go with Ben, you’re getting your asses kicked here.  If you go with Batch, you’re getting your asses kicked here.  Do you see the similarity?)

Finally, I wasn’t around last Sunday.  How’d you guys do against the Browns?

(I know what happened in Cleveland.  hehe)

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Rarefied air of Steelers Week for Ravens is to be savored not soured

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Rarefied air of Steelers Week for Ravens is to be savored not soured

Posted on 26 November 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

With five games left in the 2012 campaign, the Baltimore Ravens’ 9-2 record is a textbook testament to never quitting and having some special, battle-tested leaders who stare down adversity undaunted — and never, ever become unnerved.

Somehow, someway – even on 4th & 29 – Joe Flacco can manage to walk into a huddle, call nothing but go routes and still throw a check down and the other 10 guys in the huddle including Ray Rice can buy in on saving the game with some kind of miracle. Once you’ve seen that play work, there’s a little part of you that believes that all things are possible for this beleaguered group of purple warriors.

Eleven games into this journey, there’s still a legitimate debate about the merits and quality of this year’s team. And on a play-by-play, drive-by-drive basis it’s almost inexplicable that this team could be 9-2 and holding an almost insurmountable three-game lead in the AFC North. Almost every facet of the Ravens’ production on the field has come under scrutiny or provided some inefficiency, ineffectiveness or failure at some point.

But there they are at 9-2 and still in the throes of possibility regarding home field advantage throughout the postseason.

Week after week the Ravens seem to be on the ropes. And week after week I enter the post-game press conference watching John Harbaugh try to explain how the team won another game when the previous 60 minutes of football looked like a sloppy box of chocolates in the sun.

You never know what you’re doing to get.

Clearly, no one wants to play the Ravens in Baltimore. The home field advantage in The Purple Crabcake is now the best in the football. Is that the noise of the fans? Is it home cooking? Is it the comfort level of Joe Flacco and the offense for play calling? Is it the visiting team(s) coming into M&T Bank Stadium knowing the odds are long simply on reputation?

We don’t have the answers to this Jekyll & Hyde act. We merely witness it and remain alternately flustered and floored after yet another unlikely victory.

It’s almost like watching the Baltimore Orioles this summer – you don’t question how it gets done, you simply enjoy the result. Just smile and hold on…

Other than knowing that over the history of the NFL home teams have always dominated and are always given three points in Las Vegas just for walking out of the home locker rooms, the Ravens’ bi-polar domination at home and sleepwalking on the road remains an unsolved mystery in progress.

On the road, the Ravens are an ugly bunch – a scuffling, stumbling, punting and yet more-times-than-not still victorious bunch. From Cleveland to San Diego, from Pittsburgh to Kansas City, the Ravens have been on the ropes and could’ve easily perished in the 4th quarter of all four games.

And 5-6 would look, smell and taste a whole lot different than 9-2.

But what we saw on Sunday was an all-timer.

The Ray Rice “Hey Diddle Diddle” 4th & 29 in San Diego will go down in history as one of the most amazing plays of this generation. (And we’re still not even sure if it really was a first down? And we’re pretty sure Anquan Boldin could’ve been flagged for a block to the back and unnecessary roughness. He still might hear from Park Avenue after that one.)

But when Flacco, Rice and Torrey Smith aren’t create miracles, they’re walking off the field far too often on the road frustrated after another failed 3rd and something. Or going 130 minutes at a clip without scoring a road touchdown.

The same offense and personnel that is so fluid in Baltimore routinely sputters on the road.

The defense, which over the years has earned a legendary status led by Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs, has been hit hard this season by a myriad

SEE PAGE 2

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Ravens win in San Diego and I, now, officially believe in magic

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Ravens win in San Diego and I, now, officially believe in magic

Posted on 25 November 2012 by Drew Forrester

That does it.

I’m a believer.

You people can continue with your in-game rants about Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense.  I’ll just sit back for the rest of the season and watch them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat on their way to New Orleans in early February.

I’m serious.  You can try and figure out a way to turn that win over the Chargers into a loss, but it’s not going to happen.  Bark about Cam Cameron all you want, but he’s the Offensive Coordinator of a team that’s 9-2.  Whine and complain about Joe Flacco until next Sunday when he dismantles that Steelers defense in a 27-10 win, but you’ll be whining about a quarterback who is 9-2 and headed to the playoffs for the 5th straight year.

You people can keep trying to convince yourself that this Ravens team stinks, but all you’re going to do is come out with egg on your face come January. Until today’s unlikely triumph over the Chargers, I was right there with you.  I was a complainer and a moaner and a “how can we keep winning like this?” goofball after all of those fluky wins over Kansas City and Cleveland and Dallas and even Pittsburgh last week, where the Ravens barely snuck past Fred Sanford at quarterback for the Steelers.

But after watching Sunday’s game in San Diego unfold, I’m going over to the dark side with John Harbaugh.

It was a win.

That’s it.

The coach will say that over and over on Monday in his press conference and I’ll just nod my head in agreement.

The Ravens pulled off a true miracle against the Chargers – the likes of which we’ve never seen – connecting on a 4th and 29 in the final two minutes of the game and later using a Justin Tucker field goal in overtime to win, 16-13.

It was the ultimate rabbit-out-of-the-hat-trick that you’d see from David Copperfield.

And it sold me for the rest of the season.

Somehow, someway, despite the lethargic road offense – again – Baltimore stayed alive long enough to let the Chargers defense collapse at just the right moment.  And when the Chargers whiffed on three tackle tries on that 4th and 29 play, the Ravens heartbeat pumped just enough blood into Joe Flacco and his wide receivers to tie the game, then win it in overtime after Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith made huge 3rd down grabs with the game on the line.

It was a miracle.

But it went the way we all wanted it.

(Please see next page)

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Baltimore Ravens offense looks great for 16 minutes

Posted on 05 November 2012 by BaltimoreSportsNut

Ok, let me get this out first, the Baltimore Ravens are 6-2 and atop the AFC North and currently hold the second seed in the AFC, which at the beginning of the season all us Ravens fans would take that at the half way point everyday and twice on Sunday.

Now, the offense came of on fire and it looked fantastic in the first eight minutes of the game, Baltimore was running the ball effectively and they marched down the field scored two touchdowns on their first two drives, led 14-0 and I got relaxed in my chair and was enjoying the good life. Then the offense took an almost three quarter nap, with countless three and outs and netting zero offensive yards in the third quarter and lost the lead after five Browns field goals, 15-14.

Just when I was about to need a new remote control (from throwing it across the room) Joe Flacco and the offense quit hitting the snooze button on their alarm clock and woke up for the final eight minutes of the game. With two nice drives netting in a touchdown and a field goal to come through with a 25-15 victory on the road against a much improved Cleveland Browns team.

I am not going to be very critical as the Ravens offense did exactly what I wanted them to do, they ran the football, but I will criticize the fact that Cam Cameron did not make any adjustments on the runs, as Cleveland shifted to run blitzes and completely shutdown the rushing offense of the Ravens the rest of the game. Why not some runs on the outside just to make the defense honor it, but hey we ran the ball and we won…..coincidence? I think not.

6-2 Baby!!!

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Can this Ravens team win 10 games?  I’m not so sure anymore…

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Can this Ravens team win 10 games? I’m not so sure anymore…

Posted on 04 November 2012 by Drew Forrester

I usually wait a day to write something like this, but I know right now my opinion isn’t going to change by this time tomorrow.

So, I might as well just go ahead and get it over with, right?

I fully understand the Ravens are 6-2.  If we were playing “coulda, shoulda, woulda”, they could be 7-1 or they could be 4-4.  In fact, they’re probably much more fortunate that they’re not 4-4 than they are rightfully disappointed to not be 7-1.

Now that I have that out of the way — recognizing that the Ravens are, indeed, 6-2, I can go ahead and fire away.

If this is the best we’re going to see from the Ravens over the last half of the season, they’ll be fortunate to win 10 games.  I’ve been waiting for them to “fix things” for the better part of two months now, and while they did manage to win 6 of their first 8, there’s no doubt nothing seems to be improving.

The team’s main issues, namely the play on the offensive and defensive lines, haven’t improved one iota.  There’s zero pass rush on the defensive side.  Even with Terrell Suggs back in the fold for his second game of the year at Cleveland on Sunday, the Ravens did little to make life uncomfortable for Browns QB Brandon Weeden.  And when he did manage to throw it, more times than not our defensive backs were nowhere to be found.  Despite pitching a “TD shutout” for the second time this season (at KC, also), the Ravens “D” looked more suspect as the game went on.  Thank God that Weeden guy isn’t any good or who knows how that thing might have ended in Cleveland.

Offensively, it continues to be a mystery with each game, each half, each quarter and each series.  Baltimore’s offense makes Jekkyl and Hyde both look sane.  One minute, they’re buzzing down the field like the 49′ers of the Montana era.  The next series, it looks like Kyle Boller and Frank Sanders have reunited.

No one can figure it out, including the Ravens.

They ran the ball all over Cleveland in the first 20 minutes of Sunday’s game.

Suddenly, the Browns added an extra defensive lineman and the Ravens had no answer for it.  One player can make that much of a difference when you’re talking about a 2-win team vs. a 5-win team?  I don’t buy it.

The powderpuff portion of the schedule is over.  No more Cleveland’s or Kansas City’s to feast on between now and the end of December.

And that’s why I think it’s going to get ugly over the next 8 weeks.

Next Sunday’s visit by Oakland should be one final brief reprieve before the varsity teams start showing up week after week.  Pittsburgh (twice), the Giants, Denver, Washington, San Diego and Cincinnati. (Well, OK, maybe the Redskins aren’t the varsity, but you know what I mean…)

I hope I’m wrong on this.

Really, I do.

But this Ravens team looks the same week after week after week.  As strange as this sounds, they’re very similar to the 2012 edition of the Orioles.  You have no idea how they’re actually winning, but winning is what they do nearly every Sunday.

I think that’s going to come to an end, though, unless they figure out how to be more productive on offense and less vulnerable on defense.

The Giants might score 45 points on the Ravens in December.

Peyton Manning might throw for 400 yards against this Baltimore secondary.

Phillip Rivers never plays well until the Ravens come marching in to San Diego.  Then, somehow, he becomes Dan Fouts for a night.

Oh, and that guy Roethlisberger, who has singlehandedly knocked off the Ravens a half-dozen times in his career, always figures out a way to play a major factor when Baltimore and Pittsburgh get together.

I hope I’m wrong.

But I think ten wins might be a reach for this Ravens team unless they get their act together.

 

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Ravens aren’t facing an uphill battle…they’re just facing a battle – like everyone else in the NFL

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Ravens aren’t facing an uphill battle…they’re just facing a battle – like everyone else in the NFL

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Drew Forrester

At least once or twice a season, I have to sit down and pound out one of these blogs to give everyone a dose of reality as it relates to the Ravens and the NFL campaign.

So…here goes.

I’ll cover a bunch of topics here, so please pay attention.

Let’s start with the obvious.  The Ravens defense isn’t all that good.  Their biggest problem of all?  They don’t really do anything in particular very well.  They can’t stop the run.  They surely can’t defend the short throw over the middle.  And if the other team has two or three different legit wide receiver options, there’s no way they can stop an elite quarterback, mostly because they don’t put any pressure on him.  Most teams with a “sub-par” defense at least have one element they consider “their specialty”.  The Ravens don’t really have anything we’d consider a specialty.

But…and yes, there’s a balance to this, hence the word “But” in there — their offense is virtually the exact opposite of their defense.  The Ravens can run it and throw it.  They can use Ray Rice’s feet or his hands.  They can focus on either Pitta or Dickson.  They can send Torrey Smith long or they can have Boldin run the slant and let Flacco feed him that all-world ball he throws to the sideline.  As bad as Baltimore’s defense is, their offense is probably just as good.

You people wanted offense.  Well, you got it.

You might see a lot more 31-28 games and a lot less of the 17-10′s and 20-14′s.

What will that get them?

Well…so far, it has them at 5-1, which is impressive on its own – except for that 9-6 stinker in KC that they won… a game they likely would have lost a season ago for whatever reason.

And do you know what the Ravens are focused on now, six games into the season?

The same thing they were focused on back on September 10.

The Ravens have one goal in front of them.  They simply want to make the playoffs.

As one long-time staffer said to me today, “You have to look at this like it’s a marathon.  You can’t finish 26 miles until you’ve reached the 5 mile mark, the 10 mile mark, the 15 mile mark, etc.  Eventually, the 26 mile mark comes into view, but not until you’ve completed the first 25 miles.  And that’s the NFL, too.  We need to get to at least 11 wins in our mind.  We have five already.  We have six more to go.  If it takes less than that and we get in, that’s fine.  If we have the best record overall, that’s great.  If we win the division, we’d be thrilled.  But our big thing is to make the playoffs.  After that, we’re 0-0 like everyone else.”

Class dismissed.

(Please see next page for more)

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Ravens-Browns: Five predictions for Thursday night

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Ravens-Browns: Five predictions for Thursday night

Posted on 27 September 2012 by Luke Jones

Here’s what will happen when the Ravens welcome the Cleveland Browns to M&T Bank Stadium for their third prime-time home game in the first month of the season and their 27th overall meeting (Baltimore holds a 19-7 lead) against the AFC North foe in regular-season history …

1. With Browns cornerback Joe Haden still suspended, Anquan Boldin takes advantage of the attention paid to the Ravens’ speed to have a big night. The Browns will be without their best defensive back and currently rank 27th in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 269 yards through the air per game. Knowing how much speed the Ravens possess on the outside with Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, defensive backs will cheat back a step, which will create more room underneath for Boldin and tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson. It’s been a quiet start to the season for Boldin, who has just 10 receptions for 118 yards, but he’ll follow Smith’s cue last week in reemerging as a significant threat in the passing game. With the Browns so concerned with the speedy receivers and focusing more on Pitta underneath, Boldin will have a sneaky 75-plus-yard performance and grab his second touchdown catch of the season.

2. Rookie Brandon Weeden becomes the latest Cleveland quarterback to fall victim to Ed Reed in the defensive backfield. The Browns have fielded a laundry list of dubious names at the quarterback position, which is a major reason why they’ve only enjoyed one playoff appearance since reentering the league in 1999. Weeden has looked more comfortable with each passing week after a four-interception performance against Philadelphia in the Browns’ season opener, but he has never played in a hostile environment like M&T Bank Stadium. Entering the season, Reed had tormented the Browns more than any other team in the NFL with 10 interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. Weeden has never encountered a safety with the same ability as Reed, who will be licking his chops against a rookie quarterback likely to be pressing with his winless team sitting in the basement of the AFC North. Even if the Ravens are unable to create as much pressure as they’d like, the secondary is too talented to fall victim to a group that could only manage 14 points in a home game against Buffalo last week. As he did against the Bengals in Week 1, Reed will intercept a pass and return it for a touchdown to continue his longtime success against the Browns.

3. With wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi out, running back Trent Richardson receives plenty of work and the Baltimore defense is ready for him. Making it even more difficult for Weeden, the starting wideout will not be on the field for a team that already has few attractive options in the passing game. The 6-foot-2 Greg Little has shown flashes of being a promising receiver but still drops too many passes to make head coach Pat Shurmur feel comfortable, meaning the Browns’ best bet is to ride the back of Richardson on the ground and see if he is able to crack the Baltimore defense. This seemed like a more feasible plan when the Bengals had early success on the ground against Baltimore in Week 1, but the Ravens like the progress made at both outside linebacker spots since then. The ability of Paul Kruger, Courtney Upshaw, and Albert McClellan to set the edge against the run has been helpful in slowing the opposition’s ground game. Richardson is a tremendous talent who will likely break off a nice run here or there, but envisioning him performing well against a defense keying on him even more than normal seems too ambitious. Richardson could run for roughly 75 yards with a high number of carries, but the talented back won’t see nearly as much running room as the Browns would like to create.

4. Ray Rice owns the Cleveland Browns and shows that dominance in the second half by going over the 100-yard rushing mark. In eight career games against the Brown, Rice has shredded their defense for 775 rushing yards and ran for a personal-best 204 yards against Cleveland last December. He won’t approach a rushing total like that, but Rice should see his opportunities in the second half against a run defense tied for 22nd in the league. The Ravens will be aggressive early trying to throw the football and will then offer the Browns a heavier dose of Rice in the third and fourth quarters after building a comfortable lead. The only one who might be able to prevent Rice from eclipsing the century mark is offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, but it’s difficult to envision the Ravens staying away from the Pro Bowl running back when he’s put up several strong performances against the Browns over the first four years of his career.

5. John Harbaugh has never lost to the Browns and continues that streak as the Ravens collect a 30-14 win over Cleveland. The Browns finally appear to have a promising nucleus after drafting Weeden and Richardson as cornerstones of their offense and may finally have light at the end of the tunnel. However, they are playing a Thursday night game on the road against a team that is clearly better than them and holds a distinct advantage in nearly every phase of the game. The Ravens last lost to Cleveland on Nov. 18, 2007 when Phil Dawson’s controversial field goal forced overtime and the Browns pulled out the victory in the extra period. It would take a set of strange circumstances to imagine the Browns pulling off the upset and with the regular officials returning to work Thursday night, the chances of that happening appear slimmer. The Ravens win their ninth straight game over Cleveland, their 10th straight against an AFC North opponent, and their 13th straight at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens pass the quarter pole with a 3-1 record, which is impressive considering how much of a work in progress certain aspects of the team continue to be.

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EA Sports simulates Ravens as repeat AFC North winners, Upshaw Rookie of the Year

Posted on 27 August 2012 by WNST Staff

New England Patriots and Chicago Bears Capture Regular Season Crown in

Madden NFL 13 Simulation Powered by EA SPORTS Arena

Quarterbacks Reign as Tom Brady Wins MVP and Andrew Luck Named Offensive Rookie of the Year

August 27, 2012 –The Chicago Bears and New England Patriots won their respective divisions and took home the overall number one seeds in the playoffs according to the Madden NFL 13 Season Simulation, powered by EA SPORTS Arena. The Patriots followed up last year’s Super Bowl appearance with a dominant season, securing a 12-4 record on the arm of NFL MVP Tom Brady. Brady delighted fantasy football owners everywhere by tossing a record-tying 50 touchdown passes against only 8 interceptions.

The Bears matched the Patriots’ record, also going 12-4 to win a tightly contested NFC North. Chicago needed every win they could muster, as the Green Bay Packers also ended the season at 12-4, but with the Bears holding an edge in the tiebreakers the Packers were relegated to the 5th seed in the playoffs.

The two surprise playoff teams in the AFC were the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) and Buffalo Bills (10-6), both ending long playoff droughts. The Chiefs were a particular shock, winning the AFC West with a record of 11-5 and earning Romeo Crennel Coach of the Year Honors.

The NFC experienced near total upheaval, with new champions in three of four divisions. The Atlanta Falcons (11-5) and Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) joined the Bears as new divisional winners, while only the San Francisco 49ers (11-5) were able to repeat amidst weak competition in the NFC West. In bombshell news, last year’s Super Bowl champion New York Giants didn’t even reach the postseason, finishing a disappointing 8-8.

Though the rebuilding Indianapolis Colts (4-12) had a tough season, fans were able to take solace in the fact that rookie quarterback and number one overall draft pick Andrew Luck took home Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Luck managed to outduel fellow highly-touted rookie Robert Griffin III, finishing the season with 4,170 yards, 32 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. On the defensive side of things, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw was able to step into an already intimidating unit and cause enough havoc to be named Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Other award winners include Detroit Lions wide receiver and Madden NFL 13 cover athlete Calvin Johnson, Jr. as Offensive Player of the Year (97 receptions for 1,572 yards and 16 touchdowns), and DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys as Defensive Player of the Year (18 sacks).

For screenshots and video of the Madden NFL 13 Season Simulation, powered by EA SPORTS Arena, as well as box art and other assets, please visit http://maddennfl13.newslinevine.com/. 

Tune into G4’s X-Play on Monday, August 27th at 6:30/5:30pm CT to check out more video of the Madden NFL 13 Season Simulation.


NFL 2012 Season Awards (as simulated by Madden NFL 13):

• NFL MVP – Tom Brady, New England Patriots

• Offensive Player of the Year – Calvin Johnson, Jr., Detroit Lions

• Defensive Player of the Year – DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys

• Offensive Rookie of the Year – Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

• Defensive Rookie of the Year – Courtney Upshaw, Baltimore Ravens

• Coach of the Year – Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Chief

Top Ten Offensive Performers

Quarterback
Player Team Yards TDs INTs
Drew Brees NO

5399

48

13

Tom Brady NE

5374

50

8

Mathew Stafford DET

5288

40

14

Aaron Rodgers GB

5245

49

9

Eli Manning NYG

4853

31

11

Peyton Manning DEN

4612

35

7

Matt Ryan ATL

4602

34

7

Philip Rivers SD

4475

35

12

Jay Cutler CHI

4215

36

18

Andrew Luck IND

4170

32

20

Running Back
Player Team Yards TDs
Darren McFadden OAK

1523

16

Arian Foster HOU

1501

18

Ray Rice BAL

1425

17

LeSean McCoy PHI

1386

14

Marshawn Lynch SEA

1317

14

Chris Johnson TEN

1309

12

Matt Forte CHI

1250

9

Adrian Peterson MIN

1118

10

Maurice Jones-Drew JAX

1115

10

Fred Jackson BUF

1109

7

Wide Receiver
Player Team Rec Yards TDs
Calvin Johnson, Jr. DET

97

1572

16

Wes Welker NE

111

1430

7

Julio Jones ATL

89

1326

8

Jimmy Graham NO

100

1301

13

Larry Fitzgerald ARI

87

1222

10

AJ Green CIN

79

1189

10

Rob Gronkowski NE

82

1188

13

Brandon Marshall CHI

80

1185

8

Roddy White ATL

101

1169

7

Eric Decker DEN

90

1150

6

Top Defensive Performers

Sacks
Player Team Sacks
Jared Allen

MIN

19

DeMarcus Ware

DAL

18

Jason Pierre-Paul

NYG

17

Aldon Smith

SF

16

Jason Babin

PHI

14

Chris Long

STL

14

Clay Mathews

GB

13

Von Miller

DEN

13

Tamba Hali

KC

10

Brian Orakpo

WSH

10

Interceptions
Player Team INTs
Charles Woodson

GB

7

Eric Weddle

SD

6

Corey Webster

NYG

5

Kyle Arrington

NE

5

Darrelle Revis

NYJ

5

Brandon Browner

SEA

5

Courtland Finnegan

STL

5

Ed Reed

BAL

5

Brandon Flowers

DAL

5

Nnamdi Asomugha

PHI

5

 

2012 NFL Playoff Seeding

                        AFC                            NFC
  1. New England Patriots (12-4)
1. Chicago Bears (12-4)
  1. Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
2. San Francisco 49ers (11-5)

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