Tag Archive | "bucs"

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“The Reality Check” Week 5 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 05 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 30)

They’re so bad even Chad Henne didn’t want to hang around.

31. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 28)

I mean, they’re going to HAVE to start Christian Ponder at some point aren’t they?

30. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 31)

Yes, I moved them up a spot because they’ve played the Steelers and Bucs close in back to back weeks. No, I don’t really think they’re actually any good.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 29)

The fact that the Titans lost to the Jags is becoming more inexplicable every week.

28. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 27)

I will still admit that I’m a bit nervous about the Ravens’ trip to the Emerald City.

27. St. Louis Rams (LW: 25)

I don’t know WHY I’m still giving them the benefit of the doubt as a winless team, but I guess I am. They’ll accidentally win a couple NFC West games this year.

26. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 32)

Todd Haley and Matt Cassel are fighting even during a WIN. I have to imagine Le’Ron McClain and Kelly Gregg are longing for Charm City at the moment.

25. Denver Broncos (LW: 24)

Knowshon Moreno fall off an exercise bike. Willis McGahee is still bitching about John Harbaugh. Just play Tim Tebow already.

24. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 21)

Think GM Rod Graves is experiencing a level of “buyers remorse” when it comes to how much the Cards gave up for Kevin Kolb?

23. Carolina Panthers (LW: 23)

They really shouldn’t be getting this much credit for being 1-3, but they are.

22. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 26)

I really like AJ Green. I don’t really like Andy Dalton. But I really like AJ Green.

21. Cleveland Browns (LW: 20)

They need more Peyton Hillis. And a bunch of good players.

20. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 22)

I don’t care what their record says. They’re not as good as that.

19. Dallas Cowboys (LW: 14)

Tony Romo sucks! You know, until he does something really good at another point in the season.

18. Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 13)

Andy Reid just realized the chair in his office felt warmer than he remembered.

17. Oakland Raiders (LW: 12)

I have no idea if they’re really any good. That’s why they’re in the middle.

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“The Reality Check” Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 28 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 32)

They played the Bolts close. I’m stunned, but I don’t think they’re any good.

31. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 31)

Like with KC, I was surprised the Colts were able to keep it close against the Steelers. That being said, they worked out Brodie Croyle. Jim Irsay’s Twitter feed is more significant than this football team.

30. Miami Dolphins (LW: 27)

They’re probably not this bad, but that doesn’t matter when you’re 0-3.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 29)

I assume Blaine Gabbert is better than Luke McCown. I assume.

28. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 28)

They’ve shown me a couple more signs than the other winless teams, but only a couple.

27. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 30)

Tavaris Jackson won a game. So you know, he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

26. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 24)

They play pretty good defense, but Andy Dalton is their quarterback. Perhaps Marvin Lewis should hold off on guaranteeing wins.

25. St. Louis Rams (LW: 21)

I thought they would be better before the start of the season. They’ve played three at least fairly good teams. I’m convinced Sam Bradford still makes them better than their record shows.

24. Denver Broncos (LW: 22)

Play Tim Tebow. Or don’t. They’re not gonna win many games either way.

23. Carolina Panthers (LW: 23)

A win over the Jags is one thing, but the visit to The Windy City will be tougher for Cam Newton and company.

22. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 26)

The NFC West is such garbage.

21. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 19)

The NFC West is such garbage.

20. Cleveland Browns (LW: 25)

Fans in Ohio should probably go ahead and get a screencap of the AFC North standings this week.

19. Tennessee Titans (LW: 20)

They won two games with Kenny Britt. You think they’ll win more than that without?

18. Washington Redskins (LW: 15)

I’d like to think they’ll be .500 after their trip to “The Lou”, but I saw the Rams last week.

17. Chicago Bears (LW: 13)

Their losses are to the Saints and Packers. I still don’t think they’re great.

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Like The Rest Of You, The 15-7-0 Is Worried For Maryland Against Towson

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Like The Rest Of You, The 15-7-0 Is Worried For Maryland Against Towson

Posted on 26 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

You might be able to guess what it is.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. Towson has a legitimate chance against Maryland next week, and everyone knows it

Let me start by reminding everyone how happy I am for the Tigers. I love Rob Ambrose, I love the entire TU program. My girlfriend is a Towson alum. She’s also MUCH prettier than I am. I’m thrilled for the school after their Homecoming blowout win over Colgate (heard as always on AM1570 WNST.net) and their 3-0 start…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKl0F5lsAPg[/youtube]

It’s just that…I can’t even begin to think about how much crap I’m going to take if the Tigers end up going down to College Park and beat the Terps at Byrd Stadium. After the GARBAGE performance Maryland put together against Temple, there has to be concern…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MjuCdYnesQ[/youtube]

Yeah. I’m sweating.

2. I can’t figure out if I’m happier for Buffalo or Detroit at 3-0

What I do know is that both of their games Sunday were AWESOME…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgF_9Kxhgqs[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKpZnZ8fUvI[/youtube]

If I don’t get the Ravens in Indianapolis, I feel as though I’d be willing to accept Bills-Lions. It’s the next most likely scenario, right?

3. As soon as the Texans regained a 4th quarter advantage, I absolutely knew the Saints were going to march back down and win the game

I just didn’t know it would happen after a very elaborate game of pinball…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rtBowfEXgI[/youtube]

Do you think anything previously came up when you YouTubed Kevin Walter?

4. Clemson was just so very un-Clemson-like Saturday

I’m so confused. The Tigers were clutch in big victories in back to back weeks. Don’t they know who they are???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS0PJjgV0Jc[/youtube]

We’re not a month into the season, but Tajh Boyd is the ACC Player of the Year thus far. I know weirdos who care about things like that.

Oh, and Florida State’s Rashad Green has a question. Who builds a brick wall around a football field?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDTi1znVjSQ&feature=channel_video_title[/youtube]

5. This week in “Why the SEC is better than you”, Marquis Maze and Morris Claiborne might not have stopped running yet

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2CJUuR3ypU[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihvnMC1h95U[/youtube]

You know how impressive Alabama is? They beat a Top 15 team thoroughly and their amazing punt return TD might not have been the coolest play of the game…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7vrngQ2KZ4[/youtube]

How do you think the Crimson Tide would do against Temple?

As a side note, I have NO IDEA what the story is behind the LSU “grandma kegstand” video making the rounds on YouTube, but I can understand why some folks believe it to be awesome…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTgHismrNo0[/youtube] 

6. I was way wrong when I started the season with the Oakland Raiders at the bottom of my power rankings

They’re better than that. They’re certainly faster…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhUbvrI8MqM[/youtube]

Darren McFadden. Denarius Moore. Michael Bush. Jacoby Ford. Darrius Heyw-four out of five ain’t bad.

Side note. The fake Kevin Anderson Twitter account mentioned Sunday that Ravens WR Torrey Smith had more TD receptions Sunday than DHB has had in his NFL career. It is what it is.

Oh, and here’s the picture of Jets QB Mark Sanchez getting his nose set after having it broken…

sanchez

Ravens-Jets Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium. Creativity is in your corner, Charm City.

7. Cam Newton wasn’t amazing this week, but I’m guessing this is the first of what will be a bunch of wins for him

One of the few cool things that happened in this one was Blaine Gabbert’s monsoon hail mary toss to Mike Thomas…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykDKf9BN-HE[/youtube]

The rest of everything that happened in this one was pretty awful. At one point the score was 5-3 Panthers. I had assumed it was the 2nd inning and Brian Matusz started for the Jaguars.

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“The Reality Check” Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 21 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Power Rankings…

32. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 21)

I’ve been calling them fraudulent for some time. Anyone want to disagree with me?

31. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 20)

You can officially not worry about them playing in the Super Bowl in their home stadium…clearly.

30. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 30)

I still feel like they’ll steal a few wins, especially in the division. Why they haven’t signed David Garrard is beyond me…

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 29)

Yeah, Blaine Gabbert will have to play soon. Or they can just lose…

28. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 28)

I was surprised the Vikes played the Bucs tough. I wasn’t surprised they lost.

27. Miami Dolphins (LW: 25)

At least they didn’t waste their time with Reggie Bush. We’ll see if Daniel Thomas can get them back on track.

26. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 27)

They nearly beat the Cowboys, but then they turned into the Niners again.

25. Cleveland Browns (LW: 31)

They got a win, so I had to move them up. I’m still not buying into them.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 24)

I thought their defense was better than they showed against the Broncos. Is Carson Palmer REALLY just tailgating at USC games these days?

23. Carolina Panthers (LW: 23)

I shouldn’t let them be this far up winless, but they look kinda okay to me.

22. Denver Broncos (LW: 26)

Tim Tebow Tim Tebow Tim Tebow Tim Tebow Tim Tebow Tim Tebow Tim Tebow Tim Tebow.

21. St. Louis Rams (LW: 22)

They’ve played two tough teams. They have to play another Sunday. They’re going to win at some point. God I hope it isn’t this week.

20. Tennessee Titans (LW: 32)

This should be proof that I have no idea what I’m doing.

19. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 12)

They’re really close to being 2-0. They’re clearly the best in a terrible division thus far.

18. New York Giants (LW: 18)

They won Monday night. Why am I not more impressed?

17. Oakland Raiders (LW: 17)

They’re better than I gave them credit for initially. I just don’t know how much better.

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“The Reality Check” Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 14 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Power Rankings…

32. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 25)

They lost to the Jags. They can’t be any good.

31. Cleveland Browns (LW: 26)

Just having a respected GM doesn’t make you a team “moving in the right direction.” See Orioles & Andy MacPhail.

30. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 23)

They lost to the Niners. They have no quarterback. Why did Sidney Rice and Zach Miller go here?

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 30)

I know they won. I just don’t really buy into the idea that they can keep winning with Luke McCown.

28. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 22)

It MIGHT just be over for Donovan McNabb. If so, the Vikes are done.

27. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 31)

The Niners DID win, but they beat the Seahawks-who I don’t think much of. Brian Billick thinks the NFC West is a “sh*tty” division. I agree with him.

26. Denver Broncos (LW: 20)

Fans in Miami were clamoring for Kyle Orton. My question…”why?”

25. Miami Dolphins (LW: 21)

Things are so bad at running back for the Fins they brought in Brian Westbrook for a tryout. Not good.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 27)

They can’t be the worst team in the NFL. They have a decent (to solid) defense. The Andy Dalton/Bruce Gradkowski train at QB will make sure they don’t win many games though.

23. Carolina Panthers (LW: 29)

Yes, the Panthers lost and I moved them up six spots. QB was their biggest issue. Cam Newton appears to have addressed that. They’ll win a few games this season, but the NFC South is still too much.

22. St. Louis Rams (LW: 17)

The injuries are going to hurt them, but probably won’t kill them in that division.

21. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 16)

I’ve tried telling you this team is fraudulent. My gut tells me they’re more of a lower third level team in the NFL.

20. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 11)

Rumor has it the governor of Indiana is trying to figure out how to declare a state of emergency related to the quarterback position.

19. Washington Redskins (LW: 28)

I’m not buying into Rex Grossman AT ALL, but it was a good win for the Skins. We’ll see if they get many more.

18. New York Giants (LW: 13)

I didn’t like the Giants a whole lot before Sunday. Sunday didn’t help.

17. Oakland Raiders (LW: 32)

I’m going to regret moving them this far up, I just know it.

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The Return of 15-7-0…Where We’re Still Looking For More Dogs and Less Cats

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The Return of 15-7-0…Where We’re Still Looking For More Dogs and Less Cats

Posted on 12 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

Some of you (the diehards) will remember my extremely popular 15-7-0 blogs from a few years back.

Well….they’re back!

Sorta.

As I explained Monday afternoon on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net, 15-7-0 will now be interactive, both in blog form and in radio form.

You hear Drew Forrester and Luke Jones share “Scores And Comment” every Monday on “The Morning Reaction” to recap the weekend’s football action. This will be a lot like that. The format for 15-7-0 will be as such…

I will make 15 positive observations from the weekend in football (NFL & College Football), seven NOT so positive observations and one moment from outside of football that made me go “oh no.”

It’s like the old 15-7-0 in that I have to do a lot of work. It’s not like the old 15-7-0 in that I have no freaking idea how it’s going to come over on the radio.

The 15-7-0 won’t reflect on the Baltimore Ravens. We’ll save that for Tuesdays when Ryan Chell and I introduce our new “5 Plays That Determined the Game” segment.

Here are 15 positive observations from the weekend in football…

1-I couldn’t have had a better time at the Towson football game Saturday night

I made a late week decision to attend Towson/Villanova Saturday night at Unitas Stadium with my girlfriend (“Lucky”). Thank God I did.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts5ve0peTE0&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

It was cool seeing the Tigers stun the Wildcats. It was cooler seeing Towson students rush the field after the game. Rob Ambrose and Mike Waddell are doing their damndest to create a football atmosphere over there. I’m all in.

2-The only bummer about being at Towson Saturday night was that I missed the magic at Stevenson

I’m very excited for what the Mustangs are doing out in Owings Mills. I wish I could have been there Saturday night for the grand opening of Mustang Stadium.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3-9YGURdOE[/youtube]

Clearly it was more significant because the Stangs were able to get their first victory in school history thanks to a double overtime thriller over Christopher Newport. It’s awesome what they’re doing out there, I’m happy for SU/Villa Julie students/grads/fans everywhere.

3-Much like Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher isn’t “too old”

A pick, a fumble recovery and a touchdown for the Chicago Bears in their blowout win over the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InznVn2GNDQ[/youtube]

I don’t feel so good anymore about picking the Falcons to win the Super Bowl. Yep, I’m freaking out after one week. It’s what we do in this country. I also think Bruce Gradkowski will be MVP. 

4-Cam Newton was the most impressive losing quarterback not named Drew Brees this weekend

You can’t sneeze at 422 yards passing. The Carolina Panthers are going to struggle to win games all season, but they’ll steal a few if Newton plays like this…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITZJnI3LqnU[/youtube]

Insert your own “he made less money Sunday than he did at Auburn” joke now. I’m above all of that personally.

5-Alabama’s win over Penn State further proof of just how much better SEC is than everyone else

Penn State isn’t a bad team. They’ll make noise in the Big Ten this season. There was a ton of emotion in Happy Valley Saturday afternoon, as students held a blackout to try to support the Nittany Lions.

It wasn’t enough. AJ McCarron was too good. Trent Richardson was too good. The Crimson Tide were too good. The SEC is just too damn good.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSVW9krMm5s[/youtube]

6-For a second straight week, I’m so damn grateful for Friday Night college football games

A week after the TCU-Baylor thriller, we were treated to another thriller, this one in Tempe. Arizona State stopped Missouri in overtime, and it was a lot of fun for me to watch after “Lucky” and I got home after a night out.

I would really appreciate having a game like this to watch every week.

The only question is, why were there ASU fans in blackface at the game??? (Thanks, The Big Lead!) 

asu

7-He wasn’t “lights out”, but Michael Vick IS an exceptional quarterback

14-32 for 187 yards and 2 TD’s (plus 10 rushes for 98 yards) doesn’t truly qualify as “lights out” (which is how Vick labeled his performance after the game), but he was exceptional.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYk_xvzJz40[/youtube]

All of us who picked the Rams to win the NFC West are freaking out a bit today, seeing as how everyone who plays for St. Louis had an icepack on them after the game.

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Live From Owings Mills: McClain-”I’m In For Sunday”

Posted on 03 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (8-3) held their final open practice of the week at 1 Winning Drive Friday before their AFC North showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) on Sunday Night Football at M&T Bank Stadium.

FB Le’Ron McClain (ankle) returned to the practice field Friday for the first time since injuring his ankle in the Ravens’ Week 12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McClain’s had been considered a longshot to see the field Sunday night, but was listed as questionable Friday after returning to the practice field.

“I’m in for Sunday” said the two time Pro Bowl selection. “I’m gonna be ready Sunday-it just depends on the coaches, if they want to use me Sunday or not.”

If McClain is not active Sunday night, reserve FB Jason McKie would be expected to take his place. Head Coach John Harbaugh offered no more information about McClain, saying simply “I have no idea.”

OT Michael Oher (knee) did not participate in practice Friday and was also listed as questionable for Sunday night. If for some reason Oher isn’t able to go, OT Oniel Cousins would be expected to start for him. S Dawan Landry (head) practiced all week but was also listed as questionable for Sunday night.

WR Derrick Mason (illness) was not on the field during the open session Friday, but was also a late arrival. Mason said the illness that kept him out of Thursday’s practice was “just a cold.” Mason was listed as probable for Sunday night along with G Chris Chester (infection) and TE Ed Dickson (thigh).

All other Ravens were on the practice field Friday and are believed to be available for Sunday’s game.

PITTSBURGH INJURIES: Eight Steelers were listed on the team’s final injury report Friday.

QB Ben Roethlisberger (foot) was listed as questionable, but the news wasn’t quite as good for two other players.

DE Aaron Smith (triceps) and TE Matt Spaeth (concussion) were both listed as doubtful for Sunday night.

OT Flozell Adams (back), DE Nick Eason (knee), DE Brett Keisel (calf), CB Bryant McFadden (hamstring) and S Troy Polamalu (ankle) were all listed as probable for Sunday night’s game.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, L. McClain, Mason and WR TJ Houshmandzadeh now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Westwood One Play by Play Voice Dave Sims and Pittsburgh Steelers Play by Play Voice Bill Hillgrove joined “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester Friday on AM1570 WNST, both conversations are available in the Audio Vault as well……DT Arthur Jones is scheduled to join Rex Snider & Nestor Aparicio at 4:45pm on “The Friday Football Frenzy” on AM1570 WNST……Weather.com/The Weather Channel predicts temperatures in the mid-30′s around gametime Sunday night in Charm City. The predict clouds and winds upwards of 20mph as well……NBC’s Cris Collinsworth and Andrea Kramer attended practice at 1 Winning Drive Friday in advance of Sunday night’s broadcast……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough Saturday before Sunday’s game, Saturday’s walkthrough will not be open to the media

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Harbaugh Offering No Information On Injured Ravens

Posted on 29 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Baltimore Ravens (8-3) returned to work Monday at 1 Winning Drive, less than 24 hours removed from a 17-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4) at M&T Bank Stadium. The team began the process Monday of preparing for a Week 13 showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) in Charm City with first place in the AFC North on the line.

Head Coach John Harbaugh offered very little information about the team’s key injuries during his weekly Monday press conference. OT Michael Oher (knee), FB Le’Ron McClain (ankle) and S Dawan Landry (concussion) were all forced to leave Sunday’s game early. OL Chris Chester (illness) and S Tom Zbikowski (foot) were unavailable for the win over the Bucs altogether.

When asked about the team’s health, Harbaugh offered only “(We’ll) just take a look at them and see how they respond over the next two days and see where we’re at.”

When asked if he had seen any indications in the facility Monday of the health of the players, Harbaugh quickly responded “No. No indication.”

Harbaugh made it clear he wouldn’t be divulging any more information about of Sunday’s game by noting “that’s all you’re getting.”

The most serious of the injuries Sunday appeared to be McClain, and Harbaugh said the team had options should McClain be unavailable to play against Pittsburgh.

“It’s just what we did during the game basically. Some of our other running backs can play fullback, so we’ve got some other options. When you’ve got a week to prepare for that possibility, we’ll have more things up this week.”

RB Jalen Parmele could be amongst those options.

Oher’s knee was at least healthy enough Monday to stand through a game of cornhole, as he said via Twitter he had suffered defeat.

“Words can’t tell how I feel about just getting put out of the cornhole tourney” said Oher on his Twitter page. “I’m speechless!

Oher’s stepbrother Sean Tuohy Jr. confirmed via Twitter that the LT had been knocked out of the team’s locker room tournament by Ravens LS Morgan Cox.

LAWRENCE WON’T RETURN: The Ravens announced Monday that RB Matt Lawrence will not be activated from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

Lawrence is still recovering from a knee injury suffered during the 2009 season.

Harbaugh indicated Lawrence’s knee remained the reason he would not return to the active roster in 2010.

He got in a situation where he couldn’t bend to a certain degree and load on it with any power. He’s going to have to go back and talk to Dr. (James) Andrews and kind of go back to work on that thing. He’s not where he can play.”

Lawrence had practiced for the last three weeks before the team made the decision to leave him on the PUP list.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will call Sunday’s game as part of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” series. Andrea Kramer will work the sidelines……The Ravens will return to work Wednesday, following the NFL’s mandatory Tuesday off day. Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, LB Ray Lewis and others are expected to meet with the media Wednesday

-G

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With Bucs Behind Them, Ravens Can Now Place Entire Focus On Steelers Showdown

Posted on 28 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

BALTIMORE — Wasn’t this exactly how the script read?

After their 17-14 Week 4 win over a Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers team at Heinz Field, weren’t the Baltimore Ravens (8-3) destined for a rematch in Week 13 with the AFC North title likely on the line?

There was little drama in setting up the showdown Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, as the Ravens dispatched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4) with relative ease. The 17-10 final score says the game was not of the “blowout” variety, but the Bucs were hardly in it at all over the course of sixty minutes.

There was significantly more drama for the Steelers, as they needed a touchdown drop from Bills WR Stevie Johnson and a tremendous OT performance from RB Rashard Mendenhall to lock up a 19-16 overtime win in Buffalo and stay on pace with the Ravens atop the division.

But everything fell into place, and the Ravens and Steelers (also 8-3) now get to meet up on Sunday Night Football in Charm City with the division title still well in the balance.

Minutes after the Ravens had polished off the Bucs, the anticipation for the Week 13 showdown was already building.

“We’re looking forward to it” said Head Coach John Harbaugh. “We respect them. (It’s) going to be a rough, tough, physical game.”

Harbaugh claimed he wasn’t aware of what the Steelers had done Sunday until after their own game was over, but it became apparent that he (and other members of the team) had seen the result on the big screen at M&T Bank Stadium and knew what was ahead of them.

“Once we saw (Shaun Suisham’s game winner for Pittsburgh), we knew we had to take care of our business” said LB Ray Lewis.

Lewis was amongst a number of players who wouldn’t shy away from the significance of next Sunday’s showdown.

“It’s a beautiful thing to sit here right and be playing for the division next week at home. The season just (doesn’t get any) better than that.”

Ravens-Steelers matchups usually tend to carry a little more significance than average NFL contests, but this one certainly shapes up to mean a little bit more.

“We know what’s in front of us” said TE Todd Heap. “When the Ravens play the Steelers in December, it usually has a lot of meeting and this game coming up definitely does. It will be a statement game for us.”

That couldn’t be a more accurate statement.

Ravens fans and analysts who cover the Ravens have been uniform in how puzzled they’ve been by the 2010 team. It’s easy to tell that the Ravens are a GOOD team, but not so easy to justify just how good they are.

A Ravens staffer approached me after Sunday’s win and said “what do you think?”

My only response was “I’m not sure.”

It’s been a common theme throughout Charm City, as callers to talk shows, message board participants and those who only talk around water coolers seem to agree only that the Ravens are good, but appear to be uncertain of just how good they are.

One week the response will be “I don’t think (QB Joe) Flacco is good enough.” Another week it will be “the defense isn’t good enough.”

As Sunday’s win was winding down, participants in WNST.net’s “Purple Haze” live chat were split on their emotions. There were statements about “not enough killer instinct” and “they were lucky at the end.”

Yet the same folks who fault the team’s performance are still quick to point out that they know the team is good.

They ARE good. In fact, they’re VERY good.

Good enough to be atop the division as the calendar turns to December. Good enough to be just a game behind the teams with the best record in the NFL.

And in one week, we’ll know everything we need to know about just how good the Ravens are.

With a win over the Steelers, the Ravens will unquestionably be the best team in the AFC North. A loss to the Steelers would leave the Ravens vying to simply fit into the AFC playoff puzzle.

It’s a big game.

It won’t be the final determining factor in the division. If the Ravens win, they’ll still have to protect a one game advantage over the last four weeks of the season-but they’ll be able to keep the division tiebreaker in their pocket. If the Steelers win, they’ll have to protect a one game advantage over the last four weeks of the season with tiebreaking scenarios very much in the balance.

The most likely scenario is that the team that wins Sunday will go on to win the division-with a home playoff game and a first round bye in the playoffs very likely to come with it.

The question will undoubtedly come up this week.

“Just how good are the Ravens, really?”

And for now, we have an answer.

“We’ll see next week.”

-G

Hear from Harbaugh, Flacco, Heap, Lewis, LB Terrell Suggs, WR Derrick Mason and S Dawan Landry following the Ravens’ win NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

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Ravens-Buccaneers “Purple Haze” Live Chat 4pm Today!

Posted on 28 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

BALTIMORE — Greetings from M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens (7-3) will face a third straight NFC South opponent in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3). Today’s game will air on FOX (WBFF 45 in Charm City) with Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan on the call. We will be chatting during the game in our “Purple Haze” live chat, which you can join HERE.

Here are the inactives for today’s game:

Buccaneers-
DE Kyle Moore (shoulder)
QB Rudy Carpenter (3rd QB)
FB Erik Lorig
CB Elbert Mack
OT Derek Hardman
DT Frank Okam
OT Will Barker
WR Preston Parker

DE Tim Crowder will start for Moore.

Ravens
-
DT Lamar Divens
DT Brandon McKinney
TE Ed Dickson
WR Marcus Smith
LB Dannell Ellerbe
CB Fabian Washington
S Tom Zbikowski (foot)
OL Chris Chester (illness)

OL Tony Moll will start for Chester at RG.

The Ravens are in black tops and white pants today. The Bucs are in white tops and silver pants.
Carl Cheffers’ crew will officiate today’s game.

Come chat with us!

-G

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