Tag Archive | "cincinnati"

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Picks and Comment – Week 17

Posted on 27 December 2013 by Luke Jones

Here are this weekend’s picks as The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction will pick every NFL game and local college games this season.

Luke Jones finished Week 16 with a 9-7 record while Drew Forrester was 8-8 on his picks. Entering Week 17, Jones is 144-95 on the season while Forrester is 137-102. Official standings are based only on the NFL picks.

You can listen to Friday’s “Picks and Comment” segment HERE.

Ravens at Bengals: Cincinnati 26-16 (Drew), Cincinnati 27-19 (Luke)
Jets at Dolphins: Miami 30-13 (Drew), Miami 26-17 (Luke)
Browns at Steelers: Pittsburgh 20-10 (Drew), Pittsburgh 23-14 (Luke)
Panthers at Falcons: Carolina 23-20 (Drew), Carolina 27-23 (Luke)
Texans at Titans: Tennessee 31-10 (Drew), Houston 20-17 (Luke)
Redskins at Giants: New York 24-17 (Drew), New York 23-20 (Luke)
Jaguars at Colts: Jacksonville 20-17 OT (Drew), Indianapolis 24-14 (Luke)
Lions at Vikings: Minnesota 24-20 (Drew), Detroit 31-17 (Luke)
Chiefs at Chargers: San Diego 28-10 (Drew), San Diego 26-17 (Luke)
Packers at Bears: Chicago 33-23 (Drew), Green Bay 30-23 (Luke)
Bills at Patriots: New England 27-10 (Drew), New England 30-13 (Luke)
Buccaneers at Saints: New Orleans 27-20 (Drew), New Orleans 27-14 (Luke)
Broncos at Raiders: Denver 48-28 (Drew), Denver 41-16 (Luke)
49ers at Cardinals: Arizona 24-20 (Drew), San Francisco 23-21 (Luke)
Rams at Seahawks: Seattle 23-9 (Drew), Seattle 26-10 (Luke)
Eagles at Cowboys: Philadelphia 36-24 (Drew), Philadelphia 34-23 (Luke)
Maryland vs. Marshall: Thundering Herd 44-20 (Drew), Thundering Herd 34-27 (Luke)
Navy vs. Middle Tennessee: Midshipmen 30-20 (Drew), Midshipmen 23-17 (Luke)

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Ravens hoping tough mystique resurfaces in Cincinnati

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Ravens hoping tough mystique resurfaces in Cincinnati

Posted on 26 December 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens say they’ve turned the page from their embarrassing loss to New England last Sunday, but the truth is staring them right in the face.

In addition to their playoff hopes taking a hit, their pride was significantly wounded by the Patriots, who beat them up for 60 minutes at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens simply aren’t used to losing games of that significance in that manner under head coach John Harbaugh, making you wonder how they’ll respond in traveling to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals in a must-win game on Sunday.

This year marks the fourth consecutive time Baltimore will conclude the regular season against the Bengals, who clinched the AFC North title and their third consecutive playoff berth with a win over Minnesota in Week 16. The Ravens will finish their 16-game schedule at Paul Brown Stadium for the third straight year, but the stakes have never been quite like this.

After beating Cincinnati in a 20-17 overtime final in Baltimore earlier this season, the Ravens hope their familiarity and winning mystique will be major assets in trying to top the Bengals while hoping that either Miami or San Diego will fall to give them the No. 6 seed and a sixth consecutive trip to the postseason. However, the Bengals still have eyes on a first-round bye if they can dispose of the Ravens and receive some help from Buffalo against the Patriots.

“We’re used to these guys. They’re a good defense,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “They have been for a few years now. It’s always a good test to play a division opponent, especially in their place. They have a lot to play for; we have a lot to play for. It’s going to be a good game, a good test.”

A good test, indeed, as the Bengals are 7-0 at home on the season and have scored more than 40 points in each of their last four home games. In contrast, Baltimore has scored more than 20 points on the road just twice this season on the way to posting a 2-5 away record.

The Ravens must fight the urge to watch the scoreboard while facing the daunting task of slowing the league’s 10th-ranked offense and moving the ball against the NFL’s fifth-best defense in yards allowed. Given the Bengals’ long history of losing and the Ravens’ great success against them — winning five of the last six meetings — there are reasons to be optimistic that the Ravens will find a way as they often have with their backs against the wall, but it’s still difficult to eliminate the bad taste from last Sunday.

The hard-nosed and winning pedigree that had so many labeling the Ravens as the team no one would want to face in the AFC playoffs just a week ago now appears to be in grave doubt. Losing their grip on a direct path to the postseason, the Ravens can only focus on beating the Bengals on the road like they did two years ago to clinch a division title and first-round bye.

Nothing else really matters if they can’t handle their own business.

“The guys know the scenarios. They’re not living in a vacuum,” Harbaugh said. “They understand what else has to happen. But our job and our task as one single-minded purpose is to win the next game.”

As much as the Ravens will point to their track record in big games, that history came with more-talented teams than this year’s version. Major offensive deficiencies coupled with a good — but not elite — defense won’t breed confidence in being able to defeat one of the AFC’s best teams who has been unbeatable at home this season.

Faced with the prospects of needing a win in the final week of the season for the first time since 2009 to make the playoffs — though that team didn’t need other help that season — the Ravens hope their long-term history repeats itself and their swagger against the Bengals in a critical game will resurface. But the sting of last Sunday is difficult to shake, no matter what the Ravens tell you.

“We take pride in being battle-tested,” running back Ray Rice said. “Last week was last week. If I know this group that’s going to show up Sunday, the group is going to fight until the last whistle until it’s all over. Hopefully, it’s good enough to take care of business.”

Rice out to prove himself next year

The Ravens have rushed for 90 or more yards in three straight games for the first time all season, but their running game won’t avoid a few dubious franchise records for ineptitude.

In addition to their current 3.1 yards per carry average being on pace to shatter the franchise-worst 3.4 mark set in 2006, the Ravens would need to run for 308 yards against the Bengals just to equal the franchise-low 1,589 rushing yards gained in 1997. Running behind an ineffective offensive line all season, three-time Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice has gained 645 yards on the ground, his lowest total since his rookie year when he was part of a three-headed attack that included Le’Ron McClain and Willis McGahee.

A Week 2 hip injury has also hobbled Rice for much of the season, robbing him of his once-dangerous elusiveness. However, the sixth-year back has taken consolation in only missing one game this season despite his poor production.

“From a personal standpoint, [it's] understanding that I played through a lot this year,” Rice said. “I’m just going to get back out there and battle and not worry about what I’ve got to do statistically week-in and week-out. Statistically, I put all of that stuff aside, but personally, I’m glad I was able to overcome some things.”

Rice has heard the doubts and questions about whether he’s reached the downside of his career as he’s averaging 3.1 yards per carry and only 5.6 yards per reception — both career lows — but he’s already vowed to return in 2014 to erase those thoughts.

Averaging just under 4.1 yards per carry over the last three weeks, Rice is now battling a mild quadriceps injury he says is unrelated to the hip flexor strain suffered in Week 2.

“Everything has been great, even for some of the people who say that you lost a step,” said Rice, who reiterated he’s still focused on the remainder of this season. “It’s different when you have an injury that controls things that you’re normally good at doing. I had to battle that this year. I’ll make sure I come back in the best shape, bigger, faster, stronger — whatever you want to call it — to prove myself again that I can still be a premier running back in the NFL.”

The Bengals are allowing 99.8 yards per game on the ground and rank sixth in the NFL in rush defense.

Pees complimentary of Bengals personnel

CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE >>>>>

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Arthur Jones still absent from practice field for Ravens

Posted on 26 December 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Returning to the practice field after a day off to celebrate Christmas, the Ravens were once again without one of their key defensive linemen as Arthur Jones was absent during Thursday’s workout.

The defensive tackle sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s 41-7 loss to New England. It’s worth noting that Jones missed two games in the 2011 season because of a concussion as he goes through the league’s mandated protocol this week.

Jones has arguably been Baltimore’s best defensive lineman this year as he’s collected four sacks and 52 tackles in 14 games. He would likely be replaced by second-year lineman DeAngelo Tyson in the starting lineup should he not be cleared in time for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cornerback Asa Jackson (hamstring) was the only other player absent during the portion of practice open to media on Thursday.

Despite being listed as a non-participant on Wednesday’s estimated injury report, center Gino Gradkowski (knee) was present and working on a limited basis a day later. Running back Ray Rice (thigh), wide receiver Torrey Smith (hamstring), and linebackers Elvis Dumervil (ankle) and Albert McClellan (neck) were all practicing after being listed as limited on Wednesday’s estimated report.

Rice confirmed on Thursday that his quadriceps issue is not related to the early-season hip injury that’s plagued him for most of the season. He was not on the field Tuesday when the Ravens practiced prior to being off for the holiday.

“Tuesday was a great rest day [for] recovery,” Rice said. “Coach [John Harbaugh] is doing his best to try to take care of us. For me, having a long year, I needed the rest. It definitely felt good getting back out there today with the guys and getting up to speed. I didn’t miss much in terms of being in meetings and everything, but it’s nothing like getting a live rep out there.”

McClellan was upgraded to full participation after missing last Sunday’s game due to a neck injury.

Quarterback Joe Flacco (left knee) was present and working after not being included on the injury report. However, he will once again wear a knee brace.

For the Bengals, four starters were missing from Thursday’s practice as tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert, linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and cornerback Terence Newman were all sidelined.

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Asa Jackson (thigh), DT Arthur Jones (concussion)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Elvis Dumervil (ankle), C Gino Gradkowski (knee), RB Ray Rice (thigh), WR Torrey Smith (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: LB Albert McClellan (neck),

CINCINNATI
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), TE Tyler Eifert (neck), TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring), CB Terence Newman (knee), DT Devon Still (back)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle), LB Vincent Rey (ankle), TE Alex Smith (concussion), OT Andre Smith (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: LB James Harrison (concussion)

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Ravens release estimated injury report for Christmas Day

Posted on 25 December 2013 by Luke Jones

After rearranging their practice schedule to give players the day off on Christmas, the Ravens released an estimated injury report for Wednesday with a Week 17 meeting against the Cincinnati Bengals looming.

Defensive tackle Arthur Jones (concussion), center Gino Gradkowski (knee), and cornerback Asa Jackson (hamstring) were listed as non-participants. Jones wasn’t present for the viewing portion of Tuesday’s practice as he must go through the NFL’s concussion protocol after leaving Sunday’s loss to New England in the fourth quarter.

Running back Ray Rice (thigh), wide receiver Torrey Smith (hamstring), and linebackers Elvis Dumervil (ankle) and Albert McClellan (neck) were estimated to be limited on Wednesday. Neither Rice nor Smith practiced on Tuesday, and McClellan missed his first game of the season this past Sunday due to a neck injury sustained against Detroit in Week 15.

Though it could have been a simple oversight, the Ravens did not list quarterback Joe Flacco on Wednesday’s report. He confirmed Tuesday that he would once again wear a brace to protect his left knee after he suffered a mild sprain of his medial collateral ligament on Dec. 16.

Meanwhile, the Bengals listed linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion), tight end Tyler Eifert (neck), cornerback Terence Newman (knee), and defensive tackle Devon Still (back) as non-participants on Wednesday.

The Ravens will return to work on Thursday with their three coordinators scheduled to talk at the podium with reporters.

Here is Wednesday’s estimated injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: C Gino Gradkowski (knee), CB Asa Jackson (thigh), DT Arthur Jones (concussion)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Elvis Dumervil (ankle), LB Albert McClellan (neck), RB Ray Rice (thigh), WR Torrey Smith (thigh)

CINCINNATI
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), TE Tyler Eifert (neck), CB Terence Newman (knee), TE Alex Smith (concussion), DT Devon Still (back)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle), LB Vincent Rey (ankle), OT Andre Smith (ankle)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 23 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Terrapin Classic: Wofford @ Maryland (Saturday 12pm Comcast Center), Howard/College of Charleston @ Maryland (Sunday 1:30pm Comcast Center)

10. SOJA (Friday & Saturday Rams Head Live); Papadosio (Monday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Deadcember with Cris Jacobs Band (Thursday 9pm 8×10 Club), Colouring Lesson (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); O’Malley’s March (Thursday 6:30pm & 9:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Corey Smith (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Common (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (Sunday & Monday 8pm 9:30 Club)

Strict “no marijuana” policy with the SOJA boys.

I’m not into Corey Smith as much as others, but once I post this video I’ll be that much closer to wrapping up T10BD!

I loved Common in Wild Aces.

Trombone Shorty is pleasing to my earhole.

9. Jeff Dunham (Monday 7:30pm Baltimore Arena); The Wolf of Wall Street“, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty“, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom“, “Grudge Match” and “47 Ronin” out in theaters (Friday); Insidious Chapter 2” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Glenn Clark’s Christmas plans (Wednesday, parts unknown)

As I reminder, Christmas dinner in the Glenn Clark household is stuffed shells. More recently, my fiancee’s absolutely SUBLIME Buffalo Shells.

Happy Holidays, gang.

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Ravens’ playoff scenarios come into focus following Monday night win

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Ravens’ playoff scenarios come into focus following Monday night win

Posted on 17 December 2013 by Luke Jones

Following their biggest win of the season against the Detroit Lions on Monday night, the Ravens now see their playoff possibilities coming into sharp focus with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Paths to a division title or the second wild-card spot in the AFC remain very reasonable with the Ravens having complete control over both of those outcomes, but Baltimore still has a chance — unlikely as it might be — to earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye after the top three teams in the conference all lost in Week 15.

While there are clearly no scenarios in which the Ravens could clinch the division or the No. 2 seed in Week 16, they could punch their ticket to the postseason if they continue their current winning streak and receive help from other teams on Sunday.

Here are the Ravens’ current playoff scenarios entering Week 16:

The Ravens will clinch a playoff spot on Sunday with:

A win over New England AND a Miami loss at Buffalo AND a San Diego loss or tie against Oakland

Skinny: Some have erroneously said the Ravens would clinch the No. 6 seed with a win over the Patriots and a Dolphins loss, but the Chargers remain in the hunt with a 7-7 record, leaving open the possibility of a three-way tie for the No. 6 seed at the end of Week 17. Though the Ravens would win individual tiebreakers against Miami (their Week 5 win) or San Diego (superior conference record), the Dolphins would win the three-way tiebreaker with the best conference record should all three teams finish 9-7 or 8-8.

The Ravens can win the AFC North with:

Two wins OR two Cincinnati losses (home games against Minnesota and Baltimore)

Skinny: The Bengals would clinch the division with a win or a tie against the Vikings and a Baltimore loss against New England in Week 16, but a Ravens win over the Patriots or a Bengals loss to Minnesota would guarantee an AFC North championship game in Week 17. Baltimore would own the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win over the Bengals after defeating them once earlier in the season.

The Ravens would clinch the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with:

Two wins AND two New England losses (at Baltimore and home against Buffalo) AND one Indianapolis loss (at Kansas City or home against Jacksonville) AND one Miami loss (at Buffalo or home against the New York Jets)

OR

Two wins AND two New England losses AND two Indianapolis losses

Skinny: Under the first scenario presented, the Ravens would finish with a better conference record than New England and a better record against common opponents than Indianapolis. However, if the Patriots would lose out and the Dolphins would win out, Miami would win the AFC East and the door would remain open for a three-way tie among Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Miami that would give the Dolphins the No. 2 seed by way of the best conference record. This possibility would be eliminated if the Colts were to lose two games as the Ravens would still own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Dolphins, meaning a Miami loss wouldn’t be needed.

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Ravens enter Monday night controlling own path to AFC North title

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Ravens enter Monday night controlling own path to AFC North title

Posted on 16 December 2013 by Luke Jones

Sunday’s NFL action brought good and bad news to the Ravens as they traveled to Detroit for a critical nationally-televised meeting with the Lions.

With Cincinnati falling hard to Pittsburgh in a 30-20 final at Heinz Field Sunday night, the Ravens now control their own path to a third consecutive AFC North title if they are able to win their final three games to conclude the regular season. Should Baltimore beat Detroit and New England next Sunday, a Week 17 meeting with the Bengals would decide the division as the Ravens would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Cincinnati with a victory in the season finale.

However, the bad news for the 7-6 Ravens Sunday was the Miami Dolphins earning an impressive win over New England to temporarily land in the No. 6 spot in the AFC with an 8-6 record. Baltimore owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Miami with a Week 5 win earlier in the season, but the Dolphins finish the season with a road game against Buffalo in Week 16 and a home game against the Jets in Week 17, leaving the Ravens with an even smaller margin for error than anticipated a couple weeks ago.

With Miami and 7-7 San Diego both scoring big wins in Week 15, the Ravens were reminded that there will be no such thing as backing into the playoffs like they did a year ago in losing four of their last five to finish 10-6 before making their remarkable run to Super Bowl XLVII. It’s becoming apparent that the AFC postseason is void of any juggernauts — like Seattle is shaping up to be in the NFC — and is setting up nicely for any one team to get hot at the perfect time, but the Ravens’ biggest obstacle is now to simply qualify for the tournament.

Perhaps the biggest message to take away from Sunday’s action is that the Ravens need to continue to win and build on the momentum created by a three-game winning streak to finish out their recent homestand. Otherwise, they’ll be depending on help from other teams to advance to the postseason for a sixth consecutive season, and that’s never a good feeling to be playing difficult games at the end of the season while needing to keep an eye on the scoreboard.

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The 15-7-0 is still mathematically alive to win the NFC East

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The 15-7-0 is still mathematically alive to win the NFC East

Posted on 16 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

15 positive observations from the weekend of football, seven not so positive observations and we acknowledge a “zero” from outside the world of football. A reminder, there’s never any Ravens game analysis here. We do plenty of that elsewhere. It’s a trip through the weekend of football via videos, GIFs, memes, pictures, links, Tweets and shtick.

The 15-7-0 was unthinkably overlooked when the list of the Golden Globe Award nominees was announced. And to think, the performance it gave as “Cord Phelps” in “You Mean You Don’t See It?: The Emotional Story of the Orioles’ Offseason” was particularly breathtaking.

15 Positive Observations…

1. Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way so that we can take like twelve showers and then move on with our lives. We don’t want to say it but we know we have to considering the playoff picture. Okay. Here goes. This is going to suck. Ahem. “Thank You Ste………………………..ve Jobs for inventing the iPad that told me the Bengals lost Sunday night.” Look. You and I both knew this was going to be far too weird to actually say.

Has there ever been a more awkward 10 seconds in the history of television than when NBC  panned to Dan Rooney and no one knew if he was alive?

The Bengals had to spend the night in Pittsburgh getting their asses kicked by a rival and yet somehow it was worse for their punter.

Here’s a two time Super Bowl champion rocking sweatpants.

2. Jamaal Charles posted something in the neighborhood of 5,698,432,921,023,557,806 fantasy points Sunday. It’s more fun to talk about it because when we get to this part of the show Monday I will be able to watch the depressed expression on Ryan Chell’s face when he discusses the guy who knocked him out of the fantasy football playoffs. I live a twisted life.

Charles had three more TD’s than this Raiders fan had middle fingers.

Chiefs fans? Not much friendlier.

The game was lopsided, then not lopsided, then lopsided again so KC’s coaching staff tried to poke in and watch the end of the Patriots game instead.

3. Make it 12 in a row for Navy over Army now. Or as Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told me Saturday, “we’re going to be very humble about this and take it one decade at a time”. Yes, the entire point of #3 was to remind you guys that I talked to the Secretary of the Navy Saturday. ARE YOU PROUD OF ME NOW, DAD? What’s that? You are? You always have been? You tell me you’re proud of me most every day? I should probably have gone another direction in my comments. Carry on.

Here’s proof!

Now here’s the most patriotic picture you’ll ever see.

Except for this one.

4. Jay Cutler really put things together nicely in the second half after struggling early to lead the Bears to a really important win over the Browns. In fact, he was so good that he reminded me of a guy that used to play for Chicago awhile back. You ever heard of this guy? Josh McCown? That guy was really good. Whatever happened to him? I bet a team pushing for the playoffs would want to have him.

Bears fans were told not to wear their jerseys when they went to Cleveland. They didn’t fully understand the message.

Jay Cutler got a kiss from Brandon Marshall, which we can only hope isn’t B-Marsh trying to throw him off the scent of secretly stealing his wife’s breast milk.

Alshon Jeffery is stupid good. STUPID GOOD.

5. I wouldn’t necessarily encourage other coaches to use Joe Philbin’s “mass turmoil because of one of the biggest scandals in the history of the sport that lead to losing almost half of our offensive line in order to make us better” strategy with their own teams, but you have to applaud his boldness to try something different.

They won the game, so they can laugh at this-right?

Is hugging the guy who just scored the winner for your team worth losing your beer over?

Something we learned in this game? Julian Edelman dresses the same as Lingerie Football League quarterback Angela Rypien.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Despite crowded wild-card picture, Ravens’ task clear over final month

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Despite crowded wild-card picture, Ravens’ task clear over final month

Posted on 02 December 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens entered the weekend with the rare chance to not only rest but take a long look at the rest of a crowded AFC playoff picture.

Moving into the No. 6 spot in the conference by way of their 22-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Thursday night, the Ravens could give thanks at the end of the holiday weekend for still holding the final wild-card position due to their tie-breaking win over the 6-6 Miami Dolphins earlier in the season. But four teams linger with 5-7 records, and different factors are working for and against them in the chase to play football in January.

There’s plenty of watching and wondering what will happen over the season’s final four weeks.

“Everybody is playing everybody right now,” coach John Harbaugh said. “With so many teams involved, it’s going to be the way it’s going to be. One team wins, another teams loses. A lot of times, it helps us either way, and it hurts us both ways — it doesn’t really matter.”

The Dolphins have only one game remaining against teams that are .500 or better (New England).

Pittsburgh plays three of its final four games at Heinz Field and only one of those four contests comes against an opponent with a winning record (Cincinnati).

Despite a crippling quarterback situation, the New York Jets play only one team with a winning record and it’s an NFC opponent (Carolina).

After a disappointing home loss to the Bengals that did no favors to the Ravens’ AFC North title hopes, the Chargers still play three of the final four games at home.

And even 5-7 Tennessee has games remaining against Jacksonville and Houston, two of the worst teams in the NFL.

It’s a lot to process as we start tracking conference marks, records against common opponents, and strength of victory, but Harbaugh and the Ravens choose to focus only on what they can control with so many scenarios still alive with four games to go. The hope of a division title will depend on the Bengals slipping at least once or twice leading into the Week 17 meeting between the teams in Cincinnati, but advancing to the postseason for a sixth consecutive season is a clear path if the Ravens can avoid treacherous detours along the way.

“What matters is us; we just have to win,” Harbaugh said. “If we win games, things are going to work out for us. If we don’t, things are going to be tough. That’s what we have to take care of; we have to take care of ourselves.”

Though facing the best running back on the planet in Adrian Peterson doesn’t sound like a layup, the Ravens will face their last opponent with a record below .500 Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings come to town to conclude a three-game homestand. After that, the road becomes bumpier than at any other point this season with a Monday night road game at NFC North-leading Detroit, a Sunday night home finale against AFC East-leading New England, and a regular-season finale in Cincinnati.

The Ravens hold the one-game edge over all No. 6 seed contenders after Miami, but they’ll still need to win three of their final four to get to the 9-7 mark, a standard that would very likely put them in the postseason. An 8-8 record could still conceivably land the No. 6 seed in the AFC, but such a path will depend on tie-breakers and considerable help from other results.

The good news is Baltimore appears to be getting hot at the right time. After winning two straight for only the second time all season, the Ravens are back at .500 and are on the verge of getting tight end Dennis Pitta back to provide a boost to a below-average offense. Experience is certainly on their side as they can simply point to last year to remember it’s all about clicking when the stakes are at their highest.

However, these Ravens are also 1-5 on the road and figure to need to win at least one of their final two road games. Only one of Baltimore’s six wins — their Nov. 10 home win over the Bengals — has come against teams currently holding a winning record and only one other victory — an Oct. 6 win at Miami — came against a team at the .500 mark.

The Ravens believe they’re getting better and are peaking at the right time. They’ll have every opportunity to show that in the month of December.

Their playoff lives will depend on it.

“We are in position to control our own destiny,” Harbaugh said. “That is what you try to accomplish going into December, so we’ve accomplished that. Now it’s up to us to make the most of it and to go ahead and control our destiny, win the games we have to win, starting with this one – and this is the only one that matters right now – and take it from there.”

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The 15-7-0 is so good you’d forfeit every draft pick to get it

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The 15-7-0 is so good you’d forfeit every draft pick to get it

Posted on 02 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

15 positive observations from the weekend of football, seven not so positive observations and we acknowledge a “zero” from outside the world of football. A reminder, there’s never any Ravens game analysis here. We do plenty of that elsewhere. It’s a trip through the weekend of football via videos, GIFs, memes, pictures, links, Tweets and shtick.

This is the 13th full edition of The 15-7-0 this season. Similarly, if you walk to your car right now and spend an hour listening to your favorite Christmas music radio station, you’ll hear “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey 13 times.

15 Positive Observations…

1. Thanks for your help, kind Cincinnati Bengals! Also, thanks for nothing you stupid Cincinnati Bengal jerks!

Here’s a GIF to prove the game happened.

Now here’s one of those new Amazon drones because they’re WAAAAY more interesting.

2. A lot of people are calling the end of Auburn-Alabama the greatest finish in the history of football, but that’s only because they missed my family’s annual Thanksgiving game where the old guys called the “Double-reverse-fake-the-handoff-to-grandpa-then-stop-the-game-for-a-minute-so-the-young-guys-can-help-grandpa-back-up-because-he-hurt-his-hip-then-start-the-game-back-up-without-telling-the-kids-anything-and-bounce-the-ball-off-the-four-year-old’s-head-and-play-monkey-in-the-middle-for-a-few-minutes-to-try-to-tire-the-kids-out-so-that-they-don’t-break-everything-in-the-house-after-dinner-in-a-crazed-rage-then-throw-the-ball-forward-three-straight-times-and-tell-the-kids-there’s-a-new-rule-that-allows-you-to-do-that-despite-how-much-they-protest-and-the-fact-that-you know-they’ve-played-so-much-Madden-football-that-they-know-the-rules-both-better-than-you-and-hell-they-probably-know-the-rules-better-than-John-Madden-then-halfway-through-the-play-tell-your-nine-year-old-niece-she’s-switching-sides-and-is-on-the-old-guys’-team-now-so-that-she-can-catch-the-ball-and-after-you-go-pick-her-up-and-run-her-the-length-of-the-field-the-other-way-on-your-back-because-she-ran-the-wrong-way-but-then-you-celebrate-her-scoring-the-winning-touchdown-and-let-her-rub-it-in-the-faces-of-the-boys-until-Christmas-and-then-you-have-to-do-the-whole-thing-over-again-because-Aunt-Joan-didn’t-have-her-camera-on-Split-Y-Banana” and ran it to perfection to win the game. Our play was WAY better.

There is so much awesome to share from Chris Davis’ magical return, but I don’t think anything will be better than this.

How amazing was this game? A 99 yard TD might not have made the Top 3 plays.

Did someone freaking hug these guys?

This picture remains mesmerizing.

I hope no one in Auburn needs to wipe this week.

Some of the celebrations were a bit…ummm…strange.

Here’s a note from Takeo Spikes.

3. While I understand Maryland’s excitement in beating NC State in their final ever ACC game, was it COMPLETELY necessary for them to fax over pictures of Gary Williams’ ass to Debbie Yow’s office as a parting gift?

My thoughts on the finale?

Now here’s a video because I’ve got nothing else to say.

4. After someone loses Monday night’s game, I will almost certainly be moving the Carolina Panthers to #2 in my weekly power rankings. What a crazy year. I’d suggest things were so crazy that the next thing we’d see is the Orioles signing a good player-but I realize there are limits to the insanity.

I don’t think one of these nicknames is going to stick for Ron Rivera.

I assume Mike Glennon gets credited with a forced fumble for this, right?

Wrong superhero, Cam.

5. Nick Foles has now thrown 19 touchdowns this season without an interception. For some reason I don’t think “The November Flacco” is going to catch on as a nickname as well as it should.

Sweet play, football teams.

Riley Cooper, however.

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