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“The Reality Check” Week 5 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 5 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 02 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week 32)

Hey! Thanks for your tackle! Any tight ends or receivers you’d like to send along too?

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31)

You think Greg Schiano called Bobby Petrino for tips on how to sneak out in the middle of a season?

30. Oakland Raiders (30)

More wins than the two teams ahead of them, less good players.

29. New York Giants (22)

My buddy Gregg Rosenthal from NFL.com just keeps telling me that if you took the names of the back of the jerseys you’d think they were the Jags.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (24)

They’ll still be winless next week.

27. Minnesota Vikings (29)

Their only win is over one of the worst teams.

26. St. Louis Rams (20)

Sam Bradford kinda makes you long for the days of…I dunno…Marc Bulger?

25. New York Jets (26)

Good news. They’ve left the door open for Matt Sims.

24. Arizona Cardinals (25)

Perhaps they could make a trade to get Brian Hoyer back?

23. Washington Redskins (23)

They beat the Raiders. That doesn’t move them up.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (19)

I’m so stupid I once had them in the Top 10.

21. Carolina Panthers (21)

1-2 doesn’t seem so bad all things considered, does it?

20. Buffalo Bills (27)

Still kinda in denial.

19. Cleveland Browns (28)

Finally NFL Network gets a good game Thursday night.

18. Atlanta Falcons (13)

They’re better than this. They are.

17. Dallas Cowboys (14)

About right.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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“The Reality Check” Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 26 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week 32)

More vile than the “Teen Mom” turning her private parts into a sex toy.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30)

Is it too late for Greg Schiano to throw his name in for the Texas job?

30. Oakland Raiders (28)

Matt Flynn might throw for 400 against the Redskins.

29. Minnesota Vikings (25)

I heard that next year they’re going to play a NFL game in London!

28. Cleveland Browns (31)

We live in a strange world.

27. Buffalo Bills (26)

Still likely a tough test Sunday.

26. New York Jets (29)

Not buying it.

25. Arizona Cardinals (24)

At least they have all of their finge…nevermind.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (23)

This is really bad team.

23. Washington Redskins (22)

This is also a really bad team.

22. New York Giants (17)

This is a really bad team as well.

21. Carolina Panthers (27)

That’s a hell of a win over a really bad team.

20. St. Louis Rams (19)

But you don’t get the feeling they can’t beat San Fran.

19. Philadelphia Eagles (15)

They should be thankful there are a lot of bad teams in this league.

18. San Diego Chargers (18)

Given all of the bad around the league, I won’t drop them for a loss.

17. Detroit Lions (21)

Big test with Chicago coming to Ford Field.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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“The Reality Check” Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 18 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week 32)

I assume the Jacksonville CBS affiliate is going to have to start running apologies too.

31. Cleveland Browns (31)

Bigger issue: missing a wide open throw to Chris Ogbonnaya or counting on major offensive contributions from Chris Ogbonnaya?

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28)

It’s certainly much more the whole “assh*le coach hates the quarterback” issue than the “lost on two last second field goals” issue.

29. New York Jets (27)

I scrambled to grab Bilal Powell in my fantasy league only to remember I had just grabbed Bilal Powell in my fantasy league.

28. Oakland Raiders (30)

Congratulations on your win*.

(*Obviously I don’t have to explain why a win over the Jags gets an asterisk.)

27. Carolina Panthers (24)

Gene Chizik is available and has prior experience with high paid athletes.

26. Buffalo Bills (29)

And we’re going to need a little more of you, CJ Spiller. (Signed, guys who have you in three different leagues.)

25. Minnesota Vikings (22)

Wins aren’t going to start getting easy any time soon.

24. Arizona Cardinals (26)

Should I bench Cam Newton for Carson Palmer in New Orleans?

23. Pittsburgh Steelers (20)

22. Washington Redskins (18)

Can Kirk Cousins play defense?

21. Detroit Lions (21)

The bad teams are so bad that a loss to the Cardinals doesn’t drop them.

20. Tennessee Titans (23)

Or for the Titans to lose but move up three spots anyway.

19. St. Louis Rams (19)

Or for the Rams to lose and stay put you get the picture.

18. San Diego Chargers (25)

For reals?

17. New York Giants (15)

Either Eli Manning or Cam Newton will get a win. Or they’ll both get ties. I could use a new tie.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The 15-7-0 has a better defense than the Washington Redskins

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The 15-7-0 has a better defense than the Washington Redskins

Posted on 16 September 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.

I heard that before settling on “Daniel”, Mr. and Mrs. Flacco were seriously considering “Fifteensevenoh” as their son’s name. I’m sorta surprised they didn’t stick with it.

15 Positive Observations…

1. Someone is going to end up beating the Denver Broncos, but right now it’s really hard to imagine someone beating the Denver Broncos.

My favorite Peyton Manning audible is the one where he finishes his bowl of soup.

Apparently Trindon Holliday thought he was playing the Ravens.

The Brothers Manning seemed a bit awkward postgame.

Which is weird because earlier they were…making out?

This was Phil Simms doing…Christ, I don’t know…during the game broadcast on CBS.

2. I should be excited about Maryland being 3-0 for the first time since 2001, but I’m actually a bit depressed that Maryland went 12 years without starting a season 3-0.

Things went really well for Randy Edsall in his return to Connecticut. Enjoy these highlights of the Terps’ win before we get to the crappy part.

The crappy part is that Dexter McDougle becomes the second Maryland CB to go down, and we know McDougle will miss the rest of the season. I’ll just assume Shawn Petty starts playing corner next week.

Again, we follow bad stuff with good stuff; so here’s the plane the Terrapins flew to Hartford on. It’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever see ever.

Elsewhere in the ACC, Virginia Tech is going to wear this next week because they know they’re awful this year anyway.

3. Johnny Football is good at football. Alabama football is better at football.

Oh my Bear Bryant. Manziel threw a 95 yard TD…

And then Oh my Saban this is how he celebrated.

Unfortunately for Manziel, he also threw a TD to Vinnie Sunseri-who plays for Alabama. His attempt at a tackle left a bit to be desired.

I know Manziel is an “effort” guy, but I’m not sure he needed to truck his own security.

Look, I know Alabama won the game. But they’re just really GOOD. Johnny Manziel is really INTERESTING.

Okay, TJ Yeldon was interesting too.

4. The Miami Dolphins would like to remind you of why it is that everyone was saying the Miami Dolphins were a sleeper to make the playoffs in the AFC.

But TY Hilton REALLY looks good.

5. The Kansas City Chiefs would like to echo those sentiments…you know, except about them.

Unfortunately for Sam Koch, the road to the Pro Bowl just keeps getting tougher.

Dez Bryant did awesome things.

It is probably worth pointing out that this guy attended the game.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Ravens offense looking for instant improvement in friendly surroundings

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Ravens offense looking for instant improvement in friendly surroundings

Posted on 11 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Every meeting with the Cleveland Browns draws the predictable kind words from the Ravens despite the fact that Baltimore hasn’t lost to the AFC North foe in their last 10 meetings.

The final outcomes haven’t always been convincing or overly impressive, but the Ravens have beaten Cleveland every time they’ve played since coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco arrived on the scene in 2008. The words of flattery aren’t exactly convincing when considering the opposite ends of the spectrum on which these teams have stood over the last five seasons.

“It’s a challenge. It always is in the division,” Harbaugh said. “We are very impressed with what we see on tape, and it’s a very important week for us.”

The Browns may not pose an overwhelming threat after a 23-10 home loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, but the final part of Harbaugh’s statement rings true for the Ravens after a humbling 49-27 loss of their own in Denver. It was the first season-opening defeat of the Harbaugh era and a painful reminder that the euphoria of last year’s Super Bowl title is long gone.

Running back Ray Rice called it a reality check as the Ravens now shift their attention to the home opener and an opportunity to improve their record to 1-1. Much attention has been paid to the Baltimore defense allowing a franchise-record 49 points, but the Ravens offense has been under the microscope since the start of the offseason. The decision to send wide receiver Anquan Boldin to San Francisco in a move that provided $6 million of salary cap space created concern in the passing game that transformed into a full-blown crisis with the long-term hip injury suffered by tight end Dennis Pitta at the start of training camp.

There are still no clear answers to quell those concerns as the Ravens failed to significantly address the wide receiver position after Boldin’s departure, erroneously depending on a young group of holdover receivers that wasn’t up to the task.

Graybeards Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark and rookie free agent Marlon Brown have emerged — out of attrition and because of the latter’s impressive skill set — as critical pieces in the passing game. And the Week 1 injury to speedy receiver Jacoby Jones puts a dent in the vertical passing game, the one area of the field in which the Ravens could really feel confident in throwing the football.

To make matters worse, the Ravens couldn’t run the football as they averaged just 2.8 yards per carry and were limited to just five carries in the second half after falling behind big in a disastrous third quarter. Many have pondered whether that running game will need to be leaned upon more heavily this season despite having a franchise quarterback to throw the football.

The pressure on the offense to show instant improvement falls on the shoulders of Flacco, who attempted a career-high 62 passes for 362 yards but was picked off twice against a Denver defense lacking Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller and future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey. Without Boldin or Pitta on which to depend, life suddenly isn’t as easy for the franchise quarterback.

“That’s the name of the game when you’re a quarterback in this league,” said Flacco, who acknowledged that working with so much new personnel has caused the little things such as timing to take more time to perfect. “You want your organization to be able to [make changes], and you have to prove that you can adapt to whatever is necessary to win football games, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The challenge this week will be a talented Cleveland front seven that will only get stronger with the return of first-round linebacker Barkevious Mingo from a bruised lung. He, former Raven Paul Kruger, and Jabaal Sheard form an imposing pass rush on paper, but the Ravens will the expected return of right tackle Michael Oher, who missed the entire second half against Denver with a right ankle injury.

Browns cornerback Joe Haden will draw the assignment of covering No.1 receiver Torrey Smith, who dealt with bracketed coverage against Denver after Jones’ exit with a knee injury. Jones’ absence means Stokley and Brown will need to keep the rest of the secondary honest enough to give the speedy Smith some opportunities in one-on-one matchups against Haden.

Flacco certainly needs more help from Clark, who dropped a sure touchdown pass right before halftime in Week 1 and struggled to gain separation, and fellow tight end Ed Dickson, who couldn’t rein in a number of catchable passes. The quarterback took the high road when asked to address the high number of drops on Wednesday, but the sense of urgency is there to limit unforced errors with the overall talent level of the wide receivers and tight ends coming into question.

“If that’s all we have to worry about is a couple of guys that have very sure hands not coming up with a couple really tough catches, then I think we’re going to be OK,” Flacco said. “Over the long run, we’re going to make a lot of those catches, and it’s going to lend itself to a lot of good things.”

The Ravens hope those good things begin coming to fruition quickly against the Browns, who aren’t nearly the opponent that Denver was but have played them closer than expected at M&T Bank Stadium in each of the last three seasons. Baltimore needs its $120.6 million man to be on his game to elevate the play of a pedestrian group of pass catchers as much as he can — he can’t catch it, too, of course.

Flacco’s 99.0 quarterback rating at home last season only continued his career-long trend of thriving against defenses on his home turf, and it’s the kind of precision the Ravens will need this year to make the offense click. The Ravens have made it a point this week to emphasize that the running game must improve — it’s the truth with two talented running backs at their disposal — but the offense will only go as far as Flacco can take them.

His 92.5 quarterback rating in 10 career games against the Browns and the first contest of the year in Baltimore are the perfect combination for a bounce-back performance. A win is never a guarantee, but the setting doesn’t get much better than this, especially with the backdrop of 71,000 fans stoked to see a Super Bowl championship banner unveiled.

The bad taste from the second-half debacle in Denver will have lingered for 10 days by the time kickoff arrives on Sunday afternoon.

“We’re not going to overreact, but we are going to react and respond where we need to,” Harbaugh said. “The first game is always a good barometer. The old saying is true: It’s never as good or it’s never as bad as what you initially feel.”

And the Ravens hope they’ll be feeling much better about themselves on both sides of the ball by 4:15 p.m. on Sunday.

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“The Reality Check” Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 11 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 29)

I’m sorry I ever doubted the Jags being the worst team in the NFL.

31. Cleveland Browns (28)

So…you know…no pressure, Ravens.

30. Oakland Raiders (32)

Did you know their Tight Ends are something named “David Ausberry & Jeron Mastrud”? They look like they should play for Baltimore.

29. Buffalo Bills (30)

I still want Tuel Time.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22)

You deserve to drop to 28 if you lose to the Jets.

27. New York Jets (31)

I don’t think they should get comfortable.

26. Arizona Cardinals (25)

It’s a road loss with some good. Not a disaster.

25. San Diego Chargers (24)

The Texans are a very good team, but there’s no excuse to lose that at home.

24. Carolina Panthers (23)

The Seahawks are a very good team, but there’s no excuse to lose that at home.

23. Tennessee Titans (27)

They get more credit for their win because it was on the road at a good team what we thought was a good team.

22. Minnesota Vikings (18)

Christian Ponder can’t possibly last the season.

21. Detroit Lions (26)

A good team can’t follow up a division win with a loss to the Cardinals-even if it’s on the road.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers (12)

What the hell was that? I mean, besides an awful lot of fun.

19. St. Louis Rams (20)

A game they should have won and did. That’s not a bad thing.

18. Washington Redskins (14)

Also from the list of “things I particularly enjoyed”.

17. Miami Dolphins (19)

Dannell Ellerbe looked really good Sunday. I know it’s one game.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Broncos

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Broncos

Posted on 10 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos Thursday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Chris Harris intercepts Joe Flacco pass intended for Brandon Stokey at Baltimore 24 (2nd quarter)

4. Demaryius Thomas 78 yard TD catch from Peyton Manning (4th quarter)

3. Joe Flacco pass intended for Dallas Clark incomplete on 3rd & 7 at Denver 7 (2nd quarter)

2. David Bruton blocks Sam Koch punt (3rd quarter)

1. Wes Welker 10 yard catch from Peyton Manning on 3rd & 9 (3rd quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Wes_Welker_Drop_John_Harbaugh_Replay_Ravens_Broncos

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RAVENS LOSE BRAGGING RIGHTS EARLY

Posted on 09 September 2013 by Tom Federline

The NFL Kickoff Celebration last Thursday evening simply just started off all wrong. First and foremost the game was not in Baltimore. Ohhhhhh, we will let Keith Urban sing on a barge for you and set up a few tents and call them the NFL Village, but no game. The NFL schedules the reigning Super Bowl Champs “kickoff game”, to be played on a Thursday night in conflict with another professional sports team schedule, against a team you upset in the playoffs on their home turf. Hey Baltimore, hey MLB, here’s the deal, we know your schedule is already set, change it or go to Denver. How wrong was that? Wasn’t the 2012 opening game on a Wednesday night (Giants-Cowboys)? Orioles were away on Wednesday. What’s up NFL? Second, NFL football is played beginning at 1:00pm, on Sunday afternoons. Not on Thursday nights. I do not watch football on Thursday, unless it is Thanksgiving. If the NFL wants to put on a show, then do it Monday Night, one game and start the pre-game at 7:00. Conclude the Kickoff Weekend showcasing the Super Bowl winner and their home city. I do not know the whole story behind the scheduling deal, but the Orioles, White Sox, MLB and the NFL should have worked it out. Baltimore was not given it’s due.

After swallowing the pill that the Ravens are NOT opening up at home, I turn on the tube to hear Bob Costas continually reminding us – the game is NOT being played and how Denver has been preparing for this game since their “surprising” loss to Baltimore in the playoffs. I also am not a fan of what the 30 commentators are predicting for the 2013 season for 2 hours. Screw the pagentry, “Let’s Get it Started” – (Black Eyed Peas). It’s 8:20 and I am ready for some football – BANG, time to screw with the Ravens again, potential storm rolling through, maybe some lightning – 40 minute delay in start of game. Visions of the “power outage FIX” from the Super Bowl dance through my head. I fully understand to be prepared for the worst and safety first. I also fully understand that it is mandated that all professional stadiums be provided with lightning protection in an attempt to gaurd against a storm tragedy. You have to err on the side of caution, but the delay at that time, just piled on another negative in the prelude to a disastrous night.

The Ravens were walking into the Broncos corral and there was no room for any Raven birds. The Ravens held their own in the first half. The 20 million dollar man came out respectable. But then we got to witness the “Rocknut Play of the first half”, Brynden Trawick – blowing up Jacoby Jones. How you run into your own man on a punt return is a total rocknut move. He did not just take out the Ravens kick returner, not just the 3rd place contestant on Dancin’ With the Stars, he took out the Ravens #2 wide receiver, It wasn’t just a glancing blow, it was an all out full speed, lapse of concentration, blow up. Jones may be out for 2 months or the year. Dallas Clark dropping that TD catch at the end of the half didn’t help. Michael Oher getting his ankle rolled on, also didn’t help. All more negatives leading up to………….

The second half. That was down right embarrassing. The embarassment could have been delayed, but the tsunami named Manning was coming. It could have been delayed if…. Horribaugh listened to his cornerback, Corey Graham and thrown the “non-challenge flag”. Welkers dropped “catch”. It probably would have not changed the outcome, but it could have changed the sequence of events that followed in that 3rd quarter.

For Horribaugh to say the next day, “he never saw a replay” or “the replay was to slow”, is a cop-out. Horribaugh and his coaching staff, blew it. From that point on, the floodgates opened, the defenses weakness was exposed, the offensive line was truly o-ffensive and the Ravens imploded. Game over. Reigning Super Bowl Champs bragging rights over.

Wait-a-minute, the Ravens weren’t the only ones embarassed. We have to acknowledge the “Rocknut play of the 2nd half”, which went to the Bronco cat who dropped the ball prior to the goal line on the non-pick-6. A successful crossing of the goal line on that one, would have just made the debacle even worse.

Ravens need a lot of work. If they don’t do anything with the o-ffensive line and that vulnerable defensive backfield, it’s going to be an ugly year. If they remain status quo, the 20 million dollar man which I read works out to $170,000.00/per day, may have trouble earning his pay. A few questions: 1. Who will rise to be the new leader on defense? 2. Can Yanda pull o-ffensive line together? 3. When will Ray be back to coach? Hey Johnny, miss those coat-tails yet? 4. The real reason why Anquan Boldin was let go? It’s gonna be a long year.

D.I.Y.
Fedman

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Two key moments open floodgates in embarrassing loss to Broncos

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Two key moments open floodgates in embarrassing loss to Broncos

Posted on 06 September 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco uttered all that really could be said about a disastrous 49-27 defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos to begin the 2013 season.

“It was one of those nights.”

Head coach John Harbaugh can only hope it’s as simple as that after the Ravens surrendered 35 points in the second half, transforming a 17-14 halftime lead into a 22-point shellacking in which the Baltimore defense allowed a franchise-record 49 points in the first game of the post-Ray Lewis era. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes against a defense that looked exhausted and overmatched — particularly in the secondary — for much of the night.

Offensively, the fears at the wide receiver and tight end positions came to fruition as Flacco struggled to find open targets and when he did, they often couldn’t catch the football. The Ravens lost wide receiver Jacoby Jones (knee) and right tackle Michael Oher (ankle) to injury, further depleting an offense already with little room for mistakes.

The special teams were just as bad as backup safety Brynden Trawick inexplicably ran into Jones on a punt return — leading to the Pro Bowl returner specialist’s knee injury — and allowed a Sam Koch punt to be blocked to set up another Denver touchdown. And that’s only scratching the surface for Jerry Rosburg’s units.

Just one of those nights?

As ugly as the final stats and the second half were in the first season-opening loss of the Harbaugh era, it’s easy to forget the Ravens held the momentum late in the first half before two crucial moments became the catalysts for one of the worst defeats of the Harbaugh era. It’s often said that the difference between winning and losing can come down to just a play or two, but in this case, it was two plays that transformed a tight game into an unmerciful beating.

A perfectly-thrown Flacco pass to tight end Dallas Clark bounced right off his hands on what would have been a sure touchdown with just seconds remaining until intermission. Instead of a seven-point lead, the Ravens settled for a 25-yard field goal by Justin Tucker to go into the locker room ahead three points.

The second key moment came on Denver’s opening drive of the second half when Manning delivered a low throw to Wes Welker that clearly hit the ground as the slot receiver secured it. The play was ruled a catch, but Harbaugh elected not to throw his challenge flag, blaming the lack of a timely replay for his coaches upstairs to get a good look at the play after the game.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Harbaugh said after the game. “That’s something you have to see. It would be nice if NBC would show it, but we didn’t have a chance to look at it.”

Whether it was the lack of a replay, a moment of indecisiveness, or Harbaugh simply trying to protect his staff upstairs, the floodgates opened two plays later on Manning’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell and the Ravens were never competitive again. Had the play been challenged and the call overturned, the Baltimore defense would have forced a three-and-out, placing the ball back in the hands of Flacco and the offense with a three-point lead and further easing the pain of Clark’s drop on the final series of the first half.

Make no mistake, putting too much blame on Clark’s drop and Harbaugh’s decision to keep his red challenge flag in his pocket bails out what was an atrocious defensive effort and an inept offensive showing in the second half, but those mistakes highlight how small the margin for error might be for the Ravens this season — at least early on. With 19 new players on the 53-man roster and the departures of a number of key veterans including Lewis and longtime safety Ed Reed, the Ravens are certainly vulnerable to some growing pains in terms of both leadership and play on the field.

The loss of Jones in the first half eliminated the fear of a deep-ball threat on both sides of formations for the Ravens offense, allowing Denver safeties to focus carefully on Torrey Smith, who finished the night with four catches for 92 yards. Ed Dickson and Clark only magnified concerns about the tight end position with a number of drops. If you’re looking for a positive, rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown’s 13-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter was one of the few bright spots for the offense as he finished with four catches for 65 yards.

The Ravens defense had no excuses for how it played in the second half as the secondary was absolutely torched by Manning, who ate up the Baltimore safeties — particularly free safety Michael Huff — on two touchdowns to young tight end Julius Thomas and abused cornerback Corey Graham throughout the night. With expectations high for a defense that experienced a dramatic makeover, the secondary was the biggest question mark entering the season as only cornerback Lardarius Webb received a passing grade in the group.

Hyped by some to be one of the most formidable groups in franchise history, the front seven collected three sacks against Manning but didn’t provide consistent pressure to aid a defensive backfield overwhelmed by too many weapons.

So, does this all mean the Ravens are doomed? Hardly.

It was only last December when the Ravens were in a similar position against the Broncos when a critical Flacco interception returned for a touchdown before halftime turned a tight game into one of the worst losses of the Harbaugh era. The rest was history after that embarrassing loss as the Ravens didn’t lose another meaningful game — starters were rested against Cincinnati in Week 17 — on their path to a Super Bowl title.

Even the record-setting 2000 Ravens defense gave up 36 points at home against Mark Brunell and the Jacksonville Jaguars in a Week 2 shootout before ultimately setting a record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game season and winning the Super Bowl a few months later.

You’re never as bad as you look at your lowest point, but the concerns are real, ranging from who Flacco can trust in the passing game to whether this Ravens defense is as good as it was thought to be on paper with such a poor showing from the secondary.

The opening game will always be magnified because there’s no body of work on which to base observations and this marks the first time the Ravens have ever started 0-1 under Harbaugh. It’s also the first time since October 2008 in which the Ravens find themselves below the .500 mark, which is a testament to Harbaugh and his coaching staff and an easy reminder not to press the panic button just yet.

Still, Thursday night did not provide a good feeling after an offseason filled with more personnel changes and unknowns than any other defending Super Bowl champion had experienced in recent memory.

You can only hope it truly was just one of those nights with much better days ahead.

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Our Ravens/Broncos “Slaps to the Head”

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Our Ravens/Broncos “Slaps to the Head”

Posted on 06 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

After Baltimore Ravens victories, Ryan Chell and I award players who made positive contributions with “Pats on the Ass” during the “Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net.

The Ravens fell to the Denver Broncos 49-27 Thursday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, meaning there were no Pats to be awarded.

So instead of offering “Pats on the Ass”, Ryan and I offered “Slaps to the Head” postgame. A slap on the side of the head from a coach tends to come along with them saying something along the lines of “you’ve gotta do better than that.”

Same rules as there were with Pats. Two offensive players, two defensive players, and a Wild Card (Special Teams player, coach, or another Offensive or Defensive player). One player gets “two slaps” (or a slap on both sides of the head), it’s the opposite of a “Player of the Game” honor.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches after each game.

Here are our five Ravens that have “gotta do better than that.”

Glenn Clark’s Slaps…

5. Rick Wagner

4. Brynden Trawick 

3. Ed Dickson

2. John Harbaugh

1. Jimmy Smith (two slaps)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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