Tag Archive | "dolphins"

Deserving or not, Ravens remain firmly in AFC playoff hunt

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Deserving or not, Ravens remain firmly in AFC playoff hunt

Posted on 18 November 2013 by Luke Jones

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

They don’t deserve to be in the postseason and certainly don’t look like a playoff team.

The eyeball test warrants a failing grade.

Too little consistency and too many bad losses will cost them at the end of the season.

They’re simply not good enough.

The following statements have been used over and over in describing the Ravens as they’ve lost four of their last five games to fall to 4-6 on the season and 2 1/2 games behind division-leading Cincinnati in the AFC North.

And those same descriptions can and have been used to describe the seven other teams currently jockeying for the final wild-card spot in the AFC playoff picture. In fact, “plodding” might be a better term to use in describing the race for the No. 6 seed in the conference.

Unless commissioner Roger Goodell elects to eliminate the final spot, a team with an underwhelming résumé through Week 11 will find itself playing in January as the final seed in the single-elimination tournament. The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins hold the slight edge at the moment over the rest of the pack at 5-5, but their flaws are as apparent as any of the six 4-6 teams chasing them.

“What it goes to show you is how close it is, and what a razor-thin margin it is in the National Football League,” coach John Harbaugh said in describing the current playoff picture. “That’s what makes the National Football League great. We would all rather be sitting here talking about being atop the division and chasing a home-field advantage or something like that. And that’s something that we were shooting for. We wanted to be in that position. We haven’t done the things we needed to do to be in that position.”

The frustration is understandable after a 4-6 start, but deeming the Ravens undeserving of the playoffs and writing them off are subjective statements that would be true in most seasons but are made in isolation from the rest of the field through Week 11. While I’m unwilling to say they’re definitively better than any of the other seven teams fighting for the final spot, you won’t convince me that any of those competitors are superior to the Ravens, either.

The truth is the AFC is mired in mediocrity once you look beyond Denver, New England, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Kansas City, making it difficult to predict which team — if any — will make a strong run over the final six weeks to sneak in. At this point, 10-6 would virtually guarantee the final playoff spot, but 9-7 has a good shot of being the season-ending target.

As mediocre as the entire field of 5-5 and 4-6 teams has looked, even an 8-8 record — or, gasp, 7-9? — with a favorable tie-breaker arsenal could conceivably be awarded with the No. 6 seed. Whether you elect to embrace that possibility with any level of enthusiasm is your choice.

With a head-to-head tie-breaking win over Miami and a meeting with the Jets this Sunday, the Ravens have an opportunity to gain the upper hand against the two teams they’re currently chasing in the wild-card race. That doesn’t mean they have the advantage over the rest of the field, but their chances appear no worse than any other team — even if you must hold your nose while saying that.

“We are right there. We can do it, and we’re good enough to do it,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got every tool we need; all we have to do is go get it done. But that’s on us. We believe we have what it takes, but it’s up to us to prove it, and we’ve got to go prove it by winning these games.”

Whether the Ravens can do it remains to be seen, but three straight games at home starting Sunday provides a crucial opportunity to stack wins and ease the pain from their current 1-5 record on the road.

Here’s a look at the rest of the race for the AFC’s No. 6 seed in the current order in which teams stand based on tie-breaking procedures, which I’ll forgo including beyond conference records for now:

6. NEW YORK (5-5)
Conference record: 2-5
Remaining schedule: at Baltimore, Miami, Oakland, at Carolina, Cleveland, at Miami
Case for: Only one game remaining against a team with a winning record, league’s top-ranked run defense
Case against: Struggling rookie quarterback Geno Smith, minus-85 point differential (worst among the eight contenders for No. 6 seed)

7. MIAMI (5-5)
Conference record: 4-3
Remaining schedule: Carolina, at New York Jets, at Pittsburgh, New England, at Buffalo, New York Jets
Case for: One of the NFL’s better pass rushes, potential of young quarterback Ryan Tannehill
Case against: 31st in total offense, fallout from the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga

8. OAKLAND (4-6)
Conference record: 4-3
Remaining schedule: Tennessee, at Dallas, at New York Jets, Kansas City, at San Diego, Denver
Case for: Fourth-ranked run offense, sixth-ranked run defense
Case against: Unrest at quarterback position, 25th-ranked pass defense

9. TENNESSEE (4-6)
Conference record: 3-4
Remaining schedule: at Oakland, at Indianapolis, at Denver, Arizona, at Jacksonville, Houston
Case for: Seventh-ranked pass defense, fifth in conference in takeaways
Case against: Season-ending injury to quarterback Jake Locker, four remaining road games

10. PITTSBURGH (4-6)
Conference record: 3-4
Remaining schedule: at Cleveland, at Baltimore, Miami, Cincinnati, at Green Bay, Cleveland
Case for: One game remaining against teams currently above .500, veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
Case against: 30th-ranked rush offense, 26th in run defense

11. BALTIMORE (4-6)
Conference record: 4-4
Remaining schedule: New York Jets, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, at Detroit, New England, at Cincinnati
Case for: Expected return of Dennis Pitta, four remaining home games
Case against: 31st in yards per carry and 30th in total offense, three games remaining against teams currently above .500

12. CLEVELAND (4-6)
Conference record: 3-4
Remaining schedule: Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, at New England, Chicago, at New York Jets, at Pittsburgh
Case for: Fifth in total defense, play-making ability of wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron
Case against: 26th-ranked rush offense, 10th in AFC in takeaways

13. SAN DIEGO (4-6)
Conference record: 2-5
Remaining schedule: at Kansas City, Cincinnati, New York Giants, at Denver, Oakland, Kansas City
Case for: Fourth-ranked passing offense, plus-4 point differential (best among the eight No.6 seed contenders)
Case against: 27th in pass defense, four games remaining against teams currently above .500

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens – Week 5

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens – Week 5

Posted on 08 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

Below are our Tuesday Top 7 Ravens players in the 26-23 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 5. We’ll track our rankings throughout the 2013 season using the following point system:

No. 1 – 7 points
No. 2 – 6 points
No. 3 – 5 points
No. 4 – 4 points
No. 5 – 3 points
No. 6 – 2 points
No. 7 – 1 point

You can hear Jones’ full explanation HERE and Forrester’s HERE.

Luke Jones’ Top 7 …

7) Haloti Ngata
ngata

6) Lardarius Webb
webb

5) Elvis Dumervil
dumervil

4) Justin Tucker
tucker

3) Torrey Smith
smith

2) Joe Flacco
flacco

1) Terrell Suggs
suggs

CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE >>>>>

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Dolphins

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Dolphins

Posted on 08 October 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’ 26-23 win over the Miami Dolphins Sunday at SunLife Stadium…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Haloti Ngata/Josh Bynes tackle Lamar Miller for no gain on 3rd & 1 (1st quarter)

4. Torrey Smith 22 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 10 (3rd quarter)

3. Tandon Doss catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 2 (4th quarter)

2. Joe Flacco 14 yard run on 3rd & 5 (3rd quarter)

1. Elvis Dumervil sacks Ryan Tannehill at Ravens’ 39 (4th quarter)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Incomplete product still keeping Ravens firmly in AFC picture

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Incomplete product still keeping Ravens firmly in AFC picture

Posted on 06 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

A 26-23 bounce-back win on the road against the Miami Dolphins can’t mask a plethora of concerns for the Ravens through the first five weeks of the season.

A better effort in the second half doesn’t change the reality that the Baltimore offensive line had its behind kicked in the first 30 minutes of football. The soon-to-be-replaced Bryant McKinnie will receive the bulk of the criticism, but the Ravens’ problems up front won’t be solved by newcomer Eugene Monroe unless he has the ability to play all five positions along the line because no one played well in the first half.

The protection was so bad in the first 30 minutes that you feared for the safety of quarterback Joe Flacco and the run blocking managed just 33 yards on 15 carries at the intermission. To the unit’s credit, the Ravens were able to wear down the Dolphins’ front seven in the Miami heat in the second half by running 25 times for 100 yards and giving Flacco time to make several key connections at critical junctures to Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss.

Their second-half effort is something on which to build, but run-game coordinator Juan Castillo and offensive line coach Andy Moeller have a colossal amount of work to do in the coming weeks to find consistency up front to give the Ravens a better chance to win on a weekly basis.

Running back Ray Rice had his best game of the season, gaining 102 total yards on 33 touches, but more than a few observers have noticed a lack of explosiveness from the sixth-year back. It’s certainly fair to remember his recent hip flexor injury and the line’s shoddy play, but Rice hasn’t looked like the home-run hitter of past years and coughed up his second fumble of the year.

The defensive effort was strong overall, but the secondary was guilty of giving up five passing plays of 20 or more yards, including an inexplicable 46-yard completion to Brandon Gibson on fourth down that gave the Dolphins a last-ditch field goal attempt to tie the game. The secondary has been vulnerable at best this season and depends on great pressure from the front seven to be successful, which they received more often than not on Sunday.

But even with all those concerns that don’t appear to be going away anytime soon, the Ravens are tied for first place in the AFC North and don’t appear to be going away in the AFC playoff picture. In fact, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Cleveland are each 3-2 with a plus-7 point differential through five weeks, evidence that nothing has come easy in the division.

The truth is no team beyond the Denver Broncos — with a forced nod to the 5-0 Chiefs since no one has beaten them yet, either — looks like a clear juggernaut in the conference. The Ravens may not pass the eyeball test, but neither have the likes of other perceived playoff contenders like the Texans and Dolphins, two teams Baltimore has disposed of already this season.

There’s plenty not to like about the Ravens, but there’s enough there to argue they’ll be in perfect position to make their sixth consecutive trip to the playoffs this January.

The wide receiver and tight end positions have been albatrosses thus far, but Torrey Smith is blossoming into one of the best receivers in the AFC after he recorded six catches for 121 yards against the Dolphins on Sunday. Smith has recorded no fewer than 85 receiving yards in any game this season and that’s while often facing bracketed coverage limiting his ability to go vertical like he would in his first two seasons. His 556 receiving yards puts him on pace to not only shatter his career high but to also record the best receiving season in franchise history.

Smith got some help from Doss and second-year wideout Deonte Thompson on Sunday, and Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown should be back in the picture as early as next week. It would be foolish to jump to conclusions based on a couple nice catches against the Dolphins, but even tight end Ed Dickson reined in a 43-yard reception in the first half at Sun Life Stadium.

Despite its vulnerability in the secondary, the Ravens defense was monstrous up front against quarterback Ryan Tannehill with six sacks. Linebacker Terrell Suggs recorded the fifth three-sack game of his 11-year career and has dispelled any concerns that he couldn’t be the same player that he was before last year’s Achilles tendon injury. He’s now on pace for 22 sacks this season and has been everything the Ravens could have asked for defensively.

After a poor decision by offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell to call for a pass on third-and-22 deep in Ravens’ territory led to a game-tying interception return for a touchdown to tie the game with 8:03 remaining, Suggs responded with two sacks on the next defensive series when Miami had a chance to march down the field to take the lead. And after the excruciating deep completion to Gibson on the Dolphins’ final series of the game, fellow outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil — who’s been quiet after the first two games of the season — collected a sack that turned a potential 52-yard try into a long 57-yarder that harmless wobbled wide left with 33 seconds remaining.

Even if there is some hope for offensive improvement in the coming weeks, it’s becoming obvious that the Ravens will live and die with their defense as both losses this season included poor showings from that side of the football.

Kicker Justin Tucker was huge on Sunday — dismissing any hint of concern when he missed two field goals in the home opener last month — in connecting from three field goals 42 yards or more, including the game-winning 44-yard try with 1:42 remaining. An offense with little margin for error can take some consolation in knowing they’re virtually guaranteed a minimum of three points when they manage to move inside the opponent’s 35-yard line based on Tucker’s overall body of work since last season.

But perhaps the biggest reason to have hope over the final 11 games of the season is the steady hand of Flacco, who bounced back from last week’s five-interception debacle with a courageous effort in which he was battered for most of the second half. His interception returned for a touchdown came after McKinnie allowed rookie Dion Jordan to blow by him to hit the quarterback’s arm as he threw, but Flacco’s final statistics don’t explain how well he was able to hold up.

Flacco had only three healthy receivers and stood behind a porous offensive line without injured left guard Kelechi Osemele for a gritty 60-minute performance. Much like the Ravens on Sunday, his performance wasn’t pretty, but it was good enough.

As was the case last year when they ultimately won their second championship in franchise history, the Ravens aren’t easy on the eyes and have much about them not to like. Only time will tell if they’re able to overcome their potentially-fatal flaws, but they’re finding ways to win early in the year.

And that’s not a different story from most of the AFC, leaving them right in the mix with a 3-2 record at the start of October.

 

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Our Ravens/Dolphins “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Dolphins “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 06 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Creative Deck Designs Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 26-23 win over the Miami Dolphins Sunday at SunLife Stadium…

Glenn’s Pats…

5. Ed Dickson

4. Courtney Upshaw

3. Justin Tucker

2. Lardarius Webb

1. Torrey Smith (Pat on both cheeks)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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How loud was the Baltimore crowd in Miami?

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How loud was the Baltimore crowd in Miami?

Posted on 06 October 2013 by WNSTV

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Rice says Ravens didn’t make it easy in Miami

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Rice says Ravens didn’t make it easy in Miami

Posted on 06 October 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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Ravens-Dolphins: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Dolphins: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 06 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

Hoping to win their first road game of the 2013 season, the Ravens look to put the bad taste of last week’s loss in Buffalo behind them as they take on the 3-1 Miami Dolphins.

However, they’ll have to do it while being severely undermanned at the wide receiver position as Jacoby Jones (knee) and Marlon Brown (hamstring) were both ruled inactive for Sunday’s game. It wasn’t surprising to see Jones held back for another week after just returning to the practice field from an MCL sprain that’s sidelined him since the season opener, but Brown appeared to be moving well during Friday’s practice and told reporters he was feeling good after the workout.

Couple those inactives with Saturday’s release of veteran wideout Brandon Stokley and the Ravens were down to just three active wide receivers on Sunday as Torrey Smith, Deonte Thompson, and Tandon Doss are available. Thompson sustained a concussion in the Week 4 loss in Buffalo but was cleared over the weekend to make his return.

The Ravens also decided to deactivate newly-acquired left tackle Eugene Monroe after only two days of practice time in Owings Mills. It was always going to be a major stretch for the fifth-year lineman to absorb enough of the playbook to be able to start against the Dolphins, but coach John Harbaugh had left the door open for the former Jaguars lineman to play in Miami if he felt comfortable enough with his preparation over the weekend.

This means veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie will start against a Dolphins defensive front that will include returning defensive end Cameron Wake, who was out last week with a knee injury.

The good news for the Ravens is that cornerback Lardarius Webb is active after missing most of last week’s game against the Bills after tweaking his hamstring in the first half. Rookie linebacker Arthur Brown (pectoral strain) is also active and will make his return following a two-week absence due to injury, which should help the Baltimore pass defense.

The Ravens are 3-5 in the all-time regular-season series with the Dolphins and are 1-4 in Miami, which doesn’t include their two postseason wins at Sun Life Stadium. Baltimore won the last meeting between these teams in 2010, a 26-10 final at M&T Bank Stadium.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be Carl Cheffers.

The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-80s with a slight chance of isolated thunderstorms in Miami.

The Ravens will be wearing purple jerseys with white pants while Miami will go with an all-white look for Sunday’s game.

Here are Sunday’s inactives:

BALTIMORE

WR Jacoby Jones

WR Marlon Brown

T Eugene Monroe

NT Terrence Cody

OL Jah Reid

C Ryan Jensen

DE Marcus Spears

MIAMI

QB Pat Devlin

RB Mike Gillislee

CB Dimitri Patterson

CB Will Davis

LB Josh Kaddu

G Danny Watkins

G Dallas Thomas.

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the afternoon for updates and analysis as Nestor Aparicio brings live coverage from Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

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Ravens-Dolphins: Five predictions for Sunday

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Ravens-Dolphins: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 05 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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

The Ravens face a tough road challenge to avoid falling below the .500 mark for the first time since the 2008 season when they take on the 3-1 Miami Dolphins Sunday afternoon.

Much discussion this week centered around the surprising acquisition of Jaguars left tackle Eugene Monroe for two draft picks, but it’s difficult to argue with general manager Ozzie Newsome’s desire to shake up an offensive line behind which the Ravens are averaging only 2.6 yards per carry. It remains unclear how big of a role Monroe could serve against the Dolphins after just two days of practice and little time to absorb the Baltimore playbook.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are overcoming a humbling 38-17 defeat at the hands of undefeated New Orleans on Monday night, but Miami’s front seven will pose a challenge to an offensive line struggling to open running lanes and to hold up consistently in pass protection.

It’s time to go on the record as these teams meet for the ninth time in regular-season history with the Dolphins holding a 5-3 edge. However, Baltimore is 2-0 in postseason meetings with both games being played in Miami. The Ravens are 1-4 in the regular season at Sun Life Stadium after winning the last regular-season game played in Miami in 2008 and also won the last overall meeting between these teams, a 26-10 final at M&T Bank Stadium in 2010.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens continue to look for their first road win of the season …

1. Bryant McKinnie will receive the start at left tackle, but Monroe will factor into the game in some capacity. Coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens would love Monroe to be ready to play against a talented front that could include the returning Cameron Wake at defensive end, but it’s nearly impossible to imagine the fifth-year tackle being comfortable enough to play. The Ravens are in a tough spot weighing whether to play an understandably-disenchanted McKinnie, who knows he will be losing his job sooner rather than later, or an underprepared Monroe. My guess is McKinnie receives the nod, but Monroe will be active to serve as a tackle-eligible blocker in the jumbo package — blocking tight end Billy Bajema was also released earlier this week — and could spell McKinnie if his performance isn’t up to par against the Dolphins.

2. Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace will test the Ravens secondary deep and catch a long touchdown pass. Cornerback Lardarius Webb is questionable for Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury but is expected to play, so Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman should test the Ravens’ top defensive back early and often. Miami has been criticized for being too conservative in its offensive approach with a young quarterback this season, but the Dolphins will be aggressive at home as Wallace catches a long touchdown. Wallace is only averaging 4.4 receptions and 60.9 receiving yards per game in seven regular-season contests against the Ravens, but his speed will burn what’s been a vulnerable secondary for the second touchdown of his Dolphins career.

3. Running back Ray Rice will crack 100 total yards in a game for the first time this season. The Ravens’ rushing game has been so bad that it’s unlikely to expect much success against the league’s 10th-ranked run defense, but offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell should have been paying attention to the way Saints running back Darren Sproles exploited the Miami pass defense for 114 receiving yards and a touchdown last Monday. Rice isn’t a carbon copy of the speedy Sproles, but the Ravens must find ways to get him the football in open space as a receiver if the running game continues to be such a non-factor. The Ravens will feature a stronger commitment to the running game — you can’t get much worse than last week’s nine attempts — but Rice will be rediscovered by quarterback Joe Flacco in the passing game, giving Dolphins linebackers problems and Rice his first productive game of the season.

4. Linebacker Terrell Suggs will continue his early-season sack streak with 1 1/2, which will include a forced fumble against Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The key to crippling a Dolphins offense that has some talent at the skill positions is to pressure the second-year signal caller, who hasn’t handled the heat very well this season. Tannehill has been sacked 18 times and has fumbled six times this season, losing three of them. The strength of the Baltimore defense is its front seven that has collected 13 sacks in four games to help what’s been an inconsistent secondary. With the Ravens struggling so much offensively, they would benefit greatly from a takeaway or two by the defense to set them up on a short field. Suggs is off to a great start in 2013 and continues his streak of having a sack in each game with a strip of Tannehill to set the Ravens up deep in Miami territory.

5. In a game that looks like a coin flip, quarterback Joe Flacco and the defense bounce back in a 21-20 Ravens win. There’s not a lot to like about the Ravens playing away from M&T Bank Stadium right now, but Flacco will not allow a five-interception performance in Buffalo last week to affect him. The potential availability of wide receivers Jacoby Jones and Deonte Thompson would bring some much-needed speed to complement Torrey Smith in the passing game, but the offense will once again hope to simply be efficient on third down as it was in the second half in wins against Cleveland and Houston. I’ll buy stock in Flacco and the Baltimore defense to rebound with strong performances and Rice to reappear to provide just enough to take away a narrow win over the Dolphins to improve to 3-2 on the season.

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Webb, J. Jones, seven others listed as questionable against Dolphins

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Webb, J. Jones, seven others listed as questionable against Dolphins

Posted on 04 October 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. — The Ravens were making final preparations for the Miami Dolphins on Friday and listed a total of nine players as questionable on the final injury report of the week including cornerback Lardarius Webb and wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

Webb and wide receivers Deonte Thompson and Marlon Brown were listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report after they missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday while recovering from injuries sustained last Sunday, but they all worked on a limited basis in the final full workout of the week. Webb sat out the second half against the Bills after suffering a hamstring injury but was doing some backpedal work and riding the stationary bike during the portion of practice open to media.

“Very encouraging [to have them back at practice],” coach John Harbaugh said. “It was good to see those guys out there, and [it] made for a better practice, too.”

Also dealing with a hamstring injury all week, Brown was doing plenty of running and appeared to be moving well during the special-teams part of practice. The rookie wideout said he felt good with the hamstring following Friday’s practice.

Jones (knee) was present and working for the third straight day of practice after being sidelined since Sept. 5 with a right MCL sprain, but the Pro Bowl return specialist was noncommital regarding his status against the Dolphins.

“I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to the trainers and the coaches,” Jones said. “You’re trying to get me in trouble with John Harbaugh — I can’t answer that question. I’m trying to ease the process [of coming back].”

Thompson was on the field for the first time since sustaining a concussion in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game, but he was suited up and participating during the special-teams portion of practice. Harbaugh said after practice that Thompson had passed the concussion protocol test, but he hadn’t yet been fully cleared for Sunday’s game.

“He’s got to go through the practice,” Harbaugh said. “Then, we’ve got to check his symptoms out.”

In addition to those four, wide receiver Brandon Stokley, linebackers Arthur Brown and Albert McClellan, defensive lineman Marcus Spears, and running back Shaun Draughn were all designated as questionable to play in Sunday’s game.

The Ravens were without five players during the opening portion of Friday’s workout as Stokley (groin), Spears (knee), McClellan (shoulder), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee), and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot) weren’t participating. Stokley had practiced on a limited basis all week after being inactive for Week 4, and Spears appeared on the injury report for the first time on Thursday after he walked off the field gingerly at the start of practice.

Cody and Jensen were both listed as doubtful on the Friday injury report and aren’t expected to play in Miami.

The Dolphins listed standout defensive end Cameron Wake (knee) as questionable for Sunday’s game after he practiced on a limited basis all week. Former Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (knee) is probable against his former team.

As for the status of newly-acquired left tackle Eugene Monroe, Harbaugh said they haven’t made any decision in terms of his availability to play against the Dolphins. The 26-year-old stayed at the team’s Owings Mills facility late into the night on Thursday to work with the offensive line staff in hopes of getting up to speed as soon as possible, according to Harbaugh.

“The main thing is how he feels about it, if he feels confident that he can execute,” said Harbaugh, who acknowledged not being sure what the realistic timetable is to get Monroe on the field for the Ravens. “The good thing is he know what it’s like to play. If he gives us feedback, and he says he’s comfortable and can go, I would think we’d be very confident that he knows what he’s talking about.”

An encouraging sign for the Ravens during Friday’s practice was the presence of Dennis Pitta, who was catching passes from the Jugs machine. The fourth-year tight end was dressed in a T-shirt and shorts and was able to twist his body as he caught passes from the machine, but he did not do any jogging or running during the session.

Pitta remains on injured reserve with the designation to return, making him eligible to return to practice after the first six weeks of the regular season and to play in games after eight weeks. However, it is not believed that Pitta would be able to return until later in the season after he dislocated his hip on July 27, an injury that forced him to undergo immediate surgery.

“I’m pretty impressed,” Harbaugh said. “He’s running quite a bit on these machines, and he’s out here catching passes. [A potential return] is a ways away, time-wise. Every time I see Dennis, I guess I have mixed emotions. I’m happy that he’s doing well, and I’m not happy that he’s not already out there playing right now. He’s doing a good job.”

The referee for Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Dolphins will be Carl Cheffers.

The forecast in Miami calls for temperatures in the mid-80s with a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms.

Here’s the final injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
DOUBTFUL: DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Arthur Brown (shoulder), WR Marlon Brown (thigh), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), WR Jacoby Jones (knee), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), DT Marcus Spears (knee), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh), WR Deonte Thompson (concussion), CB Lardarius Webb (thigh)

MIAMI
OUT: CB Dimitri Patterson (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Brandon Gibson (ankle), S Don Jones (elbow), LB Jason Trusnik (rib), DE Cameron Wake (knee)
PROBABLE: CB Nolan Carroll (ankle), S Chris Clemons (glute), LB Dannell Ellerbe (knee), LB Jonathan Freeney (shoulder), LB Koa Misi (shoulder), DT Paul Soliai (knee)

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