Tag Archive | "giants"

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Ravens to try out former Giants tight end Ballard on Monday

Posted on 08 September 2013 by Luke Jones

Desperate to improve their production at the tight end position, the Ravens will reportedly try out Jake Ballard.

The former New York Giants tight end was waived by the New England Patriots at the end of the preseason after missing the entire 2012 season due to the torn ACL he suffered in Super Bowl XLVI. Prior to the injury, Ballard had a good 2011 season with the Giants, catching 38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games.

According to FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo, Ballard will work out for the Ravens in Owings Mills on Monday.

Ballard struggled in the preseason as the Patriots were hoping he could help fill the void left behind by Aaron Hernandez and the currently-injured Rob Gronkowski.

The Ravens have struggled to find production at the tight end position following the long-term hip injury to starter Dennis Pitta in late July. Fourth-year tight end Ed Dickson struggled to catch the football several times and veteran Dallas Clark dropped a sure touchdown right before halftime in the season-opening 49-27 loss to Denver.

Baltimore also signed veteran Visanthe Shiancoe during training camp but decided to cut him on Aug. 25.

With the Ravens struggling to find viable targets for quarterback Joe Flacco in the passing game, watching Anquan Boldin catch 13 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown had to sting even more.


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Giants unable to identify person responsible for Adam Jones incident

Posted on 12 August 2013 by WNST Staff

Statement from the San Francisco Giants Regarding Incident at AT&T Park Yesterday

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – We were extremely disappointed to learn about the incident involving Adam Jones at AT&T Park yesterday. The Giants have a zero tolerance policy against this type of behavior, which results in immediate ejection from the ballpark. While we have been investigating the matter since we learned of the situation, unfortunately we have been unable to identify the person responsible. We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Adam and the entire Orioles organization for this unfortunate incident. The inappropriate actions of this individual in no way reflect the values of our organization and our fans.

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Reed fined $55,000 for hit on Giants’ Cruz

Posted on 28 December 2012 by Luke Jones

Ravens free safety Ed Reed has been fined a reported $55,000 for a penalized hit on New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz in last Sunday’s 33-14 win for Baltimore.

The veteran appeared to hit Cruz in the chest with his shoulder before making contact with the wideout’s facemask. Reed was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness for contact to the head and neck area of a defenseless player, according to Week 16 referee Carl Cheffers.

Earlier this season, Reed was initially suspended one game for a hit on Pittsburgh receiver Emmanuel Sanders before the suspension was overturned. Reed was instead fined $50,000 by arbitrator Ted Cotrell after an appeal that was supported by team president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome.

“It’s just an interesting situation,” said Reed prior to news of the latest fine surfacing Thursday night. “I just play the game. I’ll let them make those decisions.”

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens for Week 16

Posted on 26 December 2012 by Luke Jones

Below are our Tuesday Top 7 Ravens players in the 33-14 win over the New York Giants in Week 16. We’ll track our rankings throughout the 2012 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

To hear the full explanation for the respective lists, click HERE.

Luke Jones’ Top 7 …

7) Chykie Brown

6) James Ihedigbo

5) Anquan Boldin

4) Bernard Pierce

3) Torrey Smith

2) Ray Rice

1) Joe Flacco

Drew Forrester’s Top 7 …


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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Giants

Posted on 25 December 2012 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’ 33-14 win over the New York Giants Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Anquan Boldin 39 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 19 (2nd quarter)

4. Omar Brown sacks Eli Manning for nine yard loss (3rd quarter)

3. Brendon Ayanbadejo sacks Eli Manning for seven yard loss (2nd quarter)

2. Torrey Smith 6 yard TD catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & goal (1st quarter)

1. Ray Rice 27 yard touchdown catch from Joe Flacco (2nd quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check: Ravens should absolutely play to win in Cincinnati

Posted on 24 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’m amazed by how many people I had to explain it to Sunday night. I honestly had to give up after a little while.

The stupidity of the statement “I’d rather the Baltimore Ravens be the four seed because the path looks easier to me” is unbelievable.

I was impressed by a number of things I saw from the Baltimore Ravens Sunday (weren’t we all?), but one that probably went unnoticed by many was how head coach John Harbaugh addressed the question of how the team would handle next week’s game.

“The thing we’re going to do for sure is we’re going to try to win the game” Harbaugh explained. “We’re also going to try to make sure we’re as healthy as we can be going into the playoffs so I think we’ll merge those two considerations.”

Bingo. The Baltimore Ravens absolutely MUST try to win their Week 17 date with the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

By virtue of their 33-14 win over the New York Giants Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens clinched the AFC North title and a home playoff game. They are guaranteed to play on Wild Card weekend of the NFL Playoffs, but they are not yet locked into the four seed. The Ravens could still clinch the three seed in the AFC Playoffs with a win over the Bengals and a New England Patriots loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The difference in the third seed and fourth seed isn’t necessarily significant, but it has the potential to be. Getting the third seed could be the difference in whether the Ravens are able to host the AFC Championship Game.

It seems like an unlikely scenario, but it’s not impossible. Should the Ravens and Patriots end up as the third and fourth seeds but each win their first two playoff games, they would meet in the AFC title game. If the Pats are the three seed and the Ravens the four, the Pats would host the game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. I vaguely remember such a game happening there before.

But if the Ravens were to finish as the three seed and the Patriots the fourth seed, the game would then be played in the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium, the place where the Baltimore Ravens have won 15 of their last 17 games (including playoffs).

Which scenario would you prefer?

I got this question Sunday night. “This seems so unlikely. When was the last time something like this even happened?”

The person who asked was right. It IS an unlikely scenario. But if the Ravens are to return to the AFC Championship Game at all, they will HAVE to knock off one of the top two seeds. The Pats would then only need to win a game either in Houston or Denver, neither of which seems like an impossible scenario.

And if you’ll allow your memory to serve you right, you’ll be reminded that the Ravens were a second half collapse away from having this scenario play out in January 2011. The New York Jets stunned the Patriots in Foxborough, so had the Ravens avoided blowing a fourteen point halftime lead to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, they would have hosted the AFC Championship Game as a five seed.

Some people argued to me “Glenn, I think the road is easier as a four seed because I’d rather play Indianapolis and Houston than Cincinnati and Denver.”

I have absolutely no idea why there is a sudden fear of the Cincinnati Bengals amongst Ravens fans. The difference between the Bengals and Colts is minimal at best. Bengals QB Andy Dalton has thrown for three touchdowns and five interceptions over the course of the last three weeks, is 0-3 in his career against the Ravens and thus far in his NFL career has not defeated a team that has clinched a postseason berth (although that could change next week if the Washington Redskins or New York Giants get in).

The Houston argument is more compelling. Despite the fact that the Ravens suffered a 43-13 shellacking earlier this season in Houston, it’s easy to understand why fans would believe that task more likely to be accomplished than a Ravens win in Denver. What’s forgotten in this scenario is that the Texans have not yet clinched the top seed in the AFC. They will need to do something they’ve never done in franchise history-win in Indianapolis-next Sunday in order to nail down the top spot, and RB Arian Foster’s availability could be an issue after he left Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings with an irregular heartbeat.

Should the Texans lose (as well as the Patriots) and the Broncos win, the Broncos would be the one seed and the Texans would be the two seed. Which scenario is better for the Ravens at that point?

The NFL did the Ravens no favors in scheduling, as their tilt with the Bengals will kick off at 1pm Sunday, while the Patriots won’t kick off until some three hours later. The Ravens will not have the benefit of knowing what the Patriots are doing to decide if there’s a point where they want to pull their starters.

Instead, they’ll simply have to channel former NFL coach Herm Edwards and “play to win the game.”

That doesn’t mean they should go crazy.

The Ravens are smart enough to know that the Patriots are unlikely to lose to the Dolphins and will most likely open the postseason by hosting the Colts in a playoff game for the second time in franchise history. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.

As Harbaugh said, merging the two considerations is very plausible.

It would make total sense for the Ravens to consider giving oft-injured DT Haloti Ngata another week off (he rested for the team’s blowout win over the Oakland Raiders in November) and even LB Terrell Suggs (who has played the last two weeks after suffering a torn biceps tendon) the day off. Harbaugh also confirmed LB Ray Lewis wouldn’t be a consideration to return from Injured Reserve until the postseason. It wouldn’t be stunning to see S Bernard Pollard miss a third straight game either, and if WR Anquan Boldin’s shoulder is of significant concern it would be understandable to see him miss the finale as well.

But there is absolutely no reason for the Ravens to spend Sunday’s game with Tyrod Taylor handing the ball off to Anthony Allen all afternoon while Joe Flacco and Ray Rice watch in sweats. It’s one thing to be prudent. It’s quite another to just plain give up.

With something to play for still, there’s no reason the Ravens should do the latter. Judging by John Harbaugh’s comments, I’ll assume they won’t.


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Flacco, offense finish home schedule like they started it — with a bang

Posted on 23 December 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Much like we saw three months ago when the Ravens crushed the Cincinnati Bengals to kick off the 2012 season, Joe Flacco and the offense looked every bit the part of an elite group in a 33-14 thrashing of the New York Giants on Sunday.

The Baltimore quarterback threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce each ran for over 100 yards. Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin combined for 12 catches, 181 yards, and one touchdown. And the offensive line not only gashed the Giants’ front seven to the tune of a season-high 224 rushing yards, but the unit didn’t allow a sack as New York registered only two quarterback hits over 60 minutes of play.

But the story of the day was Flacco, who bounced back from one of the lowest moments of his career — an interception returned 98 yards by Chris Harris to create a 17-0 halftime deficit in an embarrassing loss to Denver last week — to play one of his best games of the season when the Ravens needed it most. Faced with the prospects of going to Cincinnati next week for an AFC North championship game if his team didn’t win, Flacco was brilliant in making his reads, throwing with pinpoint accuracy over the middle of the field, and even completing passes on the run.

On Sunday, Flacco reminded us why the Ravens think so highly of him and are committed to him for the long haul — even if the terms of a contract have yet to be ironed out. However, that faith had been tested more than ever after last week’s performance and the Ravens’ first three-game losing streak in over three years.

“Like I said last week, we’re going to see what kind of team we are,” Flacco said. “We believe we’re this kind of team, and we’re really going to see if we are. I think that we showed ourselves and we showed people today that we are that kind of team. We’re here to stay.”

But that’s just the problem. I don’t know if Flacco and this offense are here to stay.

We spoke of Flacco finally taking a quantum leap after last year’s AFC Championship and that 44-13 thrashing of the Bengals to open the season on Sept. 10. But what followed was an up-and-down season in which the fifth-year quarterback has been mostly good at home and mostly bad on the road.

The sight of Flacco lying face down on the M&T Bank Stadium turf seconds before halftime last Sunday told you just how badly the quarterback needed this performance. His teammates hadn’t lost faith in him, but nearly everyone else was wondering if he had what it took to climb out of the gaping hole of a three-game slide in December.

He answered the bell by completing 25 of 36 passes for a 114.2 passer rating to put the Giants’ postseason hopes on life support.

“People won’t be talking about Joe’s technique and how he’s not dropping or throwing the ball properly,” linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo said. “I guess they’ll be saying, “Oh, man, Joe’s amazing’ this time. We had a talk about our critics and how [you] don’t play better for your critiques. Play better for each other.”

Those thoughts about their critics were offered by owner Steve Bisciotti as he met with his team last week to offer inspirational words, and the Ravens certainly took them to heart as they turned in arguably their most complete victory of the season against an opponent that was supposed to be feeling more urgency than them.

The key to the offensive success was third-down efficiency as the Ravens were 10-for-14 in that department prior to the fourth quarter and finished 11-for-18. It was a dramatic change from last Sunday when the group went a woeful 1-for-12 on third down against the Denver defense.

Those conversions allowed offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell to give 24 carries to Rice. Moving the chains on third down gave the offense the chance to possess the ball for 39:21 and keep a banged-up defense as fresh as it could be. All of those stats and touches and run-to-pass comparisons seem to work out when you’re able to convert on third down and sustain drives.

It’s a clear but difficult objective.

“It’s about execution. It’s a simple word, but it’s a very tough task to do,” Rice said. “To come in week in and week out and execute at a high level, that’s tough. But that’s what we get paid to do. The pressure was on us.”

And the pressure was on Flacco most heavily as he’s moved to the top of the accountability pecking order with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron now history. It was just as ugly last week as it was exquisite on Sunday as the quarterback carved up a New York secondary that had little chance with the Ravens’ offensive line keeping the Giants’ vaunted pass rushers in check.

Will we see more of that offensive production as the Ravens go to Cincinnati with an opportunity to jockey for the No. 3 seed while resting banged-up players who could use a week off before the playoffs begin? Or will Flacco revert to the quarterback who’s struggled mightily outside Baltimore to renew those doubts entering the playoffs?

The signal-caller said it best when asked if Sunday’s performance could be a springboard to bigger and better things in the postseason.

“I’m not a big believer in any of that,” Flacco said. “I think each week is an individual game and a different opponent, and you have to go out there and you have to go through the week and prepare and go out there on Sunday and play well, just like you did the previous week. I’m not necessarily a big believer in any one game propelling you throughout the other ones.”

How he performs in the postseason will still define Flacco’s 2012 campaign.

Sunday was a step in the right direction, but it’s tough to feel convinced until we see more of it, at least with some improved level of consistency.

Regardless of what lies ahead for the quarterback’s performance, Sunday was the type of outing that creates optimism that the Ravens can still be dangerous in the AFC where every team aside from the Denver Broncos has shown concerning flaws in recent weeks. You never really know until you get to January as the Giants of last year and the Packers of two seasons ago showed.

“We say that the NFL is a week-to-week business,” coach John Harbaugh said. “It really is. One week to the next does not guarantee one thing. [The Giants] scored over 50 points two games ago. This is a really good football team. I thought our guys played exceptionally well. Getting a little bit of momentum helps.”

It certainly does, but momentum is only as good as your next opponent.

And we’ll learn quickly if Flacco and the Ravens can build on this victory a little better than they did after that first blowout victory over Cincinnati to begin the season. It will be all the more critical with the “second” season looming.


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Flacco: “I believe in myself and I believe in this team”

Posted on 23 December 2012 by WNSTV

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Our Ravens/Giants “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 23 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple 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’ 33-14 win over New York Giants Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Corey Graham

4. Anquan Boldin

3. Brendon Ayanbadejo

2. Torrey Smith

1. Ray Rice (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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Ravens-Giants: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 23 December 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Ravens hope to bring an early Christmas present to Baltimore this year by way of their second straight AFC North championship with a win over the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon.

Of course, they’ve faced scenarios in each of the last three weeks in which they could have locked up a division title, but they’ve been unable to do it as they’ve lost three in a row and now face the prospects of likely needing to win one of their final two games to clinch. Otherwise, their once-excellent position with a 9-2 record could morph into settling for a wild card and a road playoff game in the first round of the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the 8-6 Giants need to win each of their last two games to give themselves an opportunity to defend their Super Bowl title in the postseason. New York has lost four of its last six and is a week removed from a 34-0 defeat in Atlanta, the first shutout suffered by the Giants since 1996.

After practicing on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday, right guard Marshal Yanda is active and will return to action after missing last week’s game against the Broncos. The Ravens must feel confident in his ability to hold up with the ankle as Bobbie Williams and Ramon Harewood are both inactive against the Giants.

Though we learned Saturday that linebacker Ray Lewis is not expected to return before the start of the playoffs, the Ravens will welcome the return of inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe after a three-game absence due to an ankle injury. However, linebacker Albert McClellan is listed as inactive after dealing with a hamstring injury he suffered against Denver.

Wide receiver Torrey Smith and running back Bernard Pierce are both active and obviously passed their baseline neurological tests to clear them for contact. There’s no reason to expect either player to be limited after sustaining concussions in Week 15.

As expected, strong safety Bernard Pollard will miss his second straight game as he continues to deal with a rib injury that was aggravated in the Ravens’ loss to Washington in Week 14.

Rookie outside linebacker Adrian Hamilton is active a day after being promoted to the 53-man roster to take injured linebacker Jameel McClain’s spot.

The Giants will be without standout defensive end Justin Tuck, who is inactive with a shoulder injury. Starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw is active and will play, however.

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

Baltimore leads the regular-season series, 2-1, and won the only postseason meeting between the teams, a 34-7 final in Super Bowl XXXV on Jan. 28, 2001.

The Ravens will wear their black jerseys and black pants while the Giants wear their white tops with gray pants.

Here are Sunday’s inactives …

WR Tandon Doss
S Bernard Pollard
LB Albert McClellan
G Bobbie Williams
OL Ramon Harewood
WR Deonte Thompson
DL Bryan Hall

DE Justin Tuck
WR Ramses Barden
S Kenny Phillips
S Tyler Sash
DE Adewale Ojomo
TE Travis Beckum
TE Adrien Robinson

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the day as Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, and I bring live updates and analysis from M&T Bank Stadium throughout the day.

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