Tag Archive | "heinz field"

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Ravens: Offense and defense both get blame in 3-point loss at Pittsburgh

Posted on 20 October 2013 by Drew Forrester

Tough loss.

At the worst time.

And, like the one last week against Green Bay, it was there for the taking.

Sunday’s 19-16 loss in Pittsburgh – against a mediocre-at-best Steelers team – will sting for a lot longer than the 45-minute flight home later tonight.

The Ravens are in unfamiliar territory now, dropping two straight games heading into the bye and sitting at 3-4 as the halfway point of the season approaches.

John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs and the rest of the men in purple have their work cut out for the next ten weeks or so, that’s for certain.

Once again on Sunday, the Ravens offense failed to do anything for the first 50 minutes of the game.

Then, like last week against the Packers, they suddenly came to life with a championship-type-drive late in the 4th quarter to knot the game at 16-16.

Unfortunately, it was also “just like last week” for the defense, who surrendered a huge throw to Jermichael Finley late in the Packers game that sealed their fate and allowed 39 yards in the final two minutes of Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh to put the Steelers in position to nail the game-winning field goal.

That’s been the story of the last two weeks, in particular, and most of the season, really.

Offense:  not very good for most of the game, comes to life late.

Defense: decent for most of the game, runs out of gas late and gives up a huge drive.

In fairness to Baltimore’s offense on Sunday, do you know how many possessions they had in 60 minutes of football?

Think about it for a second — in four quarters against the Steelers, how many offensive series’ did Flacco have at his disposal?

Ready?

SEVEN.

They had seven offensive possessions in four quarters and scored on four of them; three FG’s and a TD.

The reason they only had seven?  For starters, they gave one of them away with a third-quarter onsides kick attempt that wasn’t all that bad of an idea, honestly.  They just needed better execution, which means, basically, that Jeromy Miles can’t be offside on the play.  Even though Justin Tucker was flagged for touching the ball before it went ten yards, Miles was flagged for offsides, which would have negated the play had it been successful.

And the bigger reason why they only had seven offensive possessions?  The Ravens defense just can’t get the other team off the field without yielding a 12-play, 10-minute drive of some sort.

Pittsburgh, too, only had seven offensive series’ on Sunday, but not once did they go 3-and-out.  In fact, five of their seven offensive possessions were eight plays or more.

On the final drive, Baltimore just couldn’t get a defensive stop when they needed it.  Just like last week against Green Bay.

The back-breaker of the whole affair wasn’t even an offensive or defensive play.  After the Ravens had tied the game with 1:58 to play, Emmanuel Sanders promptly took the ball six yards deep in his end zone and ran it back out to his own 37 yard line, scampering past the Ravens’ kick-coverage contain player who was supposed to seal the sideline but failed to do so.  Starting in decent position, Ben Roethlisberger connected on three big passing plays and before you could blink, Shaun Suisham was lining up for the game-winner from 42 yards out.

In review, at the seven game mark, the biggest issue continues to be the team’s offense.  Even with the no-huddle effort on Sunday, they looked lethargic and lacking the big play explosiveness you would expect from a unit with a QB who can throw it sixty yards like you and I can throw it twenty.  They ran the ball for 82 yards, which looks like an improvement over recent weeks, but still have lots of work to do in that department between now and New Year’s.

Defensively, the Steelers penetrated the Ravens front seven time and time again with their own hard-nosed running style and Roethlisberger was his typical, scrambling self, finding receivers who had created enough separation to get the ball buzzed into them in tight quarters.

Baltimore’s defense, while decent enough “stats wise” this season, just isn’t adept enough at getting opposing offenses off the field quickly.  Case in point on Sunday:  the Steelers punted the ball one time all afternoon.

So, it’s back to the drawing board for Harbaugh and his coaching staff.  The biggest benefit for the Ravens?  They haven’t yet played the division leading Bengals, so they’ll have two swipes at them between now and their 16th game.

That said, if the offense can’t play better in the first 50 minutes and if the defense can’t play better in the final 10 minutes, those two showdowns with Cincinnati might not matter at all.

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Ray Rice: “We’ve got to get better”

Posted on 20 October 2013 by WNSTV

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Suggs declares state of emergency for Ravens

Posted on 20 October 2013 by WNSTV

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The Steelers are 1-4…they’re not beating the Ravens on Sunday.

Posted on 18 October 2013 by Drew Forrester

This Ravens-Steelers game is impossible to pick.

Anything could happen.

As inept as both offenses have been, would it be out of the question for both of them to catch lightning in a bottle on Sunday and put up 20-something points somehow?  I can see it now;  Roethlisberger wakes up on the right side of the bed, the Steelers o-line is decent enough to keep him upright most of the afternoon, and Big Ben finds Antonio Brown twice for big gains to help give Pittsburgh two scoring drives.  Later, a punt return puts them down to the Ravens 25-yard line.  A pass interference call gives Pittsburgh first and goal and they punch it on the ground two plays later.  Add a couple of field goals and suddenly they have 27 points, somehow.

The same goes with the Ravens.  Flacco and Torrey Smith connect on a couple of 50 yard throws.  Ray Rice scampers in from six yards out.  Bernard Pierce busts in from the three yard line.  Lardarius Webb snags a ball that bounces off of someone’s shoulder pads and takes it down to the Pittsburgh 13.  On the next play, Flacco finds Marlon Brown in the end zone.  A field goal or two from Justin Tucker and you have a 24 or 27 point output.

I can see both of those scenarios.  At some point, don’t these two offenses have to produce a game that makes them look like a major league team offensively?

I think so.

But it won’t happen this Sunday.  The two defenses are too good to let that stuff happen.

Ravens win 14-9.  Pittsburgh’s 1-4 for a reason.  They stink.  And they’re not winning on Sunday.

(That said, if Baltimore loses on Sunday, all hell’s gonna break loose around here.  You can make book on that.)

 

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game – Ravens/Steelers

Posted on 20 November 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’ 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at Heinz Field…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Corey Graham intercepts Byron Leftwich pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders on 3rd & 8 (3rd quarter)

4. Corey Graham breaks up Byron Leftwich pass intended for Jerricho Cotchery in endzone (3rd quarter)

3. Brett Keisel defensive offsides negates James Harrison sack on 3rd & 7 (4th quarter)

2. James Ihedigbo sacks Byron Leftich for seven yard loss on 3rd & 11 (4th quarter)

1. Jacoby Jones 63 yard TD return of Drew Butler punt (1st quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Nothing logical about Ravens’ success, but they continue to win anyway

Posted on 19 November 2012 by Luke Jones

You can already hear the critiques and complaints about the Ravens’ 13-10 win over the Steelers on Sunday night.

The offense was anemic on the road once again, mustering just six points and finishing 3-for-14 on third down. The only saving grace was a turnover-free performance by quarterback Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense.

Taking the offensive showing in isolation, you’d be more understanding as the Ravens went up against the top-ranked defense in the league in yards allowed, but we know better watching the unit operate away from M&T Bank Stadium at this point.

An inspiring performance from a maligned and banged-up defense did come against a Pittsburgh offense without Ben Roethlisberger.

It was ugly and uncomfortable as it usually is against Pittsburgh, with the defensive — or offensively-challenged — struggle being decided by one possession for the ninth time in 11 games played between the Ravens and the Steelers in the John Harbaugh era.

A 63-yard punt return by Jacoby Jones was the lone touchdown for the Ravens as they won their third consecutive regular-season game in Pittsburgh for only the second time in franchise history.

No, it wasn’t a work of art, but a win over the Steelers should never be taken for granted, regardless of who’s playing quarterback for Pittsburgh.

Last year’s season-opening 35-7 win aside, it’s never easy.

“Whatever procedure my brother had, I think I’m going to need it later tonight,” Harbaugh said minutes after the narrow win. “My heart’s moving a little fast right now.”

Join the club, John.

As much as we’ve focused on the Ravens’ many injuries, offensive shortcomings on the road, and overall defensive struggles, they stand at 8-2 and enjoy a stranglehold on the AFC North with six games remaining in the regular season.

It really doesn’t make sense, but I’ll remind you we just spent six months saying the same thing during the baseball season before the Orioles advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.

This year’s version of the Ravens simply finds ways to win games and it’s landed them in a premium position despite their many flaws. At this point, I’m not sure we’ll see remedies to those weaknesses, which supports the notion of the Ravens needing to play playoff games in Baltimore in order to have a realistic chance of advancing to the Super Bowl.

But it’s becoming more and more difficult to bet against Baltimore when you see the rest of the overall competition in the AFC.

Talking to Terrell Suggs after Sunday night’s win, I expected the defensive bravado to resurface after holding the Steelers to 10 points, but that wasn’t the case. It was an interesting vibe offered by the 30-year-old linebacker, who admitted he’s still not where he wants to be physically in terms of explosiveness and being able to make his usual impact.

“I’m starting to believe the numbers really don’t matter,” Suggs said. “We’ve been a top-10 defense for years and yet, we have no Super Bowl rings to account for them. Last year, in the AFC championship, we lost to the 31st-ranked defense. The numbers are all good for [media] to kind of pile on, but I guess the only thing that really matters is wins and losses.”

Maybe it was a veteran realizing the Ravens’ window for winning a championship is closing — at least in terms of how the current team is constructed.

Or perhaps the Ravens are embracing the good karma coming their way in the win column week after week despite the obstacles they’ve faced.

Baltimore is counting on names such as Corey Graham, Chris Johnson, and James Ihedigbo to make game-changing plays at this point.

The defense is below average statistically. The offense looks elite at home but cannot get out of its own way on the road. The special teams have been exceptional.

The sum of those parts shouldn’t add up to the Ravens being a championship-caliber team.

But it’s somehow working out so far to put them in position to make a run.

An 8-2 record proves it.

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Luke & Nestor recap Ravens’ win at Heinz Field

Posted on 19 November 2012 by WNSTV

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Our Ravens/Steelers “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 19 November 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’ 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Cary Williams

4. Ray Rice

3. James Ihedigbo

2. Anquan Boldin

1. Corey Graham (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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Suggs calls win in Pittsburgh “bittersweet”

Posted on 19 November 2012 by WNSTV

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Ravens-Steelers: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 18 November 2012 by Luke Jones

PITTSBURGH — Aiming for their third straight regular-season victory at Heinz Field, the Ravens take on the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 33nd time in the regular season in the history of the franchise.

Baltimore can create a stranglehold on the AFC North with a victory as it already owns a one-game advantage in the division with a second meeting still to come in two weeks in Baltimore. The Ravens are 6-10 all-time in Pittsburgh in the regular season as quarterback Joe Flacco has orchestrated game-winning drives in the closing seconds in each of the last two regular-season meetings at Heinz Field.

In addition to starting cornerback Jimmy Smith (sports hernia surgery), the Ravens will be without nose tackle Terrence Cody and defensive end Pernell McPhee, who suffered a setback during practice this week after declaring himself 100 percent recovered from knee and thigh injuries on Thursday.

The injuries on the defensive line coupled with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata still being less than 100 percent could spell trouble for the Ravens against a Pittsburgh offense that figures to focus on its running attack against the 26th-ranked rush defense in the NFL. Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall returns from an Achilles tendon injury to form a three-headed monster with Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer.

Perhaps the biggest surprise among the Ravens’ inactives is veteran guard Bobbie Williams, meaning second-year lineman Jah Reid will start at left guard against the Steelers. Backup lineman Ramon Harewood is also inactive, which leaves rookie Gino Gradkowski as the only reserve interior lineman available in case of an injury. Of course, veteran tackle Bryant McKinnie will serve as an additional reserve along the offensive line.

Newly-signed veteran cornerback Chris Johnson and just-promoted safety Anthony Levine are both active. Rookie safety Christian Thompson was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury on Saturday, making room for the Ravens to promote Levine from the practice squad.

Of course, the Steelers are hurting just as badly as the Ravens as starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is out and will be replaced by veteran Byron Leftwich. Pittsburgh is also without safety Troy Polamalu and starting wide receiver Antonio Brown for Sunday night’s game.

Injured inside linebacker Ray Lewis is in Pittsburgh and will be on the sideline for Sunday night’s game.

The Ravens will wear white jerseys with black pants while Pittsburgh will wear their throwback jerseys that, well, you just have to see to believe.

throwbacks

Here are the inactives for Sunday night …

BALTIMORE
CB Jimmy Smith
CB Asa Jackson
DT Terrence Cody
G Bobbie Williams
G Ramon Harewood
WR Deonte Thompson
DE Pernell McPhee

PITTSBURGH
QB Ben Roethlisberger
CB DeMarcus Van Dyke
S Troy Polamalu
LB Stevenson Sylvester
LB Adrian Robinson
OT Marcus Gilbert
WR Antonio Brown

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the day as Nestor Aparicio and I bring live updates and analysis from Heinz Field.

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