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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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Ravens-Dolphins: Five predictions for Sunday

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Ravens-Dolphins: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 05 October 2013 by Luke Jones

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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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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Steelers

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game-Ravens/Steelers

Posted on 04 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’ 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Joe Flacco pass intended for Tandon Doss incomplete (4th quarter)

4. Charlie Batch pass intended for Isaac Redman incomplete, Ravens challenge and ruling upheld (3rd quarter)

3. Anquan Boldin called for offensive pass interference after 17 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 11 (3rd quarter)

2. Paul Kruger called for roughing the passer on Charlie Batch 10 yard completion to Mike Wallace (4th quarter)

1. Ziggy Hood recovers Joe Flacco fumble at Baltimore 27 after James Harrison sack (4th quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check: I think we all need some civic therapy today

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Your Monday Reality Check: I think we all need some civic therapy today

Posted on 03 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

I don’t have it in me.

Honestly, I combed over all of my usual spots looking for fun videos, GIFs, etc. for the 15-7-0. I wanted to have one more big roundup to close the college football season. I hope Roofing By Elite will be okay with sponsoring this diatribe instead.

As part of hosting a local sports talk show, I often find myself playing the role of civic therapist. After Baltimore Ravens losses, I’ll regularly hear things like “did you have to spend the day trying to talk everyone off the ledge?”

I’d like to think I’ve been fairly successful in that, although it was certainly come with my share of mini-meltdowns in the process.

I don’t think I’m going to melt down this time. I’m certainly not on the ledge myself.

I don’t think I’m on the ledge, anyway.

Am I on the ledge?

You know what happened. The Charlie Batch-led Pittsburgh Steelers invaded M&T Bank Stadium and used a Shaun Suisham field goal as time expired to pull off one of the more improbable victories of the 2012 NFL season. The Steelers snapped the Ravens’ lengthy win streaks both at home (15) and against AFC North opponents (12). They also prevented the Ravens from clinching a playoff spot in the AFC and pulled within two games of their longtime rival in the race for the division crown.

This one hurt.

With Ben Roethlisberger out again, this was a prime opportunity for the Ravens to vanquish one foe and focus on bigger goals. The Ravens are still in good position to claim the AFC North title this season, but everything the Ravens do this season is being measured by the fact that there is an expectation for them to reach the Super Bowl.

It was tough to imagine a team that struggled to a 9-6 win over the Kansas City Chiefs making a run to the Super Bowl. It’s equally difficult to fathom a team that lost at home to Charlie Batch making a run to the Super Bowl.

(This is the part where civic therapist Glenn Clark reminds everyone that they’re not moving up the date of the Super Bowl to December and it is absolutely impossible that the Steelers and Ravens will both be playing in the game. Sorry. I had to.)

The truth is that the concerns that stem from the Ravens’ loss aren’t dissimilar to those we had experienced earlier in wins and losses. The truth is that those concerns will likely pop up again, perhaps as early as next week in a visit to face Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. The truth is that as long as the Baltimore Ravens were winning games, those concerns weren’t REALLY issues.

The Ravens simply needed to put themselves in the best possible situation to make a playoff run. If the Ravens continued to struggle offensively on the road but won, they’d still be in perfect shape to have to win no more than one road game in the postseason to get to New Orleans.

That’s the NFL. Your issues are only as significant as the record you carry them with. In that way, the Ravens are still in good shape at 9-3; but the nature of how this one went awry makes you worry about the ability for the team to keep winning through struggles.

In a game the Ravens only lost by three points, this one had a little bit of everything…

-Questionable play calling
-Poor clock management decisions
-Shaky quarterback play
-Offensive line lapses
-Inconsistent rushing
-Untimely drops
-Non-existent pass rush
-Awful tackling
-Secondary miscommunication
-Game changing turnovers
-3rd down struggles
-Red zone issues
-Potentially season changing injuries
-A partridge in a pear tree

Okay, maybe not the last one. But the rest were accurate at one point or another.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game – Ravens/Steelers

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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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