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Ravens-Patriots: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Patriots: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 22 December 2013 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Ravens are no strangers to big games with the New England Patriots as the teams meet Sunday for the first time since last January’s AFC Championship with high postseason stakes once again involved.

New England entered Sunday needing only a win or a Miami loss to clinch its fifth straight AFC East division title while the Ravens can punch their ticket to the postseason for the sixth consecutive year with a win and losses by both Miami and San Diego. Of course, the Ravens still have visions for an AFC North championship but need a win or a Cincinnati loss in Week 16 to set up next week’s showdown with the Bengals as a division title game.

Watchful eyes will be on quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice as both are active but were limited in practices this week. During pre-game warmups, Flacco was moving around fairly well while sporting a brace on his left knee and throwing to tight end Dennis Pitta and wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

Rice is dealing with a mild quadriceps injury that forced him out of Wednesday’s practice, but the sixth-year running back downplayed the significance of the ailment earlier in the week. The Patriots are 31st in the NFL in rush defense, so this matchup sets up nicely for Rice and backup Bernard Pierce to have productive days.

Linebacker Elvis Dumervil is active and will play despite being a late addition to the injury report on Friday. Like Flacco and Rice, he was listed as questionable, but the rush specialist will play against the Patriots after being limited in Friday’s practice with a lingering ankle injury.

Tight end Dallas Clark is inactive for the second time in three weeks despite being listed as probable on the final injury report with an illness. He was active against Detroit in Week 15, but the veteran did not play a snap.

The Patriots will be without left tackle Nate Solder (concussion) today after he was downgraded to out Saturday night. As a result, New England is expected to shift veteran left guard Logan Mankins to left tackle as they did last week when Solder suffered his second concussion in as many weeks.

New England wideout Aaron Dobson is active and will provide a 6-foot-3 target in the red zone for a Patriots offense that struggled in that capacity last week in Miami.

Including the playoffs, Sunday marks the seventh time these teams have met in the John Harbaugh era with the Ravens and Patriots splitting the series. Despite Baltimore’s postseason success against quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, New England is 6-1 all-time in the regular season against the Ravens.

Unseasonably warm temperatures reaching the low 70s and a 60-percent chance of rain — with the possibility of a thunderstorm — are in the forecast with winds up to 11 miles per hour for the 4:25 p.m. kickoff.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be Ron Winter.

The Ravens will wear purple jerseys with black pants while New England sports white jerseys with dark blue pants.

Here are Sunday’s inactives:

BALTIMORE
CB Asa Jackson
S Omar Brown
LB Albert McClellan
C Ryan Jensen
WR Deonte Thompson
TE Dallas Clark
DT Brandon Williams

NEW ENGLAND
LT Nate Solder
TE D.J. Williams
LB Dane Fletcher
WR Josh Boyce
WR Kenbrell Thompkins
DT Isaac Sopoaga
DE Jake Bequette

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

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Ravens-Patriots: Five predictions for Sunday

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Ravens-Patriots: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 21 December 2013 by Luke Jones

The Ravens renew what’s become one of the best rivalries in the NFL in recent years Sunday when the New England Patriots pay a visit with playoff implications for both sides.

A rematch of the last two AFC Championship games is compelling enough, but the Ravens enter Sunday with a chance to punch their ticket to the postseason for the sixth straight year with a win and losses by Miami and San Diego. New England will clinch its fifth consecutive AFC East division title with a victory at M&T Bank Stadium.

These teams have dealt with their fair share of changes since the last time they met in Foxborough last January, but they find themselves in a familiar position with new faces emerging to replace the big names of past years. Counting the postseason, Sunday marks the seventh time the Ravens and Patriots have met in the John Harbaugh era — it’s been a 3-3 split — with few teams having as much success against New England coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady as Baltimore.

It’s time to go on the record as the Ravens try to clinch another winning season under Harbaugh and set up an AFC North championship game against Cincinnati in Week 17. Baltimore is just 1-6 in the all-time regular-season series against New England, but the Ravens hold a 2-1 edge over the Patriots in the postseason.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens look to continue their four-game winning streak and keep themselves in position for January football …

1. Joe Flacco’s knee injury will affect his mobility, contributing to him being sacked four times for the first time since late November. One of the major factors for Flacco’s improved play down the stretch has been his ability to move around in the pocket and occasionally take off to gain yards on the ground, but the mild MCL sprain of his left knee figures to impact that to some extent. Trying to assess Flacco’s mobility during practices this week was impossible as quarterbacks only played catch from a stationary position during the open portion of practices, but he was still dealing with some swelling late in the week. The Baltimore offensive line has only allowed five sacks over the last three games, but Flacco will be more likely to stay in the pocket this week, leading to a few more sacks with defensive ends Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich coming off the edges.

2. New England cornerback Aqib Talib will match up with Dennis Pitta, but the Ravens tight end will catch a touchdown. The Patriots have used the 6-foot-1 Talib against talented tight ends such as New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham and Miami’s Charles Clay, so don’t be surprised to see him covering Pitta from the slot position while New England tries to use Cover 2 to contain the deep-ball threats of Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones on the outside. Talib is listed as probable on the final injury report, but he’s been dealing with a nagging hip issue, which might explain why defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Belichick moved him inside last week in Miami. Talib will prevent Pitta from having a huge day, but Flacco will still find his favorite target inside the red zone for a touchdown after the tight end wasn’t targeted once in three red-zone trips last week in Detroit.

3. Brady will find rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson for a touchdown to help the Patriots’ recent red-zone woes. New England ranks 16th in the league in red-zone offense, and the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski has only made that area of the field more problematic for the future Hall of Fame quarterback as he lacks a big target to throw to. The Patriots were only 1-for-4 inside the 20 in last week’s loss to the Dolphins, but the return of the 6-foot-3 Dobson will help complement smaller receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. The Ravens must also keep tabs on Shane Vereen and his receiving abilities out of the backfield, but the league’s fourth-ranked red-zone defense will make the Patriots scratch and claw all day. Even with their personnel losses, the Patriots rank sixth in the NFL in points scored and Brady will connect with Dobson for a touchdown.

4. Backup running back Bernard Pierce will earn a season high for rushing yards with Ray Rice less than 100 percent. Rice and the Ravens have downplayed the mild quadriceps strain he suffered in the Week 15 win over the Lions, but it’s difficult not to be concerned considering how tough this season has been for the three-time Pro Bowl selection. Pierce has experienced his own struggles — averaging only 2.8 yards per carry — behind an offensive line that’s underperformed. If the Patriots do match up Talib with Pitta and rely on two high safeties against the vertical threat, the Ravens will receive better looks in the box against the league’s 31st-ranked run defense that’s surrendered 132.5 yards per game. It’s difficult to trust the Ravens to run the ball effectively against anyone at this point, but Pierce will eclipse his season high of 65 rushing yards set in Week 3.

5. An improved effort inside the 20-yard line will go a long way as the Ravens win a 23-17 final over New England. Baltimore has won four straight games but has only gone 4-for-14 inside the red zone over that stretch, leaving a slim margin for error and too much reliance on kicker Justin Tucker. That being said, Flacco has gotten the best of Brady in recent years and the Ravens are feeling more urgency than the Patriots with their playoff positioning. Sunday will be a nail-biter and you can never count out Brady when the stakes are high, but the Ravens will once again rise to the occasion to finish 7-1 at home. The offense will have a respectable effort on the ground and make a few big plays through the air to complement another strong defensive effort as the Ravens set up a massive Week 17 showdown with the Bengals.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 17 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-UMBC @ Loyola (Saturday 12pm Reitz Arena)

10. Beyonce (Wednesday 8pm Verizon Center); Switchfoot/New Politics (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live), Kix (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); The English Beat (Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Saves The Day (Saturday 8:30pm Ottobar); Michael Bolton (Tuesday 8pm Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts); Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Tuesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Carbon Leaf (Thursday & Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Chatham County Line (Wednesday 8pm Jammin’ Java)

Switchfoot: you have no idea how much you enjoy them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_5oE0ijhKg

New Politics does the song you’ve heard a ton.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVOUTkFkMNU

Carbon Leaf should stop spending any more than a day or two out of the area every month.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOo7ZzwOI9I

Chatham County Line is worth finding out more about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMaZEWxy3S8

9. A John Waters Christmas (Thursday & Friday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Kick-Ass 2” and “The Lone Ranger” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Wednesday) American Hustle“, “Saving Mr. Banks” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” out in theaters (Friday)

I will be seeing ALL of these movies this week. I enjoy this.

And this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQyPVBtLXk0

AND this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awR-XUHCMd8

AND this.

I will see all of these.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Vikings

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Vikings

Posted on 10 December 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’ 29-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Matt Elam recovers Toby Gerhart fumble forced by James Ihedigbo at Vikings’ 25 (1st quarter)

4. Jacoby Jones returns Blair Walsh kickoff for 77 yard TD (4th quarter)

Should have been even bigger. 

3. Dennis Pitta 1 yard TD catch from Joe Flacco on 4th & goal (4th quarter)

God it’s good to have him back. 

2. Marlon Brown 35 yard catch from Joe Flacco (4th quarter)

As Marlon told us Monday, this might have actually been the biggest play of the game.

1. Marlon Brown 9 yard TD catch from Joe Flacco (4th quarter)

I wanted to out-think it, but I simply couldn’t.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Vikings “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Vikings “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 08 December 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’ 29-26 victory over the Minnesota Vikings Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Chris Canty

4. James Ihedigbo

3. Ray Rice

2. Marlon Brown

1. Jacoby Jones (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 03 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Big Ten/ACC Challenge: Ohio State @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Comcast Center), Siena @ Maryland (Monday 7pm Comcast Center); NBA: Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Denver Nuggets @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV); Boxing: Zab Judah vs. Paulie Malignaggi (Saturday 8pm from Brooklyn live on Showtime); Auto Racing: NASCAR Awards Banquet (Friday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Fox Sports 2)

10. Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Wednesday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Halestorm (Wednesday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Panic! at the Disco (Monday 8pm Rams Head Live); Spacehog & Sponge (Friday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage), Monster Magnet (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Carbon Leaf (Friday 8pm Saturday 3pm & 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Megadeth (Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), NOFX (Friday 7:25pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Matisyahu (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Muse “Live at Rome Olympic Stadium” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I don’t care what face you’re making, it doesn’t change how much I secretly love TSO.

I don’t know if I’ll make it to Soundstage Sunday night, but you should sing along with this tune for me.

I believe by law Carbon Leaf is not allowed to go more than a month without playing around here.

I’ll be the Muse record doesn’t suck.

9. Jeff Dunham (Thursday 7pm Patriot Center); Donnell Rawlings (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); The Wolverine” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Tuesday-Sunday France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at The Hippodrome); Parade of Lighted Boats (Saturday 6pm Fells Point/Inner Harbor); “A Monumental Occasion” (Thursday 5pm Mount Vernon Place)

I don’t really have a lot to say about any of this. Sorry. I didn’t really have time to study if we’re being fair.

Instead, courtesy of The Robb Report, for Christmas this year I’d like you to buy me a backyard stadium for $30 million. For reals.

I would also settle for this $83 million sky yacht.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Steelers “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Steelers “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 29 November 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’ 22-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers Thanksgiving night at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn’s Pats…

5. Bernard Pierce

 

4. James Ihedigbo

 

3. Lardarius Webb

 

2. Torrey Smith

1. Justin Tucker (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Continued on Page 2….)

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Ravens-Steelers: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Steelers: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 28 November 2013 by Luke Jones

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

BALTIMORE — The stakes are clear as the Ravens welcome the hated Pittsburgh Steelers to Baltimore for the 39th all-time meeting between the AFC North rivals.

A win puts John Harbaugh’s team in prime position to at least secure the No. 6 seed in the conference and advance to the postseason for the sixth consecutive season. However, a defeat all but ends Baltimore’s playoff hopes as it would give Pittsburgh a one-game lead and the head-to-head tiebreaker and force the Ravens to need to run the table over the final quarter of the season just to get to 9-7.

Of course, the Ravens will need to top quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who owns a 7-2 record against Baltimore in the Harbaugh era. The Ravens have never gotten the best of the veteran quarterback with the stakes at their highest late in the season.

Despite not activating tight end Dennis Pitta from injured reserve-designated to return, the Ravens find themselves in excellent shape physically as only reserve rookie safety Brynden Trawick (ankle) is inactive due to an injury. As expected, defensive end Chris Canty is active and will start after he was listed as probable with a shoulder injury.

Veteran wide receiver Brandon Stokley is also active for the second straight week while second-year wideout Deonte Thompson will be inactive once again.

Meanwhile, the Steelers will be without two defensive starters as nose tackle Steve McLendon (ankle) and outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) are inactive. For Woodley, it’s his third straight missed game, but the Steelers have received strong play from outside linebacker Jason Worilds over the last few weeks.

Al Woods will start in place of McLendon at nose tackle while rookie Jarvis Jones will start for Woodley.

The Steelers lead the all-time regular-season series with a 20-15 advantage along with a 3-0 edge in postseason play. The Ravens are 8-9 in Baltimore against Pittsburgh and are trying to avoid a season sweep to their AFC North adversary, which would be the first since the 2008 season.

In the 13 meetings between these teams since 2008, 10 have been decided by four or fewer points and the last four games have each been decided by three in what’s been regarded by many as the best rivalry in the NFL.

Unlike the last three games in which the Ravens have played, Thursday’s game will not be complicated by high winds as the forecast for kickoff calls for temperatures in the mid-30s and winds only reaching three miles per hour.

Thursday night’s referee will be Clete Blakeman.

The Ravens will be wearing black jerseys and black pants while Pittsburgh dons its white tops with gold pants.

Here are Thursday night’s inactives:

BALTIMORE
S Brynden Trawick
S Omar Brown
RB Bernard Scott
OL Ryan Jensen
WR Deonte Thompson
LB John Simon
DT Brandon Williams

PITTSBURGH
OLB LaMarr Woodley
QB Landry Jones
WR Derek Moye
CB DeMarcus Van Dyke
TE Richard Gordon
ILB Stevenson Sylvester
NT Steve McLendon

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

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 26 November 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Tennis-The Dream Cup Barbados (Friday & Saturday 6pm from Bridgetown, Barbados live on ESPN3.com); Running: Baltimore City Turkey Trot 5K (Thursday 8:30am Druid Hill Park)

10. The Bridge (Wednesday 9pm Rams Head Live); Cara Kelly and the Tell Tale (Wednesday 8pm 8×10 Club); Charm City Devils/The Brian Jack Memorial Concert (Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Herman’s Hermits (Saturday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Alice Smith (Friday 7:30pm Howard Theatre), Kelly Rowland (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); Rob Zombie (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Friday -Sunday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); MGMT (Tuesday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Brian Setzer Orchestra (Friday 8pm Warner Theatre); Michael McDonald (Saturday 8pm Strathmore); Foxes (Saturday 7pm U Street Music Hall); Billie Joe & Norah “Foreverly” and M.I.A. “Matangi” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Baltimore is better when The Bridge is together.

I saw CCD do a tribute to Brian Jack at the Recher Theatre a year or so ago. Baltimore rock and roll isn’t as great without him.

I’m going to try to get to the Sunday Preservation Hall show. I could listen to them play Christmas tunes all month.

You know what? Same thing with Michael McDonald. Judge away.

9. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Thursday 9am from New York live on NBC); Bobcat Goldthwait (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Donnell Rawlings (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Despicable Me 2“, “Red 2” and “Jobs” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Frozen” and “Homefront” out in theaters (Friday)

I’d be more excited about flicks coming out, but none of them are ‘The Wolf of Wall Street”. There isn’t a movie I want to see more than “The Wolf of Wall Street”.

Other than maybe this.

Also because Kate Bosworth is in “Homefront”, this photo of Kate Bosworth’s legs is relevant.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Jets “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Jets “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 24 November 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’ 19-3 win over the New York Jets Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn’s Pats…

5. Chris Canty

4. Corey Graham

3. Daryl Smith

2. Joe Flacco

1. Jacoby Jones (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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