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Navy takes on Colgate Saturday in Face-Off Classic

Posted on 22 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Game 9 Navy (3-5, 1-2 PL) vs. Colgate (6-2, 1-0 PL)
Date and Faceoff March 23 at 2:00 pm ET
Location Baltimore, Md. | M&T Bank Stadium (71,008)
Television ESPNU | Eamon McAnaney (Play by Play), Paul Carcaterra (Analyst)


Game Preview

• The Navy men’s lacrosse team will battle 2012 NCAA Tournament Quarterfinalst and Patriot League rival Colgate on Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. in the first game of the 2013 Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic … meeting for the 16th time in series history, Navy and Colgate will face off at 2:00 pm, followed by Virginia vs. Johns Hopkins at 4:30 pm.
• The Midshipmen are coming off the program’s first loss to Holy Cross after the Crusaders dealt Navy a 7-5 defeat at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y. at the Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic last Sunday  Holy Cross outscored the Mids, 4-1, over a 17-minute period that began in the second quarter and spilled into the second half, giving the Crusaders a lead they would not relinquish.
• Saturday’s game marks the fifth time Navy has played at M&T Bank Stadium.  The Mids defeated Princeton (8-7) in the 2004 NCAA Semifinals before dropping a 14-13 decision to Syracuse in the National Championship.  Meanwhile, Army and Navy squared off in the Day of Rivals event in 2009 and ‘10.  The Mids beat Army in 2009 (8-4), while the Black Knights nipped Navy in 2010 (7-6).
• Colgate, ironically, also played in the Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic, but eased its way past the Michigan after outscoring the Wolverines 4-1 in the second period.  Anchored by hat tricks from Peter Baum and Ryan Walsh, the Raiders posted a 10-7 victory en route to winning their third consecutive contest.
• Saturday’s contest will be carried live on ESPNU with Eamon McAnaney (play by play) and Paul Carcaterra (analyst) calling the action.

Scouting the Raiders
• In his second season, head coach Mike Murphy his led Colgate to a 6-2 mark with wins in each of its last three games.
• The Raiders opened the season by playing each of their first five games on the road.  To date, Colgate has played just two of its eight games at home.
• The Raiders have played just one ranked team this season, dropping a 19-3 decision to then seventh-ranked Cornell in Ithaca on March 2.
• Colgate is 1-0 in Patriot League action this season, dealing Holy Cross a 14-6 loss in Hamilton, N.Y. on March 9.
• The Raiders have done a nice job of taking care of the ball this season, committing just 13.5 turnovers per game which is the 12th-best mark in Div. I lacrosse.
• If there was a weak spot in Colgate’s game it would be extra-man offense and its goalkeeper play.  Colgate is 57th out of 63 teams in man-up offense, scoring goals on just 21.1 percent (4-19) of its opportunities.  Meanwhile, the Raiders are 59th in saves per game with Conor Murphy and Gordon Santry combining for just 8.88 saves per contest.
• The attack cominbination of Peter Baum and Ryan Walsh is one of the best in the country.  Baum, the reigning Tewaaraton Award winner, has put up 34 points on 23 goals and 11 assists, leading the team in all three categories.  He is ranked 12th in points per game (4.25), ninth in goals per game (2.88) and 48th in assists per game (1.38).  Meanwhile Walsh has produced 25 points on 20 goals and 5 assists.
• Faceoff specialist Robert Grabher is 24th nationally with a 53.3 win percentage (95-179).  He leads the team and is seventh in the country with an 8.13 ground balls per game average.
• As previously mentioned Conor Murphy and Gordon Santry have split time in goal with each player making 4 starts.  Murphy has produced a 7.73 goals-against average and is making stops on 53.8 percent of the shots he’s seen.  Santry, meanwhile, owns an 11.84 GAA and  41.8 save percentage.
• Junior defenseman Bobby Lawrence leads the way with 15 caused turnovers and is second on the team with 30 grounders.

Navy vs. Colgate – The Series
• Navy leads the all-time series with Colgate, 11-4, including wins in 3 of the last 4 contests.
• The two teams have met 13 times since the Midshipmen joined the Patriot League in 2004 … during that span, Navy has produced a 9-4 record and outscored Colgate, 141-100.
• Each of the last 5 contests between the two programs has been decided by 1 goal, including last year’s contest in which Navy’s Sam Jones targeted a shot with 3.4 seconds remaining in the game to lead the Mids to a 12-11 victory.
• Saturday’s contest marks the fifth game played on neutral soil between the two programs and third regular-season neutral site battle.  Navy defeated the Raiders in 2004 (21-6) and 2005 (11-6) in Orlando.
• Navy and Colgate have twice faced one another in the Patriot League Tournament and have been met with split results … in 2007, the Mids claimed a 15-9 win over the Raiders in the championship game, before dropping the program’s first Patriot League Tournament contest at the 2008 semifinals against eventual champion Colgate.

Weekend Rewind
• After Navy took a 2-1 lead, Holy Cross outscored the Mids, 4-1, over a 17-minute period that began in the second quarter and spilled into the second half, giving the Crusaders a lead they would not relinquish.
• It marked Holy Cross’ first win in a series that had seen Navy win the previous 9 games.
• Navy had won 7 straight game when holding its opponent to 7 or fewer goals, all of which were under Rick Sowell’s direction.
• The Mids played their fourth consecutive game without scoring an extra-man goal … the Mids were 0 for 3 against Holy Cross.
• The Navy-Holy Cross tilt marked just the second time a Div. I men’s lacrosse game has been played at a Major League Baseball Stadium.
• The first Div. I men’s lacrosse game to be played at an active MLB stadium was between Navy and Johns Hopkins on May 8, 1971.  The Mids dropped the Blue Jays, 9-6, in front of more than 18,000 fans.
• With a goal and an assist, junior attackman Sam Jones extended his point-scoring streak to 11 games and is the lone player on the roster to record a goal or an assist in every game this season.
• Sophomore midfielder Gabe Voumard continues to be a goal-scorer for the Mids as he registered his 12th goal of the season in Navy’s loss to Holy Cross.  Remarkably, 10 of his 12 goals have been unassisted.
• Junior midfielder Pat Durkin had his 19-game starting streak come to an end when he came off the sideline to lead the Mids with 2 goals and 1 assist against Holy Cross.
• Senior faceoff specialist Evan McGoogan tied his career high with 10 wins on his 16 attempts (62.5) against the Crusaders … he also picked up a career-high tying six ground balls.
• Junior long pole Pat Kiernan put together 5 ground balls and 3 caused turnovers to push himself higher in the national standings.  He is 13th in ground balls (6.75) and third in caused turnovers (2.63).

The Big Leagues
• In the last decade, Navy has played six games at NFL Stadiums, including four contests at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.  The Mids defeated Princeton at M&T Bank Stadium in the 2004 NCAA Semifinals before dropping a 14-13 decision to Syracuse in the National Championship two days later.  Navy faced Army in back-to-back years (2009, ‘10) at M&T Bank Stadium in the Inside Lacrosse-sponsored Day of Rivals which also featured Johns Hopkins vs. Maryland.
• In 2008, the Midshipmen defeated Holy Cross, 16-3, at Texas Stadium, now the former home of the Dallas Cowboys.
• Last February, Navy faced off against Jacksonville at EverBank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in the Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic.
• Last Sunday, the Mids dropped a 7-5 decision to Holy Cross at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, as part of the Metropolitan Lacrosse Classic Presented by Konica Minolta.  It was just the second time a Div. I men’s lacrosse game has been played at a Major League Baseball Stadium.
• The first Div. I men’s lacrosse game to be played at an active MLB stadium was between Navy and Johns Hopkins on May 8, 1971.  The Mids dropped the Blue Jays, 9-6, in front of more than 18,000 fans.

National Leader Board
• According to the latest national statistics released on Monday by the NCAA, the Mids are ranked among the top 20 in five categories.
• After producing 10 and 11 caused turnovers against Towson and Holy Cross, respectively, Navy maintained its position as the nation’s leader in the category, forcing 11.38 turnovers per game.  Junior long pole Pat Kiernan is #3 nationally, averaging 2.63 takeaways per game while senior close defenseman Austin Miller is #6, causing 2.38 turnovers per game.
• Navy’s man-down defense has lost its mojo as of late.  The Mids had not surrendered a man-down goal in 3 games and held their opponents to an 0-for-11 mark.  However, Navy has given up man-down goals on 7 of its last 13 opportunites over the last 3 contests.  The Mids are now ranked 13th, giving up goal on 75.7 percent (28-37) of the opportunities.
• Navy is ranked 10th in ground balls per game (34.38) which is a huge improvement over 2012.  The Mids were ranked 43rd in ground balls per game, averaging 27.67.
• The Mids are also ranked among the top 20 in scoring defense (17th, 8.75) and faceoff win percentage (20th, 52.9).

Kiernan Among Nation’s Top Poles
• Junior long stick defensive midfielder Pat Kiernan is one of the best at his position in the country.
• Kiernan leads Navy in both caused turnover and ground balls and is among the national leaders in both categories.  He is ranked third in caused turnovers per game (2.63) and 13th in ground balls (6.75).
• Kiernan was a machine against Towson where he registered a career-high 12 ground balls and won 8 of his 10 faceoffs.  Meanwhile, against Lafayette he picked up 7 ground balls and forced 7 Leopard turnovers.
• Additionally, he has garnered Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors three times this season.
• He has produced 12 career points, including  a program-record 10 in 2012.
• He is tied for eighth in the country among active poles with 12 points behind Bryant’s Mason Poli (50 pts), Loyola’s Scott Ratliff (33), Brown’s Roger Ferguson (24), Maryland’s Jesse Bernhardt (17), Dillon Ayers of St. John’s (17), Mark Burns of Mount St. Mary’s (13) and Bellarmine’s Bobby Schmitt (13).  Syracuse’s Matt Harris also has 12 points
• He is second all-time in career points scored by a Navy defensemen, while his 9 goals are the most in program history.

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Ravens reportedly make offer to pass rusher Dumervil

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Ravens reportedly make offer to pass rusher Dumervil

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Luke Jones

Looking to boost their pass rush following the free-agent departure of linebacker Paul Kruger, the Ravens have reportedly turned up the heat in their pursuit of free-agent defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

The Denver Post reported Thursday evening that the Ravens have made an offer to the former Broncos pass rusher, but the money being offered by Denver is more front-loaded. Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway has stated his team wants Dumervil back after a fax machine fiasco forced Denver to release the 29-year-old because their restructured deal would not have been completed before a 4 p.m. deadline last Friday.

Dumervil was reportedly underwhelmed by the Broncos’ latest contract offer, and Denver has hosted visits with free-agent pass rushers Dwight Freeney and John Abraham this week. The Broncos are in a tight spot because Dumervil’s release forced them to carry just under $5 million in dead mney on their 2013 salary cap.

After firing agent Marty Magid last weekend, Dumervil hired Tom Condon and Ben Dogra of CAA to represent him as the pair will likely be looking to recover the $8 million base salary — in some shape or form — Dumervil had agreed to play for in Denver before the snafu that led to his release.

Though he was a defensive end in Denver’s 4-3 scheme last season, Dumervil would shift to outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ scheme. The veteran also has ties to Baltimore through Ravens inside linebackers coach Don “Wink” Martindale, who served as Denver’s defensive coordinator in 2010 and as linebackers coach prior to that when Dumervil collected a career-high 17 sacks in 2009.

Next up at safety?

Following the departures of safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, the Ravens are clearly looking to address the position and reportedly have interest in former Raiders safety Michael Huff.

Several outlets report Huff will be visiting the Ravens at some point over the next few days. Green Bay, Dallas, and Tennessee have also shown interest in the veteran safety.

Released earlier this month, the 30-year-old was the seventh overall pick of the 2006 draft and has the ability to play both cornerback and safety. He accumulated 56 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 13 pass breakups during the 2012 season.

Huff would be the likely replacement for Reed at free safety while James Ihedigbo — re-signed to a one-year deal last week — would be the logical in-house candidate to take Pollard’s place at strong safety. However, the Ravens are likely to look toward April’s draft for more safety help.

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game – Ravens/Raiders

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game – Ravens/Raiders

Posted on 13 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’ 55-20 win over the Oakland Raiders Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Carson Palmer “sacked” by Paul Kruger for 4 yard loss on 4th & 1 (1st quarter)

4. Jacoby Jones 47 yard catch from Joe Flacco (2nd quarter)

3. Paul Kruger tips, intercepts pass intended for Derek Hagan (2nd quarter)

2. Ed Dickson 40 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 10 (1st quarter)

1. Ray Rice 7 yard touchdown run (2nd quarter)

(Ryan’s plays on Page 2…)

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens for Week 10

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens for Week 10

Posted on 13 November 2012 by Luke Jones

Below are our Tuesday Top 7 Ravens players in the 55-20 win over the Oakland Raiders in Week 10. 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) Jacoby Jones
Jones

6) Bernard Pollard
Pollard

5) Cary Williams
Williams

4) Paul Kruger
Kruger

3) Dennis Pitta
Pitta

2) Torrey Smith
Smith

1) Joe Flacco
Flacco

Drew Forrester’s Top 7 …

CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE >>>

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Harbaugh feels “most comfortable” matching up against Steelers

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Harbaugh feels “most comfortable” matching up against Steelers

Posted on 12 November 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Most weeks, Monday Night Football is little more than background noise for John Harbaugh, but the Ravens coach said he’d be watching closely with the Pittsburgh Steelers on the national stage.

Using a coaching eye, Harbaugh received a live look at the Ravens’ arch nemesis before preparations continued for the first of two meetings with the AFC North adversary in a matchup many believe to be the NFL’s best rivalry.

“It’s the best week of the year, because it’s where we feel our most comfortable, probably,” Harbaugh said. “It’s where I feel the most comfortable and I think our players and coaches feel the same way, because it’s a defining type of a rivalry. It means so much to both teams. We like being in this week, we love playing these guys, we love the preparation for these guys. I’d say it’s the best week of the year — both [games].”

As is the case most seasons, the fate of the AFC North will likely come down to the two head-to-head meetings as the Ravens entered Week 10 with a one-game advantage over Pittsburgh in the division. The names have changed over the years, but the games remain a marquee attraction as Pittsburgh and Baltimore meet in a nationally televised prime-time game for the sixth straight year.

This season brings an interesting wrinkle as the Ravens and Steelers meet twice over the next three weeks, a decision that’s brought much criticism from each fan base who’d prefer to have more time between the games due to the physical toll they take on each team. Harbaugh admitted the timing of his team’s two meetings with the Steelers did grab his attention when the schedule was released in late April, but he appeared more than willing to embrace the challenge during his Monday press conference in Owings Mills.

“Really, there are always quirks in the schedule,” Harbaugh said. “Every team’s got them. That’s kind of a quirk for us. We play them and then sandwiched around a trip to San Diego. That will be a big challenge for us, but everybody’s got those challenges this year. That’s ours. We just have to deal with it and make it good.”

The Ravens have won two straight regular-season meetings at Heinz Field but suffered a playoff loss in Pittsburgh to end the 2010 season. With Baltimore experiencing struggles on the road this season, Sunday night’s performance will be very telling in explaining how serious a Super Bowl contender the Ravens really are at this point.

Counting two postseason games, the Ravens are 4-6 against Pittsburgh in the Harbaugh era. The 50-year-old coach hopes to continue his team’s recent success playing on the road in the bitter rivalry.

“If you love football, there’s no greater place to be,” Harbaugh said. “Playing there in that great stadium against that great organization, those games have always been great games. We’ve always felt like it’s a rivalry. We’ll continue to consider it to be a great rivalry.”

Changing of the (left) guard?

In preparing for Sunday’s showdown with the Steelers, the Ravens will be faced with a decision at the left guard position where second-year offensive lineman Jah Reid played well in place of veteran Bobbie Williams.

Taking Williams’ place on the third offensive series of the game, Reid played in 50 of the team’s 64 offensive snaps and received positive reviews after the 55-20 win over the Oakland Raiders. When asked whether Reid had supplanted Williams, who was limited in practice last week with a sore ankle, Harbaugh would not name a starter against the Steelers.

“I don’t know who will get the bulk of it, but we anticipate both of those guys playing in there,” Harbaugh said. “Jah’s got some versatility at some other positions, too. Of course, Bobbie can play the right guard as well, so it’s good to have some flexibility there.”

Reid excelled in run blocking, getting to the second level to spring running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce on several positive runs. Drafted as an offensive tackle in the third round of last year’s draft, Reid has made the transition inside despite dealing with a calf injury for the better part of several months.

“A lot of good things and some other things that he can get better at,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a very physical player, he’s really athletic, he can bend, he can get his pads down. And that’s not easy to do for a guy his size. He played well. There were some pass protection technique issues that he had with pass-set things he’s got to continue to work on that he knows about. All in all, he played pretty well.”

Go, Jacoby, go

CONTINUE >>>

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Ngata, J. Smith sit as Ravens cruise to convincing win over Oakland

Posted on 11 November 2012 by Luke Jones

Even though there was no need to look for a silver lining in the 55-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders, the Ravens were afforded the opportunity to rest injured defensive starters Haloti Ngata and Jimmy Smith a week ahead of their showdown with Pittsburgh next Sunday.

Both players were listed as active but did not play as they sat with nagging injuries. However, the circumstances for each player were different as the Ravens made a concerted effort to sit the Pro Bowl defensive tackle but had to make an adjustment on the fly as Smith’s sore groin would not loosen up during pre-game warmups.

“We decided to dress Haloti,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We are trying to get Haloti healthy. He didn’t practice this week much, but we felt like it would be smart to dress him because he is a difference-maker for us. We started the game out, and we were hoping that we wouldn’t have to play him, and it turned out that we didn’t have to.”

Ngata had seen limited action from his normal workload in each of the Ravens’ last two games and admitted earlier in the week that lingering knee and shoulder injuries are limiting his effectiveness. The seventh-year defensive tackle missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday before participating on a very limited basis during Friday’s workout.

The Ravens can only hope the extra week of rest makes a difference as they’ll need Ngata against a physical Pittsburgh offensive line next week. Following their trip to Pittsburgh, the Ravens then travel to San Diego before welcoming the Steelers to Baltimore on Dec. 2.

Rookie DeAngelo Tyson started at defensive tackle in Ngata’s place, knocking down two passes and registering a quarterback hit in the 35-point victory.

“It really helps to get him some rest,” linebacker Jameel McClain said. “We all know that he’s a force in this league, and he’ll be back at 100 percent. Our young guys stepping it up without Haloti is pretty impressive.”

There is growing concern over Smith’s groin injury, an ailment he’s dealt with for several weeks. The second-year cornerback attempted to ride the stationary bike to get loose and attempted to warm up again at halftime but was unable to go.

With temperatures in the low 60s, the weather was perfect for a mid-November game, making Smith’s inability to get warm something to monitor this week.

“We’re going to have to take a hard look at that Monday and just see where he’s at,” Harbaugh said. “This is the first time it has gotten to the point where he just couldn’t get loose enough to play.”

Regular nickel back Corey Graham started in Smith’s cornerback spot while young special-teams standout Chykie Brown entered the game to play cornerback in the nickel package as Graham slid to his normal inside spot.

The Ravens also made an in-game change along the offensive line as Jah Reid replaced veteran Bobbie Williams at left guard on the third series of the game and played the rest of the way. The 36-year-old Williams confirmed after the game he was healthy enough to continue playing, but the lineman has been dealing with an ankle injury sustained in last week’s win at Cleveland.

Baltimore viewed it as an opportunity to rest Williams as well as evaluate Reid, who temporarily replaced an injured Marshal Yanda for a handful of plays last week and has also served as an extra blocking tight end.

“Jah Reid has really been coming on and practicing well,” Harbaugh said. “What Jah needs is playing time. He needs experience, he needs snaps on the field, so it was our plan to start him out there in the third series no matter what and then play him as much as we could.”

Safety Ed Reed suffered a minor stinger in his right shoulder late in the second quarter when he missed the tackle on Darrius Heyward-Bey’s 55-yard touchdown catch, but the veteran returned to action in the second half.

Linebacker Courtney Upshaw also tweaked his shoulder but was not concerned about the injury after the game.

The Ravens officially reported no new injuries following the win.

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Ravens’ record day latest example why they need to play in Baltimore come January

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Ravens’ record day latest example why they need to play in Baltimore come January

Posted on 11 November 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Running back Ray Rice said it best in describing the Ravens’ mindset in their 55-20 demolition of the Oakland Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.

With a divisional showdown looming in Pittsburgh next week, the Ravens easily could have been looking past a struggling opponent coming into their home stadium where Baltimore had won 14 straight regular-season games. Instead, they scored a franchise-record 55 points — more than any other NFL team in a game this season — and posted their largest margin of victory since 2009.

So much for a trap game, or even a lackadaisical start for that matter.

“Nobody comes into our house and stomps on our grass,” Rice said. “We knew we had to protect our home. We have a great streak going, and we had to protect it. You don’t let anybody come in your yard. We like to keep our clean-cut grass and keep our front yard, and we did that. Nobody had to call the landlord.”

Joe Flacco threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, continuing his trend of looking like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL at home despite his well-documented road struggles.

The offense is now averaging 36.8 points per game in Baltimore as opposed to only 17.5 on the road.

Even a struggling defense put forth a respectable effort against the pass-happy Raiders, holding Oakland to 20 points despite allowing 422 total yards.

What had been an impressive trend is now bordering on the absurd as the Ravens’ last loss suffered at M&T Bank Stadium will be a few days shy of the two-year mark by the time they welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to town for their next home game in three weeks. Baltimore has looked every bit the part of one of the league’s best teams when they wear their purple jerseys in front of 71,000 home fans.

More than anything, the blowout win on Sunday once again reminded us how critical the final seven games of the regular season will be to the Ravens’ Super Bowl aspirations. Even with their flaws and limitations that surface on the road, Baltimore simply looks unbeatable at home.

And it’s where they’ll need to play if the Ravens truly want to take the next step in a very successful five-year run under John Harbaugh.

“I don’t care how you feel like you’re doing in one place or another place,” Harbaugh said. “You always want to be at home in that situation, so that’s a long-term goal. But, the short-term goal is more immediate, and we have a big game on the road against our divisional rival and we’re looking forward to that.”

Yes, the Ravens have concluded the junior-varsity portion of their schedule as five of their final seven games come against 2011 playoff teams. They’ll play their other two opponents — San Diego and Washington — on the road.

It’s fine to talk about a preference for playing home playoff games, but you must win on the road in November and December to be hosting games in January. Even after another convincing performance at home on Sunday, it’s still difficult to project whether the Ravens will ever be able to turn on the same switch in away games.

“It just seems like all good teams, for whatever reason, tend to play very well at home and probably not play as well on the road,” Flacco said. “Or, maybe it’s because those teams that we’re playing on the road also play well at home. But I’ve got to tell you, we’ve played some big games on the road a couple years — every year we’ve been here — and we’ve won a lot of them.”

In a roundabout way, Flacco described the challenge perfectly. It’s tough to win on the road in the NFL. In fact, it’s damn tough to do against the best teams the league has to offer.

The Baltimore quarterback is right, as the Ravens have won two straight regular-season contests in Pittsburgh and won a tough battle in Cincinnati in the 2011 regular-season finale to clinch the AFC North title. But that same road moxie hasn’t really surfaced this season beyond a few quarters of play in Philadelphia and Cleveland.

The Ravens will need to find a way to do it just enough in their final four road games to put themselves in position to utilize the best home-field advantage in the National Football League. Baltimore entered the week just a game behind the Texans, who already own the head-to-head tiebreaker via their 43-13 win over the Ravens in Week 7, but Houston isn’t battle-tested in the same way that the Ravens are. If the Texans falter the slightest bit, the Ravens need to keep themselves in position to seize the opportunity.

It starts next week where the Ravens will have undoubtedly grabbed the Steelers’ full attention after posting 55 points against a Raiders team that bested the Steelers in Oakland earlier this season.

Despite all the criticism and doubts heard over the last few weeks, the Ravens’ performance on Sunday means no one will be taking them lightly. The immense success they found against the Raiders needs to translate to real improvement on the road.

“When you put that on the board and you put that on film, you put a target on your back,” safety Bernard Pollard said. “I just think for us, like I said, this is the closest to 60 minutes that we’ve played all year as a team, and we have to build from this.”

Their Super Bowl hopes depend on it.

 

 

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Our Ravens/Raiders “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Raiders “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 11 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’ 55-20 win over the Oakland Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Anquan Boldin

4. Dennis Pitta

3. Cary Williams

2. Bernard Pollard

1. Cam Cameron (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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Was Harbaugh running up score on fake FG for TD by Koch?

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Was Harbaugh running up score on fake FG for TD by Koch?

Posted on 11 November 2012 by WNSTV

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Ravens-Raiders: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Raiders: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 11 November 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Returning to M&T Bank Stadium for the first time in nearly a month, the Ravens welcome the struggling Oakland Raiders to town as they try to continue their league-best 14-game winning streak at home.

The Ravens are 4-0 all-time against Oakland in Baltimore and own a 5-1 overall edge in the regular season series. Of course, Baltimore also defeated the Raiders in the AFC Championship to advance to Super Bowl XXXV during the 2000 season.

Despite being listed as questionable, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and starting guards Marshal Yanda and Bobbie Williams are active against Oakland. It will be interesting to see how limited Ngata might be after admitting earlier this week that knee and shoulder injuries are hindering his effectiveness.

With Ngata banged up and defensive end Pernell McPhee out for the second straight game, defensive linemen DeAngelo Tyson and Bryan Hall are active and will play roles in the defensive line rotation.

As we learned on Friday, the Raiders will be without their top two running backs as Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are both sidelined with high ankle sprains. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour is also out with knee and hamstring injuries.

Oakland will also be without Khalif Barnes, who is sidelined with a groin injury. Willie Smith has struggled immensely in his place, so the Ravens may try to line up rush linebacker Terrell Suggs on the opposite side to see if they can get a more favorable matchup in making Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer uncomfortable.

The Ravens are wearing purple jerseys and white pants while Oakland is dressed in white tops and silver pants.

Here are today’s inactives …

BALTIMORE
DE Pernell McPhee
OL Ramon Harewood
WR Deonte Thompson
S Christian Thompson
CB Asa Jackson
RB Bobby Rainey
TE Billy Bajema

OAKLAND
RB Darren McFadden
RB Mike Goodson
DT Richard Seymour
QB Terrelle Pryor
OL Khalif Barnes
OL Lucas Nix
DE Jack Crawford

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

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