Tag Archive | "redskins"

The Reality Check Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

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The Reality Check Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 20 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Kansas City Chiefs (30)

We all knew they’d end up back here.

31. Arizona Cardinals (32)

Wha…what?

30. Oakland Raiders (31)

Don’t fail me now, Seabass.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (29)

They’ll finish the season lower.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (28)

LeSean McCoy is playing WHY?

27. Detroit Lions (25)

Stunning mess.

26. Cleveland Browns (24)

We knew it wouldn’t last.

25. Tennessee Titans (27)

But Jake Locker still stinks.

24. Buffalo Bills (23)

Hope they felt comfortable North of the Border.

23. San Diego Chargers (19)

Gave up?

22. St. Louis Rams (20)

They can still finish above .500.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (17)

Completely fell apart.

20. New York Jets (18)

VICKMANIA!

19. Carolina Panthers (26)

They might be a year away.

18. Miami Dolphins (22)

Like Republicans, Fins fans want Bush back.

17. New Orleans Saints (21)

Did that whole Sean Payton thing ever get figured out?

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game – Ravens at Redskins

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game – Ravens at Redskins

Posted on 11 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’ 31-28 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins Sunday at FedEx Field…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Chris Johnson called for pass interference on Kirk Cousins 3rd down pass intended for Pierre Garcon (4th quarter)

4. Kirk Cousins rushes for two point conversion (4th quarter)

3. David Reed recovery of Niles Paul kickoff return fumble caused by Courtney Upshaw overturned after replay (4th quarter)

2. London Fletcher intercepts Joe Flacco pass intended for Ray Rice, tipped by Barry Cofield (3rd quarter)

1. Richard Crawford returns Sam Koch punt 64 yards to Ravens’ 24 (Overtime)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check: I Get Why You’re Saying You’d Prefer Blowouts

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Your Monday Reality Check: I Get Why You’re Saying You’d Prefer Blowouts

Posted on 10 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

It didn’t take long.

“The thing is-I’d prefer them to be getting blown out than losing the way they’re losing.”

I can’t remember who it was, and I apologize if it was you. It wasn’t long into “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” Sunday night on WNST that I got the first one. And it wasn’t the only time I heard/read it Sunday. I got it in a few emails and social media messages.

It wasn’t the most infuriating thing I heard Sunday night. In fact, it wasn’t really infuriating at all.

I get it. Honestly, I get it.

I mean, I hope all of us who were greatly bothered by seeing the Baltimore Ravens suffer a second consecutive loss Sunday (this time in overtime at the Washington Redskins) are understanding that 1-the team’s season is FAR from over and 2-no organization with a 9-4 record in a NFL season can EVER be vastly concerned about the following season or any seasons to come.

The only thing the organization can be concerned about is winning their next game, a visit from the Denver Broncos in the case of the Baltimore Ravens.

While you’re questioning the future of the Offensive Coordinator, the quarterback, who stays and goes on the defensive side of the ball and who could be cut to free room under the salary cap; the organization is ONLY concerned about how to break a lengthy losing streak against Peyton Manning and how a maligned Offensive Line can contain Von Miller.

They’ve thought about some of those same things, but they’ll worry about them after the season.

Some of you are struggling with the notion that the season hasn’t ended for the Baltimore Ravens in the course of the last eight days. It was rain falling today in Charm City, but it felt like it was the sky.

If the Ravens HAD been blown out in their last two games and hadn’t managed to pull off a few miracles (a missed Dan Bailey field goal lifting them past the Dallas Cowboys, the impossible 4th & 29 conversion in San Diego) or hold on in some of the uglier games in recent franchise history (wins at Kansas City and Pittsburgh that came without a single offensive touchdown), the Baltimore Ravens would sit at 5-8 and feel much more comfortable about declaring both the season over and welcoming panic within the building at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills.

Instead, they have all but clinched a fifth consecutive postseason appearance and are in no ways guaranteed to not be able to make a run towards a second consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance.

When you tell me you’d prefer blowouts, I understand what you’re really saying. You’re REALLY saying you don’t think the Ravens are going to make that type of run and you’d prefer to see the organization start answering more difficult questions now than have to wait another four or five weeks.

It’s understandable. The most likely scenario for the Ravens is that they’ll enter the playoffs as the AFC North champion (they need only one more win in any game the rest of the way to lock it up) but having lost anywhere from two to four (or I guess even all five) of their final five games. It’s reasonable to assume they won’t enter the postseason playing a particularly consistent level of football.

It’s easier for us to discuss long term questions like “should Cam Cameron be fired?”, “how much is Joe Flacco worth?”, “what do you do with Michael Oher?”, “has Jimmy Smith made enough progress to feel comfortable letting Cary Williams walk?”, “is there any future for Ed Reed here?” and “would cutting Anquan Boldin provide the cap room the organization needs?”

But the only real questions at the moment are more along the lines of “what will the team do if they’re missing Marshal Yanda for a significant amount of time?”, “can Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe and Terrell Suggs return in time to face Denver?” and “should Corey Graham still start after Smith returns?”

None of those questions sound like they’ll make the type of difference necessary to see the Ravens look like Super Bowl contenders again.

That’s where the organization is after 14 weeks of the 2012 NFL season.

I know you don’t REALLY mean you’d rather see the Ravens getting blown out right now, but I understand why it feels that way.

-G

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Ravens not looking for ways to lose, but defeats suddenly finding them

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Ravens not looking for ways to lose, but defeats suddenly finding them

Posted on 09 December 2012 by Luke Jones

LANDOVER, Md. — Finding a way to win had been the Ravens’ mantra on their way to a 9-2 start this season despite critical injuries, a pedestrian defense, and a schizophrenic offense.

That combination prompted critics to continuously doubt how good the Ravens really were as they appeared ready to cruise to their second straight AFC North title.

But Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins left the Ravens searching for answers — and themselves — after suffering their second consecutive defeat for the first time in three years. They have never viewed themselves as the type of team that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, but the Ravens have done just that the last two weeks.

“I don’t want to say we find a way to lose,” safety Ed Reed said. “We damn sure [aren't] looking for a way to lose. This is the NFL. This is a season we’re going through.”

It’s been quite a season, indeed, as the peaks had been more prevalent than valleys, but this recent slide is territory not visited by the Ravens in recent seasons.

The Ravens don’t lose games at M&T Bank Stadium. Until they did last week against Pittsburgh for the first time in two years.

They bounce back from rare losses, refusing to fall into the pit of a losing streak. But they did just that at FedEx Field on Sunday as Redskins kicker Kai Forbath booted the game-winning 34-yard field goal to officially hand the Ravens a two-game skid.

And despite holding fourth-quarter leads in each of their last two games, the Ravens are now 0-2 in December, the month in which they’ve thrived under coach John Harbaugh. They entered last week’s game with a 14-5 record in December and January over their first four seasons under Harbaugh.

“I don’t want to be known as ‘Yeah, we get them close in the fourth quarter, and the Ravens are going to give it away,’” said running back Ray Rice, who rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. “That’s never been us. That’s not going to be us.”

But it has been them the last two games as they missed their opportunity to not only clinch a playoff spot but would have locked up the division title on Sunday after losses by Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

In reality, my overall opinion of the Ravens hasn’t changed dramatically over the last two weeks. But the results haven’t been the same as we saw over the season’s first 11 games.

Quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense produced 28 points but began the second half with two turnovers and two three-and-outs that caused their 21-14 halftime lead to shrink to 21-20 before their lone touchdown drive of the second half. They then produced another three-and-out in overtime before Richard Crawford’s 64-yard punt return sealed the Ravens’ fate.

The defense allowing 31 points certainly isn’t acceptable, but it was difficult to expect much better from the group with Terrell Suggs joining Dannell Ellerbe and Jimmy Smith on the sideline and Jameel McClain exiting the game in the third quarter. Even so, Dean Pees’ unit settled down after a brutal first quarter to keep the Redskins in check until they marched 85 yards for a touchdown pass, thrown by backup quarterback Kirk Cousins to add insult to injury.

At times, the Ravens looked like they would be good enough to come away with their 10th victory of the season.

But they weren’t and they didn’t. It’s a feeling they’re not used to.

“We are fighting through all the things you fight through at this stage of the season as a football team,” Harbaugh said. “That is why you don’t overreact to these things. It is a tough loss, and it is going to be a fight to the division championship and that is what we are fighting for right now.”

The Ravens lacked a killer instinct in the second half that was epitomized by Flacco, who followed a three-touchdown first half with two critical turnovers. The first was a sack-and-strip suffered by the quarterback for the second straight week after Michael Oher was beaten soundly by Rob Jackson. The second took potential points off the board and came inside the red zone as Flacco failed to react to a Ryan Kerrigan blitz quickly enough and was hit as he threw, leading to a London Fletcher interception.

CONTINUE >>>

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Our Ravens/Redskins “Slaps to the Head”

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Our Ravens/Redskins “Slaps to the Head”

Posted on 09 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

After Baltimore Ravens victories, Ryan Chell and I award players who made positive contributions with “Pats on the Ass” during the “Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net.

The Ravens fell to the Washington Redskins 31-28 in overtime Sunday at FedEx Field, meaning there were no Pats to be awarded.

So instead of offering “Pats on the Ass”, Ryan and I again offered “Slaps to the Head” postgame. A slap on the side of the head from a coach tends to come along with them saying something along the lines of “you’ve gotta do better than that.”

Same rules as there were with Pats. Two offensive players, two defensive players, and a Wild Card (Special Teams player, coach, or another Offensive or Defensive player). One player gets “two slaps” (or a slap on both sides of the head), it’s the opposite of a “Player of the Game” honor.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches after each game.

Here are our five Ravens that have “gotta do better than that.”

Glenn Clark’s Slaps…

5. Matt Birk

4. Cary Williams

3. Ed Reed

2. Joe Flacco

1. John Harbaugh (Two Slaps)

(Ryan’s Slaps on Page 2…)

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Rice says Ravens need to get better

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Rice says Ravens need to get better

Posted on 09 December 2012 by WNSTV

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Flacco: “We just weren’t able to finish…”

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Flacco: “We just weren’t able to finish…”

Posted on 09 December 2012 by WNSTV

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Ravens-Redskins: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Redskins: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 09 December 2012 by Luke Jones

LANDOVER, Md. — A rainy and gloomy day at FedEx Field is the setting Sunday afternoon as the Ravens take on the Washington Redskins for the fifth time in their regular-season history.

Hoping to rebound from a disappointing loss to Pittsburgh last week, the Ravens will try to clinch their fifth consecutive trip to the postseason, but they’ll need help to do it. Baltimore will officially punch its ticket to the playoffs with a win and a loss from either Cincinnati or Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon.

Linebacker Terrell Suggs will not play despite being listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week. The 30-year-old linebacker suffered a torn biceps last Sunday but was able to practice on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. However, he deemed himself unready to go after testing out the right arm on Sunday morning.

As we learned on Friday, the Ravens will be without inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (ankle) and tight end Ed Dickson (knee), who were both ruled out after not practicing at all during the week. Both were injured in the win at San Diego two weeks ago and will miss their second consecutive game.

It will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Dean Pees handles the linebacker position as Albert McClellan would be the logical choice to slide inside and replace Ellerbe as he did last week. However, with Suggs now out, the Ravens would like to have McClellan available to set the edge opposite rookie Courtney Upshaw because he is strong against the run. Assuming McClellan plays inside, the Ravens will rely on fourth-year linebacker Paul Kruger as an every-down player and he struggled mightily to set the edge against the running game earlier this season when Suggs was on the physically unable to perform list.

In a surprise move, the Redskins have listed return specialist Brandon Banks as inactive. He was not listed on the injury report this week, so it will be interesting to see how Washington handles its return duties.

The Ravens are wearing their white jerseys with black pants while Washington sports its burgundy jerseys and gold pants on Sunday afternoon.

Here are Sunday’s inactives …

BALTIMORE
LB Terrell Suggs
LB Dannell Ellerbe
TE Ed Dickson
CB Jimmy Smith
OL Ramon Harewood
DL Bryan Hall
WR Deonte Thompson

WASHINGTON
QB Rex Grossman
WR Brandon Banks
WR Dezmon Briscoe
LB Roddrick Muckelory
G Josh LeRibeus
G Adam Gettis
T Tom Compton

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the day as Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, and I bring live updates and analysis from FedEx Field throughout the day.

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Ravens-Redskins: Five predictions for Sunday

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Ravens-Redskins: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 08 December 2012 by Luke Jones

The Ravens missed their opportunity to clinch a playoff spot upon losing to Pittsburgh last week, but they’ll have another chance Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

Only they’ll need help this time around as Pittsburgh or Cincinnati needs to lose in addition to a Ravens win at FedEx Field to punch Baltimore’s ticket to the postseason for the fifth straight year. The Ravens can also clinch the AFC North title with a win coupled with losses by both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens attempt to improve to 4-1 all-time against the Redskins and remain in good position to earn the No. 2 seed in the conference …

1. Redskins running back Alfred Morris will run for 100 yards with Baltimore’s injuries at the linebacker position. The rookie running back has thrived in the shadow of his quarterback and has rushed for 1,106 yards this season to lead the top run offense in the NFL. The Baltimore run defense is suspect even at full strength and with inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe out and Terrell Suggs’ status in question after he suffered a torn right biceps last week, Morris may find plenty of room on the edges. Albert McClellan normally plays well against the run at the strongside linebacker spot, but he’ll be forced to slide inside in place of Ellerbe, potentially leaving rookie Courtney Upshaw and pass-rush specialist Paul Kruger to man the outside linebacker spots more extensively if Suggs potentially limited or inactive. This doesn’t bode well against Washington’s tendency to use the pistol formation and the option attack.

2. Tight end Dennis Pitta has 70 receiving yards as the Ravens expose the Washington defense over the middle of the field. The Redskins are weak at the safety spot and will be without normal No. 3 corner Cedric Griffin, meaning they will be vulnerable in the middle intermediate portion of the field. This is where Pitta and possession receiver Anquan Boldin normally thrive, and the Ravens would like to get their tight end more involved after a very quiet performance against Pittsburgh. Inside linebacker London Fletcher has also been slowed by an ankle injury, which could be another problem for the Redskins if the Ravens use three-wide sets and can match Pitta against the veteran linebacker. New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett had five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown against Washington last week, and similar numbers for Pitta wouldn’t be surprising.

3. Robert Griffin III throws for 200 yards and a touchdown in another strong performance from the Redskins’ rookie quarterback. Without knowing how productive Suggs will be or whether the five-time Pro Bowl selection will even be on the field, it’s difficult to expect much from the Ravens’ pass rush, which may not be the end of the world with Griffin’s ability to leave the pocket and scramble. The question will be whether the Baltimore secondary can cover Pierre Garcon and other Redskins wide receivers efficiently enough to force the rookie quarterback to become anxious in the pocket. Cary Williams, Corey Graham, and Chykie Brown need to prevent the big play, but Griffin will still have sufficient time to make plays with short and intermediate passes like Charlie Batch did for Pittsburgh last week. Safety Ed Reed is normally licking his chops against a rookie signal caller, but Griffin has only thrown four interceptions all year. Washington’s success with the running game will once again alleviate pressure on the Redskins quarterback, who will have another strong afternoon.

4. Unlike his last road game in San Diego, quarterback Joe Flacco won’t wait until the fourth quarter in offering his most consistent performance of the season away from M&T Bank Stadium. I’ve waited all year for the fifth-year quarterback to have a dominating performance on the road, and he certainly provided a terrific fourth quarter and overtime in San Diego two weeks ago. However, the Ravens need Flacco to play well throughout the game on Sunday to give them their best chance to win against a Redskins team that should be able to score points. Washington has the 31st-ranked pass defense in the NFL and is undermanned in the back end on top of that. There are no excuses for Flacco this week as the Ravens have little margin for error the rest of the way if they want to earn a first-round bye for the second straight season. Whether it’s the law of averages or simply buying stock in the quarterback to bounce back from a clunker as he often has in the past, I expect Flacco to take advantage of a favorable matchup to throw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. If he doesn’t, the Ravens will likely find themselves with a 9-4 record and a quarterback facing even louder questions and doubts next week.

5. The Ravens haven’t lost consecutive games since Oct. 2009 and will find a way to prevail in a 27-24 victory over Washington. I’m not sure how the Baltimore defense is going to slow down Griffin and the Washington running game, but the Ravens offense has no excuse to be anything but productive against the Redskins defense. Many media and fans will call for Ray Rice to receive 25 carries and for the Ravens to grind it out on the ground, but Washington is strong against the run and weak in the secondary. It will be a close game in Landover, but it’s never a good idea to doubt coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens when they feel like their backs are against the wall. The Steelers loss puts them in that position as they’re now tied with New England and Denver for the second-best record in the AFC. Meanwhile, Washington has won three straight and needs to keep winning to have any real shot at the postseason. With both teams feeling they need a win, I’ll go with experience and the Ravens finding a way to secure a victory.

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Suggs questionable; Ellerbe, Dickson ruled out against Redskins

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Suggs questionable; Ellerbe, Dickson ruled out against Redskins

Posted on 07 December 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After returning to the practice field on Thursday, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was listed as questionable on the team’s final injury report going into Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.

The 30-year-old linebacker worked on a limited basis two days this week after acknowledging a need to test out his torn right biceps. Suggs described himself as a game-time decision earlier this week.

Coach John Harbaugh was pleased with the progress of the 2011 Defensive of the Year in returning to the practice field and once again deferred to Suggs in determining whether he will play at FedEx Field.

“[His arm] held up real well,” Harbaugh said. “He practiced for two days partially. As far as if you are asking what he is going to do, I really don’t know yet. We’ll just have to see where it goes on Sunday.”

Suggs used the practices to test his range of motion as well as his ability to complete simple football moves such as wrapping with his arms to make a tackle and engaging with blockers at the line of scrimmage in his role a pass rusher.

Teammates were encouraged by the five-time Pro Bowl selection’s work by the end of the week.

“He’s just getting it back,” linebacker Paul Kruger said. “Practice at this point in the season is always going to be a little slower and more low-key for everybody. I think he’ll be back in no time.”

The news wasn’t nearly as good for tight end Ed Dickson and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe as both players were ruled out and will miss their second straight game after suffering injuries in the Ravens’ win over San Diego two weeks ago. Neither have practiced at all over the last two weeks.

“They’re working hard to get back,” said Harbaugh before the two were officially declared out. “We probably thought that they would maybe be back last week, and it didn’t work out. We’ll just have to see for this week.”

Cornerback Jimmy Smith practiced on a limited basis on Friday as he did all week but was listed as doubtful. The second-year defensive back was not expected to play this week in his first workouts since undergoing sports hernia surgery.

The 2011 first-round pick had the surgical procedure on Nov. 15.

“He’s out there practicing [and] did a nice job,” Harbaugh said. “[He] moved around pretty well, broke up some scar tissue and things like that. That’s really important.”

Though not listed on the injury report because he’s ineligible to return to game action until next week, linebacker Ray Lewis practiced again on Friday as it’s appearing far more likely that he’ll come off injured reserve next week against the Denver Broncos.

Originally feared to be lost for the season with a torn triceps muscle in his right arm suffered on Oct. 14, Lewis would be returning to action a little over eight weeks following surgery for an injury estimated to have a recovery time of four months or more. His return to the practice field this week provided a boost to a Ravens team trying to bounce back from a disappointing and rare home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday.

“He moved around really well,” Harbaugh said. “You know Ray is going to stay in great shape. It’s not that long since he’s played, so he moved around really well. It was fun to have him out there. I know I was uplifted by it.”

The Redskins have listed linebacker London Fletcher, cornerback DeAngelo Hall, and offensive tackle Trent Williams as questionable for Sunday’s game.

BALTIMORE
OUT: TE Ed Dickson (knee), LB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle)
DOUBTFUL: CB Jimmy Smith (abdomen)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Asa Jackson (shoulder), CB Chris Johnson (thigh), LB Terrell Suggs (biceps)
PROBABLE: CB Chykie Brown (ankle), LB Josh Bynes (thigh), S James Ihedigbo (calf), WR Jacoby Jones (ankle), FB Vonta Leach (ankle), DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), S Bernard Pollard (chest), S Ed Reed (shoulder)

WASHINGTON
QUESTIONABLE: LB London Fletcher (ankle), CB DeAngelo Hall (ankle/knee), T Trent Williams (thigh)
PROBABLE: WR Pierre Garcon (foot), P Sav Rocca (right knee), CB Josh Wilson (shoulder)

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