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Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens

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Our Ravens-Texans Pats on the Ass

Posted on 15 January 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 & I select five different players to receive pats.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 20-13 win over the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Playoff Round at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Ricky Williams

4. Ray Lewis

3. Bernard Pollard

2. Anquan Boldin

1. Sam Koch (Pat on Both Cheeks)

Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…

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Ravens-Chargers: Five predictions for Sunday night

Posted on 17 December 2011 by Luke Jones

Never have the Baltimore Ravens found themselves in this position so late in the season, with every goal firmly in their grasps as they travel to San Diego on Sunday night.

Waiting for them is a Chargers team suddenly roused from a mid-season stroke with two straight wins that followed a frustrating six-game losing streak that erased a 4-1 start and placed them on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. However faint their playoff hopes might be — the Broncos-Patriots outcome earlier in the day will either be a nail in the coffin or a ray of hope — San Diego is suddenly revitalized in welcoming the Ravens to town for Sunday Night Football.

A win puts the Ravens in the playoffs for the fourth straight year and shortens the path to the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye. A loss places Baltimore in a familiar position: needing help to gain the ideal postseason position.

Sunday marks the eighth all-time meeting between the AFC teams, with the Ravens holding a 4-3 edge in the series. Baltimore is 2-3 playing the Chargers in San Diego. The last time these teams faced in 2009, it took a last-second tackle of Darren Sproles by Ray Lewis to preserve a 31-26 victory for the Ravens in a game in which Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw for a then-career-high 436 yards.

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Here’s what to expect when the Ravens take the field at the temporarily-named Snapdragon Stadium on Sunday night …

1. Terrell Suggs will pick up two sacks, but the Ravens will have difficulty finding the right combination of pressure against the San Diego passing game. The 29-year-old linebacker has been a one-man wrecking crew since Lewis went down with a toe injury, collecting seven sacks in his last three games. While former Ravens tackle Jared Gaither has done a fine job at left tackle since the Chargers signed him two weeks ago to replace the injured Marcus McNeill, it’s hard to envision him or right tackle Jeromey Clary containing Suggs. However, the Chargers’ ability to go vertical in the passing game while using tight end Antonio Gates and running backs Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert underneath creates a dilemma. Sending extra defenders will leave the Ravens vulnerable to Rivers dumping the ball off to releasing backs, but playing it conservatively puts a lot on the front four to create enough pressure to disrupt the San Diego quarterback’s timing with receivers down the field. Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano considers it a major challenge and compared the Chargers offense to the Ravens in how they like to use their running backs in the passing game. Everyone knows Gates is a future Hall of Fame talent, but Mathews and Tolbert have combined for 90 receptions this season, which might make Baltimore think twice before simply pinning its ears back against a San Diego offensive line that seems to have stabilized in recent weeks.

2. With Lardarius Webb unlikely to play, Chargers receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd will get the best of Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams. The timing could not have been worse for Webb to suffer a turf toe injury with the Ravens facing the most challenging passing offense they’ve seen since Pittsburgh on Nov. 6. Though the 5-foot-10 Webb is at a size disadvantage going up against either of San Diego’s 6-foot-5 receivers, he’s played at a Pro Bowl level all season and will be replaced by the highly-talented, but still largely unknown commodity, Jimmy Smith. The rookie has looked terrific at times, intercepting two passes, and lost at others, allowing touchdown passes against Cincinnati and Cleveland. His 6-foot-2 frame was drafted exactly for these types of games, but Smith’s preference to be physical will be tested — and watched by officials ready to throw yellow flags — in the most extensive work he’ll receive all season. Williams has been very solid this season, but he’s struggled on the rare occasions when the defense has been unable to generate enough heat on the quarterback. At 6-foot-1, Williams has the height to hold his own against tall receivers, but it’s questionable whether he possesses enough strength to match up against Jackson or Floyd. Jackson has caught eight touchdowns this season, and he’ll earn his ninth on Sunday night.

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Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens

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In absence of leader, Suggs in full control of Ravens defense

Posted on 11 December 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — As I watched the Ravens’ 24-10 dismantling of the hapless Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon, the same theme kept sounding in my head.

As strange as it was watching a Baltimore-Indianapolis matchup without quarterback Peyton Manning and linebacker Ray Lewis lining up on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage, it was painfully clear how much more the Colts offense missed Manning than the Ravens defense missed Lewis. Of course, that’s no knock on Lewis, whose impact as an inside linebacker simply cannot match the effect of a team missing its future Hall of Fame quarterback, but it’s a statement you thought you’d never hear given his unquantifiable effect on the Baltimore defense.

Before Indianapolis’ 76-yard touchdown drive that concluded the game — against several backups on the Ravens defense — Baltimore had a chance to set a franchise record for fewest yards allowed as the Colts had just 91 before taking over with 2:18 remaining in the fourth quarter. With Lewis out of action for the Ravens’ last four games, not only has the defense survived but it’s flourished, allowing just 12.5 points and 263.3 yards per game over that span.

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In Lewis’ absence, linebacker Terrell Suggs has gone to the head of the pack, posting seven sacks over the Ravens’ last three games. His three-sack performance against Indianapolis matched his single-game high and gave him 13 for the season, setting a new career best for the nine-year veteran.

But ask the boisterous pass rusher if he’s having the best year of his career and you’ll get the humble version of “T-Sizzle” who’s more concerned with winning championships than hearing his name in the Defensive Player of the Year discussions.

“I don’t know,” said Suggs in response to the career-year query. “It only counts if we get to [the Super Bowl in Indianapolis] and the confetti drops. Right now, I think we are all just doing our parts — holding [the] levee until the general gets back. That’s how I honestly think we are playing.”

While the Ravens are certainly looking forward to Lewis’ return — quite possibly next week in San Diego — the lieutenant general is leading the troops with similar success, even if Suggs’ leadership style isn’t quite as obvious as the authoritative 36-year-old linebacker leading the Baltimore defense for the last 16 seasons. Injury or not, it’s becoming more and more apparent we’re seeing a changing of the guard with Suggs subtly taking the reins of the defense as Lewis and safety Ed Reed move closer to the end of their respective careers.

As has been the case several times this season, Suggs took over the game on Sunday, chasing overwhelmed Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky all over the pocket as the Ravens improved to 10-3 to remain tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers atop the AFC North.

“Terrell Suggs was just a game-wrecker,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He was a game-wrecker in the run. He was a game-wrecker in the pass rush. I think he had three caused fumbles. Unfortunately, we didn’t come up with any of them.”

Despite Suggs’ reluctance in discussing the personal accolades, his 2011 season may go down as one of the best in the history of Ravens defenders. His 13 sacks are tied with the number Trevor Pryce collected in 2006 for third in team history, and only defensive end Michael McCrary (14 1/2 in 1998) and linebacker Peter Boulware (15 in 2001) remain ahead of Suggs, who still has three games remaining to set a new franchise mark.

Even if the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker isn’t willing to acknowledge his increasing role as a leader, there’s no question who’s become the best player among a plethora of greats on the Baltimore defense. Lewis may remain the general inspiring his troops with pre-game speeches, but Suggs is the most gifted soldier in the trenches, the guy you want on your side when the stakes are at their highest.

“Don’t be fooled; this is still Ray Lewis’ team,” Suggs said. “He is still the general of this team, and he has a personal relationship with everybody on this team, and it’s showing. As I said, his presence is still very much there.”

Suggs may be right about Lewis’ presence, but the Ravens are just as fortunate to have No. 55 standing right next to him. His performance in Lewis’ absence proves it.

Rice running all over

Following his career-high 204-yard performance against the Cleveland Browns, running back Ray Rice hit triple digits again on Sunday, rushing for 103 yards on 26 carries in the win over Indianapolis.

It was the first time in his four-year career that Rice was able to achieve back-to-back 100-yard rushing games. The 2008 second-round pick has reached the century mark in rushing in three of the Ravens’ last four games after offensive coordinator Cam Cameron came under fire at several points earlier this season for not giving enough carries to the 5-foot-8 running back.

“I guess I have to say I’m pretty fresh right now considering the amount of workload I had in the first half of the season,” Rice said. “I’m not saying I saved my best for the end of the season, but I’m doing a great job of keeping myself fresh. I get a great relief when Ricky Williams is in there. I am just looking forward to being consistent.”

Rice has now compiled 30 games with at least 100 total yards from scrimmage during his career, including 28 since he became the full-time starter in 2009. His 28 games dating back to that season are the most in the NFL.

His 103 yards against the Colts also gave Rice 1,029 yards in 2011, marking the third straight season he’s surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing barrier. Rice joins Jamal Lewis as the second Raven to post at least 1,000 in three straight campaigns. Lewis accomplished the feat from 2002 to 2004.

“It means a lot to me,” Rice said. “Anytime I do something, I give my credit to the offensive line. But to do three straight [1,000-yard seasons], it does say something, consistency-wise. I try to just stay the course.”

Cundiff’s calf

After veteran Shayne Graham was on standby all weekend in case Billy Cundiff’s left calf wasn’t ready for action, the Ravens kicker proved able to play on Sunday, making his only field goal attempt, which came from 36 yards near the end of the first quarter.

However, Cundiff experienced some soreness on kickoffs in the first half, prompting Harbaugh to turn to punter Sam Koch in the second half. Fortunately, the Ravens would only need Koch to kick off one time and Cundiff was still available for field goals and extra points.

The move was considered more precautionary with the Ravens holding a 14-point lead at halftime.

“It was important for [Cundiff] to be able to kick,” Harbaugh said, “but he started feeling [something] on the kickoffs as we progressed in the first half, so we went with Sam in the second half on kickoffs.”

Odds & ends

Wide receiver Torrey Smith tied Jamal Lewis’ rookie record for touchdowns in a season when he posted his sixth score of 2011, an 8-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. … The Ravens accumulated four sacks against Indianapolis, giving them a league-high 45 on the season. With three games remaining, Baltimore is on pace to record 55 sacks in 2011, more than doubling its total of 27 last season. … Opponents have now gone 21 straight games without scoring on their opening drive against the Ravens, the NFL’s longest streak over the past 20 seasons. … Veteran wideout Lee Evans passed the 6,000-yard mark for his career with a 21-yard reception in the third quarter. … The Ravens have now won 17 of their last 18 games at M&T Bank Stadium and are 7-0 at home this year. Baltimore is 26-5 at home in four seasons under Harbaugh.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh, Terrell Suggs, Ray Rice, Jarret Johnson, Torrey Smith, Bernard Pollard, and Jameel McClain right here.

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The Reality Check Presents “The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens-Cardinals”

Posted on 01 November 2011 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’ 30-27 win over the Arizona Cardinals at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Ed Dickson 14 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 4 (3rd quarter)


4. Jameel McClain intercepts Kevin Kolb after Terrell Suggs hit (3rd quarter)


3. Torrey Smith 36 yard catch from Joe Flacco (4th quarter)


2. Sam Koch 40 yard punt downed by Bryan McCann inside Cards’ 5 yard line (4th quarter)


1. Anquan Boldin draws pass interference call on Patrick Peterson in endzone on 3rd down (3rd quarter)


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Our Ravens-Cardinals “Pats On The Ass”

Posted on 30 October 2011 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.”

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 30-27 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Jarret Johnson


4. Dennis Pitta


3. Sam Koch


2. Joe Flacco


1. Terrell Suggs (Pat on both cheeks)


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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens for Week 7

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Luke Jones

Below are our (day-late) Tuesday Top 7 Ravens players in the shocking 12-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night. We’ll track our rankings throughout the 2011 season with 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 our respective picks, click right HERE.

Luke Jones’ Top 7 …

7) Haloti Ngata

6) Ray Lewis

5) Jameel McClain

4) Sam Koch

3) Cary Williams

2) Terrell Suggs

1) Bernard Pollard

Drew Forrester’s Top 7 …

7) Dennis Pitta

6) Ed Reed

5) Terrell Suggs

4) Jameel McClain

3) Bernard Pollard

2) Sam Koch

1) Ray Lewis

Luke Jones:

1. Ray Rice (24 points)
2. Haloti Ngata (24 points)
3. Terrell Suggs (22 points)
4. Joe Flacco (15 points)
5. Ed Reed (8 points)
5. Anquan Boldin (8 points)
5. Ray Lewis (8 points)
8. Bernard Pollard (7 points)
8. Cary Williams (7 points)
10. David Reed (6 points)
10. Torrey Smith (6 points)
10. Terrence Cody (6 points)
13. Bryant McKinnie (5 points)
13. Lardarius Webb (5 points)
13. Billy Cundiff (5 points)
16. Sam Koch (4 points)
17. Cory Redding (3 points)
17. Jameel McClain (3 points)
19. Matt Birk (1 point)
19. Jarret Johnson (1 point)

Drew Forrester:
1. Ray Rice (21 points)
2. Haloti Ngata (18 points)
3. Joe Flacco (16 points)
4. Terrell Suggs (15 points)
5. Ray Lewis (12 points)
6. Lardarius Webb (11 points)
7. Ed Reed (10 points)
8. Anquan Boldin (9 points)
8. Bernard Pollard (9 points)
10. Bryant McKinnie (7 points)
10. Torrey Smith (7 points)
10. Sam Koch (7 points)
13. Ed Dickson (6 points)
14. Jarret Johnson (5 points)
15. Jameel McClain (4 points)
15. Billy Cundiff (4 points)
17. Marshal Yanda (2 points)
17. Andre Gurode (2 points)
17. Cary Williams (2 points)
20. Dennis Pitta (1 point)

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Joe Flacco

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“Rating the Ravens” after Baltimore 29-14 victory over Houston

Posted on 17 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

The Ravens may have had some difficulty Sunday versus the Houston Texans getting in the end zone, but with Baltimore getting their third straight win, there is little to be upset about with the AFC North-leaders.

The Ravens (4-1,) not only earned another win to stay atop the division; they earned a quality win over a Houston Texans squad that was seen as an elite team in the AFC despite coming in with a 3-2 record.

The Texans of course were without All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson, DE Mario Williams, and had injuries to their entire backfield Sunday in quarterback Matt Schaub, RB Arian Foster, and fullback James Casey.

With another quality win under their belt and seeing some offensive production out of running back Ray Rice, receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, and four sacks on defense, the Ravens should have a lot of confidence going forward as they take on the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars next Monday night.


Joe Flacco

After Joe Flacco’s poor performance two weeks ago against the New York Jets in which Flacco recorded 10-of-31 passes for just 136 yards (2 turnovers), it was on Flacco to have a rebound game.

Flacco finished Sunday 2o-of-33 for 305 yards and one interception versus the Texans. Give credit to Flacco for making plays on the run, being hit after letting go the ball, and not being able to fully step into his throws.

The Houston Texans built their team in the draft and in the off-season to off-set a dominant quarterback in their division in Peyton Manning, and it also affected Flacco Sunday.

Third-year man Tim Jamison stripped Flacco once and recorded two sacks of the Ravens quarterback, and rookies JJ Watt and Brooks Reed were breathing down Flacco’s neck all game long.

Flacco’s lone interception came on a tipped pass intended for tight end Ed Dickson that found its way into the hands of Texans CB Jonathan Joseph. Dickson could not have been more wide open, and Flacco sailed the ball.

Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith-on his highlight of the day, a 51-yard catch in the 3rd quarter that helped Baltimore go up 16-14with 5:06 in the third-had to go back to get Flacco’s pass.

But later on in the quarter, after Houston punted on downs, Flacco’s pass from his own 34 to Anquan Boldin-over the outstretched arms of Joseph-could not have been in a better spot for Boldin to get the ball.

Best assessment? A better game for Flacco.


Running Backs

Ray Rice

Ray Rice continues to show that he is the gas that makes the Ravens offensive car go. If anything were to happen to Rice, Ravens fans can make other plans the first couple of weeks of January. He had 161 yards of total offense against the Texans, and a lot of those yards were hard fought through an aggressive Texans defensive line and linebacking corps.

Giving the ball to Rice 23 times on the ground showed that Cam Cameron and the Ravens offensive coaching staff continue to realize that good things happen when you give him the ball, and his added five touches for 60 yards on passes down the field backed that statement up.

The only area of concern would be Rice’s inability to punch it in the goal line on back-to-back occasions at the end of the Ravens first drive that put them up 7-0 over Houston-one of which had a huge hole for him to run through.

Ricky Williams had a four-yard score in the four quarter to ice the game, 26-14. It was his first touchdown as a Raven, and given the team’s ineptness toward the goal line earlier in the contest and his ability to punch it in, he might be called on more in those opportunities.


Wide Receivers

Anquan Boldin

Glenn Clark said this on “The Nasty Purple Post-Game Show” following the game: this may have been the best/second best game Anquan Boldin has had in a Baltimore uniform. He did have 100-yard games twice against the Steelers and his 3-TD performance against Eric Wright and the Browns in 2010, but given the man going up against him in Jonathan Joseph, Boldin had a phenomenal game.

Boldin not only performed his role as a possession receiver (8 catches), he of course made plays down the field highlighted by his 56-yard grab in the third quarter, setting up the fourth quarter field goal by Billy Cundiff that put Baltimore up 19-14 with 14:44 left to go.

On the other side, Torrey Smith was frustrated after being bottled up by the New York Jets before the bye week. Smith had five catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns against the Rams three weeks ago, and his rookie flame faded against Darrelle Revis.

Torrey Smith

Flacco found Smith three times Sunday for 84 yards, highlighted by his 51-yarder that Smith made over Kareem Jackson. Smith did a great job coming back for Flacco’s ball to make the catch, and held it after the hit. Flacco barely missed Smith earlier in the game on a bomb in the back of the end zone, and they were toes away from a connection for a score.

No other receiver caught a pass, and tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson combined for four passes for 29 yards.


Offensive Line

This unit dominated. This unit also struggled as well. All depends when you were looking.

Early, the Ravens offensive line had issues protecting Flacco from the likes of bull rushers like Antonio Smith, Tim Jamison, JJ Watt, and Brooks Reed. They also had difficulty clearing a lane for Ray Rice and Vonta Leach to punch it in the Texans’ 1-yard line.

Four times. And they were aided by Antonio Smith’s two personal foul penalties mixed into those opportunities.

But as the game went on, the offensive line appeared to wear down the Texans defensive line. You have to play for 60 minutes of football in the NFL, and the O-line did help Ray Rice get over the century mark for yet another game this year.


Defensive Line

Matt Schaub

The Ravens got four sacks Sunday of Matt Schaub, and the defensive line earned two of those sacks (Haloti Ngata, Pernell McPhee). However, you can credit Clarence Brooks‘ unit with absorbing blocks to allow Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson to earn the other two sacks of Schaub. Schaub was constantly on the move in the pocket, and the Texans were forced to leave tight ends Joel Dreessen and Owen Daniels in to block Ngata and Terrell Suggs-taking away other options for Schaub.

Ngata still found a way to earn eight tackles Sunday through the double and triple-teams.

Also key in stopping the Texans was containing running back Arian Foster, the NFL’s leading rusher from a year ago. Foster earned 100 yards against the Ravens in their 2010 contest, and it was clear the Ravens saw him as a threat. They did a great job containing the back, only allowing him 49 yards on the ground on 15 carries.

They were disciplined in their over-pursuit of Foster as well, not allowing him the cut-back lane to get his signature extra yards.

Local guy Ben Tate did have some success in relief of Foster (9 carries, 41 yards), but he also had a fumble that ultimately helped the Texans earn one of their two scores.

Terrence Cody did an impressive job stuffing Arian Foster in several short-yardage situations, earning three tackles.

Terrence Cody



This unit was helped by the play of the guys in front of them.

Able to flow smoothly to the ball without fear of blocks, Ray Lewis led all tacklers with 12. Both he and Jarret Johnson (7 tackles) earned sacks blitzing from the right side of the Texans offensive line, and had clear lanes to the QB.

Brendon Ayanbadejo had four tackles-mostly in obvious passing situations, but he continues to prove that he is the best option the Ravens have at covering the opposing tight end or running back in the flat.

Much like the defensive line, give them credit for stopping Arian Foster and playing well in coverage a few yards off the line of scrimmage.

Arian Foster



This unit probably received the greatest news in the world last week when they heard that Texans WR Andre Johnson would miss Sunday’s game with that prolonged hamstring injury.

That left quarterback Matt Schaub without his weapon, and it was obvious that he was “naked” without Johnson in the lineup.

Schaub made his plays in short yardage in front of the receivers-taking few shots down the field. Mostly because he didn’t have the time to throw either with the Ravens pass-rush keeping him on the move.

Corners Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams, and safety Bernard Pollard combined for 17 tackles, and made sure that there weren’t any plays made after the catch and that no receiver got past them.

The longest play of the day for Houston came on Jacoby Jones‘ 32 yard touchdown in the third quarter that put the Texans up 14-13, and it appeared like there was a blown coverage on the play.

Ed Reed

Safety Ed Reed-who often takes risks in his own right-was left on his own against Jones, and the speedy Jones made a play behind Reed in the back of the end zone.

Fortunately for the Ravens secondary, it was the only mistake on their part.


Special Teams

The key here was Billy Cundiff, who went five-for-five on field goals on a windy Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium. You could almost give him the game ball here.

Billy Cundiff

He continues to prove to the coaching staff that he is not a liability, and that his Pro-Bowl year from 2010 was not a fluke.

He had eight kickoffs-all of which reached the end zone-and seven of them were downed for touchbacks.

New CB Bryan McCann had two kickoff returns for 26 yards, and punter Sam Koch only had to line up twice.

Rating: “A”

Like my analysis? Disagree? Comment below, or tune in Monday afternoon on “The Reality Check” as Glenn Clark and I discuss Sunday’s win! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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The Reality Check Presents “The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens-Jets”

Posted on 04 October 2011 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’ 34-17 win over the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium…

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Ed Dickson 14 yard completion from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 13 (1st quarter)


4. Ray Rice 52 yard completion from Joe Flacco (1st quarter)


3. Morgan Cox downs Sam Koch 58 yard punt at Jets’ 1 (2nd quarter)


(There was no picture available of the play. I hope Morgan and Sam understand me going with this one.)

2. Jameel McClain 6 yard TD return of Mark Sanchez fumble forced by Ed Reed (1st quarter)


1. Lardarius Webb 73 yard TD return of Mark Sanchez INT (3rd quarter)


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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens for Week 2

Posted on 20 September 2011 by Luke Jones

Below are our Top 7 Ravens players in the deflating 26-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville on Sunday. We’ll track our rankings throughout the 2011 season with 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

And, yes, we know there really weren’t seven players worthy of the honor, but we did our best in completing the process.

Luke Jones’ Top 7…

7) Ray Lewis

6) Terrell Suggs

5) Billy Cundiff

4) Haloti Ngata

3) Terrence Cody

2) David Reed

1) Ray Rice

Drew Forrester’s Top 7…

7) Sam Koch

6) Marshal Yanda

5) Terrell Suggs

4) Lardarius Webb

3) Haloti Ngata

2) Ed Dickson

1) Ray Rice


1. Haloti Ngata (10 points)
1. Ray Rice (10 points)
3. Terrell Suggs (9 points)
4. David Reed (6 points)
5. Bryant McKinnie (5 points)
5.Terrence Cody (5 points)
7. Joe Flacco (4 points)
8. Billy Cundiff (3 points)
9. Ed Reed (2 points)
10. Matt Birk (1 point)
10. Ray Lewis (1 point)

1. Haloti Ngata (9 points)
1. Ray Rice (9 points)
3. Terrell Suggs (8 points)
4. Bryant McKinnie (7 points)
4. Lardarius Webb (7 points)
6. Joe Flacco (6 points)
6. Ed Dickson (6 points)
8. Marshal Yanda (2 points)
9. Ed Reed (1 point)
10. Sam Koch (1 point)

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John Harbaugh (Rob Carr-Getty Images)

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Rating the Ravens after Baltimore’s 35-7 victory over Steelers

Posted on 12 September 2011 by Ryan Chell

The 2011 season opener could not have gone any better for the Baltimore Ravens.

Not only did they get a divisional win-they earned it against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. They kicked the living crap out of the defending AFC Champions, 35-7, and left the Steelers leaving Baltimore with their tails firmly entrenched between their legs.

The win may feel like a Super Bowl victory to Raven nation, and while it certainly puts the momentum in the AFC North in the Ravens’ corner for now, no win in the NFL is perfect. Every coach-especially John Harbaugh-will tell you that.

But boy, did it feel like it.

John Harbaugh (Rob Carr-Getty Images)

Quarterback-“B”-Joe Flacco finished Sunday’s contest 17-29 for 224 yards and three touchdowns-one to Ray Rice,  Anquan Boldin, and Ed Dickson respectively. Flacco’s 27-yard pass to Boldin on the Ravens’ first drive of the game-the third play-could not have been in a better position over the outstretched arms of Steelers CB Bryant McFadden, and his 18-yard pass to Dickson after the Steelers’ third turnover at the start of the third quarter essentially was the nail in the coffin for Pittsburgh.

However, Flacco wasn’t perfect. He had several balls thrown at Lee Evans that were nowhere near the receiver and sailed out of his reach. And for a quarterback who wasn’t sacked-let alone touched-till the start of the fourth quarter, Flacco often dumped the ball on the check down way too quickly when he could have waited for a play downfield to develop.

But no turnovers on Flacco’s part combined with three touchdown passes and getting the monkey off his back? Okay in my book.

Running Back-“A”-The only reason why this isn’t a perfect A+ is because the Ravens interior running game still had its issues running up the middle against the Steelers. But that’s expected-especially against the likes of NT Casey Hampton. But what wasn’t expected was Ray Rice having this kind of success against a stout Steelers front seven. Rice became the first running back since-well, himself-to rush for 100 yards against Pittsburgh, and he did so with all the help in the world from FB Vonta Leach, T Bryant McKinnie, and guard Ben Grubbs.

Ray Rice (courtesty of Rob Carr-Getty Images)

And it didn’t take long. Rice made his impact from the start on the first play of the game, rushing for 36 yards behind Leach and McKinnie. He finished with 149 total yards of offense and two scores. Leach made his presence known in his first regular season game as a Raven, delivering punishing blocks on the opposing linebackers. Ricky Williams had a quiet but impressive 63 carries on 12 touches in his Raven debut, showing that he still has gas left in the tank.

Wide Receiver/Tight End-“B-“Anquan Boldin was the only wide receiver to catch a pass  and finished with 74 yards on four catches and the opening touchdown. Ed Dickson had a spectacular debut in his first game as a starter in 2011, catching five balls for 59 yards and a score. He had a 34-yard grab negated by a hold on Bryant McKinnie, but it looks as if Dickson and Pitta’s job Sunday could easily put the nightmare of not having Todd Heap anymore to rest. Lee Evans played decoy all game long, but they need him and second-rounder Torrey Smith to produce something should opposing defenses key on Boldin and Dickson.

Offensive Line-“A”-The same reasoning behind the almost-perfect score for the running backs-the offensive line was outstanding Sunday, but some penalties and not having the best day running up the middle prevent them from the 100% grade. But Flacco stayed completely upright till the fourth quarter and they gave the fourth-year man all day to throw. Birk, Grubbs, and McKinnie were all called for holding in the game, and those mental mistakes can be disastrous sometimes.

Defensive Line-“A+”-The Ravens sacked Ben Roethlisberger four times-three of them coming from Terrell Suggs. Suggs also forced two fumbles. The Ravens have made it clear that they intend to have Suggs rush the passer first and foremost now as opposed to sending him out in coverage. It doesn’t make use of his skills if they don’t. Suggs said of Big Ben after the game, “God can have his soul, but his ass is mine.

Haloti Ngata continued his case toward earning a long-term deal from owner Steve Bisciotti by forcing a fumble of Rashard Mendenhall as well as batting a ball up in the air that linebacker Ray Lewis came down with for one of the Ravens three interceptions.

Linebackers-“B+”-Ray Lewis of course leads this unit, and he finished with seven tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. Other than Jarret Johnson’s half sack and his batted ball that led to an INT, this unit was pretty quiet on the day depending upon if you count Suggs as DE or a LB. With the Steelers trailing big, Roethlisberger found guys like Mike Wallace and Hines Ward in the holes left by the linebackers, so their coverage skills may have to improve week-by-week.

Secondary-“A-“-Ed Reed-on his birthday-had two interceptions and could have very well had a third. Not only was Reed’s ball-hawking skills on full display, he appeared to be flying toward the ball-carrier and making solid tackles. Reed for the last several years has battled neck and shoulder injuries, and it appeared like Sunday, he was healthy for the first time in a long while. Lardarius Webb led the team in tackles with 11, and Cary Williams also had a solid game starting at corner back.

Special Teams-“A”-K Billy Cundiff was 2-for-2 in field goals with his longest coming from 30 yards out. Four of his seven kickoffs went in the end zone for a touchback. Sam Koch had five punts averaging 41 yards. And you have to give the special teams credit when they score a 2-point conversion…especially from the punter!

Agree with my grading? Disagree? Call into “The Reality Check” 2-6PM EST with Glenn Clark, tweet me @WNST or @Ryan Chell87, or comment below! Would love to hear from you! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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