Tag Archive | "texans"

Ravens agree to one-year deal with former Texans tight end Daniels

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Ravens agree to one-year deal with former Texans tight end Daniels

Posted on 03 April 2014 by Luke Jones

After weeks of discussions, the Ravens agreed to a one-year deal with free-agent tight end Owen Daniels on Thursday.

The 31-year-old reunites with new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, quarterbacks coach Rick Dennison, and tight ends coach Brian Pariani after working with them during his eight-year run with the Houston Texans. Daniels was a salary-cap casualty last month and told WNST.net that the Ravens immediately showed interest in his services.

Daniels is eager for a fresh start after the Texans finished 2-14 last season with Kubiak being fired in December.

“It was definitely an experience this past season for it to go the way it went,” Daniels told AM 1570 WNST.net on Thursday. “But I’m happy to have a new start. I have a ton of respect for the [Ravens]. It’s always been a tough battle.”

The deal is pending a physical scheduled to be completed on Friday.

A fourth-round pick out of Wisconsin in the 2006 draft — the same year Kubiak was hired as the head coach in Houston — the two-time Pro Bowl selection joins Dennis Pitta to form an impressive tight-end duo for quarterback Joe Flacco. Daniels was limited to five games due to a leg injury last season but has caught 385 passes for 4,617 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career.

Kubiak has always been praised for his use of tight ends in his West Coast offense, moving them around in various formations and substitution packages and frequently using two-tight sets.

“Baltimore was always on my radar after Kubiak signed up over there,” Daniels said. “They’re a good team, obviously. Who wouldn’t want to play for them? It just came down to them being the right fit for me. I’m super excited to get out there.”

Daniels’ best season came in 2008 when he caught 70 passes for 862 yards and two touchdowns to earn his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He was again invited to Honolulu in 2012 when he caught 62 passes for 716 yards and six touchdowns.

Since 2006, the 6-3, 249-pound Daniels has produced the eighth-most catches and the seventh-most receiving yards among NFL tight ends. He ranks second in career receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns in Texans franchise history.

The Ravens are likely to continue looking to add a blocking tight end behind Pitta and Daniels on the depth chart as both are known for their pass-catching ability but neither is considered a strong blocker.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear new Ravens tight end Owen Daniels’ conversation with WNST.net host Nestor Aparicio HERE.

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Steve Smith not looking to be Boldin, Andre Johnson in Kubiak’s system

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Steve Smith not looking to be Boldin, Andre Johnson in Kubiak’s system

Posted on 15 March 2014 by Luke Jones

The Ravens hope that much of what new wide receiver Steve Smith brings to the field won’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet every week.

That’s not to say Baltimore won’t take advantage of the remnants of the 14th-year receiver’s ability in a career that includes five Pro Bowl selections, 12,197 receiving yards, and 67 touchdown receptions, but Smith’s intangibles were equally attractive to an offense that lacked a vocal leader willing to ruffle some feathers when needed last year. Smith has occasionally come under fire for his willingness to speak his mind and tell others what they might not want to hear, but coach John Harbaugh told the veteran during his free-agent visit that the Ravens want him to be himself.

The Ravens signed Smith to a three-year, $11 million contract on Friday afternoon.

“We’ve added one of the top competitors in the NFL to the Ravens,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a released statement. “Steve is a proven player who has performed his best in big games and on the biggest stages like the playoffs and Super Bowl. He adds toughness to our offense, big-play ability, and leadership to our team.”

Those intangibles aside, what should the Ravens expect from a wide receiver set to turn 35 in May?

From the start of the offseason when Newsome and Harbaugh spoke about the Ravens’ need to add a wide receiver who can move the chains and pick up the tough yards after a catch, it sounded as though they were envisioning Anquan Boldin’s replacement as someone who can line up in the slot and make difficult catches over the short-to-intermediate middle portion of the field. The similarities in attitude between Boldin and Smith are clear, but the 5-foot-9 Smith has relied more on his speed on the outside throughout his career while Boldin is bigger and slower but has always made catches in traffic.

You can hardly blame Smith for not wanting to be compared to someone else after being one of the better receivers in the NFL over the last decade.

“I’m not Anquan Boldin,” said Smith when asked if he can fill the void of the former’s departure from a year ago. “I respect the heck out of ‘Q,’ and what ‘Q’ brings to the table is what ‘Q’ brings to the table. I’m Steve Smith, and what I bring to the table as a Baltimore Raven, I have to earn that, and my time on the field will display what I bring to the table.

“We play similar games; we want to win and we go all-out. But we’re also individuals, and I’m not here to replace anyone. I’m here to be myself.”

Determining what role Smith will play isn’t easy as many believe he’s lost a step after recording only 64 receptions for 745 yards last season, his lowest totals since 2010 when the Carolina Panthers were the worst team in the NFL with a 2-14 record. And the Ravens offense will clearly present a different look under new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.

Smith met with Kubiak to discuss what his role would be in the Baltimore offense, using the coach’s offenses in Houston as a point of reference. The former Texans coach really didn’t have any player in Houston who compared to Smith in terms of physical makeup, but the veteran made it clear he’s not expecting to have the extensive role of No. 1 wide receiver Andre Johnson during all those years he played with Kubiak.

This is good news for an offense that can’t put all its hopes in a veteran receiver whose best days are behind him. Until proving otherwise, Smith should be a complementary option to fourth-year receiver Torrey Smith and tight end Dennis Pitta as the featured parts of the passing game while Pitta and 6-foot-4 wideout Marlon Brown profile as better red-zone threats.

Quarterback Joe Flacco certainly doesn’t need a veteran nearing the end of his career demanding to be the focal point of the passing attack, so Smith’s position had to be a breath of fresh air for Harbaugh and his coaching staff.

“I know his system. I’ve seen his system,” Smith said about his discussion with Kubiak. “I’ve seen the very creative ways they’ve gotten other guys the ball. I want to be a part of that. One of the things I’ve seen for myself — I don’t see myself in coach Kubiak’s system like Andre Johnson. I see the complementary dude of Kevin Walter. I see how he contributed and how he was instrumental in getting Andre the ball but also getting his own opportunities.”

Smith said new teammate Torrey Smith is going to be a “fantastic” player, but it was interesting that the former Panther went out of his way to compare himself to Walter, who never recorded more than 900 yards in Kubiak’s offense. Walter’s run with the Texans came to an end in 2012, but he served as Houston’s No. 2 wideout behind the Pro Bowl receiver Johnson for several years and averaged 732.8 receiving yards per season as a possession receiver from 2007 through 2010.

Kubiak’s use of Walter in the slot fluctuated from year to year as he ran 45.8 percent of his routes from that spot in 2012 but ran less than 20 percent of his routes there in 2009 and 2010, two seasons in which he eclipsed 600 receiving yards. In contrast, Smith was rarely used in the slot under current Panthers coach Ron Rivera the last three seasons — only 15.5 percent of his routes last season and less than 10 percent of the time in 2011 and 2012 –  and was only used in the slot about a third of the time from 2007 through 2010.

Given the perception of his declining speed and lack of previous work in the slot, Smith compares favorably to former Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason, who didn’t work very often in the slot after 2008 and caught 73 passes for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns at age 35 in 2009. The Ravens would be thrilled if Smith can post numbers even remotely approaching those of the 5-foot-10 Mason that season. He isn’t the deep-ball threat that he was in his prime, but Smith doesn’t need to be with Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones as available vertical threats on the outside.

Perhaps the Ravens will simply need to rely on Kubiak’s creativity to maximize Smith’s ability at this stage of his career, but there’s no questioning how pleased they are to acquire a player with his pedigree to add to an offense that finished 29th in the league last season. And they hope his addition will be part of the solution to put Baltimore back among the elite in the AFC, even if there’s more work to be done on the offensive side of the ball.

“I believe and the Baltimore Ravens believe that I can help increase the chances of us being successful,” Smith said. “So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to swing for the fence, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

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Former Ravens safety Reed reportedly has $50K stolen from car

Posted on 13 February 2014 by Luke Jones

Former Ravens safety Ed Reed is reportedly the victim of a crime for the second time in a little over a year.

According to multiple reports, the 35-year-old allegedly had $50,000 stolen from his car in Houston after someone broke the passenger side window as he was visiting a second bank. Reed had withdrawn the money from the first bank, and police suspect he was followed to the second location.

The future Hall of Fame safety signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Houston Texans but was cut midway through the year and finished the season with the New York Jets, intercepting three passes but continuing to struggle in pass coverage. He was back in Houston to move out of his apartment and resolve his affairs.

Reed was allegedly the victim of another crime last year after his Maryland home was broken into during the week of Super Bowl XLVII.

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The 15-7-0 hopes no one volunteered the Houston Texans as tribute

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The 15-7-0 hopes no one volunteered the Houston Texans as tribute

Posted on 25 November 2013 by Glenn Clark

15 positive observations from the weekend of football, seven not so positive observations and we acknowledge a “zero” from outside the world of football. A reminder, there’s never any Ravens game analysis here. We do plenty of that elsewhere. It’s a trip through the weekend of football via videos, GIFs, memes, pictures, links, Tweets and shtick. This isn’t where we do Ravens stuff. You can find plenty of that…like…everywhere else on the site.

Did you know that you were exactly like a Major League Baseball GM? It’s true. For example: how many good baseball players have you acquired this offseason?

Same as Dan Duquette.

15 Positive Observations…

1. The singular purpose of Number 1 in this week’s 15-7-0 is to get to the part of Monday afternoon’s show where Ryan Chell as to pronounce the name “Seyi Ajirotutu” and then put my feet up, light a cigar and just plain enjoy being alive.

To celebrate the big win, Philip Rivers wore the lovely gift he received from Stan Marsh’s grandfather.

Here’s…I have no freaking idea what this is. NONE.

2. Navy QB Keenan Reynolds had seven touchdowns Friday night. CJ Spiller has one touchdown in 2013. It’s cool though, because I totally picked Reynolds as the second overall pick in my fantasy football draft. What’s that? I picked Spiller there? Oh I just quit.

Just when you thought Navy motivational videos couldn’t get any better.

Three weeks to go, but here’s this.

3. Towson will face the winner of Sacred Heart/Fordham in the second round of the FCS playoffs December 7th. I’m sorry, major college football fans. I probably should’ve started this post by explaining that “playoffs” are what is used by every other sport or at every other level to determine a champion. But hey! You guys are getting one soon too! Kinda.

Terrance West has 30TD’s. THIRTY. Do the Ravens have 30TD’s?

4. Oh, so Cam Newton rallied his team from down late in the second half to improve to 8-3? That’s supposed to get me to buy into him? I’ll buy into him when he beats the Bears. The ’86 Bears. Until then he’s just like every other freakishly athletic former Heisman Trophy winning specimen who has defeated the 49ers and Patriots in the last month. Dime a dozen.

Acting like LeBron James will probably be a great way to win over fans though.

5. The Steelers will come into the Thanksgiving night showdown in Baltimore winners of five of their last seven. It reminds me of a popular limerick my grandfather taught me growing up. It went like this. Ahem. “Screw the Steelers”. Wait, did I say it was a limerick? I meant “a drunken yell”. I get them confused so often.

No one will put this into words any better than Mike Polk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6NJVFlHOIY

Also, Billy Cundiff did something familiar.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Former Ravens safety Reed cut by struggling Texans

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Former Ravens safety Reed cut by struggling Texans

Posted on 12 November 2013 by Luke Jones

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

After recently being benched and making critical comments about his new team, former Ravens safety Ed Reed was cut by the Houston Texans on Tuesday.

Spending the first 11 years of his career in Baltimore and finally tasting Super Bowl glory last February, Reed signed a three-year, $15 million deal that included $5 million guaranteed in March to join the Texans, who were seeking defensive leadership and help at safety. However, Reed underwent hip surgery in the offseason, forcing him to miss the Texans’ first two games before he made his debut with his new team against the Ravens on Sept. 22.

Reed’s play was disappointing as he collected 16 tackles with no interceptions or pass breakups in seven games. Reed eventually lost the starting free safety job and was critical after the 2-7 Texans’ loss to Arizona on Sunday, saying his team was “outplayed” and “outcoached” after he played only 12 snaps against the Cardinals.

Houston is in the midst of a seven-game losing streak and replaced Reed in the starting lineup two weeks ago with Shiloh Keo.

The 2004 AP Defensive Player of the Year is subject to waivers and owed roughly $400,000 for the remainder of the 2013 season. Considering the minimal interest the Ravens showed in retaining Reed this offseason and his lackluster play as a 35-year-old safety coming off a second hip surgery in four years, an on-field reunion with Baltimore appears highly unlikely despite the Ravens essentially playing with two strong safeties in the secondary this season.

A Pro Football Talk report has already said the Ravens will not put in a waiver claim for their former free safety.

The sides parted amicably in the offseason and Reed joined his former teammates to visit the White House in early June as the Super Bowl XLVII champions were honored by President Barack Obama, but the most likely scenario that involves Reed returning to the Ravens would be a ceremonial one-day contract in the offseason. Such a gesture would allow the future Hall of Famer to retire as a member of the organization that drafted him out of the University of Miami in 2002.

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The 15-7-0 is jealous of fans of good NFL teams. Like the Panthers. And the Jets.

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The 15-7-0 is jealous of fans of good NFL teams. Like the Panthers. And the Jets.

Posted on 04 November 2013 by Glenn Clark

15 positive observations from the weekend of football, seven not so positive observations and we acknowledge a “zero” from outside the world of football. A reminder, there’s never any Ravens game analysis here. We do plenty of that elsewhere. It’s a trip through the weekend of football via videos, GIFs, memes, pictures, links, Tweets and shtick.

Jake Peavy and I had similar weekends. He took a ride through Boston on a duck boat and then drove the thing to Foxborough the next day. I took a bath on the Breeders’ Cup Classic Saturday after getting a terrible tip on Moreno. Wait. Did I say we had similar weekends? What I meant was that “F*ck Jave Peavy.”

15 Positive Observations…

1. The New York Jets are one of the best run offenses in football. Their backs are Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. I give up trying to understand this damn game.

Geno Smith did his best Davone Bess impression in this one…

It wasn’t all bad for the Saints…

2. Florida State got a real test* from Miami Saturday night. (*Oh. By “test” I meant they absolutely clobbered them like they have everyone this season. I’ve got to start doing a better job of differentiating these types of things.)

Jameis Winston is good at football, even more gooder at handshakes.

College Gameday was in Tallahassee, where we learned spelling isn’t really a thing at FSU.

Elsewhere in the ACC, Clemson somehow did this.

3. Geez Ohio State. We get it already. We were wrong. Let’s just move on. What’s that? You need to hear us say we’re sorry? Well I don’t think that’s appropriate. Hey…don’t leave. We can work this out. We’re all adults here. Okay! We’re sorry! We’re sorry! Now can we please settle down? We have to go to my parents’ house later.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Nebraska had kind of a neat finish against Northwestern…

And then there was the Iowa quarterback…doing…I have no freaking idea.

Michigan State got a big win over Michigan, so here’s Sparty doing some sort of chop. It was that kind of college football weekend.

Plus Travis Jackson celebrates and America rejoices.

And finally elsewhere, the Penn State punter flops EXACTLY the way you’d expect a man named Butterworth would.

4. Everyone wants to know what the best plays are in Andy Reid’s playbook. It’s actually not that complicated. It’s called “give the ball to the defense”.

Because when that happens…

Also, this girl Deadspin found had a better Halloween than you.

5. Nick Foles threw seven TD passes Sunday. I wasn’t able to catch his postgame press conference, but I’ll just assume he said the number seven was special because he wanted to honor Emilio Estefan Jr.-who was won seven Latin Grammy Awards in his career.

Riley Cooper had a big day in the win. This did not go over well with everyone.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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“The Reality Check” Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 26 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week 32)

More vile than the “Teen Mom” turning her private parts into a sex toy.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30)

Is it too late for Greg Schiano to throw his name in for the Texas job?

30. Oakland Raiders (28)

Matt Flynn might throw for 400 against the Redskins.

29. Minnesota Vikings (25)

I heard that next year they’re going to play a NFL game in London!

28. Cleveland Browns (31)

We live in a strange world.

27. Buffalo Bills (26)

Still likely a tough test Sunday.

26. New York Jets (29)

Not buying it.

25. Arizona Cardinals (24)

At least they have all of their finge…nevermind.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (23)

This is really bad team.

23. Washington Redskins (22)

This is also a really bad team.

22. New York Giants (17)

This is a really bad team as well.

21. Carolina Panthers (27)

That’s a hell of a win over a really bad team.

20. St. Louis Rams (19)

But you don’t get the feeling they can’t beat San Fran.

19. Philadelphia Eagles (15)

They should be thankful there are a lot of bad teams in this league.

18. San Diego Chargers (18)

Given all of the bad around the league, I won’t drop them for a loss.

17. Detroit Lions (21)

Big test with Chicago coming to Ford Field.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens – Week 3

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Ravens – Week 3

Posted on 24 September 2013 by Luke Jones

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

Below are our Tuesday Top 7 Ravens players in the 30-9 win over the Houston Texans in Week 3. We’ll track our rankings throughout the 2013 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

You can hear the full explanations HERE.

Luke Jones’ Top 7 …

7) Arthur Jones
jones

6) Torrey Smith
smith

5) Joe Flacco
flacco

4) Tandon Doss
doss

3) Lardarius Webb
webb

2) James Ihedigbo
ihedigbo

1) Daryl Smith
smith

Drew Forrester’s Top 7 …

7) Marcus Spears
spears

6) Terrell Suggs
suggs

5) Dallas Clark
clark

4) Torrey Smith
smith

3) Tandon Doss
doss

2) Daryl Smith
smith

1) James Ihedigbo
ihedigbo

SEASON TO DATE:
Luke Jones:
1. Joe Flacco (14 points)
2. Daryl Smith (10 points)
2. Terrell Suggs (10 points)
4. Elvis Dumervil (7 points)
4. Marlon Brown (7 points)
6. Tandon Doss (6 points)
6. James Ihedigbo (6 points)
8. Haloti Ngata (5 points)
8. Lardarius Webb (5 points)
8. Torrey Smith (5 points)
11. Vonta Leach (3 points)
12. Chris Canty (2 points)
13. Jimmy Smith (1 point)
13. Justin Tucker (1 point)
13. Arthur Jones (1 point)

Drew Forrester:
1. Daryl Smith (11 points)
2. Haloti Ngata (7 points)
2. Arthur Jones (7 points)
2. James Ihedigbo (7 points)
5. Marshal Yanda (6 points)
5. Tandon Doss (6 points)
5. Torrey Smith (6 points)
5. Elvis Dumervil (6 points)
9. Marlon Brown (5 points)
10. Joe Flacco (4 points)
10. Chris Canty (4 points)
10. Jimmy Smith (4 points)
13. Justin Tucker (3 points)
13. Dallas Clark (3 points)
15. Terrell Suggs (2 points)
15. Brandon Stokley (2 points)
17. Marcus Spears (1 point)

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Texans

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Texans

Posted on 24 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 30-9 win over the Houston Texans Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…

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

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Lardarius Webb tackles Andre Johnson after -1 yard catch on 3rd & 3 at Baltimore 11 (1st quarter)

4. Torrey Smith 24 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 7 (3rd quarter)

3. Torrey Smith 48 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 13 (3rd quarter)

2. Daryl Smith intercepts Matt Schaub pass intended for Owen Daniels, returns 37 yards for TD (2nd quarter)

1. Tandon Doss returns Shane Lechler punt 82 yards for TD (2nd quarter)

(Continued on Page 2…)

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MobTown Sports Beat Monday Ravens Roundup

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MobTown Sports Beat Monday Ravens Roundup

Posted on 23 September 2013 by Thyrl Nelson

 

The Ravens improved to 2-1 on the season yesterday with a one-sided, 30-9 win over the Houston Texans. After the way that the Texans handled the Ravens last season, there were a number of reasons to be concerned beforehand. Truth be told, I had a much worse feeling about what might happen against Houston than I did before the beat down the Ravens suffered in Denver in Week1. Hindsight however is 20/20, so here’s a quick rundown of what we know now after the Ravens latest victory:

5. Justin Tucker is Back on Track

…for now at least. Maybe it was the reception that Billy Cundiff received from the Ravens faithful last week that had Tucker out of sorts. Maybe it was just the presence of Cundiff in the building that infected Tucker’s right foot last Sunday. Regardless, Tucker made enough big kicks in his rookie year to have some equity built up with fans. That equity though wouldn’t have lasted through too many 0-for-2 performances like he had last week vs. Cleveland, especially if those misses began to cost the Ravens games.

While concern over the kicking game was mild at most, it was nice to see Tucker get back on track with a 3-for-3 game against the Texans, hitting from 28, 45 and 43 yards. Even though the two from 40+ came in late, low leverage situations, any concerns fans had about the Ravens kicking game can be shelved…for now.

4. Dirty Birds

After struggling with penalties last year, the Ravens still appear to have some work to do in that regard. The 2013 Ravens have 20 penalties for 181 yards through 3 games, including 10 for 87 yards in yesterday’s affair. Despite their most penalized performance of the season vs. Houston, the Ravens still managed to win the “penalty battle” as the Texans racked up 14 for 113 yards.

3. Cheering for Laundry

On the day that Ed Reed returned to Baltimore as a member of a new team, and Ray Lewis returned to be honored by the Ravens, it was the guys who suited up in their places that stole the show. James Ihedigbo picked up 9 tackles, 2 for a loss along with 2 defended passes and simply seemed to be everywhere while covering Ed Reed’s old spot. Daryl Smith, playing in Ray Lewis’ former domain plucked a Matt Schaub pass away from a waiting Owen Daniels, and at a time where the Ravens offense was struggling to make hay, made some on his own, hustling it 37 yards to pay dirt.

For all of the Ravens off-season pick-ups, Daryl Smith might have been the least heralded. He was grabbed on the same day the Ravens visited the White House and his signing went basically under the radar. If he continues to play like he did on Sunday, he could be the team’s most impactful addition. It’s also pretty encouraging that his big play came defending a tight end, which has been an issue for the Ravens of late.  

2. Doss is a Boss

What more can you say about a guy who was shown the door by the team when they pared down to their final 53 men, only to come back with an emphatic impact? Life out of football, brief as it may have been, seems to have brought out the best in Tandon Doss who is making the most out of his second chance with the Ravens. Maybe in the coming weeks Doss can become more a part of the Ravens passing game, and finally show fans those hands we heard so much about from the team about throughout his first 2 seasons. It’s not like the Ravens offense couldn’t use a pair of hands that they can trust between the hash marks.

1. Who Says Joe Flacco Can’t Act?

While Joe Flacco’s increased, post-Super Bowl public profile has led to some pretty clunky performances as a pitchman in various commercials, Flacco’s acting skills were on full display yesterday. After last season’s debacle at the hands of the Texans, JJ Watt and the rest of the Houston pass rush broke the huddle with their ears pinned back more often than not on Sunday. Flacco used that aggression against the Texans inducing 5 encroachment or defensive offsides penalties on the anxious Texans defense.

Elsewhere in the AFC North

The Bengals picked up a big win and remain tied with the Ravens at 2-1 atop the division. For now at least, it’s shaping up to be an interesting battle between these 2 for the division. They’ll meet again in Week 17 this year, maybe with something actually on the line this time.

The Steelers looked really bad to start against the Bears on Sunday night, but showed some real resilience closing the gap from 24-3 to 27-23. It looked like Pittsburgh had really found their resolve in the face of an 0-3 start. In the end though, their comeback attempt was little more than a chance for Ben Roethlisberger to cough up the ball in a late critical situation…it’s kind of their thing.

Leave it to the Browns to all but announce that they’re going into full tank mode by trading RB Trent Richardson and skipping right over Jason Campbell on the depth chart to 3rd stringer Brian Hoyer to replace injured starter Brandon Weeden, and then pick up a win on Sunday. There are even reports that the Browns are shopping receivers Josh Gordon and Greg Little. Of course the Browns can’t even tank right. If they had only known that the best way to win was to actually try to lose, they could have saved themselves and their fans years of heartache.

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