Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ravens Stats through week 3

Passing: Completions/attempts PCT Yards TD INT RATING
Joe Flacco 68/104 65.4 839 6 2 101.4
Troy Smith 1/2 50.4 4 0 0 56.2

Rushing: Yards Attempts TD
Ray Rice 192 38 1
Willis McGahee 190 32 5
Le'Ron McClain 38 12 1

Receiving: Catches Yards TD
Derrick Mason 12 196 1
Kelly Washington 12 167 1
Mark Clayton 9 132 1
Todd Heap 10 124 2
Ray Rice 11 85 0
Le'Ron McClain 8 68 0
Willis McGahee 6 48 1

Ravens Thump Browns

The Baltimore Ravens did what they had to do with the Cleveland Browns last Sunday: crush them early and eliminate any thought of a Browns upset. When running back Willis McGahee walked in for the first of his two touchdowns, that is exactly what the Ravens did.

Quarterback Joe Flacco went 25-35 for 342 yards and one touchdown as the Ravens offense lit up the scoreboard like it was July 4th. Ray Rice scored his first NFL touchdown and Derrick Mason collected his 800th career reception. The Ravens put up 34 points to increase their AFC lead in the scoring department; as well as in the standings.

The Raven defense rebounded from the previous week in a big way collecting four interceptions. Domonique Foxworth ended the Browns' first drive with an interception off of quarterback Brady Quinn. Quinn looked like it was the first game he had played since leading Notre Dame in 2007---okay so it was actually his 5th game since that time. Pompous penguin head coach Eric Mangini put in Derek Anderson to try and get something going for his team in the 2nd half, but to no avail as the Ravens picked him off three times. The Browns may well be the worst football team I have seen in my 10 years of going to football games. They are lethargic, pathetically put together, and poorly coached.

The Ravens are clicking on all cylinders right now. It's always a great sign when your quarterback isn't being sacked, and your offensive line stands waiting in the end zone for your running back to greet them. This is exactly what has been happening as the o-line has been dominating. Flacco is much better than last season and can now win games with his right arm, which is a huge plus for this team. The Ravens are not a flash in the pan. Newsflash: these Ravens are legit.

Next: preview of the game @ New England on Sunday

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens preview

Okay, let's be honest: the Cleveland Browns flat out stink. They cannot score, and if not for their all-world return man Joshua Cribbs, they would have about seven points total this season. Having said that, this is the NFL and anything can happen. Right?


The Baltimore Ravens are coming off one of their best regular season wins in franchise history. They flew cross country to San Diego, gave up 436 yards passing and still found a way to win. This team under head coach John Harbaugh does not lay down for anybody nor do they look ahead to the next game.

Quarterback Joe Flacco is still rolling with his offense. Running back Willis McGahee is back to his pro bowl form, and Derrick Mason is three catches away from 800 for his career. The Ravens offensive line is doing their best impression of a bowling ball of late and are knocking d-lineman down field on every running play. These ingredients are the recipe to a promising season for the Ravens.

Defensively the Ravens are still sound. They are clearly still getting the kinks of a new coordinator out of the way, but with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed the Ravens surely will not miss a beat. This game is the perfect opportunity for the defense to pick up sacks and turnovers. Browns QB Brady Quinn has been shaky and Braylon Edwards continues to show that he cannot catch a cold.

The Browns simply cannot score and the Ravens have shown they now can. The Ravens defense should be able to suffocate the Browns.

Ravens 30 Browns 10

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ray Saves the Day for the Ravens!

By the time Darren Sproles met Ray Lewis head on five yards behind the line of scrimmage for a three yard loss to end the game in San Diego on Sunday, one thing was for sure: Ray Lewis is still one of the best players in the game today.

Despite a career passing day from Chargers Quarterback Phillip Rivers, the Ravens held on for dear life at the end of the game because of a play from Lewis. Lewis had seen the formation before on film, and decided to take a risk to shoot the gap to meet Sproles. The result was a Ravens win.

The Chargers were able to throw the ball at will on the Raven's cornerbacks and safeties. However, they were unable to find the end zone in five red-zone trips. While the Chargers failed to accumulate touchdowns in the red-zone, the Ravens scored three times. Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco found tight end Todd Heap for Heap's second td of the season, and running back Willis McGahee found the end zone twice.

This is a huge win for the Baltimore Ravens. Not only was this a brutal cross-country road trip, but the Chargers are expected to make the postseason and make some noise. The Ravens essentially let everyone know that they can play with anyone, anytime, anyplace. The Ravens now come home to face the lowly Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Is there any doubt Ray and his team will show up big yet again? I wouldn't bank on it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Diego Chargers Preview

The Ravens and Chargers both escaped out of week one 1-0 last Sunday. While the Ravens piled up 501 yards on the KC Chiefs, the Chargers struggled mightily on both sides of the ball against the Oakland Raiders. QB Phillip Rivers led the Chargers on a come from behind victory with a little less than a minute to play on Monday night. The real test for both teams will be this week in San Diego at 4:15 PM.

The Chargers are coming into the game a tad gimpy with two starting offensive lineman injured. Most importantly, their one in a generation running back LaDainian Tomlinson is injured and will most likely be limited in the game. Enter RB Darren Sproles. The shifty back from Kansas State can really fly and is especially dangerous in the return game and out of the backfield. The Ravens defense will need to account for him wherever he goes. The same goes for Tight End Antonio Gates. Gates is a physical beast who can run, block, and make tough catches in traffic. He is a hard matchup for linebackers because of his speed. Look for safety Ed Reed to shade to Gates throughout the afternoon.

The Ravens come into this game more confident than ever with developing star Joe Flacco. The Delaware product has done nothing but get better each and every week since he was thrust into the lineup as a rookie in 2008. Flacco now has a few weapons of his own in Running backs Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and short yardage/fullback LeRon McClain. A finally healthy tight end Todd Heap is now playing the way he did when he was a Pro Bowl player in the mid-2000's. Where the Ravens must attack is through the air. The Chargers ranked 2nd to last in pass defense in 2008, and judging by their performance in Oakland on Monday night that stat doesn't look like it will change too soon. The Ravens offensive line must account for Charger Lineback Shawne Merriman at all times. Look for the Ravens to throw early to get a lead and then run and grind it out in the late third and fourth quarters.

The Ravens are coming off of a game in which they almost gave the game away. Everything that could have gone wrong did---yet they still pulled the game out with huge plays in the fourth quarter. The Chargers were dominated by the Raiders offensive and defensive lines. In the NFL, it all starts in the trenches. Phillip Rivers is a premier player in the league, but he doesn't have enough help as Flacco does. I'm looking at a very close game until the fourth quarter when the Ravens run away with it.

Ravens 27 Chargers 20

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A glimpse into the future???

Last night the Orioles took a glimpse into what they, and the fans, hope is a bright future. Battery mates catcher Matt Wieters and pitcher Chris Tillman have been hyped by Major League Baseball since they were signed just a few years back. Both players made their debuts in 2009 and have struggled adjusting to the difficulty of the major league game. It seems that these struggles are starting to turn into wins and home runs, which is a great thing for the Orioles.
Tillman followed his eight strikeout performance against the Yankees with a solid 6 2/3 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. Tillman allowed one run on five hits and one walk. Wieters showed the poise and patience at the plate delivering a sac-fly and a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Most impressive, however, was Wieters' stellar work behind the dish. He threw out base-stealing machine Carl Crawford out at 2nd base twice. This was only the second time in Crawford's career he has been thrown out twice in the same game.
If the Orioles hope to continue to build for the future, these two building blocks have shown that they can carry their weight. Having a very good pitcher and a very good catcher are keys to being successful. Throw in some of the other young arms like Brian Matusz and the Orioles just may be on to something.
Last nights game was not one for the ages, but when it comes to the Orioles and their fans, it showed a glimpse of what is to come for the next decade.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ravens Vs. Chiefs: "Joe Cool" begins the year hot

If the Ravens hope to make a strong push towards the Super Bowl this year, they will have to get better quarterback play than they have ever gotten. Enter Joe Flacco. If Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs was any indication of what is to come, Baltimore looks to finally have the QB they have long sought. Flacco finished the afternoon 26/43 for 307 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. A career day for Flacco pushed the Ravens past the Chiefs.
The Ravens piled up a franchise record 501 yards on the Chiefs defense. Now let's be honest, the Chiefs were 2-14 last season. They have a new coach in Todd Haley, new quarterback in former Patriot Matt Cassel, and new general manager in Scott Pioli. However, the Ravens had never piled up yards the way they did on Sunday. It was a very encouraging sign to see the entire offense get into the act. We saw the emergence of Ray Rice (19 Carries for 108 yards), the re-emergences of former Pro Bowlers Willis McGahee and Todd Heap, and a wide receiving core with a serious chip on their shoulders.
The defense only allowed 188 total yards of offense. So how, do you ask, was the game close? Well, a blocked punt for a touchdown and a 70 yard interception return to the 4 yard line certainly helped KC stay in the game. Those were fluke plays and the stats were so lopsided that a graph would look like the Titanic being flipped high and on its side. The game was very tight, but the Ravens simply couldn't be stopped. Having Flacco be able to go out and win games is something Baltimore hasn't had since Steve McNair was on the team.
Coming up---
My thoughts on this Sunday's game in San Diego!


Hey everyone!!!

What's up? My name is Alex and I have been living in the Maryland area my entire life. I'm a 21 year old student at the University of Maryland-College Park. I've been a Ravens fan since they moved from Cleveland, and continue to be a loyal Orioles fan. This blog will cover mostly the ravens and Orioles, but I will occasionally delve into the sports teams of the city to our south. If you have any suggestions or want to exchange links with me hit me! I'll have my email up