A Ravens' BlogA Ravens' Blog

Month: September 2019

Ravens/Browns Post Game Recap

Congratulations to the Cleveland Browns who came into a hostile stadium and absolutely dominated the Ravens in this game. They racked up 531 yards and 40 points and they also take over first place in the AFC North which they deserve based on their play today. The Ravens defense got absolutely man handled today and I think you are seeing a defense that is absolutely lost. This for me will be the game of “blown coverages” and “missed tackles” and “no pass rush” The Ravens defense was so bad Wink put different guys out there to play in the second half. They gave up several big yardages plays today; I think there were 3 over 50 yards which tells you there are problems. The signing of Earl Thomas looks like a mistake to me after these first 4 games. Getting beat that bad at home has to create some shudders in the Castle. The Ravens were out coached and Kitchens exploited every weakness and tendency in the Ravens defense. I know I am on a rant here – but I was shocked at much stronger and faster the Browns looked when compared to the Ravens. This is going to be a long week for the Ravens as they assess how bad they played at home. Other thoughts on the game are listed below:

• Lamar was unable to lead the offense today to a victory and as a young QB he is going to need time to develop. When under pressure he has problems seeing the field and he too often stares down receivers down – so fans will have to be patient with him. Mistakes are going to come as you saw today but he will get better
• After getting within 6 points of the Browns the Ravens defense give up an 88-yard run by Chubb’s which was a knife in the heart to the Ravens comeback hopes and ultimately sealed the game for the Browns
• Today was a bad day for Ravens receivers who had 3 drops today
• McPhee and Wormley both blocked passes today which we need to see more, especially when you have no pass rush whatsoever – and I do mean absolutely none
• Down by 7 points Ingram’s fumble in the 3rd quarter which was the first turnover of the season for the Ravens was a costly one with Ravens on the 26-yard line and on the move to score
• Bozeman got blown back by the Cleveland front several times during the game and he was so bad in protection that I actually think the Ravens might have to look at other options as he can’t protect worth a lick. He was decent in the run game though
• Ravens Pass rush and pressure was absent after the first series of the game which put a lot of pressure on the coverage team who were not up to the challenge
• Almost from the beginning of the game things looked chippy between the teams – with lots of shoving after the whistle. I don’t think they like each other.
• Humphries who covered Beckham today did an outstanding job keeping him to 2 reception and 20 yards
• The middle of the field was open all day for the Browns today and they took advantage of it.
• Browns dominated the 1st quarter and their second possession was an impressive drive 8 1/5 minute that showed success on the ground and the air
• One has to wonder if the Ravens secondary coach is in trouble as the Browns had many plays today where the receivers were wide open with no one close. This is now three weeks in a row where we have been saying there are communications problems
• Mark Andrews dropped one today that was right in his hands, and as much as I Iove him I have to admit that it was dropped in part because he had alligator arms – and was really surprised to see that from him
• The Browns front four brought their A game today and the Ravens O line struggled to protect – giving up 4 sacks today
• The Browns secondary which was full of second stringers was able to hold the Ravens air attack to just 19 yards in the first half. Hats off to their secondary that did an amazing jot containing the Ravens air attack
• When Baker has time he can absolutely shred the secondary which he did to today as he put on a clinic for the Ravens. He was 20 of 30 for 343 yards and 1 TD.
• Browns Offensive Line did a great job against the Ravens front seven and they were able to run effectively
• It will be interesting if the pundits call this point out, but I thought the Ravens defense did a poor job tacking today and I saw on several occasions where the first and second man could not bring down the Browns player. Example – Landry gets a 10-yard pass and Jefferson, Peanut and Thomas all fail to bring him down and the play goes for 62 yards setting the Browns up for a late half score. This is so uncharacteristic for a Ravens defense
• Brandon Williams was a late scratch to play today and given how many yards the Ravens gave up on the ground you have to wonder how valuable he is in the middle
• It was nice to see Boykin get a TD today and be a part of the offense
• Refs absolutely missed the spot on the ball when the Browns were inside the 10 – and amazingly the crew in NY agreed – this is awful officiating
• One bright spot in the Ravens secondary was the play of Canady who had an interception and defended pass in key RedZone play that kept the Browns out of the end zone
• Landry had a big day for the Browns with 6 receptions and 126 yards in the first half alone, finishing with 167 yards on the day until he left with a concussion
• Special teams were solid today especially on kick coverage, keeping the Browns inside the 20 several times today
• The Ravens did keep their penalties down today committing just 3 for 15 yards
• Ravens running game was very good today but the Browns running game was better

Game Predictions

Score      Ravens    26      Browns 20                                                Ravens    25      Browns    40
Turnovers      Plus 1                                                                                                   Minus 2
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens    170     Browns    110                             Ravens    173      Browns    193
Net Passing Yardage      Ravens    288     Browns    263                              Ravens    222      Browns    337

Miscellaneous Predictions

• Chubb gets 19 carries for 93 yards          Make that 20 carries and 165 yards
• Judon gets a sack and one PF penalty        Nope
• Lamar throws his first pick of the season        Correct, and make that 2 picks
• Refs make terrible calls                                   Correct

Keys to the Game

• Protect the rock                                            Nope – 3 for the day
• Play ball control football and keep Mayfield on the sidelines           Nope, Browns win TOP
• Stop the run and make them one dimensional           Nope, Ravens could not stop anything

9/29/2019 Browns vs. Ravens Pregame

Ravens face off with the Browns this Sunday which will be the first of three straight games with division opponents. Last Sunday all four AFC North teams recorded a loss which means that the Ravens didn’t lose any ground in the division standings. The Ravens have a great opportunity in front of them – because if they can beat the Browns, Steelers and Bengals in consecutive weeks they will have a substantial lead in the standings. Bengals and Steelers are both winless at 0 – 3, and they play each other Monday night which means that one of them is going to be 0 -4. Can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to see that. It would be nice for a change for the Ravens to win the division prior to the last game of the season, which I think can happen this year if they win these early division games.

Coming into this season it was thought that the Ravens would have a strong secondary, great tight end group and a solid running game. Two out of three is not bad, but in the NFL it’s not good enough. The Ravens secondary is giving up 293 yards per game and rank near the bottom of the league. The loss of Young and Smith has hurt this group and now Marlon is fighting a hip injury. What was once thought to be a deep group is starting to look very thin. Earl Thomas has struggled these past two games and does not look like the playmaker that we all saw and admired in Seattle. To make matters worse, both Peanut and Young have struggled with coverage in the middle of field and as a result have been gashed by tight ends and slot receivers. On Sunday they will face OBJ and Landry who are some of the league’s best wide outs. The Ravens secondary has their work cut out for them and they will have to do better in containing the Browns from making big plays. In case you didn’t know, the last time the Ravens faced OBJ he accumulated 222 yards and two touchdowns – which should cause some concern for Coach Wink.

The Ravens offense is going to face one of the better defensive front fours in the league, which is led by Myles Garrett. He is going to give the Ravens O line a lot of challenges and no doubt Coach Roman will have to leave tight ends in to help block this D line that has recorded 10 sacks so far this season. The O line, which many reported would be a big weakness this season, has actually performed pretty well in these early games. Sunday will be their biggest test so far this season and we will know more about their prowess by games end. Let’s hope they impress. The Ravens offense should be up to the challenge Sunday because they can be effective both on the ground and in the air. I would like to see the Ravens take what the Browns give them – if the Browns put eight in the box to stop the run, then burn them in the air. I don’t think it will be that easy to run against the Browns, but having Lamarvelous as a running threat really does open up our running game and so far they have been very successful.

The pundits have been hyping the Browns since mid-summer and some of them have already crowned them the AFC North champions. There is no doubt that this Browns roster is far better than it was a few years ago, and I do agree they are an upcoming team. That said, it takes more than great talent to be winners and the Browns are going to have figure that part out. Mayfield is a talented quarterback but he is a young and is prone to make mistakes as noted by 5 Interceptions so far this season. The Browns at 1 – 2 are desperate to get a win on Sunday and I expect them to play very aggressive football. You can expect them to go on 4th down, possibly do some fakes, and throw down field every chance they get. There is no reason for them to play conservative on the road. Mayfield has racked up some big yardages against the Ravens but he has also made some mistakes – and the Ravens have to help him make some more. I am concerned for the Ravens in this respect, their secondary tends to play the receiver and rarely do they play the ball. And you if you want to get interceptions or defend passes, you are going to have to play the ball. Also, if the Ravens can’t generate any pass rush from their front four it is going to be a long day for the secondary. I hope that Wink has a good week of practice with these guys because they need to be ready. I am not interested in hearing any more post-game press conferences where they talk about needing to improve their communications. Just get er done!

Sunday’s game should be a good one to watch because divisional games are always tough, hard fought games. If you like fast and physical football – you will enjoy this one. The Ravens have a good offense and their ability to move the ball has been exceptional this year. I felt that last Sunday Lamar was too amped up and am hoping that this week he plays more even keel and doesn’t try to do too much. If he plays within himself, I think he has a good game and does enough to win it. I would like to see the Ravens run the ball 35+ times Sunday and if they do, they should have the ball for 35+ minutes which would keep the Browns off the field. Mayfield is one of the guys that takes time to find his groove but if you keep him off the field, he might not find it. Ravens have made a living stopping the run and forcing teams to throw. They will need to stop Chubb as well as keep Baker from getting out of the pocket – because he can hurt you with the roll out runs. The Ravens are favored by 7 but I think this game will be closer and likely contested well into the 4th quarter. I watched the Browns play the Rams last week, and they played them very tough and have no doubt they will play equally well against the Ravens. Playing on the home field and having the 12th man making disruptive noise should give the Ravens the strong edge to win this game. I like the Ravens but don’t think they cover, and with the over/under at 45 – I will take the over by a whisker. Enjoy the game my friends and stay thirsty.

Cleveland Browns hosted by the Baltimore Ravens – September 29th at 1:00 pm
Odds – Ravens by 7

Game Predictions

Score       Ravens    26      Browns 20
Turnovers       Plus 1
Net Rushing Yardage       Ravens    170      Browns    110
Net Passing Yardage        Ravens    288      Browns    263

Miscellaneous Predictions

• Chubb gets 19 carries for 93 yards
• Judon gets a sack and one PF penalty
• Lamar throws his first pick of the season
• Refs make terrible calls

Keys to the Game

• Protect the rock
• Play ball control football and keep Mayfield on the sidelines
• Stop the run and make them one dimensional

Ravens/Chiefs Post Game Recap

This game felt like it was over at the end of the first half as the Chiefs were ahead 23 to 6. The Ravens would somewhat make a game of it but in the end the KC offense was too much for the Ravens. The Kansas City Chiefs are a chain moving machine of an offense and had accumulated 307 yard through the first two quarters and 503 yards by games end. They were able to cut through the Raven’s defense like a hot knife through butter today and they showed you why they are one of the best in the NFL. Mahomes is a play maker and his 73-yard strike to Hardman in the second quarter was a beautiful throw and catch. The Chiefs have speed like no other team I have seen in a while and they have a quarterback that can get the ball to them.

Ravens struggled at times on both sides of the ball today and if you want to know how they stack up against the best teams in the NFL – you now know that they have some more growing to do as a team. Lamar was not sharp today and left some throws on the field that I am sure he would like to take back. You also have to take your hat off to Andy Reid who showed you why he is one of the most respected coaches in the game as he absolutely out coached the Ravens today. He burned the Ravens defense on screens several times today when he knew the pressure was coming. Other thoughts on the game are below:

• Mahomes is so elusive and his downfield vision is amazing even when under pressure – the guy can extend the play with the best I have ever seen. The Ravens got pressure at times but it didn’t matter he was one step ahead of them all day long
• Mark Ingram had a huge game today with 16 carries for 103 yards and 3 TDs and he is proving to be one of DaCosta’s best moves of the off season
• The refs did an outstanding job calling penalties on the Ravens today in key situations. I hope that they were compensated well for their efforts by the home team
• Judon played with a lot of heart and intensity today and never gave up the fight but he needs to play with more discipline as he committed some silly penalties and over pursued some plays vacating his spot on the defensive line
• Penalties really hurt the Ravens today and this is something that coaches have to cleanup in a hurry. I would have to go back to the tape but I believe that every single penalty today impacted drives or negated good plays
• Kelce is a tough match for linebackers and the Ravens secondary struggled to stay with him today – giving up 7 catches for 89 yards – and a first down converter on several of them
• In the first KC offensive series Averett had a great opportunity to recover a fumble but he unfortunately whiffed on the ball and KC was able to keep possession – missed opportunities like that can often be the difference in games
• Judon and Peanut showed up big with a sack and pressure in the first offensive series which was the only possession in the 1st half where the Chiefs did not score
• The Ravens first trip to the red zone produces six points and the drive to get there was over six and half minutes – just what you hoped they would do
• I don’t understand Harbaugh’s decision to go for a 2-point conversion early in the game, it made no sense in that situation. Trying to remember the last time I saw a team go for two on their first possession.
• Going for it on 4 and 3 on their first drive was risky but when you have the fastest quarterback on the planet you can do those things
• McPhee’s PF penalty was such a stupid penalty as it cost us 15 yards and it was nothing more than playing patty cakes with Mahomes feet
• Justice Hill looks to me like a project for the Ravens, he hasn’t shown me much in the first three games and seems very tentative in both the run and return game
• Judon’s PF (horse collar) penalty on 3rd and goal was a bone crushing as it gave KC new life within the 5-yard line instead of having settle for three points they get a touch down
• The 4th and 2 call at midfield was not Roman’s best call of the day as he had Lamar on the roll out and too much traffic in the secondary to complete a pass
• McColl Hardman on KC has blazing speed and when he changed field to run for the first down there was not a single player on the field that had a chance of catching him when he turned on the burners
• First completion to a Ravens wide receiver did not happen until 1:48 left in the first half – which shows how good the KC defense did against our receivers for most of the game
• Lamar needs to do a better job of looking off his passes because he had several tipped balls today from the Chiefs front four which took advantage of that weakness. He also overthrew a number of his passes today.
• The holding call on Snead was a terrible call and negated a 40-yard run by Edwards – just pathetic how often the refs turn the momentum of a game with terrible officiating
• Ravens defensive line and OLB did not do a good job holding the edge as they gave up a lot of yards on the sweep runs. Ravens gave up 140 yards on the ground today 374 in the air
• Earl Thomas showed some bravado last week with his comment that “I will stop all big plays” must not have applied to the KC game because by my count there were like a gazillion
• The Ravens first possession of the second half was run run run and all they did was move the ball effortlessly through the KC defense – makes you wonder why they were so pass happy in the first half
• Harbaugh is going to get shredded in the sports shows this week for his going for it on 2-point conversions along with going for it on 4th down at midfield. Had he not gone for 2-point conversions he would have been just 3 points short with a just over two minutes left in the game
• The offensive line did a pretty good job today both in the run game and in pass protection. Most of the sacks on Lamar were coverage sacks
• I could have missed it, but I don’t think I saw anyone in the Ravens secondary defend a pass today
• All in all, you have to like how the Ravens fought back in the second half after being down by 17 in the first half

Game Predictions

Score      Ravens    27      Chiefs    31           Ravens    28      Chiefs    33
Turnovers               Minus 1                                               Even
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens    144      Chiefs    69           Ravens    203      Chiefs    140
Net Passing Yardage      Ravens    277      Chiefs    321           Ravens    249      Chiefs    363

Miscellaneous Predictions

• Mahomes achieves a QB passer rating of 93 or above           Correct, 132
• Ingram carries 18 times for 79 yards and 1 TD           Better Yet – 16 for 103 yards and 3 TDs
• Ravens commit 9 penalties for 84 yards           Almost, 7 penalties for 60 yards
• Refs make terrible calls                 At least 4 or 5 by my count

Keys to the Game

• Contain Mahomes and don’t let him extend plays            Nope!
• Force Turnovers                              Nope!
• Score TDs in the red zone                  Correct, all but on trip produced TDs

9/22/19 Chiefs vs. Ravens

Kansas City here we come! When the 2019 schedule was announced this past Spring, I thought that this game would be the bell weather game to tell us how good the Ravens will be this year. Kansas City has the league’s MVP Pat Mahomes under center and arguably the most dynamic offense in the NFL. You will recall that the Ravens played the Chiefs last December in Arrowhead and they lost a close one in overtime. That game was Lamar’s 4th start and the Ravens were relying primarily on the ground game keeping his passing attempts to a minimum. Lamar’s come a long way since December and he is a legitimate threat on both the ground and in the air. The Ravens defense gave up 443 yards in that game, of which 348 were through the air. Looking back at the stats for that game – one surprising stat to me was that KC won the time of possession by 5 ½ minutes, which is incredible given that the Ravens ran the ball 40 times.

Coming into this season it was generally felt that the Ravens secondary would be one of the better ones in the league. They didn’t look that special last Sunday and to me this group has not yet found their mojo. The secondary gave up 7 plays of 20 or more yards to Arizona – and that is just unacceptable. Earl Thomas was not around the ball much and I don’t think he is quite comfortable yet with the Ravens defense. He will have to play better on Sunday if the Ravens are going to have a chance. Having watched the game twice, I did see that the DBs were in close coverage for the most part, but appeared to have no eyes on the ball which needs to improve.

The Ravens offense looks good this year, and early on they are playing ball control offense as evidenced by their league leading 38 minutes time of possession. If the offense can avoid committing costly penalties, they will get their share of points even against some of the tougher defenses. Lamar has looked very good in his first two games and his throwing accuracy and poise in the pocket have been impressive for a rookie. As a starter – Lamar is 8 wins and one loss in the regular season, with his only loss coming against the Chiefs last December. It is early in the season and we certainly need more games to evaluate Lamar as an NFL quarterback – but I like what I see so far and I am betting on him.

Sunday’s game will be a tough one for the Ravens and by game’s end we will have a better feel for their strengths and weaknesses. The Chiefs are dominant at home (7 and 1 last year) which is part of the reason they have won the AFC West for the past three years. Road games are tough and the Ravens will have to deal with travel, stadium noise like no other, Pat Mahomes, Andy Reid and a team that is playing with high confidence. I firmly believe that this game will be won or lost by the team that does the better job in the red zone. The Chiefs are an offensive juggernaut and Mahomes is going to get his team points that is for sure. The challenge will be if the Ravens can keep up with the Chiefs and match their scoring. The Ravens offense is better this year, but I think the defense may have taken a small step backward. The Ravens match up well with the Chiefs and if anyone can beat them in Arrowhead it is the Ravens. Ravens have to play a clean game and keep their penalties to under 6. Coach Wink will need to call a perfect game to keep Mahomes in check and that will be no small task. The Ravens offense will try to control the ball and keep Mahomes off the field – which is probably their best defense. As of this writing the odds makers have the Chiefs by 6 points which has come down from 7 ½ points earlier this week. This game is a winnable game for the Ravens but I think in the end it will be Mahomes who will win the day with his skill and creativity. I don’t think the Chiefs will cover the spread. The over/under on points is set at 52.5 and I would go with the over. Enjoy the game my friends and stay thirsty.

Game Predictions

Score           Ravens    27       Chiefs    31
Turnovers             Minus 1
Net Rushing Yardage           Ravens    144       Chiefs    69
Net Passing Yardage           Ravens    277       Chiefs    321

Miscellaneous Prediction

• Mahomes achieves a QB passer rating of 93 or above
• Ingram carries 18 times for 79 yards and 1 TD
• Ravens commit 9 penalties for 84 yards
• Refs make terrible calls

Keys to the Game

• Contain Mahomes and don’t let him extend plays
• Force Turnovers
• Score TDs in the red zone

Ravens/Cardinals Post Game

The Ravens hold on to win against the Cardinals and start the season 2 and 0, but for a game that was supposed to be a blow out this game did not live up to the hype. It was a game of two halves with the Ravens looking good in the first half and then coming out for the 3rd quarter looking lackluster. Half way through the 3rd quarter I was wondering who it was that came out of that tunnel dressed in purple and white. Fortunately, the Ravens played a solid 4th quarter to keep the lead and to close out the game.

Lamarvelous had a very good game and went 24 of 37 for 272 yards and two TDs. He also led all running backs with 120 yards on 16 carries. There were times when he was running for the sidelines that I thought he had no chance of turning the corner and lo and behold he rips around the edge for a big run. To be clear, the Ravens would not have won today without his running game, as Ingram was held in check for most of the game and the Cardinals front four was stout against anything up the middle. Mark Andrews was also big with 8 receptions for 112 yard, and one TD. The chemistry between Lamar and Andrews and Brown is giving a big boost to the offense as well as giving opponents a challenge.

Other thoughts on the game are below:

• The Ravens committed 10 penalties and most of them by the offense. These are self-inflicted wounds that hampered the offense from keeping drives alive and scoring more points.
• You can see why Kyler Murray was an overall number one pick and he is going to delight Cardinal fans for a long time coming. He threw 40 passes today and no picks – not bad for a rookie
• The Ravens defense was stout against the run giving up a stingy 20 yards but got torched in the air today for 329 yards and at times looked confused and, on several plays, missed coverages.
• The refs missed the call on interference on Brown and then NY got it wrong as well – I don’t know how you can’t throw the flag on that play
• Justin Tucker is worth his weight in gold – he just makes field goals all day long. I never bite my nails when he lines up to kick – the guy is pure money
• Ravens defense was great on 3rd down giving up just 2 out of 11, but they gave up too many big plays downfield that permitted the Cards to get into scoring position
• The Ravens first possession was absolutely brilliant and Lamar Jackson was sharp and composed going 5 for 5 for 74 yards with a 27-yard TD pass to Andrews. The play calling was perfect and they took advantage of what the Cardinals gave them.
• The Ravens won this game in part because they were tough in the RedZone otherwise we may have had a different outcome
• Really didn’t like the play called on 4th and 3 in the first quarter, felt that the Ravens should have done a slant or button route instead of a roll out pass downfield. To me when you are throwing on 4th down you need to go with a high percentage play – otherwise just punt the ball.
• Ravens had tough sledding on the ground game at times, but part of that was the Cardinals played 8 in the box making a tough to run in the middle
• Brandon Carr just has to do a better job playing the ball in pass defenses, he got burned on a few today and he had tight coverage but just didn’t make a play on the ball
• Suggs registered 3 tackles and 2 assists, but his name was not called much today and he didn’t register a sack
• Offensive line committed way too many penalties in this game and Orlando had a few to his credit. They have to clean that up.
• Really disappointing to see the Ravens offense go three and out to start the 3rd quarter. Those drives are supposed to be tone setters for the second half and in this case, it gave the Cards a sense of life when they stop you cold and get the ball right back.
• The 40-yard pass from Murry to Fitzgerald on the first offensive play in the 3rd quarter was absolutely embarrassing to the defense. They left Larry wide open and 5 Ravens players could not tackle him – they looked confused and soft.
• Ravens defense was called twice for having 12 men on the field – inexcusable!
• Some of the things that I appreciate about Mark Andrews is that he finds the seam, he catches the ball, and when he does his routes on 3rd down he knows how to go past the chains.
• Fourth and one inside the 10 – you cannot let the clock run out for a delay of game penalty. Lamar or Harbs should have called a time out – just bad clock management
• With just a few minutes left in the game and 3rd and long for the Ravens – Lamar throws a perfect strike downfield to Brown who made a beautiful over the shoulder catch. It moved the chains, put them within FG range and essentially ended the game and the hopes of a Cardinal comeback. Those are the kind of plays that you need to have a winning season
• Judon is a good player but this year he is taking his play to the next level. He is playing with a lot of intensity and seems to be near the QB on every drop back
• Special teams committed two penalties today one of which negated a big run back that would have given the Ravens great field position
• I am guessing that the Ravens are thrilled to get the win, but feel like that they have a lot of work to do to get better in order to beat the better teams in the NFL

Game Predictions
Score         Ravens    30      Cardinals    16           Ravens    23      Cardinals    17
Turnovers           Plus  2                                                          even
Net Rushing Yardage         Ravens   161      Cardinals    72           Ravens    182        Cardinals    20
Net Passing Yardage         Ravens    292      Cardinals    269           Ravens    258      Cardinals    330

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Peanut leads all tacklers with 7 tackles and 1 assist           Incorrect, that would be Carr
• Chris Moore has 3 receptions and 1 TD           Incorrect – not even targeted once
• Suggs does not record any sacks           Correct – not even a whiff
• Refs make terrible calls           Correct – too many to mention

Keys to the Game
• Contain Murray and don’t let him run on you           Correct – 3 attempts for 4 yards
• Control the clock 35+           Correct – 37:38
• Protect the rock           Correct – No turnovers

9/15/2019 Cardinals vs. Ravens Pregame

The Ravens host the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday in their home opener. The fans will be loud and proud to be sure and I would expect them to push the decibel meter to the max. Seeing the bevy of receivers and the accurate throws from Lamar last week has given new hope to the fans that these are not the same Ravens we have been seeing in recent years. The Ravens are coming off perhaps their most impressive and dominating road victory in franchise history and the temptation is for the players to think they are better than they really are at this point in the season. I have no doubt Harbaugh and the coaches are trying to keep their player’s heads from getting inflated but these are young men and not so easily persuaded. Let’s hope that this group stays hungry and motivated.

Sunday’s game will also be a home coming for Suggs, Williams and Crabtree. No one cares about Max and Crab, but it will be interesting to see the fans reaction to seeing T-Sizzle in a red jersey. Suggs was the defensive leader for the Ravens when Ray left and as a 16 year veteran he was a loved player in the stands as well as in the locker room. You have to believe that Suggs would love nothing more than to be a game wrecker on Sunday and you also have to know that Coach Roman is going to do everything in power to make Suggs a non-factor in this game. I would expect that Coach Roman will game plan to double team, chip and harass Suggs all day long. Let’s hope that it works and that Suggs stat line at game’s end is full of goose eggs.

The Cardinals are not projected to be very good this year and they are starting a new rookie quarterback in Kyler Murray – who like Jackson has a strong arm and running back like skills. Murray and Jackson are very similar in style and talent. Ravens are pretty good at home and they are especially good against rookie quarterbacks where their record is 15 and 2. In his season debut Murray threw for two TDs and over 300 yards, but it took 54 attempts to get these stats. Lamar had better stats last week with less than half those pass attempts. The Ravens secondary can only hope that Murray throws over 50 times on Sunday.

After week one in the NFL the Ravens are the number one ranked offense and defense. This won’t likely last too long but it is fun to see it in the stats section even if for just one week. The Ravens are the overwhelming favorites this Sunday and the odds makers have the Ravens by 13 ½ points. For those of you unfamiliar with betting lines that is a huge margin for victory. That tells you that Vegas expects this game to be a blow out. If the Ravens stay to their game plan and protect the ball then this game should be a walk away win. The Cardinals have some very good receivers in Fitzgerald and Johnson and the Ravens will have to keep their games in check. The Cardinals are not as bad as the Dolphins but they are not very good and that is why they are ranked in the bottom 5 teams in most NFL power rankings. I think Ravens play their game on Sunday and they will control the ball and the clock and have this game in hand by the 3rd quarter. Even at 13 ½ points I would take the over. Enjoy the game my friends and stay thirsty.

Game Predictions
Score      Ravens    30      Cardinals    16
Turnovers      Plus    2
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens    161      Cardinals    72
Net Passing Yardage      Ravens    292       Cardinals    269

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Peanut leads all tacklers with 7 tackles and 1 assist
• Chris Moore has 3 receptions and 1 TD
• Suggs does not record any sacks
• Refs make terrible calls

Keys to the Game
• Contain Murray and don’t let him run on you
• Control the clock 35+
• Protect the rock

Ravens/Dolphins Post Game Recap

The Ravens win today was the most impressive win I have ever seen bar none. The game was virtually over by the second half and everyone in the stadium and on the sidelines knew it. I know that many will point out that the Dolphin’s stink and are likely the worst team in the NFL, but the Ravens did what you are supposed to do when you play weak teams – you stomp them good. Some of you might remember when the Ravens played the hapless Dolphins in 2007 and lost to them 22 to 16 which was the only win for the Dolphins that season. In recent years the Ravens have played down to bad teams and beat by the slimmest of margins, but perhaps this is a new day for the Ravens who dominated in every phase of the game. I would like to give a shout out to the NFL for giving us such a nice softball to start the season. Other thoughts on the game below:

• One game does not make a season and we will likely know more about this team when we travel to KC in week 3, but you have to be filled with a lot of hope after seeing what the Ravens accomplished today
• Lamar Jackson was perfect on the day, and in fact his QB rating was perfect. He was 17 of 20 for 324 yards and one of those was a drop. He threw 5 TDs on the day and his down field throws were perfect. His first two throws to Hollywood both went for TDs
• The Ravens tight ends accounted for 14 catches and 175 yards and this is a trend that is likely to continue. Andrews, Hurst, and Boyles all have great hands and they seem to match up well with ILBs in the middle of the field
• Ravens played a very clean game today and had just 4 penalties for 40 yards. Stanley was responsible for two of those and he will want to clean that up in future games
• Bowser looked good today and played with a high motor and was a around the quarterback on drop backs. If he keeps this up, we just might be able to get pressure with 4 rushing
• Judon had a big game and was flying around the field like his hair was on fire. He had one sack and a tackle on a screen play that created a 10-yard loss
• Sam had to punt just one time all day and when he did – he kicked a bomb for 65 yards which was muffed by Miami and recovered by the Ravens
• Early in the game Jimmy Smith was clipped by Peanut who was flying through the air and caught Jimmy on the side of his leg. It looked bad and we have to hope that it is just a knee sprain and not something more serious. Averett filled in for Jimmy and was targeted quite a bit in the game
• Ravens offense racked up 643 yards on the day, 31 first downs, and ran 73 plays. I don’t care who you are playing those are impressive numbers in the NFL
• Ravens defense gave up just 200 yards on the day, and rendered just 12 first downs, had 3 sacks, and two interceptions. Not bad for a team that lost 4 premier starters from last year’s roster
• Ravens rushed the ball 46 times today and averaged 5.8 yards per carry. Ingram was a beast on the day and ran for 49 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Decosta is looking smart for signing him in the off season
• The offensive line was solid today and Lamar had time to throw when he dropped back. It will be very interesting to see how this group holds up when they face stronger defensive lines
• The draft picks of Boykin and Brown appear early on to have been good ones. Seeing Brown run away for his two TDs gives you an idea of what speed can do for your team. In years past you have seen opposing teams play their safties up tight, but I suspect that is going to change now with the addition of Brown
• I was surprised to see the Ravens do a fake punt when the game was in hand but when you think about it – it is great time to use one in a real game and to see how the team executes in a live game. If you fail on the play there is no real hard done, and if you execute the play well you will give future opponents something to worry about
• Special teams play was solid today but the return game was average at best. There were a few times that Jones could have returned punts and instead didn’t field the ball or call for a fair catch. No big deal on a day like today, but you would not want to see that kind of play in a highly contested game
• Ravens set a franchise best score with 59 points today, here’s to hoping that this year’s team set’s other good records
• Wink and Roman called good games today and while winning big I still think they left a lot of plays and schemes in their playbooks for another day

Game Predictions
Score     Ravens   27      Dolphins   13           Ravens   59      Dolphins   10
Turnovers           Plus 1                                                 Plus 3
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens   135      Dolphins   79           Ravens   265       Dolphins   21
Net Passing Yardage       Ravens   226      Dolphins   211           Ravens   379      Dolphins   190

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Mark Andrews leads all receivers with 7 catches for 68 yards           Correct, 8 catches for 108 yds, but it was Marquis that led in yards
• Lamar Jackson has 8 carries for 48 yards             Incorrect, just 3 carries for 6 yards
• Earl Thomas gets an interception in his first game as a Raven            Correct!!!
• Refs make terrible calls           Correct, the PF call on Tim Williams was ticky tacky and unnecessary

Keys to the Game
• Pressure Fitzpatrick and force mistakes           Correct, 3 sacks, many hits and 2 interceptions

• Control the clock            Correct, Ravens had the ball for 40 minutes – just wow!
• Win the turnover battle            Correct, the Ravens were plus 3 on the day

9/08/2019 Dolphins vs. Ravens Pregame

The NFL’s 100th season is now underway and the 2019 campaign is upon us. The Baltimore Ravens kick off their season this Sunday in Miami for what is likely to be one of the easiest road games on their schedule. The Dolphins are getting absolutely no love from the sports pundits and in most pre-season rankings they are finding themselves ranked dead last in the NFL. Expectations are low for the Dolphins this season and the Ravens are fortunate to start the season against an inferior opponent, especially on the road. The Ravens looked good in preseason and for the fourth straight year they ran the table going 4 and O. The only real disappointment during the preseason was losing Tavon Young to a season ending neck injury. That said, compared to previous years the Ravens got through camp and the preseason relatively unharmed. This year’s Ravens team is younger and faster than last year’s squad but that also comes with less game experience in key positions. For the Ravens to be successful this season – much of the burden will fall on their coaching staff who will have their hands full developing this talent. Lamar in particular will have to improve for the Ravens to be contenders, and by all accounts he has improved which is an important early sign.

Here are few things to like heading into Sunday’s game

• Lamar is healthy and has had full camp of first team reps. He has had time to get extra work in with his new receivers. He demonstrates an excellent work ethic and is already showing that he can be a leader on the field.
• Boyles, Andrews and Hurst are a dynamic group of tight ends and they each bring something unique to the position. Can’t wait to see what they produce as the season progresses.
• The linebackers, while lacking experience, may be some of the fastest that we have had in seen in years. Board, Young, and Peanut will all share time on the inside and should provide better pass coverage than CJ.
• The Ravens secondary is strong and deep, albeit Tavon’s injury hurt the defense because he was so good in the slot. The Ravens should do better in garnering interceptions especially with the addition of Thomas and the progression of Humphrey.
• Ingram, Gus the Bus and Hill along with Lamar should rack up healthy numbers on the ground and I would be shocked if they didn’t rank in the top 5 for yards per game by season’s end.
• Ravens have the best kicker in the game, and there are several games a year that are won by the team with the best kicker.

Here are few things to be concerned

• Offensive line is looking sketchy to me and their options at left guard and center are, in my opinion, below average talent. You have to hope that Coach D’Alessandris can help this group improve over time. Any injuries on our offensive line are really going to hurt given our lack of depth.
• While I love our new receiving group, the reality is rookie receivers don’t typically set the world on fire in their first year. Moore and Snead, the two veterans of this group, are solid but neither of them is a number one or number two receiver on most NFL teams. Let’s hope that Brown and Boykin rise to the challenge and exceed expectations.
• The Ravens lost Smith and Suggs in the offseason and they accounted for 15.5 sacks last year and it doesn’t look like they have the personnel to get those sacks this year. Judon should get his fair share of sacks but it remains to be seen who will step up and provide some additional support. Bowser flashed at times in the preseason but that was against the scrubs so not sure what he will actually contribute. It will likely be up to Coach Wink to dial up blitzing schemes to get pressure on the quarterbacks given his lack of talent on the edge.
• Weather will be hot and humid on Sunday and the Ravens will be in their purple jerseys – so let’s hope that they don’t wilt under the sun.

The first game of the season is always difficult to assess because we don’t really know how the offense and defense will play in game conditions. Also, most of these players have only played a quarter or so in games thus far and on Sunday they will be expected to play 60 minutes. The heat and fatigue will absolutely play a part in this game and you will know by game’s end who the better conditioned team is by how well they play in the second half. The defense will have to deal with Ryan Fitzpatrick who last year started out on fire racking up back to back 400+ yard games. Defense needs pressure him and force some mistakes – which he is prone to make. Ravens are clearly the more talented team and that should prove out to be true on Sunday. If they play within their strengths and protect the ball this game should be over by the end of third quarter. Game predictions in September are always dicey because we are still learning who is who – but I think the Ravens win this one going away. Vegas has the Raven’s by 6 ½ points and I think they cover this one. Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

Game Predictions
Score                Ravens   27     Dolphins   13
Turnovers       Plus 1
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens   135     Dolphins   79
Net Passing Yardage       Ravens   226     Dolphins   211

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Mark Andrews leads all receivers with 7 catches for 68 yards
• Lamar Jackson has 8 carries for 48 yards
• Earl Thomas gets an interception in his first game as a Raven
• Refs make terrible calls

Keys to the Game
• Pressure Fitzpatrick and force mistakes
• Control the clock
• Win the turnover battle

Scroll to top