A Ravens' BlogA Ravens' Blog

Author: Patrick Gahagan

September 12, 2016 – Bills – Recap

The Ravens win the home opener and get the job done in a game that only produced a total of 20 points.  The Bills came ready to play today and they brought their nasty style of defense to M&T but the  Ravens were up to the challenge.  The Ravens defense held last year’s number 4 offense to just 160 total yards of offense albeit this team is managed by Rex.  It is true that the Ravens have some things to work on to improve but you have to be pleased with the team effort especially when there were so many that had to knock off the rust from being out so long.  It was great seeing Flacco, Forsett, Smith, Pitta and Suggs all playing again and looking healthy.  Ravens passed their first test, now we will see how they do when they go on the road.  Other thoughts on the game are below.

 

  • If I was giving game balls I would have given it to Shareece Wright.  He was all over the field and made some spectacular tackles (11) of which 3 were for losses.  He also made two of the tackles on the Bill’s first possession which set the tone for the day.  For a guy who was played underwhelming in the preseason – he looked all world against the Bills.
  • The Ravens O line did a subpar job protecting Joe (sacked 4 times) and the Bills were often able to get pressure with just 4 .  Add to that the O line committed 3 of the 6 penalties.  Zutah especially looked bad today (bad snap) and was having a lot of trouble handling pressure up the middle.  Yanda committed two of the penalties which was a surprise.
  • Ravens defense recorded 2 sacks but watching the game it felt to me that Tyrod had plenty of time to throw on most plays.  We really need Dumervil to return soon and I would expect Judon to get more snaps in the coming week.  I like Jernigan and Williams in the middle but in my opinion they don’t really generate that much pass pressure.
  • The play calling today left me wanting more, and I will never understand why the Ravens on 3rd and short do not throw passes past the chains. It makes no sense to me and they did twice in this game and once on 4th If I am missing something here please enlighten me.
  • Now that we have 3 burners on this team, I would like to see more wide out sets that push corner coverage and safeties out to the sidelines to open up the middle of the field.  Too often our receiver packages are bunched to the strong side.
  • The defense played fast today and there was quick pursuit to the ball.  I was really happy to see them contain the running game which they had not done all that well during the preseason.
  • Perriman’s catch down field was impressive and if he can make those kinds of acrobatic catches throughout the season he will be a nice addition.
  • The Ravens did a nice job of getting into 3rd and short situations but unfortunately still only converted 6 out of 16.  This needs to get better as the offense gets more in sync.
  • Flacco’s pass to Wallace was a thing of beauty and the fact that Mike was able to take to the house was a clear message to the league that Mike is back.
  • Ravens didn’t generate a turnover yesterday which fortunately didn’t affect the outcome, but they will need them to beat the better teams in the league.
  • Tucker and Koch did a good job with their kicking duties, but the rest of the special teams were mediocre at best.  Hester looked like he still has some cob webs on his returns but at least he did not cough up the ball.  Tavon Young had one punt where he could have laid the lumber on the returner but whiffed because he was staring at the sky looking for the ball.
  • Trestman’s play calling and game plan was too heavy on the pass game in the second half and I thought they could have run the ball more.
  • How cool was it when Pitta made his first catch of the game to hear the fans go crazy cheering.
  • As far as I could tell there were not any injuries for the Ravens yesterday which was nice to see.

 

 

Game Predictions Game Statistics
Score Ravens 23 Bills 17 Ravens 13 Bills 7
Turnovers Plus 1 Minus 1
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 99 Bills 108 Ravens 83 Bills 65
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 269 Bills 201 Ravens 225 Bills 95

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • Judon gets his first sack of his NFL career No sack, but he did come close and also registered a QB hit
  • Bills receive 8 penalties for 70 yards Close, it was 8 penalties for 89 yards
  • Aiken leads all receivers with 7 receptions No, only 2 catches as Flacco used 10 different receivers
  • Refs make terrible calls They missed a key hold on 4th down and gave some poor ball spots

 

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Joe Cool looks solid in home opener
  • Ravens win, but injury bug plagues them again

 

Keys to the Game

  • The offensive line needs to set the tone and establish running lanes They did an ok job for their first outing and especially given that 2 new players on the lefty side
  • Get pressure on Tyrod and keep him contained They kept Tyrod from getting big runs and made move out of the pocket
  • Play penalty free 6 penalties for 35 yards which is ok, but I like that they had no PF calls against them
  • Win the turnover battle Nope, we didn’t generate any and ended the day minus one

 

 

 

September 21, 2014 – Browns – Pregame

The Ravens are coming off a decisive win against the Steelers and now head into Cleveland for their 3rd consecutive intra-division game.  The Browns seem to be a new and improved team this year and they are featuring a lively running game with the baby back rookies – Terrance West (TU stand out) and Isaiah Crowell, not to mention Ben Tate who came to them in the off season.  Beating the Saints at home also served noticed to the league that this is not the same old Browns.  Personally, I don’t think the Ravens are heading into Cleveland thinking that this will be a walk over win.  They beat us last year and their defense was very tough to move the ball against.  However, the Ravens are coming off a 10 day rest and I think the extra time, given their injuries, will help give them the added edge to win this game.  For the record, the Ravens are 11-1 in the last 12 games and I would expect that trend to continue.  One concern for the Ravens is that Flacco was sick this week and did miss at least one practice.  Let’s hope that is at full health as he will need to be sharp to beat the Browns on the road and let’s all hope he can get going early.  This game is likely to be close but the Ravens are the better team and this is one road win in their schedule that cannot afford to lose – and they know that.  Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

 

Cleveland Browns hosting the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, September 21st @ 1:00 PM     Odds – Ravens by 1

 

versus                                 You

 

Game Predictions

Score:                   Ravens  24  Browns 23

Turnovers:           Plus 1

Rushing:               Ravens 134 yards/Browns 104 yards

Passing:                Ravens 248 yards/Browns 211 yards

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • Ravens RBs combine for 28 carries for 134
  • Senior has 7 receptions for 83 yards
  • Jacoby takes one to the house
  • Joe Thomas handles Sizzle and holds him sackless again
  • Refs make terrible calls

 

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Browns get Cundiff’ed
  • Another ugly win by the Ravens

Keys to the Game

  • Win the turnover battle
  • Convert on 3rd downs
  • Win the line of scrimmage

December 28, 2016 – Bengals – Pregame

Coming off the heart breaking loss to the Steelers, the Ravens head to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals who currently have a 4 game (at  home) winning streak against them.  The last time the Ravens beat Andy Dalton in Paul Brown Stadium was January 1st, 2012.  As we wrap up the 2016 season neither team has anything on the line – except for team pride – that said I think this game will deliver a typical Bengals / Ravens hard fought contest.  Some reports indicate that AJ Green will miss the game which would make sense since he is dealing with a hamstring tear and could further injure himself in a non-critical game.  Dalton plays well against the Ravens and with Smith out he should be able to get his share of passing yards even without Green.  One could argue that you should lose so you can get a better draft position, but I don’t think the Ravens nor the Bengals will take that position.  Ravens finishing 9 and 7 would be a significant improvement from last year and would build some momentum for the future.  Flacco is playing better the last few weeks and the running game is looking solid so I am expecting the Ravens to win Sunday and sweep the series with the Bengals.  This could be Steve Smith’s last game so it will be interesting to see how he plays in this season finale.  The Ravens defense should be motivated this week and hopefully they will find a way to contain the Bengals play makers.  This game is likely to be another close one but with no big stakes on the line your finger nails should be safe.  Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

 

Cincinnati Bengals hosting the  Baltimore Ravens –  Sunday Afternoon – January 1st  @ 1:00 PM       Odds –  Bengals by 2 ½

 

    versus

 

Game Predictions
Score Ravens 23 Bengals 20
Turnovers Plus 1
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 92 Bengals 107
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 255 Bengals 254

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • Flacco goes 25 of 38 with 2 TDs and 1 interception
  • Burfict plays dirty and gets called for a PF
  • On a Jets sweep Campanaro gains 22 yards
  • Refs make terrible calls

 

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Ravens win in Paul Brown Stadium, Finally!!!
  • Smith finishes with a bang!

 

Keys to the Game

  • Contain Bengals receivers LaFell, Boyed and Eifert
  • Play balanced on offense with 25+ runs
  • Convert on 3rd down and move the chains – eat the clock

 

 

 

 

December 21, 2016 – Steelers – Pregame

Wishing you all  a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. This Sunday the Ravens go behind the Steel Curtain to play a game that will likely determine who will win the AFC North.  While I don’t like how the Ravens have played, you do have to be impressed that with two games left they are in control of destiny.  And no matter what happens over the next two weeks at least this season will not be a losing season.  The Steelers will all but guarantee an AFC Championship if they beat the Ravens as their final game is at home game against the hapless BrownsSteelers are playing very well of late and have won 5 straight games, 4 of which were on the road.  Big Ben is healthy, the running game is on fire and Antonio Brown – well he is Antonio Brown.   The Ravens on the other hand are in some level of turmoil.  Recent reports suggest that the club house is full of discontent and some receivers in particular are getting frustrated with the dink and dunk style of play that offense has been showing.  For two straight games the defensive line has been outplayed something this team is not accustomed to.  Playing the Steelers typically brings out the best effort from the Ravens team and I would expect that they will leave it all out on the field Sunday.  The Ravens offense does not travel well and the Steelers have done a good job of containing our running game.  The poor offensive play calling along with Flacco’s down year makes this a tough game for the Ravens. The Ravens are going to have challenges putting up points but I don’t think that the Steelers will.  They have the better skill position players on offense and I think the Ravens defense is playing tired this December. The Ravens coaching staff will have their hands full getting the team ready for this contest – let’s hope they can game plan better than they did against the Eagles.  It has been over two years since the Steelers have won against the Ravens – but the Ravens are struggling right now and I expect the Steelers to have this one in hand by the start of the 4th quarter and they should cover.  Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Baltimore Ravens –  Sunday – December 25th @ 4:30 PM       Odds –  Steelers by 5

versus

 

Game Predictions
Score Ravens 17 Steelers 30
Turnovers Minus 2
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 64 Steelers 161
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 241 Steelers 281

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • Tucker has his first “real” miss of the season
  • Ravens commit 3 personal foul penalties
  • Le’Veon Bell carries the rock 26 times for 135 yards
  • Refs make terrible calls

 

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Steelers clinch AFC North Championship
  • No Christmas miracle for the Ravens

 

Keys to the Game

  • Contain Steelers Bell and Brown and avoid giving up big plays
  • Win the turnover battle
  • Establish the run game (25+ carries) and set up the play action
  • Play clean football and avoid untimely penalties

 

 

September 12, 2013 – Browns – Pregame

The Ravens come home to M&T Stadium to play the ever struggling Cleveland Browns.  The Ravens are coming off a historic loss and they have much to prove – not only to the fans but to themselves.  After week one the Ravens are dead last in defense holding 32nd place in points allowed, yards given up and passing yards allowed.  They are feeling embarrassed and I am expecting the Ravens to come out Sunday with a lot of energy, and if they can harness it in the right way they can handle the Browns and get their first victory.  It would be a mistake for the Ravens to look past the Browns because they have a very solid defense and their front four is stout and can give teams a lot of trouble.  The running game may struggle again this week against the Browns, but overall we should be able to move the ball enough to get a win.  Flacco likes playing at home and if keeps a close eye on Joe Hayden he should be ok.  Torrey will have his hands full with Hayden this Sunday.   Let’s hope that Oher can play because if he doesn’t play it will present some challenges for the pass protection.  The Browns are struggling some on offense and I am hoping that continues this week against the Ravens.  The defensive game plan Sunday is very simple, contain Trent Richardson and attack Brian Weeden and everything else should take care of itself.  I am expecting this to be a close game and I don’t believe that the Ravens will cover the spread.   Joe is undefeated against the Browns and I am hoping that this streak continues.  Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

 

Cleveland Browns hosted  by the Baltimore Ravens –   Sunday   – September 15th   @ 1:00 PM       Odds – Ravens by 7

 

versus

 

Game Predictions

Score:                   Ravens  20  Browns 16

Turnovers:          Plus 1

Rushing:               Ravens 77 yards/Browns 86 yards

Passing:                Ravens 288 yards/Browns 236 yards

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • Marlon Brown gets 5 catches for 74 yards
  • Webb gets his first pick of the season
  • Ravens pass rush  gets 4 sacks
  • Refs make terrible calls

 

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Ravens atop the AFC North
  • Lacking style points, Ravens come away victors

 

Keys to the Game

  • Establish the run and get Rice in the game plan
  • Contain Richardson and tight end Cameron
  • Pressure Weeden and force some turnovers

January 7, 2015 – Patriots – Pregame

The Ravens coming off the big win in Pittsburg head into Foxboro to take on the number one seed New England Patriots.  The Patriots are the best team in the AFC and during the regular season they defeated the other playoff teams (Colts, Broncos and Bengals) by a combined score of 128 to 55.  They didn’t just win those games, they absolutely crushed them.  Clearly the Patriots would have preferred to play one of those teams over the Ravens, because the Ravens are one of the few teams in the NFL that has defeated the Patriots at home multiple times.  Since 2010, the Ravens have played the Patriots in the post season three times (all of them in Foxboro) and have lost only once, and that was the game where Lee Evans dropped a game winning TD and then Cundiff followed by missing a chip shot.  It is hard to put your finger on it, but for some reason the Ravens historically give the Patriots trouble.  In spite of the fact that the Patriots are dominant at home – you can be certain that the Ravens won’t enter Gillette Stadium trembling with fear.  In fact, I would expect the Ravens to go in there with their typical swagger and play  ball so hard snap to whistle.  The Patriots are not taking this game likely and Belichick is not looking past the RavensBrady is not getting any younger and Belichick knows that he only has a few more chances with him.  Belichick will have his team ready and he will game plan to neutralize our offensive weapons.  I expect Brady to throw quick release dinks and dunks with laser accuracy to keep the pass rush from playing havoc with the offense.  The linebackers and secondary will have their hands full and they will really have to lay the lumber on the Patriot receivers coming through the middle in the hopes that they flinch and develop alligator arms as the game progresses.  Last Saturday we saw what the Ravens can do when they play their best.  The winning formula for this week is almost identical to last week– come with solid game plans on both sides of the ball, dominate the line of scrimmage, win the turnover battle and play clean, error and penalty free football.  The fact is the Ravens are playing with house money so why not go all in this week and bring all you have to the game.  The challenge I see coming for the Ravens this Saturday is this – their running game is faltering of late and their receivers Smith and Senior will be matched up against Revis and Browner who are both very solid corners.  I expect that it will be tough sledding both on the ground and in the air in what is expected to be a very cold day in Foxboro.  January Joe is pure money in the playoffs and he has played lights out his last 5 playoff games and his stats are Montana like.  That said, I think the match ups this week favor the Patriots and I think they win in a very close game that is decided in the 4th quarter.  I hope that I have this wrong.  Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

 

New England Patriots hosting the Baltimore Ravens – Saturday – January 10th @ 4:35 PM    Odds  by 7   

 

versus

 

 

Game Predictions
Score Ravens 27 Patriots 30
Turnovers Plus 1
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 77 Patriots 84
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 237 Patriots 287

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • Steve Smith gets called for a PF penalty
  • Flacco will have a better QBR than Brady
  • Gronkowski leads all receivers with 7 receptions and 96 yards
  • Refs make terrible calls

 

Possible Sunday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Ravens get Gronked!
  • Road ends in Foxboro for Ravens

 

Keys to the Game

  • Get pressure on Brady with your front four and get pressure up the middle
  • Win the turnover battle
  • Convert on 3rd downs and burn up the clock

 

 

October 29, 2015 – Chargers – Pregame

The Ravens are the first team in NFL history to lose 6 of their first 7 games by no more than one score, a distinction that I am sure they would prefer not to hold.  After back to back West Coast road games the Ravens are finally back home this week.  The Bolts come into town boasting the league’s number one offense averaging 430 yards per game along with a league lead in passing at 344 yards per game.  This does not present the best match up for the Ravens who are ranked 25th in defense and 28th against the pass.  In spite of this harsh reality the Ravens have been able to grind out these games and somehow make them 4th quarter contests.  For reasons unknown to me it seems that the Ravens cannot catch a break this year.  In addition to an overall poor performance – they have had setbacks on every level some of which have included: injuries to key players, terrible calls from the refs, fumbles that bounce the wrong way, a horrendous schedule, equipment malfunctions and just overall bad luck.  All this said, you have to put that behind as you prepare for the coming game.  The Ravens are due for some things to break their way, but even if that should happen this week it may not be enough to be beat the high flying offense that Phillip Rivers will bring on Sunday.  To be fair, the Chargers are a pretty weak team as well but I think they have more offensive weapons than the Ravens and they are healthier.  Vegas has the Chargers by 3 which sounds about right.  Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

 

 San Diego Chargers hosted by the Baltimore Ravens – Sunday Afternoon, November 1st at 1:00 PM  Odds – Chargers by 3  

 

versus

 

Game Predictions
Score Ravens 27 Chargers 31
Turnovers Minus 1
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 95 Chargers 77
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 247 Chargers 339

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • Keenan Allen leads all receivers with 10 rec/121 yards
  • Ravens O Line get charged for 4 penalties
  • Jimmy Smith gets an interception
  • Refs make terrible calls

 

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Ravens lose another one in the final minutes
  • Secondary falters again in home loss

 

Keys to the Game

  • Pressure Rivers and get him off his spot and out of rhythm
  • Dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides
  • For the love of God generate a turnover

 

 

November 12, 2015 – Jaguars – Pregame

Seems like forever since the Ravens last played.  After a much needed bye week the Ravens play the Jaguars at home and they really needed this extra time to recover from the injuries and hopefully they will be close to full strength – at least for those players still remaining on the active roster.  Both teams are currently at 2 and 6 and trying to get things on track.  Bortles is putting together a nice season and he is really done a nice job with their passing attack, but they have struggled at times to score points.  The Jags running game is lackluster which has hurt their scoring opportunities.  The Jags have not won a home game since December 1st, 2013 and I for one am hoping that this Sunday is not when they break that streak.  The Ravens will have trouble in the secondary and likely give up a lot of yards but in the end we should prevail at home and get our second win in a row.  I expect the Ravens tight ends to get a lot of targets Sunday and play an integral role in this game.  The Ravens need to be ready to play and they cannot afford to take the Jags lightly as they do have some good talent on this team.  Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars hosted by the Baltimore Ravens – Sunday – November 15th @ 1:00 PM    Odds – Ravens by 5 ½

versus

 

Game Predictions
Score Ravens 30 Jaguars 24
Turnovers Even
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 80 Jaguars 80
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 288 Jaguars 278

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • After not getting a turnover since week 3 – defense will get one
  • Forsett and Allen struggle on the ground averaging a combined 2.9 ypc
  • Refs make terrible calls

 

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Ravens offense prevails in the 4th quarter
  • Givens has break out day versus Jags

 

Keys to the Game

  • Play clean and don’t let penalties hurt your game
  • Contain the Jags Allen and Allen to under 140 yards
  • Convert TDs in the red zone

 

November 19, 2015 – Rams – Pregame

Sometimes things just don’t go your way and certainly the Ravens 2015 campaign has been with wrought misfortunes.  The Ravens have more players on the injured reserve list than any other team in the NFL and have arguable lost two of their best players on the offensive and defensive side with Smith and Suggs.  Horrible calls by the refs have plagued them all year and most likely cost them two games.  This said, no one outside of Baltimore is going to shed a tear for this team and certainly the Ravens have done very little on their own to overcome these obstacles.  Poor play, questionable play calling, stupid penalties and lots of them have made for a unmemorable season.  The Ravens are now in a situation where they have to grind out the next 7 games in the hopes that they can somehow redeem what has been a disastrous season.  In the upcoming games we are going to see what the Ravens are made of and exactly how much influence our coaching staff has on getting these players to play hard for 60 minutes.  The Rams are coming into town and they are a tough defensive team.  Let’s see how the Ravens respond after what was a bone crushing loss last week.  Will the Ravens play or will they pack it in?   I think they will play and bounce back this week and get a home win.  I do expect it to be close and for the game to be decided late in the 4th quarter.  Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

 

St. Louis Rams hosted by the Baltimore Ravens – Sunday – November 22nd  @ 1:00 PM    Odds – Ravens by 1 ½

versus

 

Game Predictions
Score Ravens 24 Rams 20
Turnovers Minus 1
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 89 Rams 115
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 251 Rams 220

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • Ravens tight ends account for 2 of their 3 TDs
  • One Ravens fumble is attributed to a bad snap from Urschel
  • Refs make terrible calls

 

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Ravens Win!!!
  • Ravens finally get a break!

 

Keys to the Game

  • Protect the ball
  • Establish the run game – 25 or more carries
  • Stop the run

 

December 17, 2015 – Cheifs – Pregame

The Chiefs come into town with a 7 game winning streak and a very good chance of a wild card spot if they can win out their remaining games.  Suffice it to say that they are a hot team that is playing well and they have something to play for coming into the final stretch.  In contrast, the Ravens season has been over for weeks and they are struggling to find able bodies to fill all the positions left open from injuries.  Last week’s casualties included starter Chris Canty who suffered an injury ending pectoral strain.  For the remaining three games the Ravens are going to use a lot of different players at a lot of different positions to see how they perform in game situations.  This trial and experimentation of inexperienced players is likely to produce a lot of mistakes on the field and result in giving up some big plays.  That said, it is the right thing to do at this point in the season.  The talent on this team was exposed last Sunday against the Hawks and the Ravens coaching staff has to see what they have on their roster and more importantly if any of these young players are going to be diamonds in the rough.  Last week the Ravens moved Osemele to tackle and they are talking about putting Webby in the nickel slot and at safety.  Lots of changes to be sure in the final weeks but I don’t expect any of them to produce any wins.  The Ravens have only 11 turnovers in 13 games and there is nothing to believe that this will improve in the remaining games. Additionally, the Ravens offensive line is make shift right now and the running game will continue to struggle which will force a heavy pass game that will surely produce some turnovers.  The odds makers have the Chiefs by 7 ½ and I think that they will cover.  Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

 

Kansas City Chiefs hosted by the Baltimore Ravens –  December 13th @ 1:00 PM       Odds –  Chiefs by 7 ½

versus

 

Game Predictions
Score Ravens 17 Chiefs 27
Turnovers Minus 2
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 79 Chiefs 131
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 238 Chiefs 281

 

Miscellaneous Predictions

  • Chiefs will score 10 points off of turnovers
  • Ravens defense will another zero sack game
  • Buck Allen will have over 100 all-purpose yards
  • Refs make terrible calls

 

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers

  • Ravens tied for last in the AFC North
  • Beleaguered Ravens lose another one at home

 

Keys to the Game

  • Convert on 3rd downs
  • Commit to the run  – 30+ carries
  • Protect the QB whoever that happens to be this week

 

 

Scroll to top