Category Archives: Sports

The #Ravens 8-4 record isn't half bad considering their schedule.

Trying to forget the heartbreaking loss to the Steelers, I decided to look back at the season now that we’re at the 3/4 pole.  Before the season starts I look at the entire schedule (as most fans do) and start penciling in wins and losses… I had them losing at Bengals, at Steelers, at Patriots and at Falcons, so I suppose I should be satisfied with the 8-4 record since it’s basically what I had expected.  The Bengals loss stings looking back at it and I had the Steelers wins and losses flip flopped home and road.

Another interesting thing to point out is the Ravens have played all of the “elite” teams in AFC and the team with the best record in the NFC on the road (Steelers obviously home and away) and finish 2-2 in those road games and held a lead in all of those games in the 4th quarter.  That at least shows promise in the Ravens in that if they get their act together they will be dangerous in the playoffs even if they make it as a wildcard and have to face these teams on the road.

Fans and Local Media Expectations High For #Ravens In 2010.

I’m not sure I’ve seen a year like this before where come the week of Thanksgiving and the Ravens in first place and the national media seems to be giving more respect to the Ravens than the local media or rabid Ravens fans.  The Ravens have been in the top 7 of most of the national media outlets power rankings polls, with ESPN even having them at #3.

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Foxworth Out For The Year

Today the Ravens took the field for the first full squad practice, so I was pretty excited to start hearing camp reports and what was going on down in Westminster, MD.  As the morning practice went on I was reading all of the #Ravens tweets and the reporters became more and more curious about why Dominique Foxworth was absent from practice.  As it turns out, he tore his ACL in a walkthrough some days before and will miss the entire 2010 season.

If there was one unit on the team that I was most worried about depth wise it was the defensive backfield.  The DB’s have been solid overall the past two years, but have shown that the quality of play starts to suffer especially when dealing with an injury or two.  Foxworth was really starting to play well in the Ravens defense towards the end of last season and seemed prime to have an excellent year.  I hope the Ravens have a backup plan.

TGIF

Thank god it’s football season!  Terps basketball was exciting this year, the orioles stink (but passed the time), and the world cup was interesting… but it’s finally time for football.  I know, I know… Camp updates and preseason games eventually get boring, but after six months of waiting any little bit of it helps.  I was watching CFL games on the NFL network that’s how bad it was.  Good luck to the Ravens and Terps this fall.

2009 Prediction Review

Going into just about every season 10-6 is the record you figure a team needs to achieve to make the playoffs, but by the midway point of the season it was pretty clear to me that 9-7 might be good enough for at least one team.  My predictions for the Ravens this year had them finishing 10-6, but realistically it should have bene 9-7 all along.  I had the Ravens beating the Packers in Green Bay, but the Packers fixed their offensive line issues and have actually become one of the stronger teams in the NFC.

I had two other games wrong, but they canceled each other out and both games could have ended either way.  I had the Ravens losing at the Chargers (they won) and winning at home against the Bengals (they lost).  Here is a summary of my predictions for 2009:

Team Prediction Result
Chiefs W W
at Chargers L W
Browns W W
at Patriots L L
Bengals W L
at Vikings L L
bye
Broncos W W
at Bengals L L
at Browns W W
Colts L L
Steelers W W
at Packers W L
Lions W W
Bears W W
at Steelers L L
at Raiders W W
10-6 9-7

Ravens Earned Playoff Berth

With the win over the Oakland Raiders this past weekend the Ravens qualified for the playoffs as the six seed.  They finish the season 9-7 having handled their business against the weaker teams on their schedule and eeking out a couple of wins against winning teams.  They qualify as probably the most balanced Ravens teams ever with the #3 defense, #3 in points allowed, #13 offense, #9 in points scored and a +10 turnover margin (#4 in NFL).

The Ravens won or were presented with a chance to win all but two games they played this season (At Bengals and At Green Bay), so despite the mediocre record they are a dangerous team going into the playoffs.  Even those two games that they didn’t have a chance to win they made those games interesting in the second half with spirited comebacks.  Some of the close losses they suffered (at Vikings, at Patriots, Bengals) are the kinds of losses that send a team spiraling to a losing record.  To the Ravens credit they were competitive in all of their games despite the tough losses they suffered and still managed to achieve a winning record and playoff berth.

By no means are the Ravens a perfect team.  They have flaws, but more than any Ravens team I can remember they have been able to correct issues that they’ve had at certain points of the season.  Stupid penalties still seems to crop up as the main problem, but typically games are called differently in the playoffs than they are during the regular season which could work to the Ravens advantage.  The second biggest problem has been pass defense, but the Ravens seemed to have corrected that problem by playing more passive in the defensive backfield and getting a better pass rush.  The Ravens end the season as 8th in pass defense which is amazing considering how badly they were playing earlier in the year.  The third issue they had was a lack of pass rush.  They still aren’t getting many sacks, but in the last 5-6 games they have been able to sack/hit/hurry the passer with consistency.  Antwan Barnes reemergence as a rush linebacker is one of the reasons for their improvement. A new issue rearing it’s head recently is the offensive line giving up more sacks than usual.  It may be more on the QB holding the ball than the line having break downs.  Hopefully the Ravens can sure that up for the playoffs.

If they are able to keep the penalties down and otherwise maintain their current level of play they should be competitive with any of the AFC playoff teams, starting with the New England Patriots in the Wild Card Round.

Ravens Look To Stay On Track For Playoffs

Going into this weeks game at Lambeau Field against the Packers, the Ravens are 6-5 and in good shape for a stretch run for the playoffs.  If the Ravens win this week they will be in good shape to finish 10-6 or better.  The Ravens and Steelers have the easiest opposing record remaining amongst the wildcard hopefuls, but both teams have important games remaining against the Packers and each other.  The Ravens play the Packers on the road this week and the Steelers play the Packers at home in two weeks.

The Broncos and Jaguars are currently ahead of the Ravens and Steelers for the wildcard, but the Jaguars have a difficult remaining schedule and the Broncos lost to both the Ravens and Steelers which won’t help them if tie breakers come into play.  My predictions are the Steelers will grab the #5 seed finishing 11-5, the Ravens #6 seed finishing 10-6, the Broncos will be #7 losing by head to head tiebreaker at 10-6, and the Jaguars will be #8 falling victim to their tough schedule finishing 9-7.

Predictions for the four contenders:

Broncos:

@CHIEFS W
@indianapolis L
RAIDERS W
@philadelphia L
CHIEFS W
10-6

Jaguars:

TEXANS W
dolphins W
COLTS L
@new england L
@cleveland W
9-7

Ravens:

@green bay W
detroit W
chicago W
@STEELERS L
@oakland W
10-6

Steelers:

oakland W
@BROWNS W
green bay W
RAVENS W
@miami W
11–5

 

Ravens Second Half Season Outlook

The week 10 Sunday games are in progress now, so it’s a good time to think about the Ravens second half chances.  The Ravens second half officially starts Monday night at Cleveland.  They have had major issues on defense and in the secondary in particular, but are still in the thick of the wildcard hunt in the AFC.  Their four losses are all to teams which are in first place of their division and two of their wins come against teams also in playoff contention in the AFC (Denver and San Diego) which could be helpful if tiebreakers come into play.  The Ravens schedule in the secold half is tough with the Steelers twice and Indy at home, but it also means that the Ravens have a chance to win their way into the playoffs.

My Second Half Prediction:

@BROWNS W
indianapolis L
STEELERS W
@green bay W
detroit W
chicago W
@STEELERS L
at oakland W
10-6

Post Camp Roster Prediction – Defense and ST

Here are my defensive 25:

DT -6- Pryce, Ngata, Gregg, Bannan, Edwards, McKinney

DE/OLB -3- Suggs, Kruger, Barnes

LB -6- R Lewis, J Johnson, Gooden, J McClain, Ayanbadejo, Phillips

S -4- Reed, Landry, Nakamura, Zbikowski

CB -6- Washington, Foxworth, Rolle, Walker, Webb, Carr

And my ST 3:

K -1- Hauschka

P -1- Koch

LS -1- Katula

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Post Camp Roster Prediction – Offense

Here are the current 25 that I think will make the roster on offense:

QB – 3 – Flacco, T. Smith, Beck

RB – 3 – R Rice, McGahee, Parmele

FB – 1 – L McClain

TE – 4 – Heap, LJ Smith, Drew, E Jones

OT – 4 – Gaither, Oher, Cousins, [pickup]

OG/C – 5 – Birk, Grubbs, Yanda, Chester, Hale

WR – 5 – Mason, Clayton, D Williams, Washington, Harper

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