Baltimore Ravens

AFC North

2014 Schedule

  • Week 1

    CIN @ BAL

    09/07/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 2

    PIT @ BAL

    09/11/14

    8:30 pm

  • Week 3

    BAL @ CLE

    09/21/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 4

    CAR @ BAL

    09/28/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 5

    BAL @ IND

    10/05/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 6

    BAL @ TB

    10/12/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 7

    ATL @ BAL

    10/19/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 8

    BAL @ CIN

    10/26/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 9

    BAL @ PIT

    11/02/14

    8:30 pm

  • Week 10

    TEN @ BAL

    11/09/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 11

    bye

  • Week 12

    BAL @ NO

    11/24/14

    8:30 pm

  • Week 13

    SD @ BAL

    11/30/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 14

    BAL @ MIA

    12/07/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 15

    JAC @ BAL

    12/14/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 16

    BAL @ HOU

    12/21/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 17

    CLE @ BAL

    12/28/14

    1:00 pm

PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart

The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.

Pyropedia™ - Baltimore Ravens

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Before Lebron

traitors - art modell and lebron james - left cleveland


Before Lebron James’ infamous “Decision” to leave Cleveland, thereby becoming public enemy #1, nobody was hated more in Cleveland than Art Modell. On November 6, 1995 the Browns owner, citing Cleveland’s reluctance to fund a new stadium and Baltimore’s overwhelming approval and funding for such a project, announced that he would be moving the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore for the upcoming 1996 season. This move gave Baltimore its first team since the Colts left in 1983 and completely outraged Browns fans, prompting many to wear “Muck Fodell” T-shirts to the remaining home games of the 1995 season. While Modell is hated in Cleveland, he is revered in Baltimore: the Ravens have sold out every home game in their franchise’s young history.


by Sykeout

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And they were Named the Ravens Evermore

edgar, allan, poe - mascots for the baltimore ravens


After the Cleveland Browns relocated to Baltimore for the 1996 season, a contest was implemented to determine the new nickname for the franchise. Over 100 names were submitted to the contest and after much deliberation the list was narrowed down to 3 nicknames: Ravens, Marauders, and Americans. Finally, a fan contest drawing over 32,000 voters chose “Ravens” as the official team name.


The name originates the epic poem The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, who lived in Baltimore for the majority of his life. As a further tribute to Poe, the Ravens have three mascots: Edgar, Allen, and Poe.


by Sykeout

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The Wizard of Oz

ozzie newsome is the wizard of oz - amazing drafting - baltimore ravens


Since moving to Baltimore in 1996, The Ravens become a perennial playoff contender. One of the main reasons for this sustained success has been because of the contributions of Ozzie Newsome. After a Hall of Fame career as a tight end for the Cleveland Browns, Ozzie joined forces with his former owner Art Modell to become the Director of Football Operations for the Baltimore Ravens. Due in large part to his success as a drafter, Ozzie was promoted to General Manager in 2002.


Ozzie’s philosophy has always been “Right player, right price,” always choosing to draft the best player available rather than drafting a player to fill a position. Let’s take a look at some of the successful first round picks in Ravens history.


1996: OT Jonathan Ogden (4th) and MLB Ray Lewis (26th)


1997: OLB Peter Boulware (4th)


1999: CB Chris McAlister (11th)


2000: RB Jamal Lewis (5th)


2001: TE Todd Heap (31st)


2002: S Ed Reed (24th)


2003: OLB Terrell Suggs (10th)


2006: DT Haloti Ngata (12th)


2007: OG Ben Grubbs (29th)


2008: QB Joe Flacco (18th)


2009: OT Michael Oher (23)


2011: CB Jimmy Smith (27th)


Of the 17 players the Ravens have drafted in the first round, 10 have made the Pro Bowl, 3 have won Rookie of the Year and 3 different players have won the AP Defensive Player of the Year (including 2 from Ray Lewis). This Group also features an AP Offensive Player of the Year (Jamal Lewis), three future Hall of Famers (Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed), and two others with Hall of Fame potential (Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata). Seeing this impressive list, I think we can forgive Ozzie for drafting Kyle Boller (17th) in 2003.


by Sykeout 

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Jamal Lewis Breaks the NFL Rushing Record

jamal lewis rushing record


In a phone conversation with Cleveland Browns’ Linebacker Andre Davis earlier in the week, Ravens’ RB Jamal Lewis predicted  that if he received 30 carries against the Browns that Sunday he would have a career game.  Lewis proved to be correct, rushing for a then NFL record 295 yards on 30 carries in a 33-13 thrashing of the Browns. Lewis’s first rush of the game was an 82 yard touchdown run and from there he never looked back. After just his 2nd rushing attempt, Lewis already ran for over 100 yards, and by the end of the first half he had 180 rushing yards to his name. He then added a 63 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter, and with 6:55 remaining broke the rushing record with a three yard run.


This game set the tone for what would be the best season of Jamal Lewis’s career. Adding another monster rushing game against the Browns (205 yards) late in the season, Lewis finished with 2,066 yards, the 2nd most rushing yards ever in an NFL season and just 39 behind Erik Dickerson’s record setting 2,105 yards in 1984. Lewis also went on to win the NFL Offensive Player of the Year honor that season (2003). While much of Lewis’s remaining NFL career was marked by his drug conviction and inconsistent play with both the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, Lewis was voted to 2nd Team All-Decade, joining Edgerrin James, LaDanian Tomlinson, and Shaun Alexander as the top RB’s of the 2000’s.    


Jamal Lewis’s 295 yards rushing on September 14, 2003 broke the previous record held by Bengals RB Corey Dillon, who in 200 ran for 278 yards. It has since been broken by Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, who in 2007 ran for 296 yards in a game against the San Diego Chargers.


 


Jamal Lewis career stats


 


by Sykeout   

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1996 - RAVENS 19, OAKLAND 14

first ever baltimore ravens home game


The NFL returned to Charm City for a regular season game for the first time since 1983, and the Ravens didn’t disappoint the home crowd. In front of a sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium (former home of the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Colts), the Ravens gutted out a 19-14 win against the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback Vinny Testaverde completed 19 of 32 passes for 254 yards and scored the first touchdown in Ravens history, a 9 yard scamper that put the Ravens up 7-0 early in the first quarter. After a couple of Matt Stover field goals for the Ravens and two touchdown receptions by Raiders’ wide-out Tim Brown, the Ravens found themselves trailing by 1 when RB Earnest Byner put the Ravens ahead in the 4th quarter. A late drive by the Raiders was halted by rookie linebacker Ray Lewis, whose end zone interception all but sealed the victory for the Ravens.


The crowd undoubtedly played a huge role in helping secure the Ravens victory. After the game, Lewis had the following to say about the fans: "Anytime you have a crowd like our crowd that hasn't had football in Baltimore for so many years, and when we come in and give them the kind of excitement that we give them, you can't do nothing but be glad. Anytime you start riding that train, everything just falls into place. Everybody was just really ready to play." Lewis, who finished with 9 tackles and an interception in his first NFL game, received one of the loudest ovations from the fans as he left the field. His play earned him the AFC Defensive Player of the Week honor and foreshadowed his Hall of Fame career that is still playing out as he enters his 17th season in 2012.


by Sykeout    

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All-Time Ravens Team

Putting together an All-Time team is always tough. To successfully build such a team, players accomplishments must be weighed, team circumstances must be analyzed, and eras must be compared. We battle against our inclination to “live in the moment” and try to remember the “glory days”, and we are always met with much criticism for the players that were “snubbed” from the team.


            In creating the All-Time Ravens team, I was met with many challenges. The Ravens have only been in existence since 1996, and while this drastically reduces the player pool it often increases the competition, as you can only have so many “once in a generation” type players in less than 20 years. How do you leave out the Ravens All-Time leading rusher? Do you run the


4-3 defense, which led the Ravens to a Super Bowl in the 2000-2001 season, or do you stick to the 3-4, which the Ravens have run in recent years? All these and more are questions that will be answered, but first, here is a look at the All-Ravens Team.


BALTIMORE RAVENS WALL OF FAME


baltimore ravens - wall of fame - all-time best baltimore ravens players


The Ravens haven’t exactly been blessed with great quarterback play in their young history (Kyle Boller, Jeff Blake, and Tony Banks are a few names that come to mind), so having a QB with Flacco’s ability to throw the football separates him from the weak competition. Additionally, Flacco has won a playoff games in each of his first 4 seasons and has the most wins in NFL history for a QB after 4 seasons in the league. These factors make him an easy selection over Vinny Testaverde, the lone Pro Bowl QB of the bunch.


The offensive skill positions are where things got difficult. Starting with the running back position, it came down to Jamal Lewis vs. Ray Rice. Jamal Lewis is the Ravens All-Time Leading Rusher, ranks 2nd in history in both rushing yards in a game and rushing yards in a season, and possessed the rare combination of bruising power and breakaway speed. Rice has proved himself as one of the most dynamic players in the NFL and is always amongst the leaders in yards from scrimmage. So why did I choose Rice over Lewis? Because Rice is more of a complete back than Lewis ever was. Both were/are great rushers and good pass blockers, but Ray Rice’s ability to catch the football (over 60 receptions in the past 3 seasons) separates him from Lewis, who had only 160 receptions over 7 years with the Ravens.


There are plenty of strong candidates at fullback, from Sam Gash to Alan Ricard to Ovie Mughelli to Le'Ron McClain to Vonte Leach (would have been my pick but he has only played in Baltimore for 1 season). The nod goes to Gash for two main reasons. In 2000, he was not only Lewis' lead blocker, but also was a mentor to the 21-year-old prodigy. The next season, when Lewis sustained a season-ending knee injury in training camp, Gash was a pivotal part in the Ravens' ranking 11th in the NFL in rushing with the likes of Terry Allen and Jason Brookins carrying the ball. Gash didn’t make the Pro Bowl with the Ravens like he did in Buffalo, but he made an impact on the Ravens running game that lasted after he left the team.


Derrick Mason was a shoo-in for the first receiver spot, which is probably the thinnest position in Ravens history. The 2nd position came down to Michael Jackson and Qadry Ismail. Both played 3 seasons with the Ravens, finished with the same amount of receptions, and were within 200 yards of each other. “Q” got the nod because he was the leading receiver in the postseason for the Super Bowl Champion Ravens. Rounding out the skill positions, Todd Heap, the Ravens’ All-Time Leader in Touchdown Receptions, easily beat out Shannon Sharpe, whose best days were behind him by the time he arrived in Baltimore.


Nobody ever likes to hear about the Offensive Line, and while I believe they are the most underrated part of a football team and deserve credit, I’ll respect the public and try to be as brief as possible. The left side of the line features future Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden and his 7 counterpart Edwin Mulitalo, who together anchored the vaunted Ravens’ rushing attack. At Center is Jeff Mitchell, the center for the Ravens during their Super Bowl Run. The right side features Marshall Yanda, a young Pro Bowl Guard already regarded as one of the best in the business, and Orlando Brown, nicknamed “Zeus” for his incredible size.


Defensively, I decided to go with a 3-4 defense, mainly because the Ravens’ LB core is so deep. On the Defensive Line, I went with Haloti Ngata, Michael McCrary, and Sam Adams. After 6 years in the league, Ngata was recently voted amongst his peers as one of the 10 best players in football. At 300+ pounds, what makes Ngata so dangerous is his striking speed. A constant double-team drawer, Ngata excels in both rushing and passing defense. McCrary is the sack leader for Raven D-Lineman and was an anchor for the Ravens pass rush from 1997-2001, making him an easy choice to rush the passer. The nose tackle position came down to Tony Siragusa vs. Sam Adams. Because both played alongside each other and both were equally successful shutting down the run, this decision was extremely difficult. Siragusa boasted a longer tenure with the Ravens (5 years vs. 2) and has the most memorable moment between the two (knocking out Rich Gannon in the AFC Championship Game). Ultimately though, I decided to go with Adams. You can’t teach size, and Adams was a beast at 6’3, 350 pounds. Additionally, Adams was elected as a Pro Bowl starter during his tenure as a Raven, an accomplishment that Siragusa never achieved.


The Linebackers for this team were also a relatively easy choice. Starting with the OLB’s, Terrell Suggs and Peter Boulware, (who rank 1st and 2nd respect in sacks for the Ravens), were selected for their ability to get after the QB. Working our way inside, Ray Lewis, the best player in Ravens’ history, is a no-brainer. The 2nd interior linebacker position created more of a buzz, with Jamie Sharper, Ed Hartwell, Adalius Thomas, and Bart Scott all viable options. What I wanted was a versatile player alongside Lewis who could do all of the little things, so I eliminated Sharper (more of a run stopper) and Hartwell (whose best season was when Lewis was injured and never really produced after that). The choice came down to Thomas and Scott, and while Thomas was a more versatile player, I felt that Scott was a better linebacker of the two. Don’t worry though; there’s more about Thomas later.


The secondary was probably the easiest group to select. My #1 Cornerback was Chris McAlister. Though he never had great hands and often dropped interceptions, McAlister was a physical presence against the run and the pass. As a premier CB in the NFL throughout his career, McAlister earned 2nd Team 2000’s All-Decade Team. My 2nd CB was Duane Starks (Slight edge over Samari Rolle), who played alongside McAlister and had a pick-six in the Super Bowl. At Safety, Hall of Famer Rod Woodson and future Hall of Famer Ed Reed (Ravens career interceptions leader) were shoo-ins for their performance on the field and their leadership off of it.


Rounding out the team, we turn to special teams. At Kicker, nobody was more consistent than Matt Stover, who was the longest holdover from the Cleveland Browns. At times throughout his career, Stover was the Ravens offense and often carried the team to victory. He retired with the 5th most points in NFL history and is currently 10th All-Time in field goal accuracy. A 2 way battle between Kyle Richardson and Sam Koch for Punter ultimately went Koch’s way for his incredible knack for pinning opposing teams inside the 20. Jermaine Lewis was an easy choice for the return man, once returning two punts for touchdowns in the same game (and we cannot forget his touchdown in the Super Bowl). Finally, I chose Adalius Thomas (over Bennie Thompson, O.J. Brigance, Gary Stills, and Brendon Ayanbadejo) as the Special Teams player. I had to include this guy on the team because he was the most versatile player in Ravens history. Defensively, he lined up everywhere from Defensive Tackle to Safety. On Special Teams, he lined up as a 270 pound gunner. As far as Special Teams players go, he was amazing to watch.


by Sykeout   

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Ravens 2000-2001 Regular Season

Coming off a franchise best 8-8 season and sporting one of the best defenses in football, expectations were high for the Baltimore Ravens entering the 2000 NFL season. What ensued was the most successful season in Ravens’ history, culminating with a Super Bowl victory over the New York Giants. The road to victory was met with many challenges, including a struggling offense and a midseason quarterback change, but overcame them because of a historic and memorable season by the Ravens’ defense. Here’s a quick look at the Ravens’ regular season game by game.


September 3: Ravens 16, Steelers 0. The first of 4 shutouts for the Ravens, the defense manhandled the Steelers offense, giving up only 233 total yards for the game. Offensively, receiver Qadry Ismail led the Ravens with 7 catches for 102 yards, including a 53 yard touchdown.


September 10: Ravens 39, Jaguars 36. Quarterback Tony Banks rallied the Ravens from a 17-0 deficit by passing for 262 yards and 5 touchdowns, including a game winning drive in the last 2 minutes to secure a victory. The win was the Ravens first ever against Jacksonville.


September 17: Dolphins 19, Ravens 7. Terrible weather conditions contributed to sloppy play by the Baltimore Ravens. Banks was sacked 6 times in defeat.


September 24: Ravens 37, Bengals 0. This was the Ravens 2nd shutout of the season and pushed them to a 3-1 record at the quarter-mark of the season. In his first NFL start, Jamal Lewis rushed for over 116 yards. Defensively, the Ravens turned in yet another incredible performance, holding Cincinnati to 93 total yards, including a 9 yards on 12 carries for Pro Bowl RB Corey Dillon (who was completely intimidated by the Ravens defense and at one point refused to reenter the game).


October 1: Ravens 12, Browns 0. The Ravens became the first team since the 1985 Chicago Bears to post consecutive shutouts. The Ravens rushed for 188 yards but came away with only field goals. This game started a tough stretch for the Ravens offense, which would go 5 straight games without scoring a touchdown,


October 8: Ravens 15, Jaguars 10. Matt Stover kicked 5 field goals and the Ravens’ defense forced 6 turnovers in another physical, grind it out win for the Ravens.


October 15: Redskins 10, Ravens 3. Failing to score a touchdown for the 3rd straight game finally caught up with the Ravens, as Stephen Davis’s 33 yard touchdown in the 4th quarter sealed a Redskin victory. The Ravens moved to 5-2 with the loss.


October 22: Titans 14, Ravens 6. The Ravens offense, led by Shannon Sharpe’s 8 catches for 104 yards, outplayed the Titans but only managed 6 points. The Ravens’ defense continued its excellence, holding the Titans to 7 total first downs for the game. Still, the Ravens’ inability to score led to benching of QB Tony Banks in place of veteran Trent Dilfer.


October 29: Steelers 9, Ravens 6. New Quarterback, same result. The Ravens went a 5th consecutive game without scoring a touchdown, and the struggling Ravens moved to 5-4. This would be their last loss of the season.


November 5: Ravens 27, Bengals 7. Finally, the streak ends! Dilfer completed a 14 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley early in the 2nd quarter to end the Ravens’ touchdown drought. Shannon Sharpe added 2 touchdown receptions of his own to give the Ravens a 24-0 lead at the half. The Ravens moved to 6-4 with the win.


November 12: Ravens 24, Titans 23. In the division’s marquee matchup, Dilfer recovered from a costly pick six (putting the Titans up 6 with 2:30 left) to lead the Ravens to a touchdown with 25 seconds left. RB Eddie George was held to just 28 yards on 12 carries as the Ravens rushing defense shut down yet another Pro Bowl rusher.


November 19: Ravens 27, Dallas 0. Ravens rookie Jamal Lewis rushes for 187 yards and the Ravens posted their 4th shutout of the season. The win pushed the Ravens to an impressive 8-4 record.


November 26: Ravens 46, Browns 7. Jamal Lewis gained over 150 yards rushing for the 2nd straight week and the Ravens offense amassed 461 total yards in another lopsided victory.  The Ravens defense added 6 sacks.


December 10: Ravens 24, Chargers 3. The bye week could not slow down the Ravens, as their 5th straight win clinched the franchise’s first playoff berth. The defense was once again exceptional, holding the Chargers to 128 total yards and allowing the Ravens offense to hold the ball for nearly 2/3 of the game.


December 17: Ravens 13, Cardinals 7. Jamal Lewis rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown and the Ravens’ defense forced 4 turnovers as the Ravens won their 6th straight.


December 24: Ravens 34, Jets 20. The Jets outgained Baltimore 542-142, but thanks to a number of big plays the Ravens were able to come out on top. Jermaine Lewis returned punts of 89 and 54 yards for touchdowns and Chris McAlister ran an interception back 98 yards for a touchdown, giving the offense a much needed boost. Despite all of the yards gained by the Jets, the Ravens were able to force 6 turnovers. While the Ravens gave up 20 points in the finale, the defense still set an NFL record for the fewest points allowed (165) in a 16 game season, a record that still stands today. 

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The Road to the Super Bowl

shannon sharpe ravens image


With a 12-4 season the Ravens earned the first of three Wild Card Spots (there were only three divisions at the time and therefore three Wild Card bids) and the 4th seed overall in the AFC. They opened the playoffs at home against the Denver Broncos, led by 100 catch receivers Ed Mccaffrey and Rod Smith and the 2nd best rushing game in the league. The Ravens defense continued its dominance, holding the Broncos to 233 yards below their season average of 410 yards per game and winning the game 21-3. Particularly impressive was the defensive line, which allowed only 40 rushing yards on 15 carries to rookie Mike Anderson and added 5 sacks, including 3 by Michael McCrary. Offensively, the Ravens were led by Jamal Lewis, who finished with 110 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. TE Shannon Sharpe scored a touchdown of his own against his former team, a 57 yard reception that was deflected off of two players before landing in Sharpe’s hands.


The next week the Ravens traveled to face the rival Titans (13-3) in the AFC Divisional Round. The Titans, fueled by Chris McAlister’s comments that Eddie George “folded up like a baby” against the Ravens defense, came out firing, ending an 11 play-68 yard drive with a two yard touchdown run by George. The Ravens responded early in the 2nd quarter when Trent Dilfer connected with Sharpe for a 56 yard reception that set up a Jamal Lewis touchdown to tie the game at 7. Aided by Al Del Greco’s kicking miscues (he missed 31 yarder and had a 45 yarder blocked), the Ravens and Titans went into halftime tied. After trading field goals in the 3rd quarter, the Ravens got the big play they needed: early in the 4th quarter, Del Greco had yet another field goal blocked, but this time Ravens CB Anthony Mitchell returned it 90 yards for a touchdown, putting the Ravens up 17-10. Just a few moments later, Ray Lewis picked off Titans QB Steve McNair and returned it 50 yards to the house, all but solidifying a 24-10 Ravens win. It was yet another gut-wrenching, physical performance by the Ravens, one that prompted Coach Brian Billick to say the following after the game: “When you go in the lion's den, you don't tippy toe in — you carry a spear, you go in screaming like a banshee, you kick whatever doors in, and say, 'Where's the SOB?' If you go in any other way you're gonna lose.”


Heading into the AFC Championship game against the Oakland Raiders, Shannon Sharpe asked Defensive Coordinator Marvin Lewis how many points the Ravens’ offense needed to score in order to win the game. Lewis replied with confidence that only 7 points were necessary. Lewis could not have been more correct, as the Ravens dominated Oakland in a 16-3 victory on the road. The Ravens struck first early in the 2nd quarter and never looked back. Facing a 3rd and 18 from their own 4 yard line, Trent Dilfer hit Sharpe over the middle of the field and took it 96 yards to the house, the longest passing touchdown in NFL playoff history. On the ensuing drive Raiders QB Rich Gannon was knocked out of the game on a massive hit by 340 pound DL Tony Siragusa, a crushing blow (pun intended) to the Raider offense. Trailing 10-0 in the third quarter, the Raiders had an excellent scoring opportunity, a first and goal at the 2 yard line, but came away with only a field goal. The rest of the game was dominated by the Ravens’ defense, which had 4 interceptions and held the Raiders to 17 rushing yards and 191 yards overall. With the win against the Raiders, the Ravens earned a trip to Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa Bay, the first Super Bowl bid in franchise history.


by Sykeout             

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Super Bowl XXXV

baltimore ravens super bowl run!


Coming off a 16-3 defensive beat-down of the Oakland Raiders, the Ravens traveled to Tampa Bay to face the New York Giants, who were coming off a 41-0 romping of the Minnesota Vikings. After Ray Charles’ rendition of “America the Beautiful” and the Backstreet Boys’ performance of the National Anthem, the game was finally underway.


Both defenses dominated early as the first 5 possessions ended in punts (a Super Bowl record was set for most punts in a game with 21). The Ravens caught the first break of the game when return man Jermaine Lewis returned a punt 33 yards to the Giants 31. Just two plays later, QB Trent Dilfer hooked up with receiver Brandon Stokley for a 38 yard touchdown reception to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. After another slew of punts, Dilfer completed a 44 yard pass to Qadry Ismail, setting up a Matt Stover field goal and putting the Ravens up 10-0. The Giants drove down the field on the ensuing drive, reaching the Ravens 29 yard line, but QB Kerry Collins was picked off by CB Chris McAlister (the first of 4 interceptions Collins would throw in the game), ending the Giants drive and allowing for the Ravens to enter halftime with a 10-0 lead.


(As an aside, the halftime performance featured Aerosmith, NSYNC, Brittney Spears, Nelly, and Mary J. Blige. Will we ever have a halftime stage with as many big names? Unfortunately, I don’t think we will, especially after the Janet Jackson scandal.)


The second half picked up much where the first half left off when Ravens’ safety Kim Herring picked off Collins at the Giants 41. However, the Ravens were unable to capitalize, as Matt Stover missed a 41 yarder. After an exchange of punts, Baltimore defensive back Duane Starks intercepted a pass from Collins and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown, setting off a chain of events unseen before in Super Bowl history: three touchdowns on three consecutive plays in 36 seconds. On the ensuing kickoff, Ron Dixon returned the ball 97 yards for the Giants' first and only score of the game. But Jermaine Lewis returned the next kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown, making the score 24-7 for the Ravens. It was the first time in history two kickoffs were returned for touchdowns in the same Super Bowl game, and on back-to-back kickoffs. The remainder of the game was dominated by Baltimore. After a Jamal Lewis 3 yard touchdown run (Lewis finished with 102 yards rushing) Dixon fumbled the kickoff, leading to another Stover field goal and putting the Ravens up 34-7, where the score would remain.


The Ravens’ defense was as dominant as ever on football’s biggest stage, giving up only 152 total yards, recording 4 sacks, and forcing 5 turnovers. Appropriately, the MVP of the Super Bowl was their leader Ray Lewis, who finished with 5 total tackles and 4 passes deflected. Lewis became the 7th defensive player to win the Super Bowl MVP. For the first time in its young history, the Ravens were finally Super Bowl Champions.


 


brian billick gets gatorade poured on him


 


by Sykeout     

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Pierce's workload depends on Rice's suspension

The Baltimore Ravens are about two weeks from starting training camp, and they have no idea on how long running back Ray Rice will be unavailable to begin the season.

The NFL needs to make a decision soon because the league shouldn't punish the Ravens along with Rice, who is expected to receive a multi-game suspension for allegedly striking his fiancée unconscious in February. The Ravens' workload at running back will be based on the length of Rice's absence.

If Rice is going to miss a major chunk of the season, the Ravens would give Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro more snaps this summer, especially later in the preseason. If Rice is only going to be suspended for a couple of games, the Ravens' rotation at running back may not change significantly.

Pyro's take: We all know that Rice is going to be suspended, but the NFL is sure taking their sweet time letting any results out. Pierce has the most to gain if Rice misses 4-6 games, and would have a good chance to establish himself as a major offensive contributor in that time, allowing him to retain touches upon Rice's return.

Pierce did not produce like he was expected to last season, but the Ravens have more weapons on offense this season than they did last year. Bernard has something to prove, and he knows he will get his chance with the Rice suspension, and the longer the better for Pierce.

07/08/14, 08:14 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: espn.go.com

Flacco Athletic?

According to offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, Joe Flacco is surprisingly athletic. “I had no idea how good an athlete he is. He’s a very good athlete,” Kubiak said.

Pyro's take: The most surprising thing about Flacco is his ability to move around the pocket. At 6'6 he has the looks of a classic drop-back passer, and has the cannon to prove it, but his mobility in the pocket has not been relied on. With Gary Kubiak it is essential. The zone-scheme, boot-legs, and especially the play-action passing, are going to be used, and this is where Joe Flacco has had success. Last season Flacco had a 90.7 success rate when running the play-action and 70.3 percent when not. Kubiak went on to say that “The things we like to do moving around, the zone-pass schemes that we like to run, I think fit to a lot of his strengths,” Kubiak said. “We just need to continue to get better with them.”

The most touchdowns Flacco has ever thrown in the NFL was 25, that occurred in 2010. Last year, he fell flat, and only threw 19, his lowest since the 14 he threw his rookie year. He has been a winner for the Ravens, and that is why he got paid the huge salary. Which leads me to think can Gary Kubiak get Joe Flacco to the 30 touchdown mark, and make him a viable fantasy quarterback? If he can, then he will make one hell of a steal come draft day.

06/16/14, 08:29 PM CDT by Michael Valverde
Source: www.baltimoreravens.com

Pitta reinventing himself

Dennis Pitta had a memorable postseason run on the way to hoisting the Super Bowl XLVII trophy – three touchdowns in four games, including one in the Superdome.

“That playoff run feels like a long time ago,” the Ravens tight end said this week.

Now Pitta says he’s “reinventing” himself, and the newer version could be on the verge of a breakout season.

Pitta’s best year was in 2012 when he caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns. There’s seemingly even more potential in Pitta’s sure hands and smooth routes.

“That’s what you always shoot for; you always want the breakout year,” Pitta said.

“I think there is a little more excitement for me than usual. When you don’t get to play a major role like you thought you would originally, it excites you to be back.”

The Ravens already expressed their faith in the fifth-year tight end, re-signing him to a reported five-year, $32 million deal.

Pyro's take: Pitta will have a great chance to put up some nice fantasy points this season. The Ravens offense will be very tight end friendly, and Pitta has good chemistry with Joe Flacco. Dennis is a top ten tight end heading into this season, and could end up top five when it is all said and done.

06/09/14, 09:20 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.baltimoreravens.com

Rice gets vote of confidence from Ravens owner

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti called Ray Rice's arrest last month "embarrassing and disappointing," but he vowed to stick by the three-time Pro Bowl running back.

"Ray will be here," Bisciotti said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun at the owners meetings. "This is a singular moment six years after we drafted him. It’s embarrassing for him and his fiancée. It is especially hard to see somebody that is proud of his reputation have to take this kind of public relations hit."

Bisciotti said that he sees no scenario where the team will release Rice whose situation will also be reveiwed by the NFL for a possible suspension.

"Least likely to get in trouble, he would have been at the top of my list and that’s the sad thing," Bisciotti said. "Ray loved that image, Ray loved being that guy, the way he treats his teammates, the way he embraced Baltimore and how much he gives to the community. I can’t imagine how devastating it is for him personally. They say people have short memories but not in a competitive world like this, not when you have 31 other team’s fans on Twitter to remind you of your failings."

Pyro's take: This is big news for Rice as he could easily have been cut, and for good reason. Now that he has the vote of confidence from the owner, he can go back to focusing on football.

Focusing on football would be a good idea, since he is coming off a season where averaged a paltry 3.1 yards per carry and only ran for 660 yards. Rice was once an elite back, but saw his fantasy value fall off the map last season. It is still yet to be determined how many games, if any, Rice will be suspended by the league, but there is no doubt Ray will be carrying a lot of baggage this season.

03/24/14, 09:37 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.baltimoresun.com

Smith signs with the Ravens

The Ravens have now agreed to terms on a three-year, $11 million contract with the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver that includes a $3.5 million signing bonus, according to NFL sources.

"I love the coach [Harbaugh], and I like the offensive scheme," Smith said during a conference call where he also cited the proximity to his family in Charlotte, N.C. "It just had a familiarity in some regards, but then also had a fresh new perspective. Everything seemed to gel, and coach Harbaugh was excellent. We talked about a lot of things and the one thing that they said that was consistent was: 'We want you to be yourself.' That was good, that was very encouraging, I enjoyed that."

Pyro's take: It is official, Steve Smith is now a member of the Ravens. He immediately becomes the teams second receiver opposite Torrey Smith, and will be playing with a chip on his shoulder this season.

Personally I would have preferred for Stevie fists to end up in a better offense, but he should see plenty of targets as he takes over the Anquan Boldin role. Flacco should find a quick familiarity with Smith, as he becomes his trusted possession receiver. Smith is not going to be a #1 fantasy receiver, but he should see improvement over his stats last season.

03/14/14, 09:57 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.baltimoresun.com

Texans free up more cap space, cut TE Owen Daniels

The Houston Texans freed up another $4.5 million in cap room today when they released their second-longest tenured player (WR Andre Johnson), tight end Owen Daniels.

Pyro's take: Owen had a nice early run during his eight seasons with the Texans, but he had become increasingly injury-prone over the years and had lost a step or two over the latter part of it. The 31-year-old tight end played in just two 16-game seasons over the course of his career (his last one came in 2008) and missed 11 games in 2013 with a fractured fibula.

He's still good enough to get a job as a bridge starter/mentor somewhere, but he won't be the same trusty fantasy option he was years ago.

Despite all that, if the word around town proves to be true and the Packers are really interested enough to sign him, he could be a pretty nice risk/reward pickup later on in drafts this summer.

03/13/14, 12:45 AM CDT by Dawgmaticå
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Steve Smith is done in Carolina

The agent for wide receiver Steve Smith says the five-time Pro Bowl selection has played his final snap for the Carolina Panthers.

Smith's longtime representative Derrick Fox told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Smith "is not going to play for the Panthers next year, I know that. I just don't know when that transaction is going to take place."

Fox said the Panthers have been trying to trade Smith, but expects he will ultimately be released.

He said the Panthers have not asked Smith to restructure his current contract which calls for him to make $7 million under this year's salary cap.

Smith took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, writing "God has a plan... sometimes it just hurts (to) find out what it is."

"I will always be a Carolina panther No contract can ever change that CLT is my home and will always be my home... I love you #panthernation."

Smith also wrote: "But I still have a lil bit of football left in me.... #agent89 Out."

Pyro's take: Steve Smith has been the face of the Panthers franchise since his breakout season of 2003, and has played for no other team in his 13-year career.

Smith was held in check this season, as he was held to 64 catches for 745 yards and only four touchdowns. It is still surprising that the Panthers are going to let him go, considering they have nobody else on the roster that is worth a damn. So Stevie fists will find a new home, and most likely be the second or third receiver on the team that he goes to. Smith will still have value in 2014 if he finds the right home.

03/12/14, 04:20 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.usnews.com

Daniels Released by Texans

Owen Daniels has been released by the Houston Texans before the start of Free Agency.

"Daniels had one year left on a three-year deal worth about $15 million. He would have counted for $6.25 million against the salary cap for the 2014 season. By releasing Daniels, the Texans save $4.5 million against the cap."

Pyro's take: Owen Daniels' skills have diminished since being a top tight end option a few years ago. Daniels' value for next season would have been highest if he was still on the Texans where he has been a franchise stalwart since being drafted by the Texans in 2006. There still could be a few intriguing fantasy options for Daniels on the free agent market should he pursue a new team and a new challenge.

Daniels is second in the franchises receiving record books posting 385 receptions, 4,617 yards and 29 touchdowns. He could be an intriguing option for a team like Green Bay who is looking for tight end help for next season.

03/11/14, 01:21 PM CDT by Stagg Party
Source: espn.go.com

Steve Smith to take a back seat?

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera were noncommittal about the future of wide receiver Steve Smith, the franchise’s all-time receiving leader who will be 35 by the start of next season.

“Steve’s had a great career. He really has,” Gettleman said Thursday. “None of us are here forever. But that’s not to say – he’s part of the evaluation process. That’s just the way it is.”

Rivera was only slightly more definitive Friday when asked about Smith’s place in the Panthers’ plans.

“Steve is part of what we’re doing in going forward,” Rivera said. “How big of an impact he’s going to have for us, that’s to be determined as we start going through this draft process and through the free agency. So we’ll see.”

Pyro's take: If the Panthers want to take the next step in their progression, then Steve Smith cannot be their number one receiver. Stevie fists saw a major drop in production last season, with only 745 receiving yards.

The Panthers need to address the fact that Greg Olsen was their leading receiving last year, and it is clear that through either the draft or free agency they plan to address this issue.

Cam Newton must be thrilled to hear of the prospects of having some real options in the passing game. If the Panthers do add help, it will also only further help Cam Newton's fantasy outlook for 2014.

02/24/14, 10:11 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.charlotteobserver.com

Ray Rice Lay's the Smackdown on his Fiancee

“The facts will determine the consequences, always,” Harbaugh said. “That’s always the case. It’s a process.”

Harbaugh was then asked if there is a scenario where he could see Rice not being part of the Ravens in 2014.

“Not that I’m aware of,” he responded. “I haven’t seen anything that would remotely make me think that.”

An Atlantic City court summons alleges that Rice struck Palmer with his hand and rendered her unconscious. Security video released by TMZ showed Rice pulling Palmer, who appeared unconscious, out of an elevator. Rice’s attorney Michael Diamondstein confirmed the video as authentic but incomplete.

Harbaugh confirmed that he has spoken with Rice over the phone since his arrest.

“Ray and I are real close,” Harbaugh said. “We have been for a long time, so it’s an easy conversation to have. I love Janay. She’s a great person.

Pyro's take: While Ray Rice's future might not seem in doubt as of now we all saw last year how quickly things can escalate in a legal case, cough Aaron Hernandez cough. While video of the incident doesn't exactly show Ray Rice in the best light as of now the full situation could illuminate other unknown details. While this might not seem like a big issue who knows what could transpire in the coming weeks. The Ravens could look to get out from underneath their five year deal with Rice but it looks like it would actually cost more money against their cap if they cut him this offseason.

Pay attention to how this situation develops in the coming weeks as their could be a looming suspension in 2014.

02/22/14, 10:54 AM CST by Stagg Party
Source: www.baltimoreravens.com

Ray Rice punches Pierce's ticket for the starting role in 2014

The Ravens are standing behind embattled running back Ray Rice -- for now, at least -- after police say he struck his fiancee in the face during a domestic dispute in Atlantic City over the weekend. But even if the Ravens keep Rice around, he could face discipline from the NFL, which is investigating the incident.

The 23-year-old running back is coming off a sophomore season in which he was actually less efficient than Rice, which is saying a lot considering Rice averaged just 3.1 yards per carry. Pierce averaged 2.9. Only former Ravens running back Willis McGahee averaged fewer yards per carry.

As a rookie, Pierce was electric in limited action, rushing for 532 yards on 108 carries -- an average of 4.9 yards per carry -- and a touchdown in relief of Rice during the regular season. He continued to perform well during the playoffs, including a 103-yard rushing performance in a wild-card win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Pierce ran with a purpose that season, displaying good vision and surprising burst for a bigger back -- he is six feet and 220 pounds -- to break free into the open field.

Last season, though, he often looked tentative and appeared to be especially indecisive on stretch zone plays where he was asked to wait for a crease to open as he ran laterally toward the sideline. Those plays, which didn’t seem to fit his skill set, often ended with him getting buried behind the line of scrimmage.

Pyro's take: Ray Rice and his legal issues have presented Bernard Pierce with the opportunity to be the man in Baltimore. This is a second chance for Pierce, who struggled big time last season. To be fair, the entire Ravens offense was in disarray last season.

Baltimore should be able to restock their offense giving them more weapons in 2014. That is a must, as the loss of Anquan Boldin showed up huge on a weekly basis. There needs to be a more consistent passing attack in order to force defense to stop stacking the box against their running game.

Pierce was compared to Matt Forte heading into last season, but he failed to show Forte's ability in the receiving game. Ray's misfortune will give him Bernard a second chance. Don't blow it kid.

02/21/14, 05:17 PM CST by Houdini
Source: articles.baltimoresun.com

Pitta Tag

Dennis Pitta will be heading into this off-season as a free agent and Baltimore is not in the mood to let him go. The Ravens are faced with two choices, either sign him to a long term deal, or put him on the tag.

Pitta only played in four games last year, after the ball of his hip was blown out of the socket and pressed backward. This left the Ravens offense in a big hole, and they struggled without him.

Dennis has become a reliable outlet for Joe Flacco, and has become a part of the new era of tight ends. He finished the season with 20 receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown.



Pyro's take: Pitta is easily a top 10 tight end for fantasy football purposes, and is a young developing player. The old guards are falling fast, either due to injury or retirement, and Dennis is ready to step right in and deliver, and there is no way that Baltimore is going to want to let that get away from them.

I don't think that a long term contract is the right move, because of the hip injury, but the franchise tag will allow the Ravens to buy some time, and see how his hip responds. If he performs, then the team can feel free to sign him for the long term. Dennis Pitta has a lot to prove this year, and it shouldn't be long until he enters himself into that golden age of tight ends.

To read more about the golden age of tight ends, please see this article by Stagg Party: http://www.pyromaniac.com/op_eds/the-golden-age-of-the-tight-end

02/20/14, 11:16 AM CST by Michael Valverde
Source: www.sbnation.com

Rice Cooked

Ray Rice was arrested for having an alleged conformation with a woman in an Atlantic City casino, according to the attorneys of Mr. Rce. rice's attorney Andrew Alperstain stated that Ray was charged and released, after what Alperstain called a "minor physical altercation." Rice was released on his own recognizance.

The woman identified in the altercation is Rsy Rice's fiancé' and was also named in connection of the incident, and according to Ravens director of public relations Chad Steele he stated that they are "aware of the Friday night situation."

Pyro's take: Horrible news for a player that struggled all last year, after being a key contributed to the Ravens offense since 2008. Rice has been a three-time Pro-Bowl selection and has rushed for 6,180 yards and 27 touchdowns over six seasons. Last season being his worst of his pro career, as he only gained only 660 yards.

Rice signed a five-year $25 million dollar contract in July 2012 , and has been an active community member in Baltimore, including a campaign against bullying, obviously he doesn't consider having a public altercation with his fiancé' as a bullying situation

02/16/14, 06:23 PM CST by Michael Valverde
Source: www.baltimoresun.com

“We’ve got to get Ray going. That’s the bottom line.”

These words came from Gary Kubiak, newly appointed OC for the Baltimore Ravens. He spoke very highly of Rice's abilities and potential in his run-first style offense.

“We’ve just got to get him going," said Kubiak, "doing what he does best, and that’s us studying him and fitting him with our system and those type of things.

“Our goal is to get him going, and he’s excited to get going and put last year behind him. I think as he goes, we’ll go.”

Pyro's take: Kubiak has a history of rotating two or three guys in and out of the backfield, and will likely do the same in his first year in Baltimore. The Bernard Pierce and Rice combination is a match made in heaven for the Kubiak one-two punch, much like the Ben Tate and Arian Foster tandem he orchestrated in 2011.

Rice's down year in 2013, and the amount of carries Pierce takes away, will scare some owners off from taking him as early as he has been drafted in recent years. Let those guys weigh the risks and rewards and swirl their glasses of pinot grigio while you sip your bourbon on the rocks and take the guy who will return to the top 10 list of fantasy running backs.

Kubiak is going to run both Rice and Pierce into the ground. It is simply what he does everywhere he has been a coach. Pierce's carries will not be a detriment to Rice's value, if anything it'll give him a breather every once in a while in the midst of his 27-carry game. Oh and don't forget about his abilities in the receiving game too.

Take advantage if this guy falls to you in the second or third round of your fantasy draft, especially if it's a ppr league. Don't let one bad string of games scare you off this dynamic back who has a lot he has yet to prove.

02/15/14, 06:37 PM CST by Matt Southall
Source: www.baltimoreravens.com

Steve Smith is now at 57%

In an article I read yesterday, Steve Smith said his knee was at 71%, and felt good about being in the lineup this weekend. Well, after Thursday's practice it seems that number went down from 71 percent to 57 percent. A set-back happened.

Pyro's take: Old man Smith may not be able to play in Sunday's playoff matchup vs. the Niners, which obviously hurts the offense for the Panthers. But you know what hurts an offense more, is an over the hill player (he's the oldest starting wideout in the game today) trying to tough it out and play, only to be a non-factor because he was too banged up to perform.

If something miraculous doesn't happen soon, it's gonna be a rough road for the Panthers, cause Cam Newton is going to have to do it all by himself with his legs, and you can't run on this Niners defense with RBs.

01/09/14, 02:52 PM CST by d-Rx
Source: twitter.com

Pitta impressive in return

In the second half Sunday, Pitta and Flacco started to click and Pitta was clutch. Five of his six catches came after halftime. Three of them moved the chains. And one was his go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. He also drew a big pass interference penalty on the game’s final drive. Pitta played about 35 snaps and after the game he said he felt fine.



Pyro's take: Pitta's return came in a blustery snowstorm, and he proved to be the clutch target Flacco had been missing. Flacco has struggled all season without having any reliable weapons in the passing game, after Pitta was injured in the preseason.

Pitta was impressive with six catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. This was all done on just 35 snaps, and mostly in the second half. You can see how Flacco is going to rely on Pitta on crucial third down and redzone plays. Pitta has a good chance to be the Ravens leading receiver the rest of the season.

If you lost Gronk...What are you waiting for??? Grab Pitta!!!

12/09/13, 05:56 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.baltimoresun.com

Pitta returns

"Ultimately, it's up to me and how I feel," said Pitta, who caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 regular-season games last year and 14 catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns in the postseason. "It's a rare injury in sports, so the doctors are relying on me to see how I feel and how my body responds and all that. We'll see. We'll see how it goes [Saturday], and we'll have to make some decisions in the next couple of days."

After seeing a hip specialist in New York earlier in the week, Pitta got the go-ahead to ramp up his practice activity. He said he felt good all week and that his hip passed all the necessary tests. One of the few hurdles remaining is for him to absorb a hit.

"You always want to see how you're going to respond after getting hit like that," Pitta said. "It's not something that you could simulate in rehab or even in practice. It will be nice to kind of take that first hit and just see how it feels."

Pyro's take: Pitta was activated today and will play tomorrow. It is unclear how many snaps he will play, but he will be a welcome sight for Joe Flacco.

#88 may be able to do some damage in a limited role, as he is facing the struggling Vikings defense. The Vikes are giving up nearly 10 points a game to tight ends.

If you grabbed Pitta and were thinking about starting him, realize he is a risky play this week. If he plays well in his limited role he will become an option next week.

12/07/13, 06:35 PM CST by Houdini
Source: articles.baltimoresun.com

Rice could lose carries to Pierce down the stretch

There’s no denying that running back Ray Rice just hasn’t been the same this season.

Rice gained just 30 yards on 18 carries Sunday against Cincinnati, an average of 1.7 yards per carry. This season, he is averaging 2.5 yards per rush, the lowest mark in the entire NFL among qualified running backs and atypical for the three-time Pro Bowler.

Rice’s struggles have led fans and now media members to wonder whether backup Bernard Pierce should leapfrog Rice and be the Ravens’ featured running back.

On Monday, Head Coach John Harbaugh said that distinction of the starting back is irrelevant, but did leave open the possibility for Pierce to see more of the action.

“Both of those guys are going to get a large number of carries, and I think whichever guy is playing better should get more carries as we go forward,” Harbaugh said.

Pyro's take: Rice has been horrible this season, and with the Ravens fighting to stay in the playoff hunt he might find himself on the sidelines down the stretch. There is no reason for Harbaugh to continue to go with Rice if he continues to fail. Pierce has not done all that much better than Rice, but with Rice not impressing this is second chance Bernard has been waiting for.

This week's game against the Bears will give the Ravens and their running backs a great chance to get back on track. If Rice fails to get it done this week, then Pierce could see a lot more carries for the rest of the season.

11/13/13, 07:18 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.baltimoreravens.com

Rice looking for a much better second half

The Pro Bowl running back is having the worst season of his six-year career, and the Ravens currently rank 29th in the NFL in rushing offense. The down year has led to tough questions for Rice, and on Wednesday he responded to the notion that he has lost a step.

“Everybody has these situations,” Rice said. “A down year is not going to make or break me as a person. I’ve been through a lot worse than averaging what I’m averaging in carries. I got broad shoulders. I’ll take it.”

“If you watch the film, you’d understand that we’ve been playing pretty good fronts,” he said. “We’ve got eight games left, and that’s my focus now.”

“My level of confidence is where it was in Week 1,” he said. “I still believe we’ll get the run game going. We have the guys. It’s never been an effort thing. We’ve just seen some pretty good fronts and I’ve battled through some stuff this year.”

“This is my first time in my entire life being in a situation like this,” he said. “I’ve always been on the plus .500 side ever since I was a kid. So there’s a first time for everything, but at the same time, I know where I stand on this team. I know I’m a leader.

“Now I’m just going to go out there and try to be the best Ray Rice I can be for the second half of the season.”

Pyro's take: Coming off winning a Super Bowl, the Raven have been anything but super. Every player on this offense has failed to step up to the challenge of defending their crown, and Rice's fall is the most stark.

I am glad that he is feeling the pressure from the fans, the media and himself. I have to believe that he can perform better in the second half of the season, and he will be off to a good start if he is able to do that against the Bengals this week. I am not sure that is going to happen, but I think he gets a touchdown this week.

11/07/13, 05:34 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.baltimoreravens.com

What's up with Rice?

As a former Raven, Jamal Lewis still has tight relationships with many people in the organization and he watches the team closely, so he didn’t have to go back and look at video to determine what is going on with Ray Rice and the Ravens’ running game.

Lewis, who holds just about all of the Ravens’ rushing records, agrees that the running back-by-committee approach can prevent the starter from getting enough carries and capturing a feel and rhythm for the game. He also says that Rice has a target on him and teams are able to focus on stopping him with Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ passing game in flux in the early part of the season.


Pyro's take: This was the worry going into this season, when Rice was the only weapon left on the offense after trades and injuries. The big issue if you are a Ray owner is that I don’t see him all of a sudden getting 25 carries and being the back that he was, at least not this season. There is no reason for a defense playing the Ravens to do anything but stop Rice from the outset, and that is just what they are doing. Without multiple threats in the passing game Rice will continue to see stacked boxes and have a difficult time finding open spaces.

10/17/13, 07:09 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.baltimoresun.com

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