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Baltimore Ravens News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
12/12/13: The Ravens strengthened their bid for the postseason with a late Jacoby Jones touchdown to earn a hard-fought 29-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday. This game was played in a blizzard. And while that looks great on television for the fans, it often times leads to poor play. The Ravens were able to overcome the elements and Joe Flacco was very effective with 245 yards passing and three TDs on the day. The Ravens scored their last touchdown with just four seconds left and kept them even with the Dolphins for the last wild card spot. Baltimore (7-6) faces the Lions (7-6) on Monday Night.
12/5/13: Despite the fact that both the Ravens and Steelers entered the Thanksgiving Night game at 5-6, everyone knew it would be a great game between two heated rivals. Baltimore started strong, taking a 13-0 lead early in the third quarter. They were helped (saved) by Steelers' place kicker Shaun Suisham starting early on a field goal attempt and being forced to run. Pittsburgh clawed their way back into the game and made it 22-20 with a minute left. The two point conversion failed and the onside kick never made it ten yards, giving the Ravens the win and a shot at a wild card spot.
11/28/13: The Ravens' defense had the opportunity to show they are still a strong unit against the New York Jets and they took it. The defense shut down the sputtering Jets' offense and limited them to only a field goal in the 19-3 win. QB Joe Flacco threw a 65 yard touchdown pass to WR Jacoby Jones while place kicker Justin Tucker notched four field goals in the cold and wind. The Ravens are still having trouble running the ball. Running backs Bernard Pierce and Ray Rice combined for only 60 yards on the day. However, the defense was enough for the win. Baltimore (5-6) has a short week as they host the rival Steelers (5-6) in the late game on Thanksgiving Day.
11/21/13: Just when everyone thought the Ravens were done for, they pulled out an overtime victory over the Bengals last week. They tried to continue their hot streak against the Chicago Bears, but fell 23-20 in overtime. The game itself was delayed two hours due to weather, and the playing conditions were barely tolerable by the time the game started. No amount of QB-friendly rules could help this game, it had to be decided on the ground. The good news for the Ravens is that Ray Rice turned back into Ray Rice and ran for 131 yards and a touchdown. Baltimore is now 4-6 and has to play a resilient New York Jets team (4-6) this Sunday.
11/14/13: It is no secret that the Ravens have struggled all season and that is personified by their rushing statistics of only 2.8 yards per carry going into their match with the Cincinnati Bengals. Most did not give the Ravens much of a chance, yet they dominated the Bengals from start to finish and finally won 20-17 in overtime. Cincinnati tied the game on a last second Hail Mary, but the Ravens came through in OT to snap a three game skid. The Ravens (4-5) head to the Windy City to face the Bears (5-4) this Sunday.
11/7/13: It's a good thing Baltimore took advantage of their window and won the Super Bowl last season, because it is probably not happening this year. The Ravens fell to 3-5 and third place in the AFC North by losing to the Cleveland Browns 24-18 last Sunday. It was the first time in 12 games against the Browns that they lost. Once again, the Ravens could not get the running game going, proven by the fact that QB Joe Flacco was their leading rusher with only 25 yards. Ray Rice ran only 11 times for 17 yards, and that simply will not cut it in the NFL. Baltimore has another division game this week as they host the division leading Bengals (6-3).
10/31/13: Baltimore headed into their bye week with a disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a 3-4 record, and two games behind the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North. It would seem like this would be a good time to regroup. The offense simply has not been there for the Ravens yet this season. Flacco has less than 2,000 yards in the air and only eight touchdowns. Neither Ray Rice nor Bernard Pierce has been up to their expected level, and both have less than 300 yards rushing on the season. The Ravens are on the road this week for a division matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
10/24/13: Baltimore continues to show that they are not the same team that stormed through the playoffs and won the Super Bowl last season. After raising their record to 3-2, the Ravens have lost their last two contests, putting them in a tie for second and two games behind the Cincinnati Bengals. The latest loss was on the road to the archrival Pittsburgh Steelers, losing 19-16. The offense was pretty much stagnant. QB Joe Flacco only had 215 yards passing and one TD. Ray Rice led Ravens rushers with only 45 yards on 15 carries. Baltimore has a couple weeks to clean up the offense with a bye this weekend. Tight end Dennis Pitta is eligible to rejoin the team after his hip injury, but is still a few weeks off.
10/17/13: Baltimore continues to be a confusing team without a real identity. Some weeks they throw all over the place, other weeks it is all runs, and other weeks are led by the defense. Chalk up another inconsistent performance as the Ravens lost at home to the Green Bay Packers 19-17. The Ravens were limited to under 50 yards rushing on the day and gave up five sacks, despite the Packers being without Clay Mathews. Baltimore dropped to a tie for second with Cleveland in the AFC North. The Ravens (3-3) head to Pittsburgh (1-4) this Sunday.
10/10/13: Baltimore is probably the most unpredictable team in the NFL so far this season. A week after getting blown out in Buffalo, the Ravens were back on the road in Miami. This time, however, they showed poise and confidence. They ran the ball very well with over 130 yards rushing and erased a 13-6 halftime deficit for a 26-23 win. The win puts Baltimore at 3-2 and tied with Cleveland (yes, Cleveland) and Cincinnati for the AFC North lead. Baltimore is home this Sunday to host Green Bay (2-2), who is coming off of a bye.
10/3/13: This was perhaps the worst outing of Joe Flacco's career. He threw five interceptions on the day as the Ravens lost to the Buffalo Bills 23-20 in Buffalo last Sunday. Flacco did have 347 yards in the air and two touchdowns, but the five picks were too much for the Ravens to overcome. The Ravens defense also allowed 213 yards on the ground, over 150 of which was to Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Ravens abandoned their own running game. Ray Rice only managed 17 yards on the day. Baltimore (2-2) travels to Miami in Week 5.
9/26/13: It was an emotional day for the Ravens as they retired Ray Lewis' number and Ed Reed made his first visit back to Baltimore since signing with the Texans as a free agent in the offseason. The emotion was not too much for the team. Joe Flacco only threw for 171 yards and no touchdowns and Bernard Pierce (replacing the injured Ray Rice) ran for 65 yards and a score. The Ravens ended up winning 30-9, keeping them in a tie for the lead of the AFC North with Cincinnati. The Ravens will try to straighten out their offensive struggles this week when they travel to Buffalo (1-2).
9/19/13: The Ravens won their divisional game against the Browns, but the team does not seem like it is on the same page offensively. QB Joe Flacco has been largely ineffective, though he does not have a lot of options to throw to. Running back Ray Rice is not seeing as many touches as he would like as the team tries to find a new identity. The 14-6 win is still a win, and puts the Ravens at 1-1 on the year. Baltimore will have a tougher time in Week 3. The Ravens host the Houston Texans (2-0) in an early game on Sunday afternoon.
9/12/13: This is not the way to defend a Super Bowl championship. Due to scheduling issues, the Ravens opened up on the road, in Denver. Baltimore kept the game close through halftime in a heavy weight bout. But they did not show up in the second half. The Ravens defense allowed Broncos QB Peyton Manning to something not done since 1968 - throw seven touchdowns in a game, five of which came in the second half. The final result was a humbling 49-27 loss, as well as the loss of WR Jacoby Jones to a sprained knee. The Ravens will look to regroup this Sunday with 10 days to prepare for the Cleveland Browns (0-1).
9/4/13: The preseason really does not mean much, but that does not stop fans and media pundits from getting riled up about talent and potential issues. Such is the case with the Baltimore Ravens. Many are concerned that the team has not run the ball very well in the preseason, and the team opens against Denver. The Ravens primary running backs, Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, have only average about 3 yards a carry. So the questions are mounting, and it could be as simple as this is the preseason and the Ravens do not want to give to much away. But this is Ray Rice and an offensive line that just won a Super Bowl. Chances are they will be fine.
8/29/13: In a rather surprising move, the Ravens cut tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. Shianco was signed over the summer after it was discovered that the Ravens' starting tight end, Dennis Pitta, would be lost for the season with injury. The fit seemed to be a good one, but for what ever reason, it simply did not work out. Shiancoe had a pretty solid career, mainly with the Minnesota Vikings. He played four games with New England last season, but caught no passes. With this dismissal, it may be the end of the line for the tight end.
8/22/13: QB Joe Flacco simply put on a quarterbacking clinic during the playoffs last season. But can he carry that over to the regular season? That is a major doubt from so-called experts. The other major doubt is the complete revamping of the defense. It is true that the team lost many stars to retirement or free agency. But the fact of the matter is that the Baltimore defense was simply average last year. An influx of new talent could actually make them better. They lived off of reputation, not production. In any case, they are the champions until someone knocks them off, and do not expect them to go quietly into the night.
8/15/13: What more does Joe Flacco have to do to get some respect around the league? He keeps making the playoffs and has a number of road playoff wins under his belt. He was easily the best QB in the playoffs last season - better than Rodgers, Brady, Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. He won a Super Bowl and the Super Bowl MVP. The problem seems to be that he does not throw for 4,000 yards in the regular season and is not a flashy guy. But the Ravens probably do not care, as long as he keeps winning and saving his best for crunch time.
8/8/13: The Ravens found out this past week that third year cornerback Asa Jackson will be suspended for eight games for his second violation of performing enhancement drug policy. He was suspended four games last season, so he has obviously not learned his lesson. Jackson may be best known for fabricating his college bio by claiming that he nurses penguins back to health. He came clean on that one, claiming it was just a joke (kind of funny though). What is no laughing matter is that he is out for half of the regular season and the Ravens may end up dismissing him.
8/1/13: The Baltimore Ravens got their first real taste of terrible luck early in training camp. The Ravens starting tight end, Dennis Pitta, dislocated his hip and is out for the year. The Ravens were depending on him to take a bigger role in the offense this year, particularly after trading wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the 49ers just after the Super Bowl. It may be that Pitta will need to have a hip replacement, though that is not known yet. He is scheduled to be a free agent after this season, but the Ravens may opt to sign him to a long term contract while he is injured in the hopes that he returns to form next season.
7/25/13: The Ravens may well get fullback Vonte Leach back this season. There are no shortage of teams that would like his services - he did a great job opening up holes for running back Ray Rice. The problem is compensation. Teams just are not willing to pay him what he wants. He had discussions with the Dolphins that died out and has an offer on the table from the New York Giants. His best move may well be to re-sign with the Ravens, avoid moving, and be able to continue playing in an offensive system that he knows and is comfortable with.
7/18/13: Now that Raven linebacker Ray Lewis has retired, the team will list him on their Ring of Honor. Fittingly, the honor will be bestowed in Week 3, when Ed Reed and the Texans come to town. Lewis will join Jamaal Lewis, Matt Stover, Johnathan Ogden, Peter Boulware, Michael McCrary, and Art Model as Ravens in the Ring, as well as eight Baltimore Colts. Additionally, the team will erect a statue of Lewis outside the stadium at some point. Ed Reed will probably join Lewis one day, as well as in the Hall of Fame within the next decade.
7/11/13: The Ravens hope to get inside linebacker Jameel McClain back soon and in time for training camp. McClain is rehabbing from a spinal cord contusion that he suffered last December. He has no restriction on exercising or contact, but is waiting only for team doctors to clear him. He will take a physical on July 27, and could get the all clear then. The Ravens need him after losing Ray Lewis (retirement) and Dannell Ellerbe (free agency - Dolphins) in the offseason. Baltimore also drafted Arthur Brown in the second round and signed former Jags veteran Daryl Smith.
7/4/13: After the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000, the club did all they could to keep their roster in tact. That meant that they had a lot of aging players with big price tags on their roster. They were good in the following years, then finally disintegrated. They were rebuilt, and after a few years of knocking on the door, finally won the big game again last season. They chose a different tact this time. Allowing the big salaries to go elsewhere (except Joe Flacco), but they brought in a warehouse of top talent. This new blood may work more to their advantage, and keep the team from having the dreaded Super Bowl hangover. After all, many of these guys were not on the team last season.
6/27/13: According to odds makers, the Ravens are the fourth best team in the league. They have taken a lot of criticism for allowing some players to leave, trading others, and generally not keeping the Super Bowl championship team together. But GM Ozzie Newsome is the best in the business, and he is not about to overpay for declining veterans. Lost among the criticisms is that last year's defense was mediocre by Ravens standards. The team ranked 13th, and actually should be better this year with their new cast, which includes Elvis Dumerville. So Ravens fans, do not worry. Your main competition is not Pittsburgh this year, it is the rising Bengals.
6/20/13: Much has been written about how the Baltimore Ravens - who are known as a traditional defensive power - will struggle this year because so many of their core defensive players are no longer with the team. It is true that they lost a lot of talent through free agency and retirement. But the Ravens were only 13th in the league last year in defense, and they replenished themselves well. One new face is veteran defensive lineman Chris Canty. He is finally healthy after having knee troubles, and apparently looks "dominant" thus far. Assuming he stays healthy, he will be a great find for the reigning Super Bowl champs.
6/13/13: The Ravens received their Super Bowl rings this past week, a ceremony that every player looks forward to. The team also visited the White House and was congratulated by the President. Former stars like Ed Reed were on hand, as well as most of the championship team. The President joked that Joe Flacco had great timing on his contract negotiations, and head coach John Harbaugh promised a return visit. However, not every member of the team was present. Now retired Matt Birk boycotted the visit because of his political views, implying that his presence would be an endorsement of some controversial White House policies.
6/6/13: Baltimore, under the personnel direction of General Manager Ozzie Newsome, has a tradition of finding unheralded players who come in and play great. Wide receiver Torrey Smith wants that to continue in the receiving corps. Smith does not want the team to acquire a veteran WR in the offseason. Instead, Smith wants the young guys to compete and step up into the role. The Ravens have Smith and Jacoby Jones, but traded away Anquan Boldin, so there is logic in bringing in another receiver. That being said, Smith has a point about developing the talent internally, and letting the guys they drafted earn their keep.
5/30/13: New Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty threw some support for his new QB. He was asked who was the better quarterback, Joe Flacco, or former Giants teammate Eli Manning. Perhaps as a way to suck up to his new teammates, Canty responded that Flacco was the superior signal caller. He said that Eli is a very clutch player, but Flacco throws the better deep ball. He also said that Flacco is better because of his Super Bowl victory. Apparently he forgot that Eli won two titles. In any case, Canty is going from one good situation to another, and both teams have are favorites to make the playoffs.
5/23/13: The Ravens, of course, are known predominantly for their defenses. It has been well documented that the defense that helped win the Super Bowl in February is largely gone, so GM Ozzie Newsome and company went shopping for replacements. One of those was 23 year old Rolondo McClain, who was to enter his fourth year. He was a top draft pick of the Raiders in 2010 and had a good rookie season. However, his play regressed over the past two years, to the point of being replaced in passing downs by a rookie and getting into altercations with his coaches. He was arrested twice in his hometown before the Raiders cut him. Baltimore signed him in the offseason, but now he says he is retiring. Here is hoping he can find some peace.
5/16/13: It does not look like the Ravens are worried about losing their leading receiver from last season. The team traded the resilient but aging Anquan Boldin to San Francisco earlier in the offseason. Baltimore still has Torrey Smith on the team, and just signed Dennis Pitta to a one year deal. The tight end set career highs in catches (61), yards (661), and touchdowns (7). More importantly, he and QB Joe Flacco made a lethal combination throughout the playoffs. Expect to see more of the same this coming season, as Pitta looks to join the elite group of tight ends like Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and Vernon Davis.
5/9/13: Steve Spagnuolo has had a rough few years. In 2007, he designed and orchestrated the New York Giants' defense, the only team that year to beat the New England Patriots - in the Super Bowl no less. He parlayed that success into the head coaching job in St. Louis for a few undistinguished years. He was fired following the 2011 campaign after a 2-14 record and very little talent. Last season, he was the defensive coordinator for the Saints. Even with his prior head coaching experience, he was not named as an interim coach. He became the scapegoat there. Now he has joined a senior defensive assistant. Spags is a good guy and defensive coordinator, and deserves better.
5/2/13: Baltimore is known for their defense, and this is a Ravens' draft if there ever was one. The reigning Super Bowl champions only took one offensive player, tackle Richard Wagoner from Wisconsin in the fifth round. Otherwise, they spent picks rebuilding the defense, including safety Matt Elam (Florida) in the first round and inside linebacker Arthur Brown in the second round. Clearly, this is a team that wants to hit people hard. But it is hard to go against GM Ozzie Newsome. He is the best GM in the league and certainly knows exactly what his team needs.
4/25/13: You have to wonder if Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has a few more tricks up his sleeve going into the draft and regular season. It is no secret that the Raven lost a lot of their key members from the Super Bowl winning team a few months ago. But they did add a lot of new members, and Newsome will not make the mistake of dishing out big contracts to veterans who are past their prime simply to keep a team together. Expect another successful draft by Newsome, who is simply the best GM in the NFL.
4/18/13: Baltimore has the distinct honor of being the first Super Bowl winning team since 2004 to not host the opening game of the NFL season. Its not Baltimore's fault, there happens to be scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles (over a shared parking area) as well as a religious holiday that week. However, it is doubtful the Ravens would trade a world championship over not hosting the first game of the year. The team will be boasting a new roster, but should still be competitive, even as the Cincinnati Bengals are a division foe on the rise.
4/11/13: Ravens QB Joe Flacco is getting himself into a family fight. Flacco agreed to play NFL legend Johnny Unitas in the upcoming film "Unitas We Stand". Unitas' son from his second marriage is producing the film, but the family from the first marriage, especially John Unitas Jr. is vehemently opposed to the movie. Unitas Jr. and his family own the merchandising rights to the Unitas name. They are threatening law suits if the movie makes any money. A Unitas movie may be interesting and bring the legend to the attention of today's youth who only know about players that have been around for the past few years.
4/4/13: Ravens special teamer Christian Thompson was suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season because he violated the league's substance abuse policy. Thompson played safety in college at South Carolina State. He was a rookie last season and played in seven of the Raven's first eight games before injuring his knee and being placed on the IR. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games, but must sit out the first four games of the regular season unless he can delay that or get it changed through the NFL's appeals process.
3/28/13: Not many people feel sorry for the Ravens for losing much of the core of their vaunted defense this off season after winning the Super Bowl. But the Ravens have done a good job of reloading on talent, signing Marcus Spears to play along side Haluta Ngalta on the defense line. But the big loss was the defection of 11 year veteran and all pro safety Ed Reed to the Houston Texans. Reed took out a full page ad in the Baltimore Newspaper to thank the Ravens fans for their support throughout the years. Reed has been slowed by injuries recently, but should bolster the Texans secondary when he fully heals. The Ravens also signed Elvis Dumervil after the Broncos were forced to cut him because his restructured contract was not received in time.
3/21/13: Baltimore has been railed in the media for not keeping several members of the Super Bowl winning defense with the team. Ray Lewis retired. Ed Reed may go to Houston. Paul Krueger is in Cleveland. And Dannell Eberle is in Miami. But the Ravens learned a decade ago that overpaying to keep the team together only leads to misery and salary cap problems. Additionally, the Joe Flacco signing does not hurt them this year, he will have the same cap figure as in 2012. Baltimore will be just fine - there is a reason Ozzie Newsome is the best executive in the NFL.
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3/14/13: The reigning Super Bowl Champions are showing they cannot keep the entire team together. The Ravens traded wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers for draft picks. Boldin refused to take a pay cut to remain with the team, so was deemed expendable. The Ravens also lost free agents Paul Krueger and Dannell Elerbe. Krueger signed a lucrative deal with the Cleveland Browns, while Ellerbe signed with the Miami Dolphins. Baltimore was able to lure at least one free agent to Charm City. Veteran defensive tackle Chris Canty joined the Ravens on the first day of free agency.
3/7/13: Everyone knew that Joe Flacco was going to get paid following the Super Bowl victory, where he played flawlessly throughout the playoffs. Flacco was even asked about it in the post-game interview following the big win. The Ravens came through for Flacco, rewarding him with a six year, $120 million contract. Flacco got a $29 million signing bonus and $52 million guaranteed. $51 million will be paid in the first two years of the contract. The deal makes Flacco the highest paid player in the NFL, and certainly raises the bar elite quarterbacks when their contracts come due.
2/28/13: The Ravens are sawing goodbye to one of their cornerstones, Matt Birk. Birk announced his retirement after 15 years in the NFL as one of the best offensive linemen in the league. He was drafted in the sixth round out of Harvard by Minnesota. He flourished in the Vikings system for 11 seasons before moving over to Baltimore for the final four years of his career. Birk made six Pro-Bowls in his career, as well as won the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, and was honored last season for his extensive community service work, which promotes additional reading for football players.
2/21/13: No one expects quarterback Joe Flacco to wear anything but a Ravens jersey next season. He is technically a free agent, but Baltimore is expected to retain him either through a new contract or the franchise tag. Flacco and the Ravens did not come to an agreement last summer on an extension. Then Flacco led the team to the Super Bowl. So his value is as high as it ever will be. His agent is meeting with the Ravens at the Combine to discuss a new deal. If that cannot be reached, then Flacco is in line to make $20 million next year under the franchise tag. Either way, it is good to be Joe Flacco these days.
2/14/13: After winning the Super Bowl and bringing the first championship to Baltimore in a decade, the big question facing the Ravens is what to do with Joe Flacco. It is certain that the team will keep him, but just how is up for debate. His rookie contract expired with the ending of the game, and Flacco's agent is seeking a contract that will eclipse both Drew Breese and Peyton Manning (at $20 million and $18 million average per year). The Ravens can franchise tag Flacco, which would cost $14.6 million next season, but that is not the long-term solution that both sides want.
2/7/13: The Baltimore Ravens are the new Super Bowl Champions. The Ravens got off to a very strong start, building up a 21-6 halftime lead. Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff of the second half 108 yards, a new NFL record for any game, for a touchdown, giving the Ravens a seemingly insurmountable lead. Then the lights went out. For 35 minutes. Once power was restored, San Francisco stormed back to make it an eight point game. The Ravens were able to score two more field goals and took an intentional safety to seal the game. Joe Flacco continued his historic playoff run and was named the game's MVP.
1/31/13: The Ravens arrived in New Orleans for th e Super Bowl on Sunday, giving them an off day before Media Day on Tuesday. Baltimore is trying to win their first Super Bowl in 12 years, when they humiliated the Kerry Collins and the New York Giants behind a stifling defense. Linebacker Ray Lewis is the lone remnant from that team, and he says that this will be his last game. The biggest difference from that team is that this one actually has an offense. Joe Flacco has best quarterback statistically throughout the playoffs, and Ray Rice is an elite runningback that can keep defenses honest. The line has the Ravens as underdogs by 4.5 points.
1/24/13: The Ravens are heading back to the Super Bowl for the first since 2001. Baltimore won that game against the Giants, and look to do the same against San Francisco on the first Sunday in February. The Ravens scored 21 points in the second half against New England and took control of the AFC Championship Game in Foxborough. Joe Flacco has been the best quarterback in the playoffs this year, improving upon and up and down season. But this will be the final game of Ray Lewis' career, win or lose, as he plans on retiring at season's end.
1/17/13: Baltimore pulled the upset of the weekend, going into Denver and defeating the number one seed Denver Broncos in the Divisional Round. The teams matched scores in each quarter, ending regulation and the first overtime tied at 35 points apiece. The Ravens defense, inspired by the outgoing Ray Lewis, forced two Peyton Manning interceptions and a fumble. Not to be outdone, Joe Flacco threw for 331 yards and 3 TDs in his best postseason game. The second interception was early in the second overtime, and gave Baltimore excellent field position. Justin Tucker then nailed a 47 yard field goal to end this instant classic of a game.
1/10/13: Long time Ravens linebacker and heart of the team, Ray Lewis, announced that he would retire at the end of the season, so the home playoff game against the Colts would be his last at home. Lewis and the Ravens made it memorable by hounding and confusing Andrew Luck and Indy all night en route to an easy 24-9 victory. WR Anquan Boldin set a franchise record with 145 yards receiving and the clinching touchdown. Baltimore now has a chance at revenge. The Ravens hosted the Broncos a few weeks ago and were completely embarrassed. Now the team will head out to Denver to take on the number one seed in the AFC.
1/13/2013: Baltimore finished their regular season on the road against division rival Cincinnati. Since Baltimore lost for of their last five games, the team was out of contention for homefield advantage or a bye week. Instead, the Ravens were pretty much locked into the number four seed. The Bengals pulled out a 23-17 win, but the game was more about staying healthy and preparing for the playoffs than anything else. Baltimore returns home to host upstart Indianapolis in the Wild Card Round the coming Sunday. Indy comes in having just defeated the Houston Texans and denying them a bye week.
12/27/12: The Baltimore Ravens finally righted the ship, using the flatlining New York Giants as their final steppingston in clinching the AFC North title. Joe Flacco and the Ravens' offense emerged from hibernation long enough to rack up over 300 yards in the air and two touchdowns. Both Bernard Pierce and Ray Rice had over 100 yards on the ground, and place kicker Justin Tucker added four feildgoals as the Ravens beat up on the Giants 33-14 at home. With the division wrapped up, the Ravens are likely locked into the fourth seed and will travel to Cincinnati for the last game of the regular season.
12/20/12: The once fearsome Ravens have shrunk in the past several weeks, most recently losing 34-17 at home to the Denver Broncos in a possible playoff preview. The Ravens have now lost three straight games, including two in a row at home for the first time since 2007. New Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell did not fare any better than his predecessor, Cam Cameron. The Ravens scored two touchdowns in garbage time making the final score look closer than it actually was. The Ravens are 9-5 and still lead the AFC North, but have to host a desparate New York Giants team this Sunday.
12/13/12: Baltimore made the 35 mile trip to DC to play the Redskins in one of the most anticipated games of the season last Sunday. Baltimore was defeated 31-28 in overtime, meaning the Ravens have lost two in a row. Since both the Bengals and Steelers lost, Baltimore remains in first place in the AFC North, but will need some help to get a bye or homefield advantage in the playoffs. The Ravens offense struggled at times again, and Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron was fired a day after the loss. The Ravens get a chance at redemption this Sunday when they host the Denver Broncos in a possible AFC playoff preview.
12/6/12: Losing is always disappointing. Losing to your arch rival is heart wrenching. Losing to your arch rival when you have a seven point lead in the fourth quarter is the type of loss that can send a team into a tailspin (see: San Diego against Denver a few weeks ago). Quarterback Joe Flacco only managed 188 yards and one touchdown against the depleted Steelers, and Ray Rice ran for less than 80 yards. Baltimore still leads the AFC North by two games, but must regroup quickly for their next game at Washington, who soundly beat the defending champion New York Giants on Monday.
12/1/2012: Well as you've surely heard by now, the Ravens not only showed up, but they pulled out a 16-13 overtime victory that should not have happened under any circumstances. The Ravens started off slow, facing a 10 point deficit at the halftime point of the game. The Ravens didn't score until early in the third quarter on a Justin Tucker field goal. Things didn't get really interesting until the Ravens clawed to within a field goal on a Dennis Pitta 4 yard touchdown catch.
After a defensive hold the Ravens had the ball in the waning minutes of the game. Certain circumstances led the Ravens to face a 4th and 29, a virtually impossible scenario under any situation. With Joe Flacco lined up in the shotgun, he dumped off a pass to Ray Rice of all things. For any normal player, the play would have been dead the Ravens sent home. However Rice made almost all 11 members of the Charger defense miss on a miracle 30 yard catch. That put the Ravens into position for Justin Tucker to drill a 38 yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime. It took almost the entire OT period, but Tucker hit another field for the Ravens to secure the win.
Next up for the 9-2 Ravens is a home game against arch-nemesis Pittsburg, with a chance to almost certainly seal the division.
11/24/2012: The Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers in engaged in another tooth-and-nail game that came down to the waning seconds. Sounds familiar? You bet. The Ravens visited the hostile territory of Heinz Field looking to solidify their stranglehold on the AFC North. In their way were the Steelers, who have rebounded from a shaky start to the season and had sights dead set on toppling the Ravens and gaining a tie on the division lead.
In the end, the Ravens proved victorious in a hard hitting affair where defense once again ruled the day. The final scored read 13-10 and it was every bit as close it appears. The Steelers, without QB Ben Roethlisberger due to a rib and shoulder injury, had to make do with what they had. Bryon Leftwich was game, as he took big hits the entire game but was still standing by the final whistle. Even better, he showed some surprising legs on a 31 yard gallop into the end zone in the first quarter that gave the Steelers an early lead.
Both teams pretty much struggled to move the ball after that. In a razor-close rivalry like this, it's not surprising that the game's decisive strike came on special teams. Jacoby Jones returned a punt 63 yards for the Raven's only touchdown of the game and gave them the lead in the first quarter. That is a lead the Ravens would not give up for the rest of the game. With the win, the Ravens move a full two games ahead of the Steelers and look destined for a division title.
11/17/2012: Following the beating the Ravens took against the Texans three weeks ago, it was prudent that they right the ship before embarking on a tough stretch of games that would make or break their season. Last week the Browns proved to be a tough challenge on the road, as the Ravens had to rally to escape with a win. This week the Oakland Raiders have come to town with the Ravens needing an impressive performance to demonstrate they are still Super Bowl contenders.
The Ravens certainly proved a few things when they played the Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The Ravens racked up a franchise record 55 points against the hapless Raiders. Joe Flacco passed for over 300 yards to go along with three touchdowns. Ray Rice had an off day with only 35 yards on the ground; however he did make up for it with a touchdown.
On defense, the Ravens still struggled, giving up yards by the bundle, but to their credit they took advantage of mishaps by the Raiders to only give up 20 points. Paul Kruger had perhaps a breakout game for the season with two sacks along with a short interception.
The Ravens seemed to pull out all the stops for this game, including a touchdown run by punter Sam Koch, who as holding on the fake field goal. Jacoby Jones put the icing on the cake with a 105 yard touchdown return in the fourth quarter. Now the Ravens are looking at an absolutely pivotal game against the Steelers in week eleven's Sunday game of the week.
11/10/2012: The Ravens beat the Browns in Cleveland 25-15 in a victory last Sunday. In a game that was a bit closer than many would have thought however. But then again this shows how hard it is to win a home game in the AFC North.
The Raven's defense looked slightly improved from their previous performances, holding the Browns to five field goals and no touchdowns. They also managed to pick of Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden two times. The struggles on the ground continued however, as Trent Richardson carved up the much criticized Baltimore front line defense with 105 yards.
On the offensive side of the ball, QB Joe Flacco had a productive day completing 15 of 24 passes with one touchdown. Ray Rice also got a heavier workload than he has in recent weeks, getting 25 carries to rack up 98 yards.
A few days after the win though, the Ravens received their best news of the week. Ray Lewis has rejoined the team in a spectator capacity. He is rehabbing aggressively and has vowed to return. It is still doubtful whether he can complete a miracle recovery, but his exemption on the IR list allows him to. At 6-2 the Ravens are in a good spot on top of the division, but the Steelers are breathing down their necks after a huge win against the Giants. With those two meetings meeting twice in the latter half of the season, expect the division to once again come down to the wire.
9/27/12 ? With the return of the regular NFL referees, the focus was back on the game itself. Joe Flacco threw for 356 yards and a touchdown and rushed for one in the Baltimore Ravens 23-16 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Ravens wide receivers Anquan Boldin caught 9 passes for 131 yards and Torrey Smith caught 6 balls for 97 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens defense also added to the score when cornerback Cary Williams returned an interception from Browns QB Brandon Weeden (25/52 320 yards) 63 yards for a touchdown. The Browns had a chance late in the game to tie it. But, Weeden?s pass to the endzone was too deep and out of the reach of all his receivers.
9/22/12 ? Down 13-0 at the end of the first quarter, things were looking grim for the Baltimore Ravens. But, what happened after that showed the resiliency and toughness of the Ravens and why many have them going to the Super Bowl this year. Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith led the comeback, catching six balls for 127 yards en route to a 31-30 Baltimore win over the New England Patriots. After throwing an interception early in the game, Baltimore QB Joe Flacco rebounded nicely passing for 382 yards and three touchdowns. Down 30-28, Flacco drove down the field to set-up a 27-yard field goal attempt. Last season, during the AFC Championship game, Flacco drove the Ravens down the field against the Patriots only to have kicker Billy Cundiff miss what would have been the game-tying field goal. Rookie Jason Tucker, the one who took the job away from Cundiff, drove his kick through the uprights to give the Ravens a win.
Linebacker Terrell Suggs may have injured his Achilles playing basketball. Suggs told the team the injury occurred while he was practicing his conditioning tests, but witnesses have said they saw Suggs limp away from a pick up basketball game days before Suggs said he suffered the injury. The Ravens are not concerned where Suggs' Achilles was injured, but how long it will take Suggs to recover. The typical Achilles take nine to twelve months to heal, but Suggs has been adamant telling news sources he will be able return to the field at some point this season.
5/3/12 - Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles tendon running a conditioning drill in Arizona on Saturday. Suggs informed ESPN on Thursday and believes he can return by the middle of the 2012 season. The 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the year will undergo surgery next week and expects to recover from the injury in four to six months. A study by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in 2006 show that even though the general length of time for recovery is four to six months, the average return to playing in an NFL game is 11 months. Still, Suggs believes he can come back in the middle of the season. Suggs had 70 tackles and 14 sacks last year also forcing seven fumbles and two interceptions. He was the best player in a Ravens defense, which was No. 3 overall in the NFL.
The Ravens' first season was in 1996, and just four years later, they were Super Bowl Champions in the 2000 season. The Ravens play at beautiful M&T; Bank Stadium, which offers one of the best open-air football experiences in the league and is just walking distance from the Inner Harbor. The Ravens are known for their great defensive play, led by future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. If you are a fan of hard-hitting defense, getting Ravens tickets will give you as good a defensive football experience as you can get in the NFL.
Baltimore Ravens Tickets - The Players
When facing Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs on the defensive side of the ball, you know its going to be tough to score. When you have Joe Flacco under center with Anquan Boldin, Ray Rice to get the ball to you know its going to be tough to stop them. This combination of offense and defense makes the Ravens a tough competitor throughout the league. However they may need to make one or two more moves to keep up with the flow of talent that is emerging around the league. Age will catch up to these players. Its time to acquire some young talent to keep fresh legs on the field at all times.
Baltimore Ravens Ticket Prices
Historical Baltimore Ravens Ticket Prices
* Each point on the graph represents a seven day trailing average.
2013 SEASON2.44 std dev
Baltimore Ravens Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Baltimore Ravens First Game 2013
Baltimore Ravens Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 8, 2013 Minnesota Vikings 26 - 29 Baltimore Ravens Nov 24, 2013 New York Jets 3 - 19 Baltimore Ravens Nov 17, 2013 Baltimore Ravens 20 - 23 Chicago Bears Nov 10, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 17 - 20 Baltimore Ravens Nov 3, 2013 Baltimore Ravens 18 - 24 Cleveland Browns Oct 13, 2013 Green Bay Packers 19 - 17 Baltimore Ravens Oct 6, 2013 Baltimore Ravens 26 - 23 Miami Dolphins Sep 29, 2013 Baltimore Ravens 20 - 23 Buffalo Bills Sep 22, 2013 Houston Texans 9 - 30 Baltimore Ravens Sep 15, 2013 Cleveland Browns 6 - 14 Baltimore Ravens Sep 5, 2013 Baltimore Ravens 27 - 49 Denver Broncos Aug 29, 2013 Preseason: Baltimore Ravens 21 - 24 St. Louis Rams Aug 22, 2013 Preseason: Carolina Panthers 34 - 27 Baltimore Ravens Aug 8, 2013 Preseason: Baltimore Ravens 44 - 16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dec 16, 2013 Baltimore Ravens vs Detroit Lions Dec 22, 2013 New England Patriots vs Baltimore Ravens Dec 29, 2013 Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals