Baltimore Ravens News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/25/15: Give the Baltimore Ravens some credit, they seem to have learned from their past mistakes regarding Ray Rice. So when running back Bernard Pierce earned himself a DUI a couple of weeks ago, the Ravens showed no tolerance for the act and released him the following day. He is actually the third, though the most high profile player to get the zero tolerance treatment from the Ravens this offseason. Pierce, unlike Rice, was picked up pretty quickly and will have a chance to play for Jacksonville next season, while Rice is still waiting for the phone to ring.
3/18/15: As many expected, the Ravens did not retain the wide receiving services of Torrey Smith. Smith is a good, but not elite wide receiver, and ended up signing in San Francisco - very similar to what happened with fellow WR Anquan Boldin. They also lost tight end Owen Daniels to free agency, and he signed with the Denver Broncos. The Ravens did re-sign running back Justin Forsette. Forsette, at age 29, had been a backup his entire career but had a breakout season last year. He wanted to return and the player and team were able to work out a deal that keeps him in Baltimore.
3/11/15: Teams that consistently make the playoffs and have winning records are often the ones that have the least sentimentality towards their players. The New England Patriots certainly are the standard bearers for this strategy, though the Baltimore Ravens are not far behind. In recent weeks, they have asked defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and cornerback Lardarius Webb to take pay cuts for the upcoming season. Additionally, they are letting both Justin Forsett and Torrey Smith test the free agency waters in an attempt not to overpay for either of them. Forsett and/or Smith could be back with Baltimore, but probably not at the salary either wants.
3/4/15: Ravens owner Steve Biscotti reflected on 15 seasons of ownership recently and noted that he had 14 good years and one terrible one. That would be 2014 when the Ray Rice domestic assault incident was the hottest topic in the news. Aside from Rice hitting his then-fiancée (now wife), the Ravens were accused of covering up the situation and Biscotti's integrity was called into question. Certainly it must have been a trying year for him and the organization - though beating arch-rival Pittsburgh in the playoffs may have helped - but there are a lot of people out there that have it much, much worse than he does and may not be too inclined to commiserate with him.
2/25/15: It does not seem likely at this time that Pernell McPhee will be returning to the Baltimore Raven in his fifth season. McPhee is a good player. He is only 26 years old and had 7.5 sacks last season. That will certainly interest someone. But he is seeking a $10 million a year contract - a number that is out of Baltimore's comfort and financial zone for a situational pass rusher. Basically, he only plays half the defensive plays, so it is hard to justify full time money for a part time player. Once the market settles down, he may end back up in Baltimore, but probably at a much reduced rate.
2/18/15: Former Ravens running back Ray Rice issued a mea culpa through the local Baltimore newspaper last week. In it, he offered his apologies and hoped that his situation could have a positive influence in some way. The apology appeared to be heart-felt, though cynics are likely to say that he is just trying to get back into the NFL. With or without his domestic abuse situation, he may find it hard to play again simply because he struggled for the past couple of years and is getting older. In any case, it was a good move by Rice, who is clearly trying to move on from a terrible mistake.
2/11/15: Nearly 15 years ago, after the Ravens won their first Super Bowl, they did everything they could to keep the team together, even though there were some aging players with big contracts. That did not work out well for them. After their second Super Bowl a few years ago, they took the opposite approach. While that may not sit well with fans, it has kept the Ravens competitive. They face that situation with Haloti Ngata. Ngata is a great player, no doubt. But he is 31 years old and will have an $8.5 million base salary. The reports are that the Ravens may ask him to take a pay cut to stay with the team.
2/5/15: It is obviously too late to benefit the Baltimore Ravens in any way, the NFL says that they are would pay closer attention to how the New England Patriots line up with eligible and ineligible receivers in the Super Bowl. The Pats used this trick a few times against the Ravens and it worked. There really is no rule against it, but the changing of receiver eligibility is supposed to be relayed to the defense so they can adjust. Now that the secret is out, the next step is to see if this type of gimmick is outlawed in the future, or if it becomes a trendy play to run just like the Wildcat formation a few years ago.
1/28/15: There was not much faith in the Ravens running game going into the 2014 season. The team could not run the ball in 2013 with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, and then came the suspension to Rice so he missed the season. However, Justin Forsett stepped up and ended up leading the league in yards per rushing attempt. He was good enough to earn a spot in the Pro Bowl and is now a free agent. Forsett has been with a few teams on a short term basis, but says he wants to show his loyalty to the Ravens and return for next season or even longer.
1/21/15: The Baltimore Ravens are going to have to hit the reset button on the offense, again. The Ravens continue to be a defense first organization, but they had some success on offense this past season under the guidance of offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. But it looks like the Kubiak Era has come and gone. He was named the new head coach of the Denver Broncos. That means that John Harbaugh is going to have to find a new OC. Some possible candidates are Bo Van Pelt from Green Bay, Rob Chudzinky from Indianapolis and even the newly single Kyle Shanahan.
1/14/15: Baltimore is probably the team best equipped of anyone in the AFC to go into New England in January and get a win - they had done it two of the last three times that they were faced with that task, but could not make it a fourth. In probably the best game of the weekend, Baltimore was barely edged out, 35-31. The game was not without some typically questionable moves by New England coach Bill Belichick, who exploited a loop hole in the rules to keep the Ravens from identifying eligible receivers on the Patriots final touchdown drive. The strategy was legal, though do not be surprised if the NFL looks at changing that rule.
1/7/15: There is just something about Baltimore on the road in the playoffs that gets them going. While winning any playoff game is exciting, beating your arch rival in their building is even better and that is exactly what Baltimore did in pounding the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17. The Ravens running game did not do much, just 49 yards, but QB Joe Flacco continued his playoff mastery with 259 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the defense forced three turnovers, severely hampering the Steelers. Baltimore is back on the road this Saturday to face the New England Patriots, who are the number one seed in the AFC.
12/3/14: Whoever makes it out of the AFC North will have certainly earned their way into the playoffs this season. However, it just got a bit tougher for Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, who all lost last weekend. Baltimore's loss was a heartbreaker. In a back and forth game against the visiting San Diego Chargers, they fell 34-33 thanks to a Charger touchdown in the final minute of the game. That loss dropped the Ravens to 7-5 on the season and leaves them fighting for a playoff spot. They have a great chance to gain some ground back and hurt an AFC rival this Sunday when they visit Miami.
11/19/14: The Baltimore Ravens got a much needed win two weeks ago against the lowly Tennessee Titans and were rewarded with their bye last weekend. Unfortunately for Baltimore, they do not get to play the Titans every week and they are in last place in the surprisingly strong AFC North with a 6-4 record. The fact is that they have only won two of their last five games and the division is actually quite good. No one would have guessed that the Cleveland Browns would be this good this late in the season. The Ravens are on Primetime in Week 12 when they visit the New Orleans Saints for the Monday Night Game.
11/12/14: There were no surprises in Baltimore's last game on Sunday. Hosting the pitiful Tennessee Titans, the Ravens defense simply smothered rookie QB Zach Mettenberger after allowing a first quarter touchdown. Baltimore's offense was nothing pretty: Joe Flacco threw for 169 yards and a touchdown and the running game, led by Justin Forsett, had 151 yards and two TDs. Otherwise, nothing special in this game except getting an important win. The Ravens improved to 6-4 overall and a nice 4-1 at home with the win. They get an extra week to enjoy the win as they are on a bye next week.
11/5/14: The Ravens added another episode to their long-running rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unfortunately, the Steelers are in the middle of one of the greatest short-term offensive surges in history. For the second consecutive week, Ben Roethlisberger threw six touchdown passes, the first time that has happened in history. Joe Flacco and the rest of the Ravens offense simply could not keep up with Pittsburgh and the defense was unable to pressure Big Ben, who kept completing big passes. Baltimore fell to third in the AFC North at 5-4 and will host the Titans this Sunday.
10/29/14: The Ravens were in Cincinnati for an AFC North showdown to determine the lead in the division and the inside track to the playoffs. This was a back and forth affair with each team gaining and losing momentum at various times. As many would figure, it came down to the end of the game when Bengals QB Andy Dalton scored a game winning touchdown with less than a minute to play. Final Score: Baltimore 24, Cincinnati 27. The Bengals are now at the top of the division and hold the tie breaker with the Ravens. But 5-3 Baltimore is not done yet. They still can make the playoffs with some quality play in the second half of the season. The Ravens are in Pittsburgh for the Sunday Night Game this week.
10/22/14: The Baltimore Ravens continue to surprise and improve. The Ravens were at home last Sunday to host the Falcons, who are supposed to have one of the most potent offenses in the league. But Baltimore's defense was more that up for the task, limited the Falcons to one fourth quarter touchdown in a 29-7 blowout. The offense put up nearly 400 total yards and three touchdowns in the rout. The Ravens now own first place in the AFC North with an impressive 5-2 record. They travel to Cincinnati this weekend to meet up with their closest division rivals, the Bengals.
10/15/14: Baltimore is trying to re-establish themselves as an elite team in the NFL, and the beat down they put on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may help them do that. This game was over in the first quarter when the Raven scored four touchdowns. They added 10 more points in the second quarter to take a 3-0 lead to halftime. The Bucs were able to manage 17 points in the second half, but that was more of a gift than anything. Baltimore improved to 4-2 on the season and is 2-1 on the road. They host the other team that thoroughly embarrassed Tampa, the Atlanta Falcons, on Sunday.
10/8/14: The Ravens, coming off of dismantling the Carolina Panthers in Week 4, headed to Indianapolis in a good gauge of where they are as a team. First things first. The Ravens defense is better than the media would have you think. That being said, the offense seems to be an issue. QB Joe Flacco threw eight different receivers with 22 completions, but only finished with 235 yards. The running game was seldom used, even though it averaged 6.0 yards per carry on just 15 total rushes. In the end, the Ravens fell to the Colts 20-13. Baltimore, now 3-2 on the season heads to Tampa this Sunday to face the 0-5 Buccaneers.
10/1/14: Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith circled the matchup against his former team, the Carolina Panthers, on the calendar as soon as the schedule was released. He wanted revenge on his former team for releasing him after he had been the franchise's face for so many years. The Ravens obliged and Smith tore through his former mates with seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. The Ravens easily picked up the win with a 38-10 rout and improved to 3-1 on the season. It should be a good game this Sunday, too, as Baltimore heads to Indianapolis.
9/24/14: The Ravens have been going through a lot of turmoil since the Ray Rice situation was escalated with the showing of a second video of the incident. Most recently, the allegations are that the team conspired to cover-up the incident. The players are focusing only on their games and doing a good job of it. After letting a halftime lead against the Brown slip away, the Ravens managed two fourth quarter field goals - including one as time expired to come away with a 23-21 road win over the Cleveland Browns. Baltimore is back home on Sunday to host Carolina.
9/17/14: The Baltimore Ravens have been dealing with the Ray Rice situation and cut him from the team. He is also suspended indefinitely by the league. But the Ravens put all of that behind them last Thursday and trounced the visiting Steelers 26-6. QB Joe Flacco only threw the ball 29 times, less than half of the 62 from their first game. Bernard Pierce gave 96 yards rushing and Justin Forsett added 56 in the blow-out. The win puts the Ravens at 1-1 on the year. Baltimore is back on the road this Sunday for a game at the rival Cleveland Browns.
8/28/14: The Ravens already know that they will be without starting running back Ray Rice for the first two weeks of the season. That would make Bernard Pierce the obvious choice to start for that time. So the Ravens had Pierce out with the starters for their third preseason game - which makes sense. Unfortunately, he took a big hit and left the game with a head injury. As of right now, it looks like there is nothing to worry about. Pierce says he is fine and probably will not play in the final preseason game, but should be ready for the start of the season.
8/21/14: The Ravens surprised a few people when they came out for the second preseason game and started running back Bernard Pierce instead of Ray Rice. Some may think that was a bit of punishment for Rice, but really, it was a smart thing to do. Rice will serve his two game suspension to start the season, so Pierce will be the starter, for at least the first half of September. Rice did play in the preseason game, but left early with a shoulder injury. The team does not think it is too severe and X-rays came back negative.
8/14/14: The Harbaugh brothers, Jim and John, got to coach against each other a year and a half ago in the Super Bowl, with John getting the win. The brothers teamed up again as their teams, the 49ers and Ravens, got together for joint practices. The coaching brothers have been preaching calm and safety for the joint practices because no one wants an injury. Incidentally, the practice came just two days after the Ravens beat the 49ers 23-3 in the preseason opener for both teams. The teams tried to practice together earlier in the preseason, but new rules under the CBA cancelled those efforts because San Francisco would have been over their allowable practice hours.
8/7/14: The Ravens, running back Ray Rice and even the NFL are feeling the push-back from Rice receiving a two game suspension for a domestic dispute between Rice and his then fiancée (now wife) back in February. Many believe that Rice's punishment was too lenient and that the NFL did not send a strong enough message in their stance against domestic violence. While there have been many calls to lengthen the suspension, that does not seem likely at this point. At this time, all that can be done is get back to work for now and deal wth the suspension when it happens in September.
7/31/14: The Ravens PR team has been working overtime this offseason in light of the team leading the NFL in most arrests. The biggest name, of course, is Ray Rice. The NFL finally made their decision on his fate and he will receive a two game suspension. This did not sit well with many people, considering the severity of the charge. The Ravens have backed Rice and seem determined to move on to training camp and the regular season. At the same time, the team signed Will Hill, who is currently suspended for four games. But the Ravens seem intent on just moving forward and trying to get back to the top of the AFC North.
7/24/14: The Ravens continue to be a question mark heading into training camp. They are well coached and have several offensive weapons that have been effective in the past. Of course, that offense struggled mightily last season, which put more pressure on a new defense. The defense will have another obstacle to overcome now that the team has put defensive tackle on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Cody had hip surgery in the offseason and his rehab is taking longer than expected. The good news is that he can be activated from the PUP list at anytime during camp, but cannot practice until he is activated.
7/17/14: The Ravens have always been known for having great defenses and they are expected to be among the better defensive units in the NFL this season. That deflects attention away from their questionable offense that really struggled last season. Perhaps head coach John Harbaugh is trying to deflect more attention away from the scoring side of the team by proclaiming that the Ravens' D will be "top-five, at worst". The team has only two defensive starters from the team that won the Super Bowl just 18 months ago (linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata), but does have an impressive mix of youth and veterans which may prove Harbaugh correct.
7/10/14: Count Ravens QB Joe Flacco as one that thinks that last year was just an aberration. Of course, the Ravens missed the playoffs as the defending Super Bowl champs. A lot of that was due to the lack of an effective running game. Flacco sees running back Ray Rice now as a guy that is in good shape and has gotten back the explosiveness that made him so effective in the early part of his career. Rice lost weight and is no longer struggling with hip and quad injuries. The only question now is when Rice will play. He may well be suspended for a few games to start the season after his arrest earlier this year.
7/3/14: The Ravens are kind of an enigma at this point. Yes, they won the Super Bowl in 2013, but last year's campaign was rather dismal. They had a lot of turnover between cutting veterans and retiring stars, not to mention the offensive line was mediocre at best so they could not run the ball. But this year may be different. The addition of Steve Smith and the return to health of tight end Dennis Pitta give reason for hope. Opening up the receiving lanes should make life easier for Ray Rice, so it would not be a surprise if the Ravens went out and simply won the AFC North outright.
6/19/14: Baltimore is certainly looking to rebound for a dismal 2013 season. They have added players in needed positions and have a new offensive coordinator which could open things up more. Steve Smith is a new addition and has been 'everything advertised' so far in OTAs. Smith brings a veteran presence to the team and will be able to take pressure off of Torry Smith. Also making the unit better, at least on paper, is the full return of tight end Dennis Pitta. Pitta missed most of last season with injury. He is healthy now but admits he is still learning the new offense. These upgrades should only benefit Baltimore as they look to return to Super Bowl form.
6/12/14: There were a lot of reasons the Ravens struggled last season and failed to defend their Super Bowl championship from the previous year. Part of that was a depleted receiving corps, part from new personnel, and a lot of it was a heavy reliance on QB Joe Flacco while the running game sputtered. Ray Rice is still the featured back, but he had a lousy season last year and an even worse offseason. Expect improvement in the team and the offense if Rice and Bernard Pierce can find their groove and take some pressure off of Flacco.
6/6/14: It has been a tough few weeks for the Baltimore Ravens with running back Ray Rice's mea culpa along with other arrests within the organization. Head coach John Harbaugh probably would like nothing better than to concentrate solely on football at this point, but that seems unlikely with the media hounding the team. Some say that there is a leadership void now that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are gone. Others claim that players need to be on better behavior. In any case, this is not the offseason that the Ravens wanted, and the questions will remain until they get back to the playoffs.
5/29/14: Ravens' star running back Ray Rice held a press conference late last week to apologize for his actions that led to an arrest in Atlantic City a couple month ago. In the incident, surveillance cameras showed Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée (now wife) out of an elevator. While he took no questions, he did say that he and his wife were closer than ever. There is a very good chance that Rice will serve some sort of punishment at some time, but the league has not issued that out yet. Maybe they have to get through the Jim Irsay mess first.
5/22/14: The last time we really saw defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan play was in the National Championship Game. He was a dominant force for the champion FSU Seminoles, but was completely gassed towards the end of the game. That is not a knock on Jernigan, the Auburn Tigers played a very up-tempo game that would exhaust anyone. The Ravens took Jernigan in the second round and expect him to be their next great lineman. Timmy and the Ravens came to a contract agreement last week, and there is a good chance that he may be a starter right off the bat.
5/15/14: Like the Steelers, the Ravens have been defined by their defense for years. Two of those dominant defenses took the team to Super Bowl championships, and the Ravens need to get back to their roots to be successful. They took the first step on the opening day of the draft by selecting inside linebacker C.J. Mosley with the 17th overall pick. Of course, there was a pretty good linebacker in the Ravens' lineup for years, and the Ravens' defense struggled last season after Ray Lewis retired. Baltimore should improve next season, if for no other reason than tight end Dennis Pitta should be healthy.
5/8/14: Ravens running back Ray Rice avoided any legal issues last week when it was announced that prosecutor decided they will not pursue any jail time for his actions with his (now) wife a few months ago. The NFL may disagree and still impose sanctions against him - that is yet to be seen. In the meantime, the Ravens are getting ready for the draft. GM Ozzie Newsome believes that this is a very deep draft, and that there are more 'draftable' prospects than normal. That bodes well for the savvy Ravens, who may do well in picking up undrafted free agents.
5/1/14: More than any other GM in the NFL, this time of year has to be like Christmas for the Ravens' Ozzie Newsome. Newsome may well be the best GM in the draft and his career has been defined by finding overlooked talent and building (and maintaining) winning teams. The Ravens hold the 17th pick in the draft, so the biggest names on board will likely be gone by then. That should not discourage Ravens' fans, as they are certain to find value wherever they select. It also give the Ravens the ability to trade down and get more draft picks because they know they can find contributors anywhere.
4/24/14: The Renaldo McClain saga continues in Baltimore, but this time it looks like a happier ending. McClain is attempting to come back to professional football after taking a year off. He was reinstated from the retired/reserve list last week and could join the team in offseason workouts soon. McClain was a highly prized prospect out of Alabama and had numerous legal issues to deal with. The Ravens seem inclined to give him another shot, though he does need to get back into shape. It is a low risk prospect for Baltimore, who are only really losing a temporary roster spot if McClain cannot make it.
4/17/14: The Ravens, of course, are not in the market for a new starting quarterback. They signed Joe Flacco to a long-term deal a year ago and have a lot of years and money due to Flacco after his Super Bowl win in 2013. That does not mean that they will not draft a backup QB next month. The team hosted Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech) last week. Thomas is not considered among the top one or two tiers of incoming QBs, so this is an interesting development. Thomas never lived up to the promise he showed in high school or even early in college, though the Hokies program has been a bit down in recent years.
4/10/14: One of the key missing pieces for the Ravens last season was an effective option at tight end. Dennis Pitta was outstanding in the Ravens' Super Bowl run in 2012-2013, but was injured most of last season. He is healthy now, and that should benefit QB Joe Flacco and the Ravens' offense. As insurance, the Ravens have now signed former Houston Texans' tight end Owen Daniels. Daniels, when he was in his prime, was a terrific tight end. He may be used in more of a backup role or for blocking with the Ravens, but does provide a serviceable option should Pitta miss any more time next season.
4/3/14: Most players, when they are 35, are considered done. That is not always the case for quarterbacks and wide receivers. The Panthers dumped the face of their franchise (and probably the best player they have ever had) Steve Smith a few weeks ago. The Ravens quickly snatched him up. Head coach John Harbaugh thinks that Smith has a few more good years left in him. Looking at history, that may be true. Guys like Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, and Isaac Bruce were productive in their later years. And Smith does not have to be the go-to guy anymore. Torry Smith will take care of that job. Good pick up by the Ravens.
3/27/14: The Ravens will probably not start the season as the favorite to win the NFC North. That distinction will likely go to the Cincinnati Bengals who are more stable in their roster than the rest of the division at this point. Baltimore made headlines two weeks ago by brining in veteran wide receiver Steve Smith, who seems to embrace his new role as a complimentary receiver to Torrey Smith. This past week, the Ravens signed safety Darian Stewart on a one year deal. Stewart started six games for the St. Louis Rams last season, but started 13 games in 2011, when current Raven's secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo was the Rams' head coach.
3/20/14: The Ravens made a headlining free agent signing last week by inking former Carolina Panthers star wide receiver Steve Smith to a deal. Smith is probably the greatest player in Panthers' history and has spent his entire 13 year career with them. The Panthers released him last week, leaving no real options at wide receiver. In Baltimore, Smith expects to be a 'complementary dude' and not the go-to receiver he has been his entire career. To make this whole thing more fun is that the Panthers will play the Ravens this upcoming season, and Smith wants to show them what they let go.
3/13/14: The Ravens are up against the salary cap, just like many other teams. That always means that there are tough decisions to make on key players - like whether to keep or cut them. The team declined the use of their salary cap on left tackle Eugene Monroe, but would like him back (who wouldn't want him?). However, it is reported that the two sides are pretty far apart in their wishes. Monroe wants $10 million per year and the team is offering $8 to $9 million. If Monroe does hit the market, he will probably find a deal he likes because every team needs a strong left tackle to protect their QB.
3/6/14: The Ravens were able to avoid using the franchise tag on tight end Dennis Pitta, as the two sides were able to reach a long term extension. Pitta was scheduled to be a free agent and there could have been an ugly debate on whether to franchise tag him as a tight end or wide receiver. Instead, Pitta and the Ravens reached a six year, $32 million deal that will keep him in Baltimore for the foreseeable future. It also pays him like a tight end, and not a wide receiver, which may have an effect on the New Orleans Saints and Jimmy Graham.
2/27/14: Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome may be the best in the business and he had some notes for other GMs to take. He mentioned that championship teams are hard pressed to repeat because salary cap limitations and that such teams are a month behind everyone else when it comes to free agents and drafting. Good points to remember when a Super Bowl winning team does not make the playoffs the following year. But it is a good problem to have. Newsome also is getting information on the Ray Rice situation, and admits it does not look good for Rice and his altercation with his fiancée.
2/20/14: Ravens star running back Ray Rice got himself into a bit of trouble last weekend by getting arrested along with his fiancée. But the NFL is nothing if not forgiving - or at least willing to turn a blind eye to legal matters if you can play. True to form, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said on Monday that Rice is still expected to be a big part of their offense in 2014. Of course, he needs to rebound from a dismal 2013 where the Ravens simply could not move the ball on the ground. Another season like the last one and the team may not be as willing to overlook these kinds of transgressions.
2/13/14: The Ravens have a dilemma on their hands with tight end Dennis Pitta. Pitta showed he was one of the best tight ends in the league in the Ravens' Super Bowl victory year of 2012. Then he had a hip injury and missed the first 12 games of 2013. He is scheduled to be a free agent next month and will likely command a pretty strong salary from whomever signs him. The Ravens would like to keep him, but money is an issue here. The hip injury is an issue as well, even though he is recovered. Do not be surprised if Pitta is not wearing purple next season, as he could be difficult to retain.
2/6/14: Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick was on national radio earlier this week talking about the Super Bowl and the dominant performance by the Seahawks defense. He mentioned that the big difference between his 2000 Ravens defense and the 2013 Seahawks defense was that the Ravens did not have to beat such prolific passers when they won the Super Bowl. That does not take anything away from the Ravens championship team, but rather is more an acknowledgement of how good Seattle was this season in knocking off both Drew Brees and Peyton Manning in the postseason.
1/30/14: The Ravens are narrowing down their choice for offensive coordinator, a position that opened up when Jim Caldwell left the team to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions. Reports indicate that former Steelers running backs coach Kerby Wilson is out of the running, and that apparently leaves two candidates: current Ravens WR coach Jim Hostler and former Washington OC Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan may prove to be tough sell, if he is chosen. There are many people (fans) who believe he got his last job because he was the son of the head coach. That being said, he may provide a fresh take on the offense, which the team could use.
1/23/14: We are less than 12 months removed from the Ravens winning the Super Bowl following the 2012 season, but the team is looking less and less that that championship squad. Of course, everyone knows about the defensive overhaul due to salary cap constraints, age and retirement. Now the Ravens have lost another key component in offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell. Caldwell left the Ravens to take the head coaching job for the Detroit Lions, and really cannot be blamed for wanting a promotion. The question now becomes who will be the next OC in Baltimore. There are candidates available, including former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak.
1/16/14: It has been written several times before, but the Ravens are in a pivotal offseason because of the hard choices they have to make. The biggest, and most publicized, is what to do with Terrell Suggs. Suggs has been a key member of the Ravens' defense for years. However, he had a poor second half of the 2013 season and will have a monstrous salary cap figure next season. The Ravens may be better off cutting him and building from within - which has been their method for the past decade. Still, it is tough to dismiss someone who has been such a mainstay for so long (though the Ravens did that correctly with Ed Reed last offseason).
1/9/14: The Ravens will have a tough call to make this offseason on linebacker Terrell Suggs. Baltimore is stretched thin under the salary cap, just like last year, and Suggs could easily be a cap casualty. The Ravens learned after their Super Bowl in 2001 that they could not bring everyone back and then get saddled with an expensive and aging team that was just average. So they agreed to turn over the roster after the Super Bowl last season. Suggs has one year left on his six year agreement, but will count $12.4 million against the cap. Cutting him would save $7.8 million in cap space next season.
1/2/14: The Ravens will not have a chance to defend their Super Bowl title after falling 34-17 to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17. Baltimore has played well of late, especially after getting tight end Dennis Pitta back a few weeks ago. That opened up the offense for Joe Flacco, but this was a case of too little, too late. To be fair, this is not the same team that won the Super Bowl last February. The team lost several key members on both sides of the ball to retirement, free agency, and trades. However, GM Ozzie Newsome is the best in the business, and he is playing the long game. The Ravens will be contenders again very soon.
12/26/13: The Ravens are very lucky that the Dolphins decided not to show up for their game in Buffalo last Sunday. Baltimore was embarrassed 41-7 by the New England Patriots. That could have been a death blow to their playoff hopes, but the seven points they scored against the Pats were seven more than the Dolphins could manage against the Pats. So this brings up an interesting situation where the Ravens, Dolphins, and Chargers each have a shot at the playoffs, but they all have to win and hope someone else loses. A pretty fitting end to a crazy year in the AFC.
12/19/13: The Ravens kept their playoffs drive alive and retained their position for the second wild card spot by knocking off the Detroit Lions 18-16 in last Monday Night's Game. Detroit took an early 7-0 lead, but the Ravens buckled down on defense for the rest of the way. The star of this game was not QB Joe Flacco or RB Ray Rice or WR Torrey Smith. It was kicker Justin Tucker. Tucker accounted for all 18 Baltimore points and kicked a 61 yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining to secure the win. The Ravens can still win the AFC North, but need some help and to win out. This week - the New England Patriots.
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
Assessing Ray Rice & One of the Worst Episodes in NFL History
Almost as soon as the elevator door closes, Ray Rice says something to his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer. He steps back as he does, hitting her once, and retreats to the opposite side of the elevator. Infuriated, Janay lunges towards him, Ray meeting her with a left hook to the face that sends her head crashing…Read more
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Baltimore Ravens Past Games Schedule and Baltimore Ravens Scores
|Jan 10, 2015||AFC Divisional Game: Baltimore Ravens - New England Patriots||31 - 35|
|Jan 3, 2015||AFC Wild Card Game: Baltimore Ravens - Pittsburgh Steelers||30 - 17|
|Dec 28, 2014||Cleveland Browns - Baltimore Ravens||10 - 20|
|Dec 14, 2014||Jacksonville Jaguars - Baltimore Ravens||12 - 20|
|Dec 7, 2014||Baltimore Ravens - Miami Dolphins||28 - 13|
|Nov 30, 2014||San Diego Chargers - Baltimore Ravens||34 - 33|
|Nov 9, 2014||Tennessee Titans - Baltimore Ravens||7 - 21|
|Nov 2, 2014||Baltimore Ravens - Pittsburgh Steelers||23 - 43|
|Oct 19, 2014||Atlanta Falcons - Baltimore Ravens||7 - 29|
|Oct 12, 2014||Baltimore Ravens - Tampa Bay Buccaneers||48 - 17|
|Oct 5, 2014||Baltimore Ravens - Indianapolis Colts||13 - 20|
|Sep 21, 2014||Baltimore Ravens - Cleveland Browns||23 - 21|
|Sep 7, 2014||Cincinnati Bengals - Baltimore Ravens||23 - 16|
|Aug 23, 2014||Preseason: Washington Redskins - Baltimore Ravens||17 - 23|