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Preseason Week Four: What To Look For

August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Tomorrow the Ravens will play the St. Louis Rams in the last preseason game.  Most starters will not play so we will look at backups and people battling for a roster spot.

1.  Backup Quarterback
The two players competing for this spot, Tyrod Taylor and Curtis Painter, have played the opposite of each other so far this offseason.  Taylor has impressed in practices and hasn't played as well in games looking nervous in the pocket and looking more to run than throw.  Painter didn't play very well in training camp throwing many interceptions.  However, he has looked much better during the other three preseason games.  Right now I would give the edge to Taylor due to familiarity and overall has been a little better.  Taylor should get the start and if he plays decent he should keep the 2nd string job.  If Painter plays great and Taylor plays poorly than Painter could win the job.

2.  Wide Receiver
There are two main battles to watch for at the WR position.  First is for the 4th WR spot between LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss.  However I don't feel this is a very important battle because Williams has been used more as an outside receiver and the Ravens are probably grooming Doss to be Anquan Boldin's replacement.  Last game against the Jaguars, Doss looked good in the slot.  The other battle is rookie Tommy Streeter and undrafted free agent Deonte Thompson.  So far they seem pretty even with Thompson looking really good on special teams and Streeter showing his massive potential with his TD catch against the Jaguars.  One way this could end is Streeter going on IR with his sprained foot allowing the Ravens to keep them both.  Streeter is more of a long term project so the Ravens want to keep him.  Streeter will be out tonight with this injury so Thompson has one last chance to impress while Streeter doesn't.

3.  Nigel Carr
Carr has had an up and down preseason.  In the Lions game he led the team in tackles but also had a holding on a return and a ruffing the passer called on him.  He has shown many good flashes and we all know the Ravens like to keep LBs on their roster.  One thing that will be be key for Carr will be special teams as this is the main way to make a team as a backup.  If Carr does end up being cut don't be surprised if the Ravens try and keep him on the practice squad.

4.  Omar Brown
Brown has had many, many lucky breaks so far.  Two people in front of him on the depth chart have been injured including one for the season. Also, Brown has been in the right spot at the right time but is it a coincidence or is he talented.  I lean a little to the talented side as luck doesn't get you 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, and an onside kick recover in two games.  Brown is a definite bubble player who needs on more good game to make the team.

5.  Sergio Kindle
This very well could be Kindle's last game with the Ravens.  John Harbaugh recently said Kindle's roster spot isn't guaranteed.  So far this preseason Kindle hasn't showed much at all.  The Rams offensive line isn't the best, especially the backups, so Kindle has a chance to make a very good last impression.  I believe Kindle will make the team but whether he plays in the regular season is a whole other question.


Baltimore Ravens Roster Moves

August 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today was the day when all NFL teams must get their rosters down from 90 players to 75 players.  Here is a recap of the Ravens moves today.

K Billy Cundiff
C Cecil Newton
CB Jordan Mabin
LS Patrick Scales
QB Chester Stewart
WR Patrick Williams
TE Davon Drew
WR Devin Goda
OL Addison Lawrence

Cut Analysis
The news about Billy Cundiff came out yesterday and has already been discussed.  After the game against the Jaguars this seemed like a strong reality.  Newton is known as the older brother of Cam Newton but nothing else.  The only other player on this list that had a real shot at making the roster was TE Davon Drew who was drafted in the 5th round in 2009.  With Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta out he had a chance but the Ravens instead signed Billy Bajema and gave him all the opportunities.

Injured Reserve
LB Stevie Baggs
LB Darryl Blackstock
S Emanuel Cook
DT Ryan McBean

Injured Reserve Analysis
Baggs was only signed a few weeks ago and never really played for the Ravens.  His injury is an unknown so he will be a strong candidate for an injury settlement.  Blackstock was also signed a few weeks and never played either due to his ankle injury.  Blackstock is also a injury settlement option as he won't be in the long term plans of the Ravens and probably isn't injured to seriously.  It is no surprise that Cook and McBean are on injured reserve as Cook broke his leg and McBean broke his ankle.  These are two injuries that take a while to recover from.  Both players were expected to make the roster, Cook as a special teamer and McBean as depth on the defensive line.

Physically Unable to Preform List
OLB Terrell Suggs
WR David Reed

Physically Unable to Preform List Analysis
Being placed on the PUP list means the player can start practicing starting in week 6.  After this they have 3 weeks to be placed on the active roster, injured reserve or be waived.  No surprises here as the earliest Suggs will come back is November which is well after week 6.  The Ravens will likely place Suggs on the active roster after the 3 weeks and he will just be listed as out on the injury report until he is ready to play.  David Reed tore his ACL in December of last year and due to this he hasn't been able to practice yet.  If Reed was healthy I don't think he would make the roster over Deonte Thompson and Tommy Streeter.  Therefor, Reed will probably be placed on IR or just released after week 6.


Preseason Week Three: Observations

August 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Lardarius Webb
Webb had a great game and looks ready for the regular season to begin.  In the end Webb led the Ravens with 6 tackles and he also had 1 pass deflection.  One thing I noticed was he blitzed a lot and made those tackles near the line of scrimmage on running plays.  Not many $50 million CBs are willing to do this.  On one play he blitzed from the weak side and chased down a sweep to the other side of the field for a short gain.  Webb also went back to return a punt.  This may seem weird but remember Ed Reed still goes back just for his hands.  Webb has now taken that job away from Reed.

Torrey Smith
Smith looks much more like a complete receiver this year than before.  Last year he was mainly a deep threat but this offseason he has worked on other routes.  Smith had 8 catches for 103 yards on 12 targets which was the most for all Ravens receivers.  Smith ran many curls and crossing routes which he never did last year.  The combo of curls and deep passes could become unstoppable as defenses can guard both at the same time.

Joe Flacco
If Flacco wants to be a top QB in this league he needs to play like this all the time.  Flacco went 27 for 36 with 266 yards and 2 TDs.  He also had 1 INT but that is irrelevant as it was a hail mary as the half ended.  He looked very comfortable with all receivers and ready for the regular season.

Bernard Pollard
Pollard is the prototypical Ravens player.  He plays aggressive and never gives up.  This showed during this game as he was all over the field.  He only finished with 3 tackles but he had 2 pass deflections and just wrecked havoc all over the field.  Everyone usually knocks his pass defense but that looked good against the Jaguars.

Tight Ends
The only TE who is expected to stay on the roster who played was Billy Bajema and he had 3 catches for 26 yards on 5 targets.  Bajema looks good for a 3rd string TE.  The even better news is both Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta are back to practice so they should be fine for week one against the Bengals.

Running Backs
The RB depth chart looks set now for the Ravens with Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, and Bobby Rainey all getting playing time with the starters.  Rice had 2 rushes for 30 yards and 1 catch for 13 yards.  Pierce had 10 rushes for 35 yards and 2 catches for 19 yards.  Rainey had 2 rushes for 7 yards, 3 catches for 73 yards with 1 TD, and returned 1 punt for -4 yards.  Expect the Ravens to try and get Damien Berry back on the practice squad again.

Anquan Boldin
Boldin didn't play much against the Jaguars but in the limited time he had he looked good.  He had 3 catches for 39 yards and 1 TD on 5 targets.  The TD was a very nice play action pass inside the 10 yard line.  Him and Flacco looked in sync and ready for the regular season.  This offense could surprise some people if it keeps playing like this.

Tandon Doss
The reason that Boldin didn't play long was they wanted to see Doss with the starting unit and he impressed.  Doss played exclusively in the slot and looked good.  His stat line of 3 catches for 11 yards might not look impressive but if you look deeper you will find he converted two 3rd downs which is very important.  Flacco obviously trusts him so Doss should still be competing for the 4th WR spot with LaQuan Williams.

Kelechi Osemele
Osemele started at LG and did a decent job but he made a few mistakes which is understandable.  He gave up one sack on a stunt and then gave up a hold on another play.  Osemele is still in the competition for the starting LG spot and if he doesn't win it now he could be playing by the end of the year and will be the 6th offensive line

Paul Kruger
On the stat line Kruger finished with 2 tackles and nothing else.  However, on one play he set the edge bad allowing a run of about 10 yards.  Also, in the red zone he got called for a hold which occurred after the Ravens had stopped the Jaguars on first down.  Kruger needs to cut down on the mistakes to help replace Terrell Suggs.

Jacoby Jones
On offense Jones 2 catches for 22 yards on 5 targets.  The more important thing was his return game.  He finished with 1 kick return for 51 yards and 3 punt returns for 36 yards.  The kick return was very impressive as it occurred with less than 1 minute in the 2nd half and set the Ravens up for a possible score at the end of the half.

Kick Coverage
Again the Ravens kickoff coverage was poor.  They allowed an average of 36.5 yards on 4 kicks.  Plus, they allowed two kick returns of more than 40 yards and another was 36 yards.  This needs to improve for the Ravens to be a serious Super Bowl contender.  Kicker Justin Tucker had 1 tackle to help to coverage unit.



Ravens Decide on Kicker

August 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Just a few minutes ago the Baltimore Ravens decided to cut veteran K Billy Cundiff.  This move isn't much of a surprise after the game against the Jaguars where Justin Tucker kicked the entire game.  In training camp and the preseason Justin Tucker out kicked Cundiff.  In camp Tucker was kicking about 95% and Cundiff was about 85%.  During games Tucker hit from 50 yards and 53 yards.  This move saves the Ravens about $1.81 million in cap space putting the Ravens somewhere around $4 million under the cap.  If you want to see Ravens fans celebrating click here.  Billy Cundiff may get a job for another team but they also could be turned away by his miss in the postseason.

My Thoughts on the Ravens Preseason Week 3 Game Against the Jacksonville Jaguars

August 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

This past game on Thursday night was probably my favorite preseason game thus far, for any team. This is obviously because the Ravens starters played most the game and in result  they played their best game by far.

Let me start by saying Justin Tucker is going to be a great kicker in this league. Bye, Billy Cundiff. Tucker was 2/2 from field goals including a 53 yarder and he was also 6/6 on extra points. Also, all 3 quarterbacks looked good but I still give the edge to Curtis Painter as the number 2 even though Tyrod Taylor had a good game. The Ravens should feel comfortable with their quarterback situation.

Now we will go into the running backs which is my favorite competition on this Ravens team but I think it is all over. To me, even though he hasn’t played much, Bernard Pierce will be the number 2 back. He had 10 rushes for 35 yards (long of 20). That isn’t too impressive but he will get better the more carries he gets. He also had 2 catches for 19 yards. I think Chris Rainey locked up the number 3 spot just because his return skills and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He had 2 rushes for 7 yards and 3 catches for 73 yards (1 touchdown). He did however have a poor punt return for negative 4 yards. I also believe Anthony Allen will be released before the season starts. Damien Berry won’t make the team but he deserves recognition for having 7 rushes for 40 yards.

The receiving battle is still interesting. Number 1 receiver Torrey Smith had a great game. Anquan Boldin also had a good game and a touchdown. After that there a bunch of guys fighting to make the team but the two most impressive guys after them are Jacoby Jones and Deonte Thompson because they can get it done in the return game too. Jones had 2 catches for 22 yards, 1 kick return for 51 yards, and 3 punt returns for 36 yards. Thompson had a catch for 18 yards and a 63 yard kick return. The Ravens return game is going to be fun to watch this season.

Other notable receivers are Laquan Williams who had 2 catches for 43 yards (1 touchdown), Tommy Streeter who had 2 catches for 40 yards (1 touchdown), Tandon Doss who had 3 catches for 11 yards, and Logan Payne who had 2 catches for 23 yards. Tight end Billy Bajema had 3 catches for 26 yards.

Now for the defense, where I will start with safety Bernard Pollard who had 3 tackles and 2 pass deflections. Others guys who had good games were all the linebackers. Ray Lewis obviously, but Jameel McClain looked great (5 tackles, 1 for a loss), Albert McClellan is always improving and Paul Kruger looked good as well. Rookie first round pick Courtney Upshaw also had a sack, and rookie secondary players Asa Jackson and Omar Brown continued to look good as well.

The Ravens conclude their preseason on Thursday in St Louis against the Rams at 7.


Preseason Week Three: What To Look For

August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Since the third week of preseason is mainly for starters we will only look at position battles for starting positions or starters individually.

1.  Left Guard
This is an under the radar position battle for the Ravens position.  Ever since they signed veteran Bobbie Williams he was expected to start there.  Plus with OT Bryant McKinnie reporting late for camp, the main competition for Williams, Kelechi Osemele, started at RT.  Recently, Williams has experienced ankle problems causing this battle to be interesting.  This injury may cause Osemele to start and if he plays good he could be the starter week one.  Osemele has really impressed this preseason so this is a distinct possibility.

2.  Kicker
The Ravens are going to have to chose a winner sometime.  So far during practice Justin Tucker is kicking about 95% and Billy Cundiff is at about 85%.  This may look like Tucker has the advantage but Cundiff does as he is the incumbent and has been told by the coaching staff he has to do very bad to lose the job.  The Ravens fans seem to want Tucker but it is tough for a Super Bowl contender to start an undrafted free agent at kicker.  For Tucker to win it seems like he needs Cundiff to miss an easy one or two in game as neither has missed yet in game.

3.  Starting Outside Linebacker
By now it is obvious Paul Kruger is starting at one OLB but the other is up for grabs.  I talked about Albert McClellan here and he is competing now with this years top pick Courtney Upshaw.  Whoever wins the job is expected to take over Jarret Johnson's job which was more run defense than pass rush.  If Upshaw doesn't win he should reclaim the job sometime during the season.  The only reason this is even a battle is again due to injury this time it is Upshaw's shoulder.  Expect both of them to contribute tonight with 2 sacks combined between them.

4.  Starting Cornerback
The two competing for the job, Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith, have both disappointed this preseason both were burned by Calvin Johnson and Williams also by Julio Jones.  Expect both to play good tonight as they play the Jaguars who are weak at WR.  Whoever plays better tonight should get the job.


Preseason Week Two: Observations

August 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Bernard Pierce
In his first preseason game Pierce looked great.  The box score will say he had 4 rushes for 1 yard but that is lowered by one rush for -14 yards where the offensive line decided not to block anyone.  Before that rush he had 15 yards and 3 rushes against the Detroit Lions starting defense.  Pierce helped solidify his role as the number 2 back for the Ravens.

Tyrod Taylor
Taylor looked awful throwing the ball last night, he went 8-22 for 65 yards.  If Taylor wants to keep the backup QB job he has to do better than that.  Yes, he rushed for 60 yards on 7 attempts but he would drop back and if his first target wasn't open he would run.  The good news for Taylor is Curtis Painter didn't play very well either.  If Joe Flacco goes down with an injury it will be a long year for the Ravens if Taylor and Painter don't get their act together.

Hurry up offense
Call it whatever you want, the starters looked good running it.  Flacco looked comfortable running it and he should as he pushed for this to happen.  The Ravens moved the ball well but were stopped by dropped passes (again).  Jacoby Jones dropped an easy one and LaQuan Williams missed at least one.  With Torrey Smith out due to his ankle, Flacco looked to LaQuan Williams a lot. This offense should be better with everyone healthy but they need to improve in the red zone.

Damien Berry
Berry had a good game last night showcasing why he should be kept as the number 3 RB.  As of right now I would say he is the number 4 back but that could keep him on the team or at least the practice squad again.  Last night Berry had 3 rushes for 13 yards and led the Ravens with 6 catches for 59 yards.

Bobby Rainey
Rainey again impressed last night in more than one way.  The way he moved around after he had the ball was very reminiscent of Ray Rice.  He only had 3 rushes for 3 yards but he found other ways to contribute.  He caught 4 passes for 20 yards, returned 1 punt for 8 yards, and returned 2 kickoffs for 43 yards.  Rainey is finding a way to make this team and right now I would say he is the number 3 RB.

Anthony Allen
Allen struggled again last night and is not making a case to stay on this team.  He had 1 rush for -2 yards, 1 catch for 12 yards, and gave up a sack.  The sack is very important because that makes 2 sacks in as many weeks that he has given up.  Pass protection is key for RBs trying to make the team and he isn't good at it.  Also, Berry and Rainey contribute on special teams well and Allen doesn't.  To make this team Allen needs a great showing in week 4.

Omar Brown
Omar Brown is always near the ball and makes the most of it.  Week one he has a pick and 2 fumble recoveries.  This week he recovered another fumble and recovered an onside kick.  He didn't record a tackle but his nose for the ball could help him make the team.

Maake Kemoeatu
Kemoeatu is going to be an important part of the Ravens rotation on the defensive line.  He started last night due to a minor hip injury for Terrence Cody and made the most of it.  He made 2 tackles including 1 for a lose where he stopped a run play dead about 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Deonte Thompson
Thompson was on the field a lot on offense but didn't record a catch despite 5 targets.  However, he returned 1 kick for 42 yards and would have gone all the way if not for just stepping out of bounds.  Also on the play was a hold but it didn't really help spring him lose.  Thompson is making a strong case to make this team and I would say he is a better kick returner than Jacoby Jones.

Asa Jackson
This years 5th round pick had a great all around game for the Ravens.  On defense he had 3 tackles and tipped 1 pass away.  Even more important though was his 40 yard punt return.  It was about an 80 yard return for a TD weaving across the field but like Thompson's it was called back for a hold.  Jackson was by far the best punt returner for the Ravens last night.

Nigel Carr
Carr, an undrafted free agent out of Alabama St, led the Ravens in tackles.  When on defense he was constantly near the ball carrier making plays.  On special teams he was called for a hold which will be important because to make the team as a backup LB you will need to contribute on special teams.  It will be interesting to see how he plays in week 4.

My Thoughts on the Ravens Second Postseason Game

August 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

I wish I could say I had a lot of good things to write about the Ravens after their second postseason game but unfortunately I did not. I stayed in last night to watch the game and I was pretty excited to take notes to write this blog. I am going to jump right in to what stood out to be in the Ravens 27-12 loss to the Detroit Lions.

First thing I will say is they should not hang their heads on letting Calvin Johnson aka Megetron go off on them, because no one can stop him.

Next I will go into what I was most excited about which was watching the running backs besides Ray Rice compete. Bobby Rainey didn’t impress as a running back (3 carries for 3 yards) but did have 4 catches for 20 yards, 1 punt return for 8 yards, and 2 kickoff returns for 43 yards. He may not be able to get it done as a running back but I love how he plays on the return game, and so far he deserves a final roster spot. Anthony Allen had only one rush for -2 yards and a catch for 12 yards. Bernard Pierce had a rough debut will 4 rushes for just 1 yard. Pierce needs to get it going.

Flacco looked alright and Painter clearly looked like the number 2 with Taylor being the number 3.

Last week the Ravens had many receivers stick out and this time they did as well but with some different names. Laquan Williams had another good game with 2 catches for 22 yards. Veteran Anquan Boldin had a couple of receptions, and Miami product Damien Berry had a nice game with 6 catches for 59 yards. Tight End Bruce Figgins had 2 catches for 12 yards as well. Besides that, I do not have too much to report from the receivers, however, Deonte Thompson had a kick return for 42 yards  (and had a TD taken away) and Jacoby Jones had a return for 28 yards.

Now for the defensive side of the ball. Omar Brown who was always in the right place at the right time last week, had another fumble recovery. He always had an onside kick recovery. Another guy who stood out to me was Paul Kruger who will replace Terrell Suggs this season who is injured. The last guy who stood out to me made me really happy last night. In my players to watch earlier this off season, I mentioned him and he was rookie 5th round pick Asa Jackson. He had 3 tackles and a pass deflection. He also had one punt return for 40 yards and had one touchdown return taken away. I’ll say it before and I will say it again, when he has the ball in his hands he is tough to tackle.

Finally, both kickers were 2/2 from field goals except I give Tucker the edge over Cundiff because he hit and 50 yarder and Cundiff’s longest was 44.

Competitions are really started to heat up so tune in to their next preseason game which is Thursday August 23rd against the Jacksonville Jaguars at 7:00.

Preseason Week Two: What To Look For

August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


1.  Ravens offensive line vs Lions defensive line
The main weakness for the Ravens offense this year is their offensive line.  Tonight they will face one of the better defensive lines in football.  The Lions line is anchored by DT Ndamukong Suh and DE Cliff Avril.  Suh will be a big battle for veteran G Bobbie Williams who was only signed a few weeks.  Avril will mainly match up against RT Michael Oher, that is if you trust the depth chart on the Lions website.  Expect C Matt Birk to mainly help Williams with Suh as the Ravens best lineman, Marshal Yanda, should be able to control the rotation of DT Corey Williams and DT Nick Fairley.  On the other end LT Bryant McKinnie should start this game so he will face DE Kyle Vanden-Bosch (if he plays) who still is a good pass rusher despite his age.  It may only be preseason but if the line can control Detroit then the offense should be fine for the regular season.

2.  Ravens secondary vs Lions passing attack
The Ravens CBs is one of the best young groups in the NFL.  They will get a big test against the Lions who pass most of time.  If the Lions wanted to they could play a whole game without a RB with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, and Ryan Broyles and WR and Brandon Pettigrew at TE.  At QB there is Matt Stafford who passed for over 5,000 yards last season.  The main battle will be Calvin Johnson vs whoever covers him.  Expect S Ed Reed to shade over to Johnson's side of the field.  Ravens CB Cary Williams will try to bounce back after a terrible game against the Falcons.  Second year player Jimmy Smith could take Williams starting spot with a good preseason but he needs to stay healthy (he injured his back again this week).  If the secondary holds up to the Lions it will allow coordinator Dean Pees to call more blitzes as he can trust the back end to hold up.


1.  RB Bernard Pierce
Pierce missed last game with a bad hamstring but he is supposed to be fine now.  He stood on the sideline watching Bobby Rainey play a great game.  Pierce should be the number two back this year as long as he can stay healthy.  It will be interesting to see him play so we know what to expect when Ray Rice goes out for a breather.

2.  OLBs Sergio Kindle and Albert McClellan
With DPOY Terrell Suggs out for most of the year with a torn achilles the Ravens will need their other OLBs to step up.  While neither of these two are expected to start they will need to contribute this year as Courtney Upshaw and Paul Kruger can't play every snap.  Kindle finally has had a full offseason to work with the team as he missed his whole rookie season with a head injury and then the lockout messed up last year.  This year presents a big opportunity for Kindle with Suggs out for a while.  If he doesn't produce this year then his last chance will be next year and he won't get such a good chance as this year.  McClellan isn't even talked about much by Ravens fans but he can play.  Last year with Ray Lewis out he stepped in to play ILB against the 49ers and performed well.  This year he is playing outside due to a lack of depth and has his chance.  Before the team drafted Upshaw, McClellan was expected to have a chance for more playing time at OLB.  McClellan was also the teams leading tackler on special teams last year.  While he may not get the publicity of other Ravens LBs McClellan quietly has produced and the coaching staff has noticed.

Ravens Schedule Preview

August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

Week 1:  Home vs Bengals
To start the season off the Ravens get a home Monday Night Football game.  Last year the Ravens swept the Bengals en route to a perfect divisional record.  While I don't see them sweeping the division again this year they should start the year off with a bang by beating the Bengals at home on national TV.  The Ravens can cover WR A.J. Green with a combo off their good, young CBs which will leave the Bengals with limited options on offense.
Prediction:  Ravens 27  Bengals 17  (Record 1-0)

Week 2:  Away vs Eagles
The Ravens have had trouble containing running QBs in the past so Michael Vick could cause some problems.  Same goes for the Eagles stellar defensive line as the main question for the Ravens is their offensive line.  One way for the Ravens to neutralize this to run many screens to Ray Rice and quick passes to WRs Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin.  The Ravens are a good screen team so this could work.  They will need to attack the safeties and linebackers so seem passes to TEs Pitta and Dickson will be good ideas.  The first test for the run defense will be against LeSean McCoy.  I expect him to run for about 100 yards against the Ravens.  As long as they don't allow any really long runs they should be fine. With that being said McCoy is a great back and can ruin any game plan.
Prediction:  Eagles 23  Ravens 20  (Record 1-1)

Week 3:  Home vs Patriots
This very well could be the toughest game on the schedule for the Ravens.  Last year the Patriots knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs in the AFC Championship game.  The Ravens will be extra motivated to beat them because of this.  The defense really confused Tom Brady in that game and since it hasn't changed much the same could happen.  Terrell Suggs wasn't much of a factor in that game so him missing this game might not be as big as expected.  In the end Brady will find a way to win leading the Patriots to victory in this Sunday Night Football game leaving the Ravens extra motivated for a potential playoff game.
Prediction:  Patriots 24  Ravens 20  (Record 1-2)

Week 4:  Home vs Browns
After playing 3 straight playoff contenders the Ravens get their first "easy" game off the year.  However, last year 3 of the Ravens 4 losses game in these "easy" games.  Games against the Browns are always closer than they should be as the Browns play hard due to the divisional rivalry. Expect the Ravens Defense to be too confusing for the young Browns offense.  The Browns best defender, CB Joe Haden, could be suspended for this game which will allow the Ravens to throw all they want.  This should lead to a big game for Torrey Smith and Joe Flacco.
Prediction:  Ravens 31  Browns 13  (Record 2-2)

Week 5:  Away vs Chiefs
As I said in my Preseason Power Rankings, I expect the Chiefs to surprise this year.  With that being said, they will give the Ravens a good game.  With the Chiefs possibly having a good year, the fans at Arrowhead Stadium will be going crazy for this game.  This will make it hard for the Ravens offense to communicate.  Tamba Hali will cause problems for OTs Bryant McKinnie and Michael Oher.  This could be the Chiefs coming out game showing everyone what they can accomplish.
Prediction:  Chiefs 20  Ravens 17  (Record 2-3)

Week 6:  Home vs Cowboys
The last time these two teams played the Ravens beat the Cowboys in the Cowboys last home game with their old stadium.  This years Cowboys are weaker than last year on offense as the offensive line is still bad and they lost key WR Laurent Robinson.  Other WR Miles Austin keeps injuring his hamstring and WR Dez Bryant has off the field issues. Recently, TE Jason Witten has suffered a spleen injury.  While he is only expected to be out for preseason right now, the injury could linger into the regular season.  Their RB situation is unsolved as Felix Jones couldn't hold down the job last year and DeMarco Murray has only played in a few NFL games. Right now there are too many problems with the Cowboys offense for them to beat the Ravens.
Prediction:  Ravens 20  Cowboys 14  (Record 3-3)

Week 7:  Away vs Texans
This is a potential preview to the AFC Championship game as these the Texans are 4th and the Ravens are 6th in my Preseason Power Rankings.  Last season the Ravens beat the Texans in the Divisional Playoffs.  I strongly believe if Matt Schaub was playing for the Texans in that game, they would have won.  However, he was injured and 3rd string QB T.J. Yates played instead.  The Texans will try and run over the Ravens with their combo of Arian Foster and Ben Tate.  This combined with a very strong defense and a healthy Andre Johnson should be enough to beat the Ravens.
Prediction:  Texans 20  Ravens 16  (Record 3-4)

Week 8:  Bye
The Ravens will need this bye week to regroup after a bad start.  The season is still salvageable as they will have just come off 3 straight tough games and will have played 6 tough games out of 7.  They will be able to rest up for two "easy" games against the Browns and Raiders and then start the long grind towards a possible playoff berth.  Bye weeks in the middle of the year are always preferred.

Week 9:  Away vs Browns
The second game against the Browns this season should be closer for a couple of reasons. One is the Browns will be playing at home where the stadium will be behind them for the upset.  The second reason is the Browns will have played half the season already so they will have a little bit off experience.  This should be enough time for all their rookies to start playing better as they know what the NFL game is like.
Prediction:  Ravens 23  Browns 16 (Record 4-4)

Week 10:  Home vs Raiders
The Raiders have an offense that could surprise many people.  Quarterback Carson Palmer will have had a whole offseason to learn the offense and gel with all their speedy WRs. Expect the Raiders to attack the Ravens on play action deep passes taking advantage of their speed at WR and the threat of RB Darren McFadden running the ball.  The Raiders Defense is a whole different conversation so this could be a high scoring game.  This game will be much closer than anyone will expect.
Prediction:  Ravens 34  Raiders 30  (Record 5-4)

Week 11:  Away vs Steelers
The heated rivalry will on Sunday night football as usual, this time in Pittsburgh.  This is the expected time when OLB Terrell Suggs said he will be back which would be a big boost for the Ravens against the subpar Steelers offensive line.  Over the recent years Suggs has been a Steelers killer and he had 5.5 sacks against them in 4 games the last 2 years.  Even if Suggs is back he won't be at fully strength and will have a minimal impact in game but a big impact on the Raven's confidence.
Prediction:  Steelers 17  Ravens 14  (Record 5-5)

Week 12:  Away vs Chargers
This game will be a must win for the Ravens because if the lose they will be 5-6 and they probably would have to win out to make the playoffs. Last year the Chargers embarrassed the Ravens on Sunday Night Football 34-14.  This game will be tough as they will have just played a very physical game against the Steelers and have to play them again next week.  The Chargers torched CB Jimmy Smith last year but part of the problem was WR Vincent Jackson who left for the Buccaneers in free agency.  I trust John Harbaugh to get the Ravens ready for this game.
Prediction:  Ravens 27  Chargers 17  (Record 6-5)

Week 13:  Home vs Steelers
The second game in 3 weeks against the Steelers will be important as the winner of this game should have the easy road to winning the division assuming they both play to expectations.  An important factor to winning this game will to show something the defenses didn't see the week before.  If this doesn't happen it could be a slugfest ending in a very low scoring game.
Prediction:  Ravens 16  Steelers 10  (Record 7-5)

Week 14:  Away vs Redskins
The Battle of the Beltway will take place again but against a very different Redskins team than the one the Ravens beat in 2008.  Most importantly there is a new QB and coaching staff.  I expect the Ravens Defense to confuse rookie QB Robert Griffin III at times and for him to make some great plays by moving the pocket.  As stated above in the Eagles game the Ravens have had trouble with running QBs before so it should be no different for Griffin.  However, the Redskins offensive line won't give Griffin enough time so most of the Redskins good plays will come from Griffin on the move.  Four years from now this could be a very competitive game but not this year.
Prediction:  Ravens 26  Redskins 14  (Record 8-5)

Week 15:  Home vs Broncos
New Broncos QB Peyton Manning has had the Ravens number throughout his whole career but this year should be different.  Manning doesn't have as good a supporting cast this year with the Broncos.  The Broncos have too many problems this year to be competitive so they might not even make the playoffs.  At this point the Ravens will be fighting for a playoff spot so they should come  out strong and finally beat Peyton.
Prediction:  Ravens 28  Broncos 17  (Record 9-5)

Week 16:  Home vs Giants
The last thing the Ravens want to do is face the defending Super Bowl champions while fighting for a playoff spot.  The Giants didn't lose many important players so they have a good chance to repeat as champions barring any injuries.  Coming into this game the Ravens will have won 4 in a row but a different Manning will trip them up as Eli and company seem like to much for the Ravens at this point.
Prediction:  Giants 17  Ravens 14  (Record 9-6)

Week 17:  Away vs Bengals
Last year the Ravens finished the season with a 24-16 win over the Bengals.  However, the Ravens had already clinched a playoff spot by then and they weren't really playing for much.  This time around the Ravens will be fighting for their life as 9-7 is not a good position to be in when the season is over.  Sometimes you can make the playoffs as the 6 seed and other times you can't.  If they Ravens win they still could have a shot at the division title depending on how the Steelers finish out the season.  The Bengals will look to avenge their week one loss and their playoff spot could be on the line also.  With all this being said, the Ravens will win as they have tons of experience in these situations and the Bengals are still a young team.

Prediction:  Ravens 26  Bengals 16  (Final Record 10-6)


In this scenario the Ravens will finish with a 10-6 record.  Since I also predict the Steelers to go 10-6 the division champion will be determined by tiebreaker.  They will have both gone 1-1 against each other so the next tiebreaker is divisional record where the Ravens will win with their divisional record of 5-1 against the Steelers 4-2 (lose to Bengals once).  This should be good for the 3rd or 4th seed setting up a possible wild card playoff matchup against the Steelers.

Average points scored per game:  22.4

Average points allowed per game:  17.8