Street Talk - The latest street talk and Baltimore Ravens related News from the Russell Street Report Team.
Lombardi’s Way - A column from the 24×7 founder that focuses on the Ravens, the NFL, Baltimore, the world of sports or life’s inspirations.
Word on The Street - In the spirit of the CBS Sports Minute with Boomer Esiason, RSR brings you Word on The Street, a 90 second (or less) podcast on topics exclusively relating to the Baltimore Ravens.
Ravens Links - We’ll give you the best stories about the Ravens from around the web three times per week.
The Fanimal - If you are an animal about the Baltimore Ravens, then you are a Fanimal! Follow the Russell Street Report blog Fanimal Crackers!
The Edgar Awards - The Edgar Awards will range from the Maryland county that is home to the best Ravens fans to the best Ravens podcast; from the best collection of displaced fans to the best local craft brews that should be part of your next tailgating party.
The Road to RSR - Our writers explains their journeys as fans and how they came to write for our little corner of sports media.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Moments after the Baltimore Ravens dispatched the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at the Louisiana Superdome, middle linebacker Ray Lewis was savoring the impact of the victory on the teamâ€™s AFC North status. Following the Ravensâ€™ 35-22 win and the Cincinnati Bengalsâ€™ loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore claimed sole possession of first place.
The Ravens hold a one-game advantage over the Bengals, who head to town Sunday for a critical division encounter at M&T Bank Stadium.
â€œThis is when the snowball starts rolling,â€ Lewis said. â€œItâ€™s up to us to catch up to it. Weâ€™re trying to go on a four, five, six, seven, 10 game winning streak.
â€œWeâ€™re ahead of our schedule. Letâ€™s stay ahead of our division. We control our own destiny. If anybody sneaks up on us, thatâ€™s our fault.â€
After snapping a two-game losing streak, Ravens coach Brian Billick wasnâ€™t inclined to contemplate formulas for how the team can claim the AFC North title and earning an automatic playoff berth, or look back in the standings and see the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) tied for last with the Cleveland Browns.
â€œIt’s too early to think of it in those terms, no way are we going to fall into that trap," Billick said.
"Cincinnati is the next one up, but we’re not going to think beyond that.â€
SNAFU: Midway through the third quarter, both the Ravens and Saints lost communications on their phone systems because of an apparent issue in the coachesâ€™ booth.
â€œItâ€™s funny, because in this high-tech world, the guy in the booth had kicked the socket out,â€ Billick said. â€œWeâ€™re scrambling on both sidelines trying to figure out whatâ€™s going on and heâ€™s up there with a hurricane and a hot dog wondering, â€˜Whatâ€™s everybody so upset about?â€™ That made it a little interesting on both sides.â€
FANGIO FACTOR: This was the first time that former NFL defensive coordinator Vic Fangio emerged from a behind-the-scenes, film-study role to assist Billick in a gameday role from the coachesâ€™ booth. With the cameras on Fangio, a television caption listed him as a consultant.
â€œHeâ€™s that forest for the trees guy,â€ Billick said. â€œHeâ€™s been a huge asset for us, very helpful. Heâ€™s got a great eye for it.â€
Billick took a good-natured dig at Fangioâ€™s meticulous, plan-for-everything nature.
â€œHe sits on the plane writing down different scenarios of odd things,â€ Billick said. â€œSometimes, itâ€™s like, â€˜Vic, get a life, man. Geez.â€™ Thereâ€™s more to life than figuring out, â€˜Now, if itâ€™s 1st-and-5 and they do this, we can call timeout.â€™
â€œBut heâ€™s very good at that. Heâ€™s got a nice sense for it and Iâ€™m learning a lot from him.â€
QUICK HITS: The Ravens sat down receiver Mark Clayton after a familiar injury, a tight hamstring, began bothering him. They replaced him with a combined effort by Clarence Moore and rookie Demetrius Williams. Clayton was the only notable injury reported and it isn’t believed to be serious. â€¦ Although the Ravens knocked Saints rookie running back Reggie Bush out of the game with an ankle injury, forced him to fumble and limited him to 16 rushing yards on five carries, Billick said he affected the defense as a high-profile decoy. â€œHeâ€™s a talent, he stretched some of our packages to have to account for him,â€ Billick said. â€œThey use him in some very creative and intelligent ways. He created some matchups for them.â€
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland