Well, exactly the scenario that we all most feared came to pass – the Ravens, once again, laid an egg in a road game against a seemingly inferior team. Despite the fact that the Bills were unable to put the Ravens away even with five Joe Flacco interceptions, they did hold on for a slim 23-20 victory.
Now the Ravens are 2-2 and find themselves looking up at the Cleveland Browns (say whaaaaaa?) in the AFC North. With Green Bay coming to town next week, this week’s clash in Miami is all the more important. Do they really want to face a “must win” against Aaron Rodgers?
The time for the first road win of 2013 is now. Let’s not start 0-3 away from M&T.
KNOW THY ENEMY
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“The thing that I’m proud about is that our guys kept playing. We have a quarterback that can keep you in any game at any time. We all felt that way at the end, and that’s the most important thing going forward. … We’re two months into this thing, and the team we’re going to be two months from now is not the team we are right now. We’ll continue to work the way we’ve been working and make the changes we need to make.” - Head coach John Harbaugh on the Ravens’ defeat at Buffalo
“The thing about Joe that is great is that he doesn’t get flustered. He may have a bad quarter, he may have a bad half, he may have a bad game. But, he’s going to come back and play better every single time. You have a bad first half, he comes out and has a great second half. It’s happened repeatedly. His personality lends itself to tough situations, critical situations. Players respond to that, and those are the things about Joe that make him special and unique.” – Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta on QB Joe Flacco
“I look at it as a challenge for us. We all understand the offense. We’ve all watched Anquan [Boldin the past few seasons]. We’ve all played ourselves, and it’s on us to go out there and make it happen. They drafted us and developed us for a reason, for this time now, to go out there and get it done. So we take it as a challenge to keep this group together and make it so coach [John] Harbaugh and Mr. [Ozzie] Newsome and everyone feels comfortable with us as the guys.” - WR Torrey Smith on Baltimore’s young receiving corps
“Now that [Ray] Lewis is no longer the emotional fireplug of the defense, it is Suggs with the cache and the swagger, even if he has toned down some of the more inflammatory remarks that have occasionally drawn the ire of opponents. A kinder, gentler Suggs at age 30? Well, let’s not go that far. After all, he is still a fiercely-aggressive pass rusher who is the one player on this defense that must be accounted for at all times.” - Newsday’s Bob Glauber on OLB Terrell Suggs
“He’s showing it on the field, and he’s that guy who is going to keep us lifted, keep us talking, keep us in the right spot, keep us in the right defense and keep us in the right checks. He’s the captain back there, and he’s doing a great job.” - CB Lardarius Webb on S James Ihedigbo
RAVENS’ RED ZONE D GETTING IT DONE
The Dolphins have the NFL’s top red zone offense, scoring a touchdown on 81.8% of possessions. It will be strength vs. strength this week.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Matt Elam
What was your initial reaction to being drafted by Baltimore?
“It was very exciting – a dream come true. It was the biggest day of my life. When I saw it was the Ravens, I was thinking about a possible Super Bowl, possible chance of starting, and playing for an already-great defense.”
What is the hardest adjustment you’ve had to make transitioning to the NFL?
“The work you put in, the film study, and doing the extra things to improve your craft and get better. The biggest thing is just the film study – studying more and breaking down your opponent. I probably watch about 5-10 more hours a week than what I watched in college, and I watched a lot of film in college.”
Who has been your biggest mentor in the locker room?
“Lardarius Webb and Michael Huff are the two biggest. They’ve helped me in film study, as well as off the field – taking care of my body, getting in the cold tub, getting massages, getting stretched, and just continuing to watch film and take notes.”
What expectations or goals have you set for yourself this year?
“My first goal was to start. My second goal was to help the team win the Super Bowl. I also want to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. I have the highest goals, the most improbable goals.”
What are your thoughts on going down to Miami?
“Growing up, Miami was my favorite team, so it’s very exciting being just 45 minutes from home. My whole family is going to be there, so it’s going to be a very emotional, exciting moment for me.”
What would you do if you weren’t a football player?
“I’d try to be an actor – definitely in a comic role, because I can’t be serious for a long time. I’d be in movies, though, because I can’t stand TV shows. I’m a sports guy, so my favorite movies are sports movies, like ‘Friday Night Lights,’ ‘Little Giants,’ ‘Little Rascals,’ and ‘Hardball.’”
Which teammate is the…
Best student of the game:
“Lardarius Webb. He’s always studying and trying to learn new things.”
“Brandon Williams. As big as he is, he can do handstands. But there are a lot of athletic guys on this team.”
Most likely to be a coach:
“Lardarius Webb or Corey Graham.”
HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR ~ Key Connections
Dolphins LB Dannell Ellerbe (2009-12) was originally signed as an undrafted college free agent by the Ravens. Ellerbe totaled 190 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 1 INT and 7 PD in his Baltimore career and helped the team win Super Bowl XLVII last February.
Several Ravens have previously coached or played for the Miami Dolphins, including D-line coach Clarence Brooks (D-line, 2000-04), director of player development Harry Swayne (tackle, 2001) and senior advisor to player development O.J. Brigance (LB, 1996-99).
Dolphins assistant special teams coach Marwan Maalouf served in the same capacity for the Ravens from 2008-11.
Ravens WR/RS Deonte Thompson (2008-11) and S Matt Elam(2010-12) attended the University of Florida and were teammates of Dolphins RB Mike Gillislee (2009-12), LB Jelani Jenkins (2009-12), C Mike Pouncey (2007-10) and K Caleb Sturgis (2008-12).
Ravens WR Torrey Smith (2007-10) and Dolphins LT Will Yeatman (2009-10), CB Nolan Carroll (2006-2009), and DT Randy Starks (2001-03) all attended the University of Maryland.
Ravens LT Bryant McKinnie (2000-01) and LB Arthur Brown (2008-09) attended Miami (FL). Brown later transferred to Kansas State.
Ravens G/T Jah Reid (2006-10) attended Central Florida.
Ravens ILB Josh Bynes (Lauderdale Lakes, FL), NT Terrence Cody (Fort Myers, FL), OLB Elvis Dumervil (Miami), S Matt Elam (West Palm Beach, FL), ILB Albert McClellan (Lakeland, FL), OLB Pernell McPhee (Pahokee, FL), G/T Jah Reid (Haines City, FL) and WR/RS Deonte Thompson (Belle Glade, FL) are Florida natives.
Dolphins DT Randy Starks attended Westlake (Waldorf, MD) HS.
Dolphins DE Cameron Wake was born in Beltsville, MD, and attended DeMatha (Hyattsville, MD) HS.
Dolphins LB Jelani Jenkins attended Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, MD) HS, where he was named the Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT THE EXPENSE OF RAVENS’ OPPONENT