Purple Ponderings

9-11 and how football got me through – One volunteer’s story

9-11
(Originally posted on 9-11-12) Dedicated to the victims of 9-11-01. Godspeed. Eleven years already; where has the time gone? Tuesday marks the 11th anniversary of that horrible day in September. Everyone seems to remember where they were or what they were doing that day and I am no different. I’ll never forget receiving a phone call from my brother that fateful morning telling me “a plane just hit the World Trade Center in New York City, quick get to the fire station.” I have been a volunteer firefighter for the...

Are Harbaugh’s Impressive Records In Jeopardy?

Concerned John Harbaugh
During John Harbaugh’s four-year tenure as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, he’s been very consistent in certain areas. Under Harbaugh’s reign, the Ravens have: * Been a postseason participant every season * Won at least one playoff game each season * Dominated at M&T Bank Stadium (32-5 record) And most compelling for this upcoming week: * Undefeated following a bye week (4-0 record) Should the recent on-field efforts of late from Harbaugh’s squad morph into a prolonged trend, their 5-2 record aside, it could potentially jeopardize all four of...

Can Ravens Fans Set Their Regional Bias Aside For A Weekend?

steezbeez
Aside from throwing money at overpriced free agents, Redskins owner Dan Snyder is practically the Peter Angelos of Washington, D.C. With the Ravens enjoying their bye week, many of their fans can also take a brief respite from worrying about their own team’s issues and instead focus on other games around the league. One of those games involves two teams that Baltimore has historically loved to hate. It’s no secret that the rivalry between the Ravens and Steelers is the most high profile matchup in professional football today. While these...

Fans at what cost?

Cassel Hurt v Ravens
The Ravens narrowly escaped Arrowhead Stadium with a 9-6 victory on Sunday albeit an ugly one at that. “A win is a win” motto certainly applied on a chilly Sunday in Kansas City. The head injury to Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel late in the game was an eye-opening moment for me and for many fans who were watching. At what point does a fan cross the line? As Matt Cassel lay on the turf cheers and chants throughout the stadium could be heard. That’s right people applauding injury! And no not opposing...

Flacco targeting Pitta too often?

Flacco Pitta
When Dennis Pitta broke his hand not even a week into training camp, many were concerned about his being ready for the regular season. Now that the Ravens are heading into their third game, Pitta leads the team in receiving and is clearly a favorite target for Joe Flacco – which isn’t necessarily a good thing. During the first series of the second half in Philadelphia, Flacco threw to Pitta while he was being triple covered by Eagles’ defenders. The pass was intercepted by DeMeco Ryans, ending a drive on...

Upon further review…

celekpollard
It’s time for our weekly trip under the replay hood to see how our predictions turned out for the Ravens-Eagles game. We can only hope that each week they turn out better than the work of the replacement officials. 1. The Eagles will not score on their opening possession. CORRECT. Bernard Pollard bailed us out here. The Eagles marched all the way to the Ravens’ 12-yard line with alarming ease to begin the game, but Pollard’s diving interception in the end zone on a pass Michael Vick shouldn’t have thrown killed...

Pollard shining early in second Baltimore season

pollard1
Bernard Pollard came to the Ravens in 2011 as the replacement to Dawan Landry, who’s now in Jacksonville. Some were skeptical at first, but Pollard quickly showed why he was meant to play for the Ravens. Entering his second year in Baltimore, Pollard continues to impress with his multi-dimensional play. Bernard Pollard was a key player against the Eagles, making huge plays that kept the Ravens in the game. A big sack on a critical Eagles possession and a huge red-zone interception turned the momentum in the Ravens favor and...

A week before coming to Baltimore, Patriots get “Cundiff’d”

gostkowski
There’s not much that can be said to ease the pain after your team loses. However, watching the villainous Patriots go down in a similar fashion to the way the Ravens did in the AFC Championship last year is a bit satisfying. Sunday in New England, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski had an opportunity to win the game for the Patriots after they had struggled against the Arizona Cardinals all day. However, the usually reliable Gostkowski missed the field goal wide left, sealing the victory for the now 2-0 Cardinals. The...

End around play becoming a staple of Ravens offense

jonesaround
A staple of Cam Cameron’s offense has been using end-arounds and reverses to keep the defense off-guard. While they’ve had moderate success during the past few seasons, I expect to see more and more of them used this season. An end-around is a misdirection running play in which a receiver crosses the backfield to receive a handoff from the quarterback. It is usually successful when used after a fake handoff to the running back as backside defenders tend to over-commit to this fake, lose contain, and allow the receiver to...

Vonta Leach doing it all for Ravens

leachspike
Vonta Leach has become one of the most important players on the Baltimore Ravens roster. Playing a position that is overlooked by many, Leach has been able to make a huge impact on offense in ways other than just blocking from his fullback spot. Number 44 is by far the best blocking fullback in the league, routinely blowing linebackers out of running lanes to pave the way for Ray Rice. Leach has been doing this season after season during his career, but hasn’t contributed a lot by any other means...

Good friends off the field, Flacco and Pitta show chemistry on it

pitta
It probably wasn’t until the famed “Fu Manchu” mustache revolution that swept through Baltimore after the Ravens’ Thanksgiving 2011 matchup against the 49ers that many realized that Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta spend a lot of time together. Perhaps too much time. The evidence? One night they decided to grow hideous mustaches, mustaches that Flacco deemed “ugly” and “almost offensive” after his post game press conference. Since then, many people have seen the Flaccos (Joe and Dana) and the Pittas (Dennis and Mataya) enjoying various things around Baltimore that most...

Media predictions for Ravens-Eagles

leseanmccoy
Despite a nationally televised mauling of the Bengals on Monday night, the Ravens appear to be  a slight underdog as they hit the road for the first time this season and travel up Interstate 95 to face the Eagles. Most national media, though, were impressed enough by what they saw from the Ravens on Monday to give them the nod on Sunday. Here is how several national experts see the game:     Albert Breer, NFL.com: Ravens 28, Eagles 24 "Great as Joe Flacco looked on Monday, the challenge is different this week,...

Dickson and Pitta keep the chains moving for Ravens

dennispitta
What’s better than having a good tight end? Having two good tight ends!  And that’s just what Baltimore has in Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson. There were plenty of positives to take away from the Ravens’ week one domination over the Bengals on Monday Night, including the team giving fans the chance to exhale after not knowing what to expect without reigning defensive player of the year Terrell Suggs and a large infusion of youth in various offensive and defensive positions. Throw in some question marks with the no huddle...

Cameron jazzes up play calls

camcameron
After the Ravens went deep for a 52-yard pass on their first play from scrimmage, they continued to sprinkle in some unpredictability with reverses.That came on the Ravens’ second series, and it almost led to a fumble as Anquan Boldin botched the handoff to Jacoby Jones. The result: A 10-yard loss. While all the talk surrounding the Ravens’ 44-13 win vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in the opener was about the hurry-up offense, overlooked was that they took a lot of chances. Later in that same drive, there was a fourth-and-1...

Agent: Flacco’s leverage is his silence

flaccosmile
In the aftermath of Joe Flacco’s performance Monday night, coach John Harbaugh uttered three simple words.  No, it wasn’t “I love you,” but given the 44-13 spanking that Flacco gave to the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals in the season opener that would’ve been close. Instead, with a huge smile, Harbaugh said this: “Pay the man.” The room broke out in laughter, but who could argue against him?  Flacco, who is in the fifth and final year of a contract that will pay him about $6.7 million this season, played...

Belichick recruits a spy for Week 3 game in Baltimore

belichickspy
Though Bill Belichick attended high school in Annapolis, he isn’t scheduled to fly back into town for a reunion with friends and family for more than a week. Belichick’s New England Patriots will face the Ravens next Sunday night in a rematch of the AFC Championship game. Belichick is notorious for trying to gain the upper hand after the famed “Spygate” incident, but he’s also taken many creative approaches that lie within the rulebook to gain the upper hand. After not making the Ravens 53-man roster during training camp, safety...

Last 3 Super Bowl winners beat Eagles in their home opener

fortuneteller
Opposing the Eagles in their season opener at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia has become quite the harbinger of future success. In fact, the past three teams to square off against the Eagles in their first home contest have not only won the game, but they’ve also won the Super Bowl that same season. It all started in 2009 as Marques Colston and the New Orleans Saints handed the Eagles a 48-22 loss. Colston torched the Eagles defense on eight catches, totaling 98 yards and finding the end zone twice....

Did the Ravens stumble upon the no-huddle offense?

flaccosnap
The regular season debut of the Ravens’ new no-huddle offense was a major success. Joe Flacco shined and proved his case for being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The offensive scheme that largely led to the Ravens 44-13 thrashing of the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football is here to stay for the foreseeable future, The best part about it is, one interview I had with a player during training camp leads me to believe the Ravens sort of “stumbled” upon the concept of implementing it as...

Ed Reed becomes NFL’s all-time leader in interception return yards

edreed
Ed Reed is my favorite NFL player. Much more significantly, he is also now the NFL’s all-time leader in interception return yardage, with 1,497. This milestone had been a long time coming for Reed. After closing to within 20 yards of former leader Rod Woodson (1,483) with 25 return yards in week 1 against Pittsburgh last year, Reed picked up only one interception over the duration of the 2011 regular season -an end-of-half end zone pick of the Bengals’ Andy Dalton, on which he was unable to add any return...

The view from Cincinnati after the Ravens’ huge win

andyouch
Here is what some media covering the Bengals had to say about the Ravens’ 44-13 season-opening win over Cincinnati at M&T Bank Stadium on Monday night:  Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati Enquirer "The Bengals were entirely forgettable Monday night. … The prime-time footlights favored the Ravens. They blinded the Bengals. Bengals 13, Ravens 44 was an embarrassment. Flat out. … This could have been a chance to turn some national heads, away from the division-darling Ravens and their anointed "elite" QB, Joe Flacco, and toward the team in Flyover Country. Instead, it...
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