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BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Cincy High on the Power Rankings

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CINCINNATI BENGALS Perfect power rankings After playing just three games this season, the national media has looked highly upon Marvin Lewis’ team, placing them high in the power rankings. Andy Dalton is on fire and the running back stable has played strong. With some defensive strength, maybe Cincy deserves the recognition. Here’s the power ranking rundown: ESPN: 2 Sports Illustrated: 1 Fox Sports: 3 CBS Sports analyst Pete Prisco: 2 Week Five game plan The Bengals come off of a bye week extremely fresh, traveling to New England to take...

FANTASY BLITZ: Under the Radar Week 5

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Bye Weeks: Raiders, Dolphins   Quarterback Mike Glennon, Buccaneers at Saints Glennon led the Buccaneers to a franchise first victory in Pittsburgh last Sunday. What’s even more impressive is that in 3 previous meetings with the Steelers in Pittsburgh dating back to 1976, the Buccaneers had not even scored a touchdown. That ended on Sunday, but Glennon would be a good start even without that win. He has thrown for multiple touchdown passes in 4 of his last 6 away games, including games in Seattle and last year against the...

RAVENS LINKS: Torrey Smith & Wife Crash Wedding

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Torey Smith Crashes Baltimore Wedding; NFL Star and Wife Play Paparazzi Stephanie Kowalsky of MStars News tells the tale of Torrey Smith and his wife stumbling upon a wedding and taking time out of their weekend to make a couple happy on their big day. LINK Terrence Brooks May Be Deep Safety Ravens Need Shawn Brubaker of the Baltimore Wire discusses Terrence Brooks good performance on Sunday that flew under the radar and how he should be the safety to cover the deep parts of the field. LINK Marlon Brown...

Section 336 Episode 81: B-Team

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On this week’s show… Is it just me or have we not been hearing much about “Purple Fridays” this year? You could say it has to do with the Orioles post-season run, or you could say it has to do with the NFL’s recent PR nightmares, but really, we all know it has to do with Section 336, and our switch to Wednesday Big Shows. This week we have a look back on Steve Smith Sr.’s HUGE game, have a special interview with Russell Street Report’s Dev Panchwagh, to discuss...

FILMSTUDY: Assignment of Blame

Darian Stewart late to cover Kelvin Benjamin during 28 yard TD strike GAil Burton AP
Ravens vs. Panthers 9/28/14 I have never seen a game where the distribution of credit and blame between the pass rush and coverage was so clear. It’s hard to get down after a 38-10 win, but the Ravens’ 3rd-down defense in the secondary was atrocious. Let’s review the 13 Carolina drop backs on 3rd down: • (Q1, 14:14, 3/7) McPhee bulled RG Velasco for pressure as Newton threw to Cotchery for 26 yards (19 + 7 YAC) by the right sideline. Elam and Stewart had decent bracket coverage, but the...

Ravens Lack Trust in Young Players?

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During the 2013 season Arthur Brown struggled with some nagging injuries yet still made his way on to the field during 14 of the Ravens’ 16 games, inactive just twice. This year, assuming he dresses for the remainder of the 2014 campaign, Brown will suit up a total of 12 regular season games. The team’s scouts and coaches say Brown will be a very good player. Some say he will remind you at times of the San Francisco 49ers NaVorro Bowman. When they drafted the former Kansas State Wildcat the...

Ranking The Ravens at The Quarter Pole

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9: Safeties I’m pretty shocked I have to rank safeties last on the list, but it’s just the way the season has gone. I expect this unit to move up after the halfway point of the year. For now however, they’re at the bottom of the list. Matt Elam has been useless in pass coverage and his tackling has been suspect. Darian Stewart hasn’t played poorly, but he’s yet to produce any impact plays that have stood out. Terrence Brooks and Jeromy Miles have both seen limited time, but obviously...

TALE OF THE TAPE: Hurst’s Strong Debut

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When the news broke that franchise left tackle Eugene Monroe would miss a few games with a knee injury, uncertainty swirled regarding the position. The only options the Ravens had on the roster were veteran Jah Reid and undrafted rookie James Hurst. Reid – who has struggled his entire career – didn’t jump out as an intriguing option, while Hurst – a player who struggled regularly during the preseason – didn’t necessarily scream “start this guy” either. But the Ravens went with the young, unproven talent in Hurst, who will...

TV Geek: Ravens v. Panthers Broadcast on CBS

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It was a new CBS broadcast tandem on Sunday afternoon when the Baltimore Ravens hosted the Carolina Panthers. Greg Gumbel has been a staple of the CBS team since 2005, the number 2 play-by-play man for the network. Gumbel was handcuffed with the worst analyst in the history of sports, Dan Dierdorf, since 2006. Dierdorf retired at the end of last season and has been replaced by Trent Green. CBS started off the broadcast with a goosebump-worthy story about Steve Smith Sr. before the game kicked off. I thought it...

FANTASY LINKS: Steve Smith 3rd Best Fantasy WR

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What We Learned From Week 4 – Ice Up, Son A lot of Ravens fans probably reached for Steve Smith in their fantasy leagues (especially if you’re like me and did all your drafts with a bunch of other Ravens fans). Well, those that reached for him are being rewarded now. Here’s what numberFire writer, JJ Zachariason learned about Steve Smith. LINK Tom Brady’s continuing decline Those words are music to a Ravens fan’s ears. Tom Brady has continued to struggle. Yahoo writer, Dalton Del Don thinks it’s a safe...

THE FINAL WORD: Staff Shares Blame for Elam’s Struggles

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Safety Matt Elam caught the slings from the fans after another subpar performance in coverage Sunday. Except this time, his struggles came in a return appearance at the slot cornerback position. The second-year player had to take up the role in light of Lardarius Webb being out of action. Elam was bombarded by veteran receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who snagged 5 catches for 80 yards. Cotchery was Cam Newton’s go-to target on third downs. Unlike the Steelers, the Panthers actually threw the ball further downfield against Elam. If you remember, Elam held his own in the Pittsburgh game but he only had...

RAVENS LINKS: Joe Flacco Sets Franchise Record

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Joe Flacco Quietly Has Historic Game Usually, quarterbacks will get all the credit for an offense playing well and all the blame for an offense playing poorly. Well, that wasn’t the case on Sunday. Lost in Steve Smith Sr.’s outstanding performance was Flacco’s nearly perfect game which set a franchise record for passer rating with a 137.4 mark. Garrett Downing discusses his record-setting performance here. Fed Ex Air Player of the Week Joe Flacco is up for Player of the Week on NFL.com. Go vote for him here! Report: John...

Arthur Brown has gone M.I.A.

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Second-year linebacker Arthur Brown has gone missing in action. Earlier this offseason I had a chance to ask Ravens assistant general manger Eric DeCosta if drafting C.J. Mosley would result in Brown seeing even less playing time than he did in the 2013 season. His response? “Arthur Brown is going to make a huge jump and be a difference maker. A lot of people get frustrated by this but a lot of times guys don’t come out and play a lot as rookies. Arthur is explosive, aggressive, a little bit undersized,”...

Two-Minute Drill: Week 5

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Though 75 percent of the NFL season has yet to be played, identities of teams are starting to form. By now most teams aren’t as good as they will be, but time for excuses is running out. Players and coaches are going to have to dig in and brace for the brunt of the season, because at this point, there’s no turning back. They must overlook their mistakes, penalties, injuries, and missed opportunities in order to move on to their next opponent. Of the five teams on this list, four...

Drama Aside Ravens in a Good Spot

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Despite the drama which prevailed for most of the first three weeks of the NFL season, the Ravens find themselves sitting with a 3-1 record at the quarter pole of the season. For all the gossip that has surrounded the Ravens organization it would have been easy for the players and Harbaugh to let the at times deafening background noise serve as a major distraction. But as Harbs alluded to today it was never an option. “I would have to say that I was impressed with it before all this...

Confessions of a Sports Nut: The NFL Has Made Their Bed

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We know all too well in Baltimore what it’s like to have the spotlight of the national media fixed on our team and our city. Whether it’s people around the nation poking fun at us because of TV shows like “The Wire” or sports writers and website hosts (who are unabashed Steelers fans) jabbing us over the Ray Rice scandal, we’re keenly aware of how much it stings to be put on the proverbial slab and opened up. Imagine, then, how Roger Goodell, the NFL, and the 32 owners must...

Harbs Got It Right With Castillo

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After a disappointing year in 2013, especially on the offensive side of the ball, it was obvious there would be a lot of changes on the Ravens coaching staff. While the lack of production could have largely been attributed to injuries and a lack of weapons, someone or several people were going to have to be held accountable. Fair or not, that’s the nature of the NFL. Wilbert Montgomery was fired and the writing was on the wall for Andy Moeller when Juan Castillo’s title was changed from “run game...

THE GOOD, BAD & UGLY: Ravens 38, Panthers 10

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From about midway through the second quarter the Ravens completely controlled the game and it became pretty clear that the Panthers just didn’t have the horses to compete when they fell behind. The Ravens were extremely efficient on both sides of the ball with the only true mental lapse being the breakdown in Cover 2 that led to the Kelvin Benjamin touchdown. Many thought the team’s choice to don the all-black uniforms was ill advised on this hot and humid September day. The only thing hotter was the Ravens who...