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The Nickel Package: Week 7 vs. Atlanta

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Isn’t it funny how many thought the Falcons got the best quarterback in the 2008 draft when they selected Matt Ryan over Joe Flacco? But whether it’s their head-to-head match-ups, playoff resumes or performances last week, I consider Flacco to be the better player. For those who discount the “postseason wins” argument, that’s foolish. How can you dismiss the difference between a 9-4 postseason record (Flacco) and a 1-4 postseason record (Ryan)? These two have more in common besides their draft class. They were born 42 miles apart, they played...

WEDNESDAY INJURY REPORT: Ravens vs. Falcons

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Ravens DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DT Christo Bilukidi (ankle); DE Chris Canty (wrist); T Eugene Monroe (knee) LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Kamar Aiken (concussion); G Kelechi Osemele (knee) FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (pelvis); DT Timmy Jernigan (knee)   Atlanta Falcons DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Harry Douglas (foot) LIMITED PARTICIPATION: DT Jonathan Babineaux (knee); G Justin Blalock (back); WR Devin Hester (hamstring); WR Julio Jones (ankle); LB Prince Shembo (knee); LB Nate Stupar (knee)  

Mike Smith Impressed by Jimmy Smith

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The Ravens will enter week seven of the NFL season looking to continue their success against the NFC in the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. Enjoying a record of 12-1 under head coach John Harbaugh (28-6-1 all-time) against opponents outside of the conference at home, the Ravens will face a struggling 2-4 Atlanta Falcons team that has lost three straight. Last week against another NFL South opponent, the Ravens were in complete control of a stuttering Buccaneers team. The Ravens will need another close to perfect game...

Is Good Sportsmanship Eroding in America?

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So this morning I had a brief conversation with my son Tyler. Me: Have you seen all the hoopla over Jeremy Guthrie’s t-shirt? Ty: Yes, I’m not bothered by it as much as you. Obviously he had seen my Tweets on the topic. Now Tyler I’m proud to say is a pretty balanced guy. He’s respectful and fortunately for a young man of his age he takes the time to respond, unlike his father who at the age of 22 all too often reacted. There’s a difference. But his words...

TALE OF THE TAPE: Flacco’s Record Day

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Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a banner day in almost every aspect for the Baltimore Ravens. The team successfully went on the road and routed its opponent, 48-17, and many of the Ravens players had their best performances of the season. But no Raven stood above the rest quite like quarterback Joe Flacco, whose 306-yard, five-touchdown performance was the single best regular season game of his career. Capitalizing off consistently soft and lax coverage from the Bucs, Flacco reset the NFL record books by becoming the fastest...

FANTASY LINKS: Week 6′s Best QB Was Joe Flacco

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Joe Flacco: The Best Quarterback in the NFL Nik Bonnadio of numberFire details the best and worst players of week 6 by their NEP metric. Topping the list is Joe Cool. LINK Week 7 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems, Picks, and Busts RSR Report Card writer, Ken Zalis, gives us his list of starts, sits, picks, and busts for the upcoming week. LINK Is Andre Holmes a Must-Have Wide Receiver Off the Waiver Wire? Keith Black discusses whether you should pick up the lone playmaker of the Oakland receiving core. LINK...

Ravens Developing a Dangerous Identity

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It’s hard to believe that on Thursday Week 7 of the NFL season will be underway. In many ways it feels like the 2014 campaign just kicked off. It could be that the success of the Orioles has been a pleasant distraction. Maybe we’ve taken our eye off the football for a bit. Perhaps the pleasant weather has kept us in summer mode just a bit longer. Or it’s possible that the Ravens haven’t yet defined who they are and we’re waiting for an identity to emerge – one we...

RAVENS LINKS: Jimmy Smith Appreciation

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Week 6 Wired for Sound – 1st Half Can’t get enough of Sunday’s win? We’ve got you covered. Here are the Ravens wired for sound in the first half of Sunday’s game in Tampa. One of the best parts is right in the beginning, where Dumervil talks about Center Jeremy Zuttah’s return to his former team’s stadium. LINK Adam Jones to Bengals K Mike Nugent: ‘Do your job’ Adam “Pacman” Jones (the Bengals cornerback, not the Orioles’ centerfielder) was pretty angry after the tie against Carolina at home. He blames...

TV GEEK: CBS Buc-Like During Ravens Rout

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Sunday was a blowout in the Ravens’ favor from the jump. The Ravens were great, while Tampa Bay’s performance was miserable. Unfortunately for us viewers, CBS’s broadcast fell more in line with the Bucs’ performance than it did the Ravens.  The network screwed this thing up from the opening kickoff. When CBS came out of break they went straight to the sideline reporter, Chris Fischer, so he could show us a thermometer and explain team preparations for the heat.  Meanwhile, in the background the opening kickoff had already started and...

Boldin or Smith, Sr.?

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The Ravens have been blessed with a few tough dependable receivers since 2005 when they signed Derrick Mason. But despite his limited time thus far in Baltimore Steve Smith, Sr. is one of the two wide receivers to wear a Ravens uniform that are nearest and dearest to the hearts of Baltimore sports fans. It’s their gritty nature and all out approach to the game that Charm City gravitates to. When Anquan Boldin was traded, the team’s front office received a tsunami of criticism, particularly coming off a World Championship. And...

The Final Word: Green Dogging

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Gary Kubiak reintroduced a route that was largely dormant against Indianapolis the week before — the slant. The Ravens went heavy with slant action to counter the single-high safety looks Tampa Bay employed, especially in the red zone when Torrey Smith scored two straight TDs to start the game. Steve Smith was also able to capitalize on the same pattern, catching passes against the one decent corner the Bucs have, Alterraun Verner. However, Smith has been consistently involved on slants in Kubiak’s offense. Hopefully with Smith’s success on the same...

Two-Minute Drill: Week 7

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What makes a good team? In the NFL, it starts with being above-average in the following categories: quarterback, head coach, defense, and camaraderie. Everyone in this league is talented, but which group of men is committed to each other to the point where they’ll keep pushing for that extra yard or that next tackle in order to ensure victory? As in any sport, it’s wise to reserve definitive assessment of a team until most of (if not all) of the season has been played out. That said, we’re still able to...

Will Lardarius Webb Return to The Ravens in 2015?

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In his Twitter Q&A ESPN’s beat writer Jamison Hensley addressed the following Tweet: Hensley’s answer: @jamisonhensley: I don’t see cornerback Lardarius Webb on the Ravens’ roster next season. With the way Webb is playing, it’s hard to justify paying him $8 million in salary in 2015. The Ravens can gain $5 million in cap room by cutting Webb. Of course, Webb has time left this season to make a convincing argument that he should stay. There’s also the possibility that the Ravens will approach Webb about taking a pay cut. The...

Flacco Critics Breaking Out in Hives?

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Confessions of a Sports Nut I have to admit I’ve developed an almost evil appreciation for games that Joe Flacco dominates. I use the term “evil appreciation” because the biggest reason I enjoy seeing Flacco play well is to read and listen to the follow-up from his detractors who will go completely out of their way to somehow mitigate a solid Joe-Cool performance. In case you missed it on Sunday, Flacco shredded an awful Tampa Bay defense for 306 yards and five touchdown passes while improving his career regular season...

Aiken, Campanaro Battle For Playing Time

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Practice makes perfect and the better you practice or play the more reps you get. It’s that simple for Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. In yesterday’s throttling of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two such players that fit into that category were wide receivers Kamar Aiken and seventh round draft pick Michael Campanaro. All throughout the summer, the competition between Campanaro and Kamar Aiken was one certainly worth watching. Both players battled each and every day to earn their spot on the Ravens roster. On Sunday, with Marlon Brown sidelined...

Ravens Quick Hits From Week 6

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It’s been said often that the true measure of character isn’t determined by how someone deals with success, but rather how he or she handles adversity. Kudos to Torrey Smith for answering his critics, myself included. Smith has struggled with consistency as a ball catcher and he’s been pretty much a one-trick pony. Yesterday he began to resemble the player who seemed to be growing as a receiver until he hit the wall in 2014. If he, Joe Flacco and Gary Kubiak can build upon his 4 catches for 51...

Ravens Make History While Sinking Bucs

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It seemed the Ravens offense had everything going against them as they entered their Week 6 matchup against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were starting two rookies on the left side of the offensive line, one of their starting wide receivers had been struggling mightily all season, and they were playing in high temperatures that the team hadn’t seen since the lazy days of summer during training camp. Throw in the fact that it was a road game and, in short, it was one of those games that seemed...

The Good, Bad & Ugly: Ravens Dominant!

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It’s hard to imagine a more perfect outcome for the Baltimore Ravens in Tampa on Sunday as they leave the southwest Florida tropical conditions with a dominant 48-17 win. At the midway point in the first quarter the outcome of this game was never in doubt. Lovie Smith and his highly dissectible Tampa 2 defense was no match for the razor sharp arm of Joe Flacco who sliced up the Bucs swiftly and often. Flacco was like the guy on Pier 60 in Clearwater carving up fresh grouper. The Ravens...

FILMSTUDY: O-Line Deep And Talented

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Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Bucs 10/12/14 The prospects looked dim with Monroe still out and Osemele inactive for Sunday’s game, but the Ravens again proved deep enough with solid performances from both backups. As a group, the line didn’t allow a sack and Flacco was knocked down just once. There were 6 separate run losses where responsibility for penetration was assigned, but no game changers (4 times -1, 1 of -2, and the fumbled exchange). For the first time this season, the line was penalized 4 times. While...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 48, Bucs 17

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28 point first quarter, as Ravens cruise Overall: A When you score TD’s on your first 5 possessions of the game, while holding your opponent to under 100 total yards in the first half, there is not much to say. The Ravens took the opening kickoff ran 4 plays for 80 yards and scored on a TD pass from Flacco to T. Smith and set the tone early. This team was ready to play from the opening whistle and dominated the game. Anything positive that the Bucs managed to pull...