Report Card

Ravens Report Card: Baltimore Ravens 31, Atlanta Falcons 17

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August 9, 2012 A win is a win.  Except when that win is a preseason win.  Yes, the Ravens left Atlanta on the winning end of a 31-17 score.  But the scoreboard hides many truths about where this team stands as it embarks on the 2012 season. The starters looked thoroughly sloppy, falling behind 14-0 early into the second quarter.  Head coach John Harbaugh looked thoroughly disgusted, and a little worn out, as he spectated from the sidelines. His Ravens could have easily found themselves down 21-0 if not for...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Patriots 23, Ravens 20

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Left Out. REARVIEW MIRROR – AFC CHAMPIONSHIP NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 23, BALTIMORE RAVENS 20 January 22, 2012 And then it was over, just like that.  The Baltimore Ravens battled the New England Patriots back and forth for sixty minutes of football, but came away losers, 23-20, after botching two chances to win or put the game into overtime in the waning moments.  The CBS broadcast crew pointed their cameras to the losing sidelines, slowly panning the faces of disbelieving Ravens players, blinking skyward, stunned, trying to grasp reality. They had...

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF REPORT CARD: Ravens 20, Texans 13

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REARVIEW MIRROR  — AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS BALTIMORE RAVENS 20, HOUSTON TEXANS 13 JANUARY 15, 2012 Ravens head coach John Harbaugh patrolled the locker room afterwards, soaking in his team’s 20-13 home playoff win against the Houston Texans.   WBAL-radio color analyst Stan White stopped him to ask if he was concerned his team didn’t match the Texans’ performance on the stat sheet.  In response, Harbaugh quoted the immortal words of former Eagles coach Herm Edwards.  “You play to win the game.” Indeed. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win, one...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 24, Bengals 16

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS VS CINCINNATI BENGALS January 1, 2012 The Baltimore Ravens’ 24-16 margin of victory at the Cincinnati Bengals was not a comfortable win.  After jumping on the Bengals 17-3 at the half, the Ravens’ lead in the game, and their grasp on first place in the AFC North standings, was hanging by a thread.  The Bengals’ Mike Nugent had just punched a 46-yard field goal through a fierce wind at the start of the fourth quarter to pull within 17-13.  After the Ravens’ offense stalled at their...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 20, Browns 14

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 20, CLEVELAND BROWNS 14    DECEMBER 24, 2011  There is one undeniable fact about the Ravens’ Christmas Eve home win against the Cleveland Browns. The 20-14 victory gave Baltimore a 5-0 record atop the division, and protected their stake to a number-two seed and an opening-round bye in the playoffs.  Beyond these facts, there is plenty of room to debate what this team really is.  Until next week’s New Year’s Day season finale in Cincinnati, the optimists will sit at one end of the bar, and the pessimists at...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Chargers 34, Ravens 14

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REARVIEW MIRROR SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 34, BALTIMORE RAVENS 14 December 18, 2011 When the mighty fall, they fall hard.  Earlier in the day the Baltimore Ravens learned they were guaranteed a trip to the playoffs, thanks to a loss by the New York Jets. But rather than being buoyed by the news, the Ravens seemed to be sunk by it, losing to the San Diego Chargers 34-14.  The same Oakland loss that pushed Baltimore into the playoffs had also given the surging Chargers – one-time losers of six straight –...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 24, Colts 10

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 24, INDIANPOLIS 10 DECEMBER 11, 2011 Any Baltimore football fan over the age of 45 once rooted hard for the horseshoe.  That was, until they felt the unthinkable sting of seeing their beloved Colts bolt to Indianapolis.  And then they endured the indignity of their adopted team, the Baltimore Ravens, losing the last eight contests to those Colts, including a gut wrenching 15-9 playoff loss in 2006. So for the Ravens to finally beat the Colts Sunday, 24-10, it had to be an enthralling moment for...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 24, Browns 10

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 24, CLEVELAND BROWNS 10 December 4, 2011 Admit it, you were nervous.  Your Ravens were on the road, facing a Browns opponent they were supposed to beat. It was coming on the heels of a ten-day layover, after an emotional, national TV, Thanksgiving Day win in the Harbaugh Bowl.   And their leader, Ray Lewis was again waving a towel and stalking the sidelines. This had been the perfect formula for previous disappointment, with all three Baltimore losses this season coming on the road, to inferior opponents...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 16, 49ers 6

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 16, SAN FRANCISCO 6 November 24, 2011 Two very good defenses met on Thanksgiving night in Baltimore, in front of an emotionally charged home crowd and a well-fed national television audience.  You could have predicted the low-scoring, close result and maybe even the 16-6 win for Baltimore over the visiting 49ers.   After all, the Ravens had lost just once at home in the last 16 games. And the 9-1 Niners were crossing three time zones on a short week’s rest. But in an era of high-flying offensive football,...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 31, Bengals 24

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 31 CINCINNATI BENGALS 24 NOVEMBER 20, 2011 When two of the league’s top-five defenses clash, you don’t expect an offensive shootout, even when the Ravens entered this game without their defensive leader, Ray Lewis, sidelined with turf toe. But offense is what we got in a 31-24 Ravens victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that featured 867 total yards from scrimmage and 36 first downs between the two teams. Despite this production, neither defense played particularly poorly. The Bengals’ rookie quarterback Andy Dalton was fearless standing in...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Seahawks 22, Ravens 17

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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 22, BALTIMORE RAVENS 17 NOVEMBER 13, 2011 What in the world do you make of the Baltimore Ravens?  In a virtual replay of a week-seven  loss to the lousy Jacksonville Jaguars the Ravens did it again. Once again they let down their guard after an emotional win to drop a game to another lousy team – the Seattle Seahawks, 22-17. Same problems, same ugly result.  They got beat by a bad offensive team because they started slowly on offense themselves, coughed up turnovers, three of them, surrendered field...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 23, Steelers 20

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 23, PITTSBURGH STEELERS 20 November 6, 2011 Second chances.  This game was littered with them. And in the last seconds the Baltimore Ravens capitalized on one final chance, as Torrey Smith hauled in a 26-yard touchdown from Joe Flacco to cap off a 92-yard, two-minute drill and finally pull away from their Pittsburgh Steelers with a 23-20 win. It redeemed Smith, who struggled to hold on to Flacco passes throughout the game, including a would-be winning touchdown catch five plays earlier.  For Flacco, it was a...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 30, Cardinals 27

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 30, ARIZONA CARDINALS 27 OCTOBER 30, 2011 Frustrating means to a satisfying end With self-inflicted mistakes piling up throughout a frustrating first half of play, the Baltimore Ravens found themselves in a bewildering hole, losing 24-3 to the visiting Arizona Cardinals.  Against most opponents it would have meant, game over. But this was a Cardinals team that came into town on a five-game losing streak, with a defense that could not match the talent level the Ravens had faced six days prior in Jacksonville. So the...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Jaguars 12, Ravens 7

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REARVIEW MIRROR JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 12, BALTIMORE RAVENS 7 OCTOBER 24, 2011 There was a point in history when the Jacksonville Jaguars dominated the Baltimore Ravens.  Badly.  So badly, that the Ravens franchise began 0-8 against their one-time divisional rival. But that was then. That was before the Ravens reeled off six wins in the next seven contests against the downtrodden Jags, who came into this nationally telecast contest with a five-game losing streak that had firmly placed their head coach and former Ravens linebacker coach Jack DelRio firmly on the...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 29, Texans 14

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 29, HOUSTON TEXANS 14 October 16, 2011 Credit the Houston Texans for coming into Baltimore and throwing everything they had at the Ravens, even without their top players on both sides of the ball – the injured Mario Williams and Andre Johnson. While the Texans played the Ravens tight for nearly three quarters, in the end the Ravens had too much talent for the Texans to match, and rode the home field advantage to a 29-14 win, outscoring Houston 19-7 in the second half. Both the...

Ravens Report Card: First-quarter grades

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As the players head off on their first semester break during this bye week, let’s break down their performances through the first four games of the 2011 season.  At 3-1 and leading the AFC North, including a 1-0 mark in the division, the team is about right where they realistically hoped to be at this juncture.  But there is always room for improvement. We’ll whip through a summary of the MVP standouts to-date, followed by the individual unit grades. OFFENSIVE MVP Bryant McKinnie While McKinnie may not be the best...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 34, Jets 17

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Baltimore Ravens 34, New York Jets 17 October 2, 2011 Remember how crazy it was when Rex coached in Baltimore? His defenses terrorized opponents and then pleaded with their offensive teammates not to screw it up. Well, it must have been Rex Ryan tribute night in Baltimore Sunday when he brought his Jets into town because the Ravens defense stomped on a New York offense that literally couldn’t protect itself.  “Hey, Rex, we’re over you,” seemed to be the message as the Ravens defense set a new franchise record with...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 37, Rams 7

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 37, ST. LOUIS RAMS 7 September 25, 2011 Coming into the third game of 2011 the talk around Baltimore was whether the Ravens had suffered an emotional let down in a bad loss to the Titans the week prior, and could they bounce back this week against a Rams team desperate to avoid a 0-3 start? The Ravens did more than bounce back. They trounced St. Louis 37-7.  They looked so dominate, in fact, that many observers will see this as proof that the Titans loss...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Titans 26, Ravens 13

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Tennessee Titans 26, Baltimore Ravens 13 September 18, 2011 Coming off a physically dominating win over the rival Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens ventured into Nashville feeling unbeatable. And they swore there would be no letdown against the Tennessee Titans. The game plan was easy. Stop All-Pro running back Chris Johnson and make retread quarterback Matt Hasselbeck beat them.  He did.  Doubling up on the Ravens 26-13 in a game that wasn’t even that close.  The Ravens secondary had no answer for Hasselbeck, Kenny Britt, or former Steelers receiver Nate Washington,...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 35, Steelers 7

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Ravens Report Card Baltimore Ravens 35, Pittsburgh Steelers 7 September 11, 2011 The Baltimore Ravens handed the Pittsburgh Steelers their asses. There, I said it. And boy did it feel good, and strange, for Ravens fans who witnessed this 35-7 Ravens beat down of their division rivals, eight months removed from their gut-wrenching playoff loss to the Steelers to complete the 2010 campaign. A win this decisive definitively answered so many offseason questions about how the Ravens would respond.  Could Joe Flacco finally overcome his 0-6 all-time record against a...