Report Card

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 31, Chiefs 13

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Baltimore Ravens 31 Kansas City Chiefs 13 August 19, 2011 Two-hundred and twenty-two days.  That’s how long it’s been since the Baltimore Ravens had tasted victory.  The opponent? The Kansas City Chiefs, who soundly lost to Baltimore 30-7 in a playoff mismatch. At first glance, Friday’s 31-13 victory by the Ravens over the Chiefs Friday was a bit of Déjà vu.  But the score is where the similarities end. The stakes were completely different this time. Not to say that nothing was at stake.  In fact, games like this represent...

PRESEASON: Eagles 13, Ravens 6

PHILADELPHIA — Paul Kruger lived up to his teammates’ praise, relentlessly chasing the football and appearing significantly more aggressive than in years past. The Baltimore Ravens’ backup outside linebacker didn’t play like a perennial benchwarmer during a 13-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to open the preseason Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field. Kruger led the team five tackles and one sack, chasing down elusive Philadelphia Eagles backup Vince Young. The former second-round draft pick from Utah displayed a burst off the edge and he also played the run tough....

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Steelers 31, Ravens 24

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PITTSBURGH STEELERS 31 BALTIMORE RAVENS 24 JANUARY 15, 2011 It was a remarkable first half. In a rivalry where scoring in the low 20’s is usually enough to seal a victory, the Ravens had the Steelers right where they wanted them: up 21-7 at half, thanks to a missed field goal and a series Steelers miscues converted into Ravens points. But then again, putting teams right where they want them turns out to be the last place this Ravens team has wanted to find itself in this season, as season...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 30, Chiefs 7

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BALTIMORE RAVENS’ REPORT CARD Quarterback: A-minus Joe Flacco finally delivered in the playoffs, picking apart the Chiefs as he completed 25 of 34 passes for 265 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 115.4 passer rating. He was sacked four times and didn’t let it faze him, consistently finding the open receiver as he connected with Todd Heap several times. Flacco also showed good pocket awareness, escaping for 26 yards on seven carries. Running back: C The Ravens couldn’t run the football, but there were hardly any holes for...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 13, Bengals 7

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 13,  CINCINNATI BENGALS 7 JANUARY 2, 2011 The good news: the Ravens defense finally exorcised a demon by controlling Carson Palmer and a Bengals offense that had come into Baltimore very hot.   For much of the game the Ravens were dominant defensively. By halftime the Bengals running backs had totaled just 23 yards on 10 carries while Palmer was being harassed into what amounted to a 50 passer rating. But then in the fourth quarter, like so many fourth quarters for the Ravens this season, a...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 20, Browns 10

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 20, CLEVELAND BROWNS 10 DECEMBER 26, 2010 Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the stadium Barely a creature was stirring — you could sense the tedium. The Ravens’ points were hung on the scoreboard with care In hopes that the playoffs would soon be there. Apologies to Clement Moore.  There are some games where you’ll do anything to make it sound more interesting than it was. This snorefest was one of those games, despite the stakes.  The Ravens beat the Browns 20-10 to nail...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 30, Saints 24

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DECEMBER 19, 2010 The experts outside Baltimore and the pessimists closer to home didn’t see this one coming.  The Ravens defense was too tired, they said, coming off a short week and a harrowingly close finish in Houston.  The offensive line had lost its luster, unable to protect or push its way past opposing defenses.  That’s what the doubters believed, based upon recent history. And for a while, it looked like the doubters were right as the reigning Super Bowl champion Saints came to town, needing a win to keep...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 34, Texans 28

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 34  HOUSTON TEXANS 28, OT DECEMBER 13, 2010 Awkward.  How else do you describe the Baltimore Ravens?  They resemble an awkward teen, delighting you one moment when their full potential shines through, scaring the hell out of you the next with boneheaded moves. Will they ever grow up?  They better, with just three weeks left in the regular season to figure things out before they enter the grown-up world of the NFL playoffs. The Ravens made child’s play out of the Houston Texans in the first...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Steelers 13, Ravens 10

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REARVIEW MIRROR PITTSBURGH STEELERS 13, BALTIMORE RAVENS 10 DECEMBER 5, 2010 You hear coaches say it all the time.   Teams need to play sixty minutes of good football to win games.  They say it, because it’s not a cliché.   When the Ravens played a sloppy second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a 13-10 loss was the painful lesson delivered. The Steelers outlasted the elements, and the early beating delivered to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to patiently work their way back on top in the fourth quarter. Along the way the Ravens...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 17, Bucs 10

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 17,  TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 10 November 28, 2010 Thanks to workman-like performance the Ravens outlasted a talented but young Tampa Bay Buccaneers team for a 17-10 victory, running their home record to 5-0 on the year. For fans of pristine football this was no beauty contest.  Any sense of continuity was up-ended by sixteen punts between the two teams, and interrupted by some shaky officiating and a handful of injuries.  While Tampa lost starting safety Cody Grimes to a leg injury, the Ravens saw Le’Ron McClain and Michael...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 37, Panthers 13

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 37, CAROLINA PANTHERS 13 November 21, 2010 John Harbaugh doesn’t like to answer questions about his safety Ed Reed’s laterals during interception returns.  We know this, because the coach bristled when asked about it this week on his radio show, prior to Sunday’s trip to Charlotte to meet the Panthers. It’s a question the conservative head coach is certain to continue to hear for a couple more days after Reed snagged his 50th career interception Sunday and promptly pitched the ball to fellow safety Dawan Landry, who took...

REPORT CARD: Falcons 26, Ravens 21

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REARVIEW MIRROR ATLANTA FALCONS 26, BALTIMORE RAVENS 20 NOVEMBER 11, 2010 Sixty-five seconds…  That’s how long a ragged Baltimore Ravens defense needed to hold-up at the end of the game in order to preserve a most unlikely comeback win.  But hold up they did not. Instead, they broke down in the home stretch, once again, dropping to 6-3 in a season littered with down-to-the-wire scoring. The fact that the Ravens had somehow managed to grab a 21-20 lead in the game’s final seconds was remarkable, given their atrocious first-half play,...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 26, Dolphins 10

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 26, MIAMI DOLPHINS 10 NOVEMBER 7, 2010 For the third consecutive game against an AFC East opponent, the Ravens held a 20-10 fourth-quarter lead.  In the previous two contests collapses by the Ravens defense allowed the Patriots and Bills to claw back and push the game into overtime.  Not this time, as the Ravens won going away, 26-10.  Their recently maligned defense tightened in the second half and allowed the Dolphins to rush for just 11 yards, while helping to build a 20:27 to 9:38 advantage in time...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 37, Bills 34

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 37 BUFFALO BILLS 34, OT October 24, 2010 Déjà vu fourth-quarter collapse ends with overtime win. The scene was sickeningly similar. For the second week in a row the Baltimore Ravens were facing a rested AFC East opponent coming off their bye week.  And like the Patriots before them, the Bills had just roared back from a ten-point, fourth-quarter deficit to shockingly send the game into overtime. Again this week, the Ravens won the toss and had the first shot to win in overtime.  But again,...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Patriots 23, Ravens 20

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 23, BALTIMORE RAVENS 20, OT October 17, 2010 The crowd was dead. Their Patriots defense had just allowed the Baltimore Ravens offense to take fifteen snaps in their opening possession, and march from their own six to the Patriots eight to take a 3-0 lead.  With memories of the quick work the Ravens had made of the Patriots in the playoffs last season, unhappy murmurs swirled through Gillette Stadium.  Opening drives that consume more than half the quarter will do that to a hometown crowd. The Ravens...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 31, Broncos 17

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REARVIEW MIRROR BALTIMORE RAVENS 31, DENVER BRONCOS 17 OCTOBER 10, 2010 As they prepared for Sunday’s home game against Denver Broncos the biggest concern for the Baltimore Ravens may have been whether they would take this game too lightly.  With three of their first four games played on the road, this was a game sandwiched between tough road trips to Pittsburgh and New England.  So it was easy to imagine John Harbaugh’s Ravens lacking the necessary intensity. After all, the Ravens have had the Broncos number at home. They came...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 17, Steelers 14

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 17, PITTSBURGH STEELERS 14 October 3, 2010 How long before the NFL League office starts charging a premium to watch Ravens-Steelers games? That’s how fiercely entertaining these contests have become. Sunday was no exception in a see-saw battle that once again came down to the final ticks of the clock—as is usually the case in games featuring the NFL’s best rivalry.  It has become a familiar story, one that was written on the faces in the crowd.  The home-town fans bit their yellow towels and glanced pensively at...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 24, Browns 17

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BALTIMORE RAVENS 24, CLEVELAND BROWNS 17 September 26, 2010 After six consecutive regular season and playoff games on the road, the Baltimore Ravens were finally back home Sunday looking to flip the script against a short-handed, heavy-underdog Cleveland Browns.  Talk about 180º turnarounds — you couldn’t ask for a bigger improvement from quarterback Joe Flacco, who went from having perhaps his worst professional game a week ago against division rival Cincinnati, to what might be his best game to date.  Flacco piloted a high-flying Ravens offense, with Anquan Boldin serving...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Bengals 15, Ravens 10

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CINCINNATI BENGALS 15, BALTIMORE RAVENS 10 SEPTEMBER 19, 2010 For the second straight week, the much-anticipated Baltimore Ravens offense mustered just ten points against a strong defensive secondary.  And again this week it was offensive turnovers—four interceptions by Joe Flacco—that erased any advantage that their penalty-prone opponent handed to them.   In two games, the Ravens’ opponents have committed 23 penalties, compared to just ten for Baltimore. And, just like their week-one contest against the New York Jets, the Ravens defense stiffened when repeatedly put in poor field position, holding opposing...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Ravens 10, Jets 9

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September 13, 2010 It turns out Steve Bisciotti was right. After ‘changing his mind’ and dismissing head coach Brian Billick at the end of the 2007 season, the Ravens owner could have simply anointed defensive coordinator and player-favorite Rex Ryan as the third head coach in Ravens history.   But he didn’t. As owner of the Ravens Bisciotti had a very different vision for who should lead the team.  He talked about a “gut feeling” that led to his choice of John Harbaugh.  So, what did Bisciotti see in Harbaugh, the...