CRAB BAG: Can Ravens Avoid a Road Letdown?

bills

It seems like every year, the Ravens have a complete clunker or two on the road. Oftentimes, it comes after a big win at home. In 2011, they stumbled in Tennessee after stomping Pittsburgh in the opener. Last year, they beat down Cincy at M&T Bank Stadium to start the season, then went on the road and lost in Philadelphia.

So, after taking care of the Houston Texans in convincing fashion at home last week, will the Ravens be able to avoid a similar letdown this week in Buffalo?

The team and fans certainly hope so, but it seems like the Bills always give the Ravens fits. The last time they met, in 2010, the Ravens squeaked out an overtime win in a shootout. This time, they’ll take on rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, as the Bills look for their second win of the year.

The Ravens have never won in Buffalo, but this is only their second time playing there. They’re 3-1 against the Bills in Baltimore.

KNOW THY ENEMY

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“If you’re smart and humble, you realize that you have to work harder than you did the year before. I think it takes a great deal of humility throughout the organization, and that’s why they have a chance. The leadership group in terms of Steve [Bisciotti], Ozzie [Newsome] and John [Harbaugh], they are all strong men with tremendous humility. They don’t think they have it all figured out.” – Former NFL GM and current NBC Analyst Scott Pioli on the Ravens

“We’ve seen this type of defensive-led football in Baltimore plenty of times before. When [Ray] Lewis and [Ed] Reed were in their prime, there were many seasons when the Ravens had to get it done first and foremost on defense and hope for just enough offense to not hurt the cause. That familiar Baltimore blueprint was back in Sunday’s 30-9 thrashing of the Texans, a game that might set the tone for the first Ravens season in history without either Lewis or Reed in the lineup.” - SportsIllustrated.com’s Don Banks on the Ravens’ 30-9 win over Houston in Week 3

“Here’s the bottom line: Since that Week 1 embarrassment in Denver, the Ravens haven’t allowed a touchdown and have given up a total of 15 points in two games. It’s too early to say the Ravens’ defense is back. But this defense, which has seven new starters from the Super Bowl-winning unit, is certainly coming together with big plays, a ferocious pass rush and a defiance in the red zone.” - ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley on the Ravens’ defense

“Daryl is a pro. I’d say he is a consummate pro in a lot of ways. He doesn’t say a lot, because he’s just about business. I really believe [he’s] one of the most underrated defensive players in football over the last eight, nine years. We feel pretty fortunate that he’s here right now.” - Head Coach John Harbaugh on ILB Daryl Smith

“Pernell is a playmaker. He just comes to work and does his job. He made so many great plays last game [against Cleveland]. He’s just a guy that’s always there and is a hard worker. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t cry that he switched positions. He just works, and you appreciate guys like that.” - DT Arthur Jones on OLB Pernell McPhee

“[They’re] doing really well. Josh – the guy is an overachiever. I think he’s done very, very well. The thing is that Josh is very smart, [and it’s] the same thing with [James] Ihedigbo. I think both of them are the same kind of guy, but in different positions. They just play hard, study hard, and I love guys like that. It’s fun to coach guys like that. I don’t know if they’re the most gifted, but it doesn’t really matter. Those are the fun guys to coach, because you trust them. When you put them out on the field, there’s a big trust factor as a coach, and those two guys I trust totally.” - Defensive coordinator Dean Pees on S James Ihedigbo and LB Josh Bynes, both new starters in the Ravens’ defense

SMITH HELPS RAVENS’ D GET STINGY

GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Art Jones

You’ve done MMA training with your brother, Jon “Bones” Jones. What can be used by a defensive lineman?

“Leverage. I was a big wrestler coming out of high school. Wrestling and striking when you’re swinging, it’s the same as a club [move], so you’re going to use your step – same hand, same foot. [It’s the] same with pass rush moves. There is a lot of coordination.”

What was it like having your other brother, Chandler, with you at the Super Bowl, considering you had just beaten him and the Patriots the week before in the AFC Championship?

“It was awesome. I’m sure he was a little hurt, a little sore, but it’s a blessing that he or I was going to play in the Super Bowl. I’m just happy that he came to support me. He enjoyed himself.”

Who’s the athlete you idolized growing up?

“Isaiah Kacyvenski. He was a special teams player – a linebacker – for the Seattle Seahawks from my hometown. He’s someone I looked up to, someone that’s a mentor to me, someone I still talk to today. He’s a great guy. He went back to school at Harvard to become a doctor. He’s a few years ahead of me, but we went to the same high school, so he came around to support our teams.”

What was your first job?

“I had two jobs: working McDonald’s, and I was a paper boy in high school. That was my first job. We wanted extra things we couldn’t afford as a kid, so we had to get jobs. I remember being in upstate New York on cold mornings, riding my bike and delivering papers. That’s something you don’t forget.”

Did you ever have any issues on that route with people or dogs?

“There was a ‘Cujo’ dog we always looked out for. We would run from it, but we didn’t know it had an invisible [protector] fence. It would always run out towards us, and we would take off. We’d just throw the paper anywhere and keep going.”

What pops into your mind when hearing the following? Joe Flacco:

“Captain. General.”

Ozzie Newsome:

“Brilliant.”

John Harbaugh:

“Winner.”

Steve Bisciotti:

“Mastermind.”

Matt Elam:

“Hard worker.”

Terrell Suggs:

“Explosive.

HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR ~ Key Connections

Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine spent seven years (2002-08) on the defensive coaching staff for the Ravens. Pettine served two years as a coaching and video assistant and in a quality control role before being promoted to a defensive line assistant in 2004. He was then promoted to OLBs coach (2005-08), where he coached OLB Terrell Suggs  as part of a defensive unit that ranked fifth (2005), first (2006), sixth (2007) and second (2008) in the NFL.

Bills DBs coach Donnie Henderson is a Baltimore native. Henderson (1999-2003) also served as an assistant defensive backs coach (1999) for one season with the Ravens before being promoted to defensive backs coach in 2000. During the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV Championship season, Henderson helped Baltimore set defensive records for fewest points allowed in a 16- game season (165) and fewest rushing yards allowed (970), while also setting franchise marks with 23 INTs and 49 take-aways.

Bills D-line coach Anthony Weaver was originally a second-round draft choice of the Ravens in 2002 and spent the 2002-05 seasons on Baltimore’s defensive line. In his time with the Ravens, Weaver compiled 136 total tackles and 14.5 sacks.

Bills S Jim Leonhard started 13 games for the Ravens in 2008, recording 69 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT and 6 PD. Also, Leonhard and Ravens S James Ihedigbo were teammates in the New York Jets’ secondary for two seasons (2009-10).

Ravens DT Arthur Jones and CB Corey Graham both hail from upstate New York. Jones prepped at Union Endicott (Endicott, NY) HS, where, in addition to being a standout defensive lineman, he was the New York State heavyweight champion wrestler in 2003 and 2005. Graham prepped at Turner Carroll (Buffalo, NY) HS, where he compiled 2,700 all-purpose yards, 22 TDs, 99 tackles and 1,700 rushing yards in his senior season.

Bills defensive quality control coach Brian Fleury attended Seneca Valley (Germantown, MD) HS, where he was a first-team All-State quarterback as a senior. Fleury also spent three years (2010-12) coaching the secondary at Towson University, where he played QB and graduated from in 2002.

Bills LB Marcus Dowtin’s hometown is Upper Marlboro, MD.

LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT EXPENSE OF RAVENS OPPONENT

This entry was posted in Blog View, Crab Bag, Featured by Derek Arnold. Bookmark the permalink.

About Derek Arnold

Derek Arnold
RSR/ESR Senior Editor. Derek is originally from and a current resident of Pasadena, MD. He’s a graduate of UMBC and has been a lifelong Baltimore sports fan. In 2007 he founded B’More Birds’ Nest, where he wrote about the Ravens and Orioles before joining RSR in 2012. Derek’s work has...more

One Rave about “CRAB BAG: Can Ravens Avoid a Road Letdown?

  1. LB on said:

    I know what you’re saying, and yes, the Bills could definitely win because they have good players. But seeing how i’ve read a lot about the awareness of the Ravens organization as to the past “trap games” that we’ve been in, I think we’re looking to straighten it out and play four quarters of football. If we simply do that and treat this team with it’s due respect, I see us pulling out a win.

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