Crab Bag: Ravens v. Patriots



Since John Harbaugh started coaching the Ravens in 2008, Baltimore is tied for the NFL’s best record in September with a 10-4 mark. Overall at home since 2008 the Ravens have outscored their opponents 861-439 while allowing their “guests” just 13.3 point per visit.

11 UP ~ Consecutive games the Ravens have won at M&T Bank Stadium (and 19 of 20). The Ravens’ 28-5 home record under John Harbaugh (since 2008) ties New England for the NFL’s best home mark during this span. Third on that list is the Atlanta Falcons with a record of 27-6.


For this Sunday Night contest here are your broadcasting teams:

  • National Radio: Dial Global Sports
    • Kevin Kugler (play-by-play)
    • James Lofton (analyst)
    • Hub Arkush (sideline)
  • TV: NBC – Sunday Night Football / WBAL (Ch. 11)
    • Al Michaels (play-by-play)
    • Cris Collinsworth (analyst)
    • Michele Tafoya (sideline)

Hey Joe Flacco, why do you wear No. 5?

“In grade school, I wanted to wear No.16 because of Joe Montana, but I had to choose between 5 and 8. I chose 5, and it’s been with me ever since. I guess I wear it out of necessity because they didn’t have No. 16 in high school.”


“I’ve been impressed by him. Justin kicks a clean ball. My initial thought on Justin is that he has a great attitude about him, the, ‘Why-not-me?’ attitude. He carries a confidence about him. You can tell by the way he attacks the ball. There’s no hesitancy, and there’s a lot of confidence behind his kicks. … The other thing I really like is he’s got a commanding presence. I’ve talked with both Sam [Koch] and Morgan [Cox], and they speak very highly of him.

He’s a very capable guy. He seems to be a good pro. This is a very good team with hopes for the playoffs. You want to see a kid like him grow up quick, but Justin has a great support staff around him to help him and manage him.” ~ Former Ravens K Matt Stover on rookie K Justin Tucker

“We’ve been fortunate to have very good coordinators here. Rex [Ryan] was aggressive in his calls. Chuck [Pagano], believe it or not, was even more aggressive. He’d put us in ‘cover one’ six, seven, eight times in a row. Coach [Dean] Pees, he’s very aggressive, too, and he keeps guys like Ray [Lewis] and me included in the planning. He has more of an open door. We like the way he wants input from us.”~ S ED REED ON DEAN PEES

“That anyone spent the offseason criticizing [Joe] Flacco strikes me as ludicrous. Flacco didn’t drop the ball in the end zone against the Patriots. In fact, it was Flacco who drove the Ravens to give them two chances to win that game. It was others who didn’t make plays. While he doesn’t play in an offense that shows off his skills statistically, Flacco is a winning QB, and his record [45-21] shows it.” ~ Former NFL personnel executive & current analyst Mike Lombardi


  • Flacco completed 22 of 36 passes for 306 yards, while Patriots QB Tom Brady also was 22-of-36 for 239 yards.
  • Following Sunday’s game against the Patriots, the Ravens will play four days later when they host the Browns on Thursday, Sept. 27, in another nationally-televised contest (NFL Network). That will be the Ravens’ fourth game in 18 days. Baltimore then plays at Kansas City on Oct. 7 before hosting the Cowboys on Oct. 14.
  • The Ravens aim for their first regular season win against New England. The Patriots are the only team Baltimore has never beaten during regular season play.


Baltimore has a strong history of bouncing back quickly after a defeat, as do the New England Patriots. Under head coach John Harbaugh (since 2008), the Ravens have posted a 16-4 record in games that immediately follow a loss. Baltimore has won 13-straight games following a loss, which currently ranks as the NFL’s longest active streak. The Pats’ .875 winning percentage in such contests since 2008 ranks as the NFL’s best.


  • Baltimore executive vice president/general manager Ozzie Newsome began his front office career as a special assignment scout with the Browns in 1991 when Bill Belichick was the head coach.
  • Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees spent six seasons (2004-09) on the Patriots’ coaching staff. He spent his final four years in New England as the defensive coordinator. During his tenure guiding the defense, the Patriots were the only team in the NFL to finish in the Top 10 in scoring defense in four-consecutive seasons.
  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s first coaching job in the NFL was with the Baltimore Colts in 1975 as a special assistant to thenhead coach Ted Marchibroda. Baltimore finished 10-4 that season en route to claiming the AFC East Division championship.
  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was raised in Annapolis, MD. Belichick played football and lacrosse at Annapolis HS, where he is currently enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Hisfather, Steve, coached at the U.S. Naval Academy for 33 years.
  • Ravens S Ed Reed (1998-01) and T Bryant McKinnie (2000-01), and Patriots NT Vince Wilfork (2001-03) played on the 2001 Miami Hurricanes BCS National Championship team (12-0).
  • Ravens S James Ihedigbo played with New England in 2011,seeing action in 16 games (12 starts) and posting 72 tackles (50 solo).
  • Ravens DE Arthur Jones is the older brother of Patriots rookie DE Chandler Jones. The Jones brothers grew up in Endicott, NY, and both attended Syracuse University, playing together in 2009. Their middle brother, Jon “Bones,” is a UFC Champion, who fights in Toronto on Sept. 22.


Q: What is the difference between Tom Brady and a baby?

A: The baby will stop whining after awhile.

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The Patriots beat the San Diego Chargers 21-12 to advance to Super Bowl XLII

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

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