Ravens (6-5) vs. Dolphins (7-4)

Crab Bag Ravens (6-5) vs. Dolphins (7-4)

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Last week, the Ravens ended a streak of their own when they finally beat the Cincinnati Bengals for the first time since 2013. Can they end another streak this week – that is, the Dolphins’ six-game winning streak? Most of our staff seems to think so.

Our friends at Numberfire give the Ravens a 53.8% chance to win.

Let’s take a look at the stats, quotes, and more to get you ready for Ravens-Phins in our weekly Crab Bag c/o Casa Mia’s White Marsh.

KNOW THY ENEMY

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SERIES HISTORY

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QUOTES OF THE WEEK

The MMQB’s Peter King on K Justin Tucker:

“It’s notable that the snapper (Morgan Cox) and holder (Sam Koch) are fabulous and really consistent. Tucker won this before halftime, with field goals from 52, 57 and 54 yards in the first half against Cincinnati. So he had the wind with him. Watching this game, the kick from 57 would have been good from 65, easy, and the kick from 54, would have been good from 70, easy. Tucker is the best kicker in football right now (18-for-18 beyond 40 yards), perfect on 15 PATs and [27] field goals. It’s not up for debate.”

Ravens WRs coach Bobby Engram on Baltimore signing WR Mike Wallace, who leads the Ravens with 792 receiving yards:

“I don’t really go off of what people say. I go off of what guys do. We studied the tape, and I think everybody in the building knew he was still a good football player. You bring him here to an organization like the Ravens – the culture here, the toughness, the kind of guys we have in our locker room and just the men of character we have throughout the building – I think he has thrived in this environment.”

OLB Terrell Suggs on S Eric Weddle:

“I like that he is kind of a wild card. He is kind of ‘one of those guys.’ The word that comes to mind is ‘Raven.’ He has kind of that Raven persona. He is a little weird. You have to like a guy like that who has a little bit more to him and is a little edgy. That is always good when it comes on the football team, too.”

QB Joe Flacco on rookie RB Kenneth Dixon:

“He is just a good runner. He has good vision. He has the suddenness to make people miss when he gets in space. If we can keep him going, it is definitely going to be good for us.”

RB Kenneth Dixon on the Ravens’ running back group:

“We’re close in our room. No one man ever gets the glory. It gets spread out among all the running backs. We give coach [Thomas] Hammock all the credit. We’re all a group, and we’re all out there together. We’re all a part of the show, holding it high and tight.”

FANTASY PROJECTIONS

GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Albert McClellan

What traits make you fit on the Ravens’ defense?

“I can play multiple positions, and I have the Baltimore attitude. I think my character just fits in here. I think both the way I play and my mentality fit with this organization.”

 What does a Baltimore attitude consist of?

“It means we don’t put up with any nonsense, but at the same time, we still show respect. We always want to earn our respect; it isn’t just given to us. We are not going to back down from any challenge, we are going to step up to the plate, and the attitude we have means that you hold your end of the rope and take care of your own job.”

You say the Ravens set the standard in regards to special teams. Why?

“I think that we spend a lot more time here on special teams than most teams do. We are bullies at the end of the day. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but we are that dog that nobody in the neighborhood wants to mess with or nobody wants to see let off of the chain. That is what we are. As far as setting the standard for the league, a lot of teams mimic us. Jerry [Rosburg] and coach [John] Harbaugh are really passionate about special teams, and it shows. As an organization, special teams has always been a point of emphasis.”

How important is it for young players to understand the importance of special teams?

“If you love the game, you will understand how important special teams are. Special teams are a huge phase of the game. You can win and lose games off of plays made on special teams. Everyone should know the importance of special teams.”

After six seasons, how do you use being undrafted as motivation?

“When you are an undrafted guy, you have to be the first one in the building and the last one out. You can never feel comfortable. You can look at the number of people who don’t make it when they are undrafted, but you always want to be the one that beats the odds. The odds said that we wouldn’t make the team. A lot of teams looked over us. It is up to you as an individual to prove those teams wrong and prove you are as good as all of those guys who went before you.”

What is your favorite hobby?

“I like to fish. It is relaxing, and it is a mind game. A lot of people think you are just throwing something in the water, but it is a lot more difficult than that. Fishing is a real challenge. Plus, it is outdoors. Who does not want to be outdoors?”

Who is your favorite Raven ever?

“I would have to go with the hometown hero, Ray Lewis. We went to the same high school [Kathleen, in Lakeland, FL]. I saw him play when he was in high school when I was young, and I have been a fan ever since.”

HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR! ~ Key Connections

Ravens WR Mike Wallace spent the 2013-14 seasons with the Dolphins, recording 140 catches for 1,792 yards and 15 TDs. He led the team in receiving yards (862) and TDs (10) in his final year in Miami.

Ravens senior advisor to player engagement O.J. Brigance was twice voted a team captain in four years (1996-99) while playing for Miami. Ravens director of player engagement Harry Swayne played his final NFL season (2001) with the Dolphins.

Ravens Midwest/Southwest area scout Jack Glowik covered the mid-central states for Miami from 2005-07.

Dolphins vice chairman Don Shula played for (1953-1956) and coached (1963-1969) the Baltimore Colts before his 26-year tenure in Miami. Shula led the Colts to a Super Bowl III appearance during the 1968 campaign, his penultimate season in Baltimore.

Dolphins assistant special teams coach Marwan Maalouf held the same post in Baltimore from 2008-11.

Dolphins O-line coach Chris Foerster served as the Ravens’ offensive live/assistant head coach for two seasons (2005-07).

Dolphins assistant O-line coach Jeremiah Washburn was a player personnel assistant (2003-04) and area scout (2005-08) for Baltimore.

In 1995, Dolphins EVP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum worked as a player personnel assistant in Cleveland with Ravens GM and EVP Ozzie Newsome (director of pro personnel), director of pro personnel Vincent Newsome (special assignment scout), senior personnel assistant George Kokinis (scout) and senior VP of football administration Pat Moriarty (director of business development).

Dolphins T Branden Albert prepped at Glen Burnie (MD) HS, where he played both football and basketball.

Dolphins LB Jelani Jenkins (Rockville) and DE Cameron Wake (Beltsville) are both from Maryland. Jenkins prepped at Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, MD) HS, and Wake attended DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) HS, earning The Washington Post’s Defensive Player of the Year award as a senior.

LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT EXPENSE OF RAVENS’ OPPONENT

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(Personal opinion – the Ravens should have ignored the bong video & drafted Tunsil. Hopefully Ronnie Stanley proves me wrong.)

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Derek Arnold

About 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 tells anybody who asks that he has the best job in the world.
Follow Derek on Twitter: @BMoreBirdsNest 

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