Baltimore Ravens News
9-29-15: Steve Smith’s insane week three performance wasn’t enough in a crazy shootout loss to the Bengals. Cincinnati scored late and the Ravens couldn’t get the win as they dropped to 0-3 after the 28-24 home loss. It’s a huge blow to Baltimore’s 2015 playoff hopes, as few teams have recovered from such a slow start. The Ravens will still have to try to do just that, as they move forward in week four against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football. Baltimore could have the edge going into this week’s huge rivalry clash, however, as the Steelers will be without star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger due to a knee injury.
9-22-15: Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense got things going in week two, but it was the defense that caved against the Oakland Raiders in a tough 37-33 loss. Flacco connected with tight end Crockett Gillmore for two nice scores, while #1 wide receiver Steve Smith broke out for 10 catches and 150 receiving yards. Baltimore’s ground game was much better than it was a week ago, as well, as Justin Forsett found his way to 68 rushing yards on 15 carries. The Ravens took a big dip defensively, unfortunately, and may have missed pass rusher Terrell Suggs (out for season). Oakland had their way on offense in this one, with Derek Carr firing in three touchdowns - including the game-winner with just 26 seconds to go. Baltimore will regroup and try to take down the division rival Bengals in week three.
9-15-15: The Baltimore Ravens completely shut down Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos offense, but their own offensive struggles did them in when it was all said in done in an ugly 19-13 road loss. Joe Flacco was abysmal in the week one defeat, as he completed just 55% of his passes and tossed two picks (one returned for a touchdown), while taking two sacks and producing zero offensive touchdowns. The ground game wasn’t much better, as Justin Forsett and Buck Allen teamed up for just 73 total yards and a 3.0 yards per carry average. Defense was the name of the game in this one, as Baltimore almost stole a win thanks to sacking Manning four times and returning an interception for a touchdown. The run defense was just as smothering as the pass defense, as the Ravens kept C.J. Anderson in check (just 29 yards rushing). While the defense looked great, they took quite the hit when they learned star pass rusher Terrell Suggs (torn Achilles) would be lost for the season. Baltimore figures to regroup and bounce back in a big way when they take on the hapless Raiders in week two.
9-8-15: Dennis Pitta and Breshad Perriman will not be with the Baltimore Ravens when they try to get 2015 started off on the right foot against the Denver Broncos in their regular season opener. The Ravens placed Pitta (hip) on the PUP list and won’t get to see if he can make a meaningful contribution until week seven at the earliest. Perriman is dealing with a knee sprain but could potentially return at some point in October. For now, the Ravens enter a week one clash with the Broncos rather short-handed, with just aging veteran Steve Smith as their top weapon in the passing game. Baltimore may need big performances out of unproven #2 receiver Kamar Aiken, as well as rookie tight end, Maxx Williams. Running back Justin Forsett should also get a big workload to start the season, and could need a big game for Baltimore to sneak a win past Denver. Derek Wolfe is suspended for the first four games of 2015 and Terrance Knighton left in free agency, so the Broncos front line could be depleted enough for Forsett to try to control the game in week one.
9-1-15: Joe Flacco and Baltimore’s first team offense looked solid early in week three, as they went up 7-0 but ultimately lost to the Washington Redskins, 31-13. The Ravens struggled largely on the ground offensively (no one with better than 3.3 yards per carry), while a usually stout defense got slapped around by both Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy (three total passing touchdowns). Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith looked to be in prime form, however, as he caught five balls for 95 yards and the Ravens’ only touchdown. While the defense was shaky as a whole in this game, the Ravens still were wise to extend starting safety Will Hill, who the team kept on it’s books through 2017. Baltimore will look for a stronger showing across the board in their preseason finale on Thursday, where they will battle the Falcons in Atlanta.
8-25-15: The Baltimore Ravens welcomed Sam Bradford back to the NFL after missing most of the past two seasons with ACL injuries, but Philadelphia still went nuts on offense as the Ravens lost their second preseason game, 40-17. The defense laid some big hits on Bradford during his brief stay on the field, but ultimately came up short against the Eagles the rest of the way. The offense initially wasn’t much better, as Joe Flacco regressed from a solid opener to toss two picks in the loss. Third stringer Bryn Renner brought some excitement late in this one, though, as he tossed two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Baltimore’s real test will come next week, when they take on the Washington Redskins in their regular season dress rehearsal. The team will hope to have rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman back by then so he can make his preseason debut and get ready for week one.
8-18-15: The Baltimore Ravens got their 2015 NFL preseason started off the right way, as they edged out the New Orleans Saints in an entertaining 30-27 win. Joe Flacco and the first team offense looked sharp, as he completed 5 of 6 passes for 33 yards before exiting the game. Baltimore’s backups did most of the grunt work, as backup running back Lorenzo Taliaferro put up 36 yards and a score on the ground, while backup quarterback Matt Schaub tossed a touchdown and accumulated 134 yards through the air. While the Ravens looked strong across the board, they still missed rookie star wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee), who continues to deal with a “strained tendon” in his knee. Baltimore suggested he’ll be fine for the start of the season, while head coach John Harbaugh reportedly feels he could still suit up for some preseason action. Perriman is unlikely to take the field in the second week of preseason play, though, when the Ravens head to Philly to play the Eagles.
8-12-15: The 2015 NFL season will be the last ride for Baltimore Ravens star #1 wide receiver, Steve Smith. Smith broke the news that his 15th year in the league would be his last. Smith will be paving the way for a new generation of talent at receiver for the Ravens, as Kamar Aiken has impressed in camp and is currently listed as a starter. Rookie play-maker Breshad Perriman can still leapfrog Aiken for that second starting spot, but still remains out with a bruised knee. The team has yet to rule the rookie out for Baltimore’s Thursday night preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints. Tight end Dennis Pitta is another Ravens offensive player that hasn’t been able to practice, as he still hasn’t been cleared after his second dislocated hip. Pitta’s absence leaves the door open for rookie tight end Maxx Williams to make a huge impression and steal the starting gig.
8-5-15: The Baltimore Ravens received a hit on defense recently, as safety Matt Elam suffered a serious biceps injury. Elam had reportedly been having a great off-season and reported to the team in terrific physical shape, but will need surgery and is likely done for the year. Luckily the Ravens had their likely starters in place at both safety positions, but the depth hit could still be felt later in the year. The Ravens have struggled to stay healthy overall of late, as rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman sustained a bruised knee and has now missed four practices in a row. Perriman is still being counted on as the likely starter across from Steve Smith, but his absence has opened the door for Sam Aiken to impress the coaching staff.
7-28-15: Rookies reported to training camp for the Baltimore Ravens on July 22nd, with running back Buck Allen and wide receiver Breshad Perriman working hard to make a positive impression early. They’ll be joined by the rest of the team on July 29th, when all other players report to camp. Baltimore has the look of a title contender on the surface and will spend the next month installing new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman’s offense. That should involve a good amount of passing and could put the likes of Allen and Perriman to the test right away. Baltimore is likely to be down at least one helpful offensive player, as veteran tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) is scheduled to start the year on the PUP list. That could shine a light on rookie tight end Maxx Williams, who could compete for a “major role” in his first year with the team.
7-22-15: The Baltimore Ravens took a big step back towards being a Super Bowl contender again in 2014 and in 2015 could make a serious push. New offensive coordinator Marc Trestman could open things up more than ever, which will make Justin Forsett and the offense the key thing to monitor when training camp opens for rookies (July 22nd) and veterans (July 2th). The offense will be absent star tight end Dennis Pitta, though, who will start camp on the PUP list and could be in danger of missing time to start the new season. That could put second-year tight end Crockett Gillmore and rookie Maxx Williams under the microscope, while rookie receiver Breshad Perriman will also be a big focus. The top name to watch may be rookie running back Buck Allen, who could end up pushing Lorenzo Taliaferro for lead backup duties behind Forsett.
5-4-15: The Baltimore Ravens failed to address needs at linebacker and safety in the 2015 NFL Draft, but otherwise hammered out a great list of fresh prospects to bring to camp. The Ravens targeted improvement on offense early and it showed, as they landed burner Breshad Perriman with their first round pick and also grabbed arguably the draft’s top tight end in Maxx Williams in round two. Williams was a key pick, as Owen Daniels left in free agency and the oft-injured Dennis Pitta was proving to be too unstable to trust. Baltimore didn’t stop there, as they also got younger at running back with the balanced Javorius Allen out of USC. The Ravens did a good job beefing up some defensive depth, as well, as they also added defensive tackle Carl Davis in round three, while also hitting up their edge rush and secondary in the middle rounds. Read on for Baltimore’s full list of draft prospects:
Round One - Pick 26: Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
Round Two - Pick 55: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
Round Three - Pick 90: Carl Davis, DT, Iowa
Round Four - Pick 122: Za’Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky
Round Four - Pick 125: Javorious Allen, RB, USC
Round Four - Pick 136: Tray Walker, CB, Texas Southern
Round Five - Pick 171: Nick Boyle, TE, Delaware
Round Five - Pick 176: Robert Meyers, OG, Tennessee State
Round Six - Pick 204: Darren Walker, WR, Georgia Tech
4-9-15: The Ravens wisely retained running back Justin Forsett to kick off their first week of free agency, while also bringing in safety Kendrick Lewis to add competition to the defensive backfield. Baltimore was otherwise rather quiet to get the offseason going, as they saved some cash by letting wide receiver Torrey Smith jet for San Francisco and even traded stud defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to the Lions to gain some cap relief. Baltimore received even further cap relief thanks to pass rusher Terrell Suggs restructuring his current deal, which could end up allowing the Ravens to make another key move or two in the second wave of free agency. That’s not a complete necessity, however, as GM Ozzie Newsome typically builds through the draft and the Ravens have kept most of their key players from a year ago.
3-9-15: The Baltimore Ravens returned to their roots in 2014, as they jumped aboard the Justin Forsett train, pushed the Ray Rice fiasco to the side and got back to the playoffs. Had it not been for some reckless Joe Flacco interceptions, they might have even made it to the Super Bowl. They didn’t, but they appear to have the makings of a legit contender again in 2015 if they make all the right moves. The first right move would be keeping Forsett, who proved to be more than just a product of ex-offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s system. In addition, the Ravens will have to figure out how to inject some life at wide receiver, as Torrey Smith is a near-lock to depart for San Francisco. The team will also need to keep adding fresh blood on defense, as pass rusher Pernell McPhee will depart in free agency and will need to be replaced.
1-12-15: The Ravens scored the first 14 points of Saturday’s contest to hush the Gillette Stadium
crowd. Although the New England Patriots battled back to tie the contest in the second
quarter, Baltimore extended its lead to 14 points soon after halftime. However, Joe Flacco
was intercepted twice in the second half. The Ravens scored just three points in the final 25 points of the game, as they fell to the Patriots, 35-31.
1-5-15: Joe Flacco continued his postseason success, as he led the Ravens to a 30-17 victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Saturday night. He threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns. With the victory, the Ravens advanced to the divisional round, and they will be traveling to Massachusetts to take on the New England Patriots.
12-29-14: Coupled with the San Diego Chargers’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the Ravens clinched the AFC’s final playoff berth with their 20-10 victory against the
visiting Cleveland Browns. Joe Flacco threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns, as the Ravens have reached the playoffs for the sixth time in the last seven years.
12-23-14: After Joe Flacco’s horrendous first half, the Ravens were trailing, 16-0. They were able to put up 13 points in the final 30 minutes, but it was not enough as Arian Foster and the Houston Texans’ offense put up 25 points in the contest. The 9-6 Ravens look to bounce back when they host the Cleveland Browns in Week 17.
12-17-14: Baltimore’s defense looked very strong on Sunday, as they sacked Blake Bortles eight
times in the contest. The Ravens played well on special teams, too: Kamar Aiken returned a blocked punt 11 yards for the first score of the game. Although the Jacksonville Jaguars had multiple leads in the first half, the Ravens shut them out in the final 30 minutes en route to their 20-12 victory.
12-9-14: The Ravens entered Miami with the same record as the Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill and company jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but Joe Flacco led the Ravens on four touchdown drives, including three of his own scores, en route to Baltimore’s 28-13 victory. Unfortunately, the NFL suspended defensive tackle Haloti Ngata for four games for violating the league’s performance enhancing substances policy earlier last week.
12-3-14: The Ravens’ offense was strong for most of the game, as Justin Forsett ran for more than 100 yards on Sunday. Joe Flacco, who threw for 225 passing yards, connected with Torrey Smith twice for touchdowns. However, after holding the visiting San Diego Chargers to 13 points in the first three quarters, the Baltimore defense allowed 21 points in the final 15 minutes in the 34-33 loss to the Chargers.
11-26-14: The Ravens continued their success against the NFC South, as they completed their sweep of the division in 2014 with a 34-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday. Justin Forsett rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Flacco completed 18 of his 24 passing attempts for 243 yards and a touchdown.
11-19-14: It was very good to see the Ravens end their short losing streak before their bye in Week 11, but Baltimore’s schedule does not get any easier, as the team will take on the New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins in three different locations over the next three weeks.
11-12-14: Before the Ravens played on Sunday, Terrell Suggs was fined $8,268 for his hit on LeGarrette Blount on November 2. Then, Baltimore took the field on Sunday looking to stop its losing streak before the team entered its bye week in Week 11. The Ravens allowed a touchdown to the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter, but shut them out the rest of the way en route to Baltimore’s 21-7 victory.
11-5-14: Baltimore committed double-digit penalties as the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated theRavens, 43-23. With the loss, the Ravens dropped to 5-4 on the season and 2-3 on the road. Joe Flacco threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns. Although Justin Forsett did not get into the end zone, he racked up more than 100 total yards.
10-29-14: The Ravens were very close to winning in Cincinnati on Sunday and achieving a split in their season series, but Steve Smith Sr.’s potential game-winning touchdown was wiped out by offensive pass interference. Unfortunately, Baltimore fell, 27-24, and the team’s schedule does not get any easier as it travels to Pittsburgh for Sunday night’s contest.
10-21-14: The Ravens continue to destroy the NFC South, as they moved to 3-0 against the division this season. On Sunday, they scored in all four quarters and beat the visiting Atlanta Falcons, 29-7. Joe Flacco threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns, and Torrey Smith caught three passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.
10-14-14: The Ravens dominated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half and did not look back. Joe Flacco threw for a career-high five touchdowns in the first 30 minutes, as Baltimore outscored Tampa Bay, 38-0. The Ravens won, 48-17, and will take on the Atlanta Falcons in Baltimore in Week 7.
10-8-14: The Ravens’ three-game winning streak ended on Sunday with their 20-13 loss at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. Baltimore forced four turnovers, but did not do well on third downs. Joe Flacco and the Ravens converted on just one of their 11 opportunities on third down. Therefore, the Colts ran 23 more plays than Baltimore.
10-1-14: The Ravens are on a three-game winning streak after their 38-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Steve Smith Sr., who was known as just Steve Smith during his time in Carolina, racked up 139 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Joe Flacco, who threw for 327 yards, also found Torrey Smith for a touchdown.
9-25-14: After the Ravens dropped the first game of their season in Week 1 by just a touchdown at the hands of the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals, they have won their last two games. In Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns, Justin Tucker’s 32-yard field goal as time expired won the game for Baltimore by the score, 23-21.
9-17-14: Amid all of the Ray Rice off-the-field news, the Ravens dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday. Joe Flacco, Owen Daniels and Justin Tucker accounted for Baltimore’s scoring as the team evened its record at 1-1. Both of Flacco’s touchdowns went to the former Houston Texans tight end, and Tucker was successful on all six of his kicking attempts, including four field goals.
9-10-14: Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season was taken over by TMZ’s video of Ray Rice in the Atlantic City casino elevator. He was then released by Baltimore and indefinitely suspended by the league. On Sunday, Steve Smith’s 80-yard touchdown reception gave the Ravens the 16-15 lead, but they could not hold onto it against the Cincinnati Bengals.
9-4-14: In Week 1, the Ravens will host the defending AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals. With Ray Rice suspended for the first two weeks, Bernard Pierce, who has seemed to put his recent concussion behind him, should be starting for Baltimore. Even with Pierce in the backfield, Joe Flacco will have his hands full against the Bengals.
8-26-14: The Ravens moved to 3-0 on the preseason with their 23-17 victory against the Washington Redskins on Saturday. Joe Flacco completed 16 of his 23 pass attempts for 180 yards. Steve Smith had six receptions for 80 yards. Near the end of the first half, Flacco found Smith for a 24-yard touchdown. Unfortunately, running back Bernard Pierce suffered a concussion in the game.
8-19-14: The Ravens’ offense exploded for 37 points in their seven-point victory on Saturday in Dallas. Joe Flacco completed just nine of his 17 passes, but did throw for 113 yards and a touchdown. Although Ray Rice left the game, the x-rays on his shoulder were negative. Meanwhile, Bernard Pierce carried the ball seven times for 55 yards.
8-14-14: Although Bernard Pierce’s average yards per carry were not as high as Ray Rice’s in the Ravens’ 23-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in their preseason opener on Thursday, Pierce scored a touchdown and has looked like the better running back thus far this year. However, he is coming off shoulder surgery in January, so we could see more of Lorenzo Taliaferro, who carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards in that game.
8-5-14: There has been a lot of coverage of Roger Goodell giving Ray Rice a two-game suspension for his off-field digressions. Rice is eligible to play in the preseason, so on Thursday, he will play in front of the home crowd that cheered him on at training camp. The Ravens host the San Francisco 49ers that evening.
7-30-14: Ray Rice finally learned his fate recently, as the NFL handed down a two-game suspension as discipline for Rice hitting his wife. Viewed as a slap on the wrist by the majority of fans, the Ravens are still probably breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t be without their top running back for long. Backup running back Bernard Pierce is likely to slide in as the starter for the first two weeks of the 2014 season. Baltimore lost some solid depth in the secondary recently, as they were forced to place cornerback Aaron Ross on injured reserve thanks to a torn Achilles he sustained earlier in the week. The Ravens did get some depth back, however, as they picked up former Giants safety Will Hill off the open market. Hill has to serve a six-game suspension before he can be made active, but is a flat-out steal if he can keep his nose clean moving forward.
7-15-14: Ray Rice’s offseason woes have yet to receive a verbal reaction from the NFL, as Rice could potentially be served a 4-6 game ban, but hasn’t heard anything official handed down by the league. While the Ravens may have to move on for a little while without Rice early in the year, they’re excited they’ll be getting a healthy Dennis Pitta to start the year. The star tight end missed most of last season with a bad hip injury and is being talked up as a star in new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s offense. Kubiak has historically made great use of his tight ends and reportedly plans to use the athletic Pitta “all over the formation”. Cornerback Jimmy Smith hit the headlines in a negative light, as he was arrested on July 12th for disorderly conduct. Smith isn’t expected to face punishment from the league.
6-5-14: Ray Rice has been the talk of Baltimore so far this offseason, as he publicly apologized for abusing his fiance. Baltimore’s top running back could still face discipline in the form of a suspension from the league or the Ravens, while his 2013 drop off could also result in a lighter rushing load. Rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was expected to compete for a role in the backfield, but could have damaged his chances with his own run-in with the law on May 27th. The trip ups of Rice and Taliaferro could clear the way for a big season for Bernard Pierce. Elsewhere, defensive tackle Terrence Cody continues to recover from hip surgery, while the aforementioned Pierce is “ahead of schedule” with his shoulder injury.
5-19-14: The Baltimore Ravens addressed a lot of their needs during free agency, but still needed an impact wide receiver, a safety and some o-line help as they prepared for the 2014 NFL Draft. Let’s see how they did as we break down their main picks:
Round 1. Pick 17 C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
Round 2. Pick 16 Tim Jernigan, DT, Florida St.
Round 3. Pick 15 Terrence Brooks, DB, Florida St.
Round 3. Pick 35 Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado St.
Round 4. Pick 34 Brent Urban, DT, Virginia
Round 4. Pick 38 Essray Taliaferro, RB, Marshall
Round 5. Pick 35 John Urschel, G, Penn St.
Round 6. Pick 18 Keith Wenning, QB, Ball St.
Round 7. Pick 03 Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest
Baltimore didn’t necessarily have inside linebacker high on their need list thanks to some solid talent there already, but when they saw the studly Mosley there at 17th overall, they couldn’t pass on him. Mosley is a fine athlete with great instincts and excellent leadership. He’s not Ray Lewis, but he might be close.
The Ravens continued with a very stellar draft, landing a potential difference-maker up front in the athletic Tim Jernigan. Losing Arthur Jones in free agency was a huge loss, so getting an elite talent to help replace him in round two was beyond a steal.
Terrence Brooks just might cure what ails the Ravens at safety, while Crockett Gillmore is a very balanced tight end who rounds out an insanely deep tight end corps in Baltimore. The Ravens didn’t land any other huge names, but did a solid job grabbing some needed depth across, the board, specifically at defensive tackle and offensive guard.
5-9-14: It was time to get a new Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens seem to have finally done that with the selection of Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. This is the classic Ravens defensive player pick, but at a whole new level, as Mosley can come in and start in the middle of the 3-4 from day one, if need be. Baltimore already has some young talent and veteran help on the inside, but this was a quality depth and long-term selection. Their defense slipped a bit in 2013 and bringing on a smart sideline to sideline defender should help improve their overall defense.
4-28-14: The Baltimore Ravens still seem to have the right amount of balance on both sides of the ball to make a deep playoff run. However, Anquan Boldin (trade) and Dennis Pitta (injury) were missed last year, making a big-play receiver of some sort a huge need for the Ravens. While receiver is the hottest position being mocked to the Ravens this draft season, that’s not the only spot they could get better at. Baltimore has lost some offensive tackle talent in the past year, and will likely seriously consider going after a talent like Michigan’s Taylor Lewan in the draft. They also have needs at safety, inside linebacker and defensive end for their 3-4 system. Defensive end Arthur Jones left in free agency, arguably causing the biggest hole in the defense. That could prompt the Ravens to go after the position early with someone like Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan.
4-18-14: Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens didn’t meet expectations in their defense of their 2012 Super Bowl win, so they’ll head into a pretty tough preseason schedule to try to rectify a poor season going into 2014. The Baltimore Ravens preseason schedule kicks off at home against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers, where we’ll clearly have another episode of the “Harbaugh Bowl”. Week two brings Baltimore to Dallas to take on the Cowboys, where Tony Romo (back) may or may not be ready to take the field. That game is followed up by a date with the Washington Redskins in Baltimore, with the Ravens finishing their 2014 preseason run against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints on the road. It’s a very stiff run of games that showcase some defensive battles, as well as the Ravens taking on some very explosive offenses. It should be a very exciting August.
4-7-14: Baltimore struggled on offense in 2013 thanks to injuries and the fact that they traded away Anquan Boldin, so addressing that side of the ball was key to start this offseason. They did so right away, as they re-signed Dennis Pitta and brought in Owen Daniels to secure themselves at tight end, and also brought in former Panthers star wide receiver, Steve Smith. With the offense hopefully less predictable, Baltimore also made sure to keep their defense going in a positive direction, as they retained the effective Daryl Smith at inside linebacker and also brought in safety Darian Stewart. Arguably their biggest signing came from within, though, as they brought back stud offensive tackle Eugene Monroe to make sure Joe Flacco would have solid protection for years to come.
3-21-14: One of Baltimore’s biggest weaknesses in 2013 was their lack of a go-to offensive playmaker. They shipped off the steady Anquan Boldin to the 49ers last offseason and couldn’t overcome that and the loss of Dennis Pitta (hip) for most of the season. Bringing in former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith just might correct that problem going into 2014. The Ravens also aimed to keep their offensive line steady, as they retained the hulking Eugene Monroe and let Michael Oher walk in free agency. They capped a very solid offseason by holding onto the now healthy Pitta, as well as inside linebacker Daryl Smith. The Ravens missed out on the playoffs last year, but with a solid showing in free agency and hopefully a stellar draft, they shouldn’t have much trouble getting back into the mix in 2014.
12-31-13: The Baltimore Ravens were tied with the Cincinnati Bengals at 17, all, and then it all went away. Despite the playoffs being within their grasp, Baltimore threw the game away in a flury of Joe Flacco interceptions, missing out on the post-season thanks to a 34-17 loss.
12-24-13: A week after marching into Detroit and beating a desperate Lions team, an equally desperate Ravens team couldn’t take care of business on their own field. Joe Flacco was not his usual poised self and the Ravens simply couldn’t generate any offense in a crushing 41-7 loss in Baltimore.
12-17-13: The Ravens failed to score a single touchdown against the Detroit Lions in week 15, but made the right throws and came up with the big plays on defense to help pull out a thrilling 18-16 win on the road. Justin Tucker was the man of the hour, as he nailed all six of his field goal tries, including the eventual game-winning 61-yarder that ended up being the deciding score.
12-10-13: The Ravens and Vikings saved their best for the final period. Sitting with a narrow 7-6 lead, Baltimore decided to go off for 22 fourth quarter points, while the Vikings were right there with them with 20 of their own. It was Joe Flacco and co. getting the last laugh at home, however, as Flacco zinged the game-winning touchdown pass to Marlon Brown with just four seconds left. The close 29-26 win kept Baltimore’s faint playoff hopes alive.
12-3-13: The old, gritty matchups between the Ravens and Steelers lived on in week 13, as the two sides fought hard until the very end. Baltimore struggled mightily to run the ball, but Joe Flacco topped 250 passing yards and didn’t make any huge mistakes, while the Ravens’ defense held strong in the end of a narrow 22-20 win at home.
Joe Flacco played better than expected against a Rex Ryan defense in week 12, completing over 65% of his passes and connecting on a beautiful 66-yard touchdown to help Baltimore to a 19-3 home win over the Jets. Baltimore abused rookie quarterback Geno Smith in this one, as well, sacking him three times and forcing him into three turnovers.
11-19-13: Ray Rice scored early to help the Ravens go up 10-0 on the road. Then mother nature took over. Baltimore’s road contest with the Bears was halted for over an hour due to poor weather. Rice continued on for over 100 rushing yards once the game commenced, but Baltimore couldn’t get it done in week 11, falling to the Bears on the road in overtime, 23-20.
11-12-13: Joe Flacco through two touchdowns and the Ravens were efficient in overtime to help them prevent a horrible collapse after a hail mary by the Cincinnati Bengals forced overtime. Baltimore ended up letting this one be close, but was clearly in control throughout, forcing Andy Dalton to throw three picks and sacking him fives times. The Ravens continued to struggle to run the ball effectively in this one, but did enough to earn the 20-17 win and get closer to .500 at 4-5.
11-5-13: The Baltimore Ravens had dominated the Cleveland Browns with 11 straight wins. All streaks have to end sometime. The Ravens stayed close throughout and made it just a three-point game with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but simply couldn’t establish a rushing attack or get the Browns off the field when it mattered most, as they lost to their division rival, 24-18.
10-22-13: The Ravens knew what they were in for in week seven as they took on the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, and they got exactly what they thought they would. It was a dog fight throughout this one, and despite only allowing one sack and committing no turnovers, the Ravens simply weren’t effective enough on offense to knock off the Steelers on the road. Baltimore made a late run to tie the game at 16, all, but watched as Pittsburgh kicker Shaun Suisham knocked in the winning field goal as time expired to take the week seven win, 19-16.
10-15-13: Joe Flacco rebounded from three rough quarters that saw him get sacked five times and lose a fumble to nearly lead the Ravens to a come from behind win at home. Unfortunately, Flacco’s two late touchdown passes weren’t enough against the Green Bay Packers, who used 120 rushing yards from rookie running back Eddie Lacy to ice this one, 19-17. Baltimore dropped to 3-3 on the year despite a solid defensive effort that included three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery.
10-8-13: Joe Flacco was once again not on an elite level, but he and the Ravens offense did just enough to help the reigning Super Bowl champs get to 3-2 after five games. Ray Rice was the star of the day, as he found his way to two rushing scores despite the Miami Dolphins bottling him up for the most part on the ground, allowing him to just 74 rushing yards on 27 carries. Baltimore’s defense did some ‘bottling’ of their own in this one, however, as they held the Fins to just 22 total rushing yards and sacked Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill a whopping six times. In a gritty defensive battle, Justin Tucker’s 44-yard field goal with under two minutes remaining was fittingly the deciding factor in the close 26-23 win for Baltimore.
10-1-13: Despite not having thrown an interception in nearly 80 passing attempts, the normally cool and collected Joe Flacco unraveled in week four at Buffalo, as he threw five costly interceptions en route to a narrow 23-20 loss to the Bills. Flacco was both the hero and the goat in this one, as he helped lead the Ravens back from a 20-7 deficit to a near-win, but ultimately made too many mistakes, while also taking four sacks. Part of the Ravens’ struggles stemmed from an ineffective rushing attack, as Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce combined for just 24 yards on nine rushing attempts. The loss dropped the reigning Super Bowl champs to 2-2 and raised questions about the offensive play-calling with so few runs called in the second half.
9-19-13: The Browns and Ravens were expected to engage in a defensive battle and they did just that in week two, as neither team’s passing game could light up the field. Ray Rice exited this one with a hip injury, which gave way to bruising backup running back Bernard Pierce, who grinded out 57 rushing yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Baltimore would end up winning the game 14-6 as they evened up their record at 1-1. Next week, the Ravens host the Texans.
9-10-13: For the Ravens, Joe Flacco clearly missed the presence of some of his more reliable options in the passing game, too, as he threw two picks and struggled to move Baltimore’s offense in the deflating 49-27 loss in Denver. The Ravens look to rebound next week when the host the Browns at M&T Bank on Sunday afternoon.
8-16-13: Thanks to 20 4th quarter points the Ravens were able to win defeat the Atlanta Falcons 27-23 in their second preseason game. Joe Flacco played the first half and completed 7 of 9 passes for 118 yards, a TD, and an interception. Tyrod Taylor played the second was also solid, completing 5 of 9 passes for 83 yards and 2 TDs (1 pick).
8-11-13: The defending champion Ravens opened up the 2013 preseason in style, defeating the Buccaneers 44-16. Backup QB Tyrod Taylor threw for 154 yards and 2 TDs while completing 13 of 23 passes.
7-10-13: The Super Bowl champion Ravens watched Ray Lewis walk off into retirement, and then proceeded to dismantle their title-winning roster. Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers and the Ravens let Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe and Ed Reed leave via free agency. The team brought in Elvis Dumervil and Michael Huff in on the cheap and drafted well, but will the cost-cutting moves be enough for them to stage a repeat title run?
6-12-13: The Ravens won the Super Bowl
in 2012, and despite a good amount of turnover, Baltimore still figures to field a very competitive team again in 2013. Ray Lewis is retired, Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers, and Ed Reed signed with the Houston Texans. All bad news, to be sure, but Baltimore saved cash and made smart, cheap acquisitions in Rolando McClain, Michael Huff and Elvis Dumervil.
Instead of a complete drop-off, Baltimore fans might not be crazy to start hitting their chest and boldly predicting a Super Bowl repeat. It’s unlikely, but the Ravens still look very good on paper and they should make things very interesting in the AFC North.
2013 Ravens Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 32: Matt Elam, S, Florida
Round 2, Pick 24 (from Seattle): Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Round 3, Pick 32: Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern State
Round 4, Pick 32: John Simon, DE, Ohio State
Round 4, Pick 33 (Compensatory Selection): Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard
Round 5, Pick 35 (Compensatory Selection): Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
Round 6, Pick 32: Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE, Notre Dame
Round 6, Pick 35 (Compensatory Selection): Ryan Jensen, OT, Colorado State-Pueblo
Round 7, Pick 32: Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon
Round 7, Pick 41 (Compensatory Selection): Marc Anthony, CB, California
1-20-13: The Ravens are headed to the Super Bowl after defeating the New England Patriots 28-13 in the AFC Championship game. They will play the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans on February 3rd
1-9-13: The Ravens were victorious in the emotional return of their heart and soul player, Ray Lewis. Winning 24-9 over a hot Colts team is just what they needed heading into their next matchup with the Denver Broncos. In what will surely be a chess match between two future hall of famers (Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis) the Ravens will try and impose their physicality onto the Broncos in Denver. Although the Ravens offense struggled at times this season, they seemed to come together toward the end. Despite the offense picking up, the defense struggled without Ray Lewis, and the team finished the year going 1-4 in its last five games. Many were stunned by the way they beat the Colts, but one can never count out the Ravens and their experienced roster.
12-4-12: The Ravens blew on opportunity at home to clinch the AFC North against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. At 9-3 with a slew of injuries to key players on their defense, the Ravens will hope to limp into the post season and earn a bye week. The ravens will split their final four games 2-2 on the road and at home. With no word yet on the status of LB Terrell Suggs the Ravens will face a strong test on the road in Washington against RG III and the Redskins.