Found September 10, 2012 on
Blog So Hard Sports:
New England Patriots
Consistency is the name of the game when you think of the Baltimore Ravens. Monday night, under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, the Ravens kick off their 2012 campaign with hopes of making the postseason for a 5th consecutive year. After seeing their division foes (Steelers and Browns) suffer loses in the first Sunday of NFL action, the Ravens are aiming to be the only AFC North team with a victory with this divisional battle with the Cincinnati Bengals. If last season is any indication this one will be a close battle, as last year’s meetings between the two were settled by one score each.
The Ravens come into Monday night looking to show off their new and improved no huddle offense and show the critics that even without Terrell Suggs, their defense is still one to be feared. Within the offense, Torrey Smith and his big play ability are becoming one of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets. The Ravens are also hoping their first round draft choice Courtney Upshaw can replace some of the pass rush void left by Suggs.
The Bengals travel to Baltimore hoping to pick up where they left off after their surprise 9-7 2011 season and to return to the post season in consecutive years for the first time since the 1980’s. Andy Dalton is looking to shake his division woes and hopes to pick up his first victory over the Ravens. The defense of the Bengals are hoping to build on their strong 2011 season as well in which they finished 7th in the league in overall defense. Both of those tasks won’t be easy ones against a Ravens team with Super Bowl aspirations.
Ravens 3 Keys to Victory
1) Develop the pass rush early and often
The Ravens need to get after the young Andy Dalton as much as possible. Dalton is as accurate as anyone in the league when he can drop back, make his reads, and not have defenders in his face. If the Ravens let him do that, Cincy could put up points in a hurry. If the Ravens frustrate Dalton, they could have very similar results as they did in 2011 against the Bengals which resulted in a 2-0 record and three interceptions to only one passing touchdown. It will be interesting to see how the Baltimore defense mixes things up with Suggs out of the line-up but if they can get to Dalton often and make him hurry it could lead to early three and outs and early turnovers which is exactly what this tenacious Ravens defense thrives on.
2) Get Ray Rice his touches
There’s a reason why Ray Rice is a top three pick in fantasy football drafts. He produces numbers, and he can do so in a hurry. In two match-ups against the Bengals last year, Rice had 346 yards combined rushing and receiving to go along with four touchdowns. Now it doesn’t take someone with the intelligence of Doctor Emmit Brown to know that with that kind of production, you just need to give him the damn rock. If the Ravens feed their workhorse, you just might think you stumbled into an old time traveling Delorean and are watching one of their 2011 matchups.
3) Hit a home run on defense
Baltimore can be a scary defense with the ball in their hands especially if that person is named Ed Reed. Reed doesn’t necessarily need to force the turnover either to get the ball in his hands and be eyeing the end zone. Baltimore’s defense is one of those teams that have plays set up once they get the ball and you could very easily see the ball lateralled a time or two to get it in Reed’s hands and the rest of the defense laying out blocks like they are playing special teams. Reed is where the term “Ball Hawk” originated from and for good reasons. He has a career 57 interceptions to go along with 13 career touchdowns. If the front seven for the Ravens do their job, Ed Reed and the secondary could be swinging for the fences.
Bengals 3 Keys to Victory
1) Develop a consistent pass rush of their own
Baltimore has a new no huddle offense which looked very Tom Brady like in the preseason. The Bengals will need to disrupt the great timing Flacco developed in the preseason and not let him get comfortable. Last season the Bengals were able to get pressure on most quarterbacks with only sending their four down lineman. On Monday night, we’ll see if they can continue getting pressure with only four guys or if they’ll need to send extra pressure. This will be a tougher task than usual though because their best pass rusher in Carlos Dunlap will miss Monday’s game due to an injured knee. DT Geno Atkins will have to pick up some of the slack left by Dunlap’s absence and see if he can add to last season’s success where he led the league in sacks for interior defense lineman.
2) Deny the home run play
If Cincy wants to beat the Ravens for the first time since 2010 its going to have to stop letting up huge plays for scores. This applies to both offense and defense but more so to keeping the Ravens offense in check. In the first meeting between the two last year, the Ravens scored on a 35 yard pass to Anquan Boldin and a 38 yard pass to Torrey Smith. In the second game the Ravens scored on runs of 70 yards and 51 yards by Ray Rice. Cincy needs to eliminate those big plays in order to have a chance at the victory.
3) Get AJ Green the ball
This is no easy feat for the Bengals to accomplish. This season every defense knows who AJ Green is and they go into each contest with a game plan of how to keep the ball out of his hands. Last year Green missed the first match-up between the two and was held to only 2 catches for 26 yards in the second meeting. In order to get AJ Green involved in the game, the Bengals are going to need to establish the run game early and show the Ravens that Green is not their only receiving threat. Dalton needs to get TE Jermaine Gresham early touches along with the rest of their young deep receiving core. If the rest of the Bengals offense comes out firing, a deep bomb to AJ Green can happen at any time.
Key Match-Up of the game
The match-up to keep an eye on in this AFC North contest is going to be the Ravens Lardarius Webb going against AJ Green. During the preseason the Ravens had a tough time stopping big time receivers. Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson, and Justin Blackmon all torched the Ravens D and had big games. AJ Green is already considered one of the best receivers in the game after making the pro bowl in his rookie season and Webb is going to have his hands full in this game. If Webb can keep AJ Green in check I think the Ravens come out the victors. If AJ Green torches him and proves that he is in fact one of the best receivers in the game, then I think the Orange and Black head back to Ohio with a notch in the win column.
The AFC North is one of the best divisions in football and this Monday Night matchup will show you why. Last season the AFC North sent three teams to the playoffs and two of them will face off in this heated contest. I do believe Cincy will be able to get a victory against Baltimore this year, I just don’t see it in this contest. Being in Baltimore and being Andy Dalton’s first game under the bright lights of Monday Night Football, I’m taking the Ravens in nail-biting fashion that comes down right to the final horn, 24-20.
BEST OF MAXIM
Several current and former Baltimore Ravens attended the funeral for former team owner Art Modell, who died at the age of 87 last week. No surprise it was accomplished motivational speaker Ray Lewis who stood out for the speech he gave.
Lewis, the second ever draft choice by the Ravens, eulogized Modell. He spoke about Modell being a visionary for moving the Cleveland Browns...
PAY THE MAN!
Following the Ravens QB's stellar performance in Baltimore's win over Cincinnati, head coach John Harbaugh said the team should pay Joe Flacco "whatever he wants."
Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed broke the NFL record for the most interception return yards after he intercepted Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton on Monday night.
Reed returned the interception 34-yards for a touchdown with seconds left in the third quarter. He set a new NFL record of 1,497 career interception return yards. The record was previously held by Rod Woodson with 1...
Joe Flacco is entering the final year of his rookie deal and still has to deal with critics who feel he can’t win the big game or be an elite quarterback.
Flacco wants it to be known he is dead serious this season about being elite.
He took the first steps last in night leading the Ravens in an obliteration of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Flacco was 21-of-29 for 299 yards...
As the National Football League's week one came to end last night, the Baltimore Ravens cruised to a blowout win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.Late in the game, Baltimore running back Ray Rice scored a short touchdown run and got ready to celebrate his score.Meanwhile, an NFL cameraman decided to get a close-up of Ray but actually got too close as Ray&...
Balitmore QB Joe Flacco completed 21 of 29 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns Monday in a season-opening victory over the Bengals.Fantasy Spin:Flacco would have easily surpassed 300 yards passing had John Harbaugh left him in the game, but instead Flacco was replaced by Tyrod Taylor early on in the fourth quarter with the Ravens winning by more than 20 points. Flacco seemed...
The Baltimore Ravens have placed linebacker Sergio Kindle and wide receiver LaQuan Williams on their inactive list for Monday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
In addition, the Ravens waived running back Bobby Rainey and signed running back Anthony Allen from the practice squad. Allen was active for Monday's opener.
Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) was also...
The Ravens started this season the same way they started last season – by blowing out an AFC North opponent. Baltimore used offense, defense and special teams to beat the Bengals 44-13 Monday night.
Joe Flacco was spectacular throwing two touchdowns on 21 of 29 passing for 299 yards.
Ray Rice also got in the end zone, but only ran for 68 yards on 10 carries.
Ed Reed returned an...
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Joe Flacco deftly directed Baltimore new, no-huddle offense, and the Ravens' defense administered an old-fashioned whipping on the Cincinnati Bengals.
Flacco threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, Ed Reed took an interception 34 yards for a score, and the Ravens rolled to a 44-13 victory Monday night to extend their home winning streak to 11 games.
The offense is dynamic and the defense has held the Bengals to just a single touchdown.
Joe Flacco has been fantastic going 12-for-15 for 183 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
The two biggest plays of the half have come from Torrey Smith, who caught a 52-yard pass on the game’s opening play, and Anquan Boldin, who caught the lone touchdown from Flacco.
Ray Rice scored the...
Photo by Keith Allison
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco looked pretty sharp in Monday night’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals. So sharp that head coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens need to pay him.
#Ravens John Harbaugh on Joe Flacco: “Pay the man!”
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 11, 2012
The Ravens do need to sign Flacco to a new contract, but I wouldn’t...
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Cincinnati 13 @ Baltimore 44
September 10th, 2012
“You were totally worth the money, RayRay!”
Ravens Offense. Good. Night. If Baltimore can put together a complete football game like Monday Night, every week, just had them the Lombardi trophy. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis directly impact the final score by forcing key turnovers...
Inactive for the Bengals: RB Bernard Scott, WR Ryan Whalen, TE Donald Lee, TE Richard Quinn, DE Carlos Dunlap, CB Jason Allen, CB Dre Kirkpatrick
Inactive for the Ravens: WR LaQuan Williams, CB Asa Jackson, OL Jah Reid, TE Billy Bajema, DL DeAngelo Tyson, OLB Sergio Kindle, DT Bryan Hall
The Ravens also made a roster move. Baltimore signed running back Anthony Allen from the practice...