Posts Tagged 'Ed Reed'

Week 1 Preview: Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets

January 16, 2010…that was the last time the Ravens played a game that mattered. Seems like a long time ago huh? Well the wait is over, September 13th has finally arrived, and what a game we have tonight!

The Jets and Ravens are very similar teams. They both have the young quarterbacks with plenty of experienced weapons on offense. Defensively, both squads play good ol’ “smash mouth football”.

There has been quite a bit of talking leading up to this game, and it’s fun, but I’m not gonna address the jabber. I want to look at the types of games both teams need to play to come away with a win tonight.

First off, believe the hype, Darrelle Revis is the real deal. He is as good as advertised and has to ability to take a whole side of a field away from the opposition. That opens up options for the New York defense to blitz, especially with their safeties. And everyone knows Rex Ryan loves to blitz. He will be sending extra guys at Joe Flacco early and often to try to fluster the third year signal caller. On the other side of the field will be Antonio Cromartie, who is also a very skilled corner, not as talented as Revis. However he does have lightning fast speed. If he comes up with an interception, he is likely to take it to the house.

That being said, Revis can only cover one guy at a time, tonight that guy will be Anquan Boldin. Baltimore has plenty of other options to go to other than Boldin when airing it out. Flacco will have to spread the ball around to targets Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Ray Rice in the flat.

Speaking of Rice, I believe he is more dangerous on those flare passes and toss plays tonight. Do not expect much from him rushing up the middle. The Jets have a beast in Kris Jenkins at nose tackle. He can take up so much space and will be a challenge for center Matt Birk on first and second downs. Against a defense as physical and brutal as New York’s, getting backs Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain at least half a dozen carries each is crucial. Rice isn’t built to take such a pounding for four quarters.

On to the Jets and their offense. Mark Sanchez enjoyed a solid rookie campaign and is looking to continue his growth as an NFL quarterback. He has plenty of viable options at his disposal to help him win not only tonight but throughout 2010. The addition of future Hall of Famer Ladainian Tomlinson as well as 15-year veteran Tony Richardson adds depth, experience, and stability to a young corps of backs in Shonn Greene and John Conner. Receivers Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes are solid options who have great hands as well as breakaway speed. However, Holmes is out for tonight’s game. He is missing the first four games of the season due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy this past offseason. Jerricho Cotchery will have to step up and fill in his place tonight. Tight end Dustin Keller averaged just over 11½ yards per catch last year but only hauled in two TD’s. I like him to have a big 2010, watch out for him across the middle.

This leads to the one glaring weakness of the Ravens, their secondary. With Ed Reed on the PUP list for the first six weeks of the season, and Dominique Foxworth gone for the year, the Ravens are vulnerable and everyone knows it. Baltimore will have to work with Fabian Washington, Josh Wilson, and Chris Carr at corner. Lardarius Webb is listed as a game time decision, however I expect him to suit up and get plenty up snaps. Tom Zbikowski fills in for Reed at free safety, while Dawan Landry provides the most experience and talent of the group at strong safety.

There are lots of big names at the skill positions for both teams, and they very well could be the difference in the outcome of the game. But I believe it will all come down to who can dominate in the trenches, specifically when New York is on offense. I already mentioned earlier that Kris Jenkins will cause disruption in the middle of the Ravens line, but more importantly is if the Jets big men can hold up against a tough Baltimore front seven. If they can, it gives Sanchez the necessary time to pick apart the corners and safeties. A poor effort up front will lead to sacks, hurries, and in turn, poor decisions by the second year QB.

I believe nose tackle Haloti Ngata is a bit better than Jenkins due to his speed and athleticism. Remember last year in the preseason (against the Jets) when Ngata droped back into coverage like a linebacker and picked off Sanchez and took it to the house? Center Nick Mangold, fresh off signing an 8-year, $57.4 million contract, will have the tall task of blocking Ngata all game. And a great matchup I’m excited to watch will be left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson against a leaner and quicker Terrell Suggs.

So many storylines and matchups to digest in this one. Both teams have “super” aspirations if you know what I mean. Lots of questions will have been answered by the conclusion of this evening’s battle. Time for the prediction: I say the Ravens get off to a slower than expected start, and possibly fall behind. But the offense has too many weapons and will unleash its firepower in the 2nd half. The defense will bend but not break, and limit the Jets to field goals when backed aginst the wall. BALTIMORE 27 – NEW YORK 16

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Ed Reed OUT vs. Packers

A little less than 90 minuets before tonight’s contest, ESPN has reported that Ravens Pro Bowl free safety Ed Reed will not play against the Packers due to ankle and hip injuries.

He did not participate in practice on Thursday or Saturday, and was limited on Saturday.

Reed will miss his first start since November 27, 2005.

NFL Week 9 Game Preview: Baltimore Ravens (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)

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Game Info:

Kickoff: 1 p.m. (EDT)

Site: Paul Brown Stadium (65,515) · Cincinnati, OH

TV: CBS

Announcers: Dick Enberg (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (color)

Previous Meeting:

In the teams’ last meeting on Oct. 11, the Bengals drove 80 yards and scored the game-winning TD with 22 seconds remaining, stunning the Ravens. It was the third straight win for the Bengals, and each of those victories came after trailing in the fourth quarter. Carson Palmer’s 20-yard pass to Andre Caldwell in the endzone sealed the victory for the Cincinnati. Cedric Benson rushed for 120 yards on 27 carries, becoming the first back in 40 games to gain 100 or more yards against the Ravens’ defense.

Keep Your Eye On:

CIN RB Cedric Benson. The fifth year back out of Texas has had resurgence in 2009, averaging 4.4 yards per carry (a career high) and scoring four TD’s (one shy of tying his career best of five). After 4 mediocre seasons in Chicago and another one last year in CIncy, Benson finally looks like the back everyone thought he would be when the Bears chose him with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft. The Bengals are 3-0 this year when he gains 100 or more yards

BAL RB Ray Rice. This guy can do everything. He is explosive and remarkably powerful for his size. He is averaging 124.9 total yards from scrimmage per game this season, 2nd most in the NFL. In Rice’s last two games, he has averaged 11.2 yards per reception.

Carson Palmer vs. Ravens Defense: Back on Oct 11, Ed Reed intercepted Palmer in the first quarter and returned it for a TD. The rest of the game, Palmer was held in check. But on the Bengals final drive; he looked calm and collected while the Ravens’ defense looked slopy undisciplined. Chris Carr was called for an illegal contact penalty; Palmer completed four passes and ran six yards for a first down on 4th and 1. Linebacker Ray Lewis was called for a personal foul when he delivered a hard hit Chad Ochocinco coming across the middle. And the final blow came on the 20-yard TD pass to Andre Caldwell right over the middle of the field. Getting pressure on Palmer early

Prediction: The Ravens showed last week that they despite their three consecutive losses, they are still capable of beating some of the best teams in the league. When this team doesn’t shoot themselves in the foot, they are a tough bunch to beat. The Bengals, however, are having a great season. They knocked off the Super Bowl champs, and came into Baltimore with confidence and walked out with a win. When their offensive machine is rolling, it is very difficult to stop. The difference in this one will be that Baltimore is more hungry for a win here than Cincinnati. RAVENS 34-21.

Week 3: Ravens – Browns Wrap Up

Raice Rice celebrates his first career NFL touchdown with the help of Mark Clayton.

Raice Rice celebrates his first career NFL touchdown with the help of Mark Clayton.

The Ravens did a great job yesterday of staying focused and not overlooking an inferior team. They came out of the gates strong and didn’t let up. They played smart football and the result was a 34-3 domination of the Cleveland Browns before 70,950 at M&T Bank Stadium.

I honestly thought the game would be a little closer, but I guess I didn’t realize just how bad the Browns really are. There are numerous problems with the team, but it seems like the solution is a mystery. Is it head coach Eric Mangini? Is it the quarterback situation? Or is it owner Randy Lerner? I just don’t know. After reading some of the reader comments on the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s website, I almost feel sorry for what Browns fans have to go through.

But that’s enough sympathy for the Browns. Let’s talk about the Ravens and their stellar performance.

The offense is so fluid right now. Willis McGahee and Ray Rice went literally untouched on all three of their touchdown runs. Huge credit goes to the offensive line, especially tackles Jared Gaither and rookie Michael Oher.

Joe Flacco was efficient, completing 25 of his 35 throws and amassing a career high 342 yards. His confidence has to be extremely high going into Foxborough next Sunday after throwing no interceptions for the first time this season.

Derrick Mason caught 5 passes for 118 yards and he surpassed the 800 catch plateau for his career. His most impressive play came with a little over eight minutes remaining in the game. He adjusted to catch an underthrown pass by Flacco. He made the leaping catch, and proceeded to make two Cleveland defenders miss on his way to the endzone for a 72 yard TD.

The defense took advantage of Jamal Lewis being out with a hamstring injury and shut down the Cleveland rushing attack. Jerome Harrison was limited to 52 yards on 16 carries. With that the Ravens have now not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 38 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the NFL.

Ed Reed, Dawan Landry, Dominique Foxworth, and Brendan Ayanbadejo all had interceptions. The secondary limited Braylon Edwards to 35 yards receiving.

Final Thoughts: The Ravens are playing some the best football in the history of the franchise. Never before have the offense and defense been so balanced and so good. The offense is explosive and the defense is as rough and tough as it’s ever been. But their toughest opponents are still in front of them. Next week’s game at New England is going to be a HUGE test for this team. Whether or not they can go into a tough environment and beat a very talented football team will speak volumes.

Week 3 Game Preview: Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Baltimore Ravens (2-0)

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Game Info:

Kickoff: 1:05 p.m. (EDT)

Site: M&T Bank Stadium (71.008) · Baltimore, MD

TV: CBS

Announcers: Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Steve Tasker (color)

Fast Facts:

-Since 1999, Baltimore has allowed 18 100-yard rushing games. The Browns have allowed 18 100-yard rushing games over their last 32 games.

-Since 2003, the Ravens’ defense at home has ranked first in the NFL in yards allowed, points allowed and interceptions.

-Ravens wideout Derrick Mason needs just 3 catches to put him at 800 for his career, a mark which only 22 players in NFL history have hit.

– The Ravens have had at least 1 sack in 14 straight games.

-Free safety Ed Reed has 7 career interceptions against the Browns and has returned 3 of them for scores.

– The Browns are 3-7 in their previous 10 visits to M&T Bank Stadium. The last time Cleveland won in Baltimore was in 2007 in a game that will forever be remembered for Phil Dawson’s wild field goal at the end of regulation.

Josh Cribbs: I have never made a section in a game preview for just one player. But Browns return specialist Josh Cribbs is good enough to warrant his own preview. Consider these stats: From 2005-09, Cribbs is ranks first in the league in kickoff returns for touchdowns (five), and second in combined return touchdowns (seven). He also ranks second in kickoff return yards (5,707 for a 26.2-yard average). During last season’s Ravens-Browns game in Cleveland, Cribbs ran a kickoff back 92-yards for a score, and totaled 237 kickoff return yards and 41 yards on punts. He returned another kick for a TD in week 1 against Minnesota. The Ravens showed last week that their special team coverage has some holes as the Chargers’ Darren Sproles averaged 32 yards per kickoff return including a 52 yard burst that gave his team great field position.

Ravens Offense vs. Browns Defense: Last week the Ravens showed that their 501 yard outburst in week one was no fluke. In fact, Baltimore now ranks first in the AFC in yards per game (406) and points per game (34.5). On paper, this is as big of a mismatch as you will ever see. Defensively, the Browns rank all the way on the other end of the spectrum. Cleveland has given up an average of 30.5 points in their first two games. The offensive line has been VERY impressive so far in this young season. Jared Gaither held Shawne Merriman to one tackle and zero sacks last week. Center Matt Birk has the tough task of blocking Browns all-pro nose tackle Shaun Rogers. Rodgers is strong and takes up lots of space. He can disrupt the running game by closing holes before they even open. Said Birk, “He’s a great player. He combines power and quickness, and that’s rare in a big guy like that to be so explosive. That’s why he’s been a good player for so long in this league. He’s just a big, powerful guy. All you can do is get in there and try to battle.” The three headed monster of Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and Le’Ron McClain will once again give Baltimore fresh legs the throughout the game at the running back position. Joe Flacco has been solid in 2009, but has thrown a pick in each game. It will be interesting to see if he can avoid throwing one for the third straight week.

Browns Offense vs. Ravens Defense: Cleveland is having a great deal of trouble scoring points on the offensive side of the ball. They have scored just one offensive TD in their past 33 quarters! That is a stretch of just over 8 full games. Former Raven Jamal Lewis is questionable with a hamstring injury. If Lewis is unable to start, Jerome Harrison and fullback Lawrence Vickers (three combined rushing attempts in ’09) will get the bulk of the carries. As if going up against the NFL’s #1 rush defense wasn’t hard enough, doing so without your starting halfback makes it that much harder. Receiver Braylon Edwards has been very quiet through two games so far this year, hauling in only 7 receptions. But he could be due for a big game, especially against a Baltimore secondary that got lit up last Sunday in San Diego. But Edwards having a succesful day is largely dependent on whether or not quarterback Brady Quinn can play smart football and avoid costly turnovers. Since his debut last November, Quinn has started 5 games, thrown 3 touchdown passes, 4 interceptions, and won just one game. He will have to battle a tough pass rush from Ray Lewis and company as well as a loud M&T Bank Stadium crowd.

Prediction: These two teams are going in two very different directions. Baltimore is thinking Super Bowl and Cleveland is trying to establish a solid foundation with Quinn at quarterback and Eric Mangini as head coach. Take a look at the Baltimore Sun’s
staff predictions for this game. They all pretty much agree that this will be a lopsided affair. I disagree. The Browns have talent and will put up a good fight on Sunday. I would be shocked if they were to escape town with a win, but this will be much closer than a lot of people think. RAVENS 24 – BROWNS 13.

Ravens 27 – Dolphins 9

Jan. 4, 2009, 7:14 PM

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Ed Reed celebrates the Ravens' 27-9 victory over the Dolphins

The Baltimore Ravens marched into Miami on Sunday afternoon and imposed their will on resurgent Dolphin squad in front of 74,240 at Dolphin Stadium, earning a trip to the next round of the NFL playoffs.

From the very start, Baltimore played their game. It did not translate into points immediately, but the defense steadily wore down the Dolphins, forcing five turnovers out of a team that only gave up 13 total in 16 regular season games.

Safety Ed Reed gave the Ravens their first touchdown of the game with a 64 yard interception return late in the first half.

After that score, the boys in purple never looked back.

Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco managed the game well, completing only nine passes the entire game. But his zero turnovers are a number the Ravens will take any day of the week

Le’Ron McClain wore down the Dolphins defense with 19 carries for 75 yards and a score. Eventually Willis McGahee capitalized on the tired Miami defensive unit when he broke a 48 yard run with 4:53 to play in the 4th quarter.

That long run set up a 3rd and goal and a chance for the Ravens to score and put the game away. Flacco did just that with an eight yard quarterback draw to make the score 27-9.

The big story of the game was Baltimore’s ability to force five turnovers out of a team that was known for taking care of the football.

The win means the Ravens have a date with the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, January 10, at 4:30 (EST). On the line will be a trip to the AFC Championship Game.

Discussing the Ed Reed lateral issue

Dec. 30, 2008, 5:15 PM

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I was reading a blog entry by the Baltimore Sun‘s Mike Preston this morning. The entry talked about the Ravens coaching staff telling Ed Reed to stop his habit of lateralling the ball after interceptions/fumble recoveries. Quite a few people responded to the post and the majority of the voices said they agree with the coaching staff that Reed needs to stop.

I do not share that opinion.

Ed Reed will go down as one of the best safeties ever to play the game. Why? Because he’s a playmaker. I believe if you want Ed Reed on your team, then you have to take the bad with the good. Is he going to mess up every now and then? Of course! Some say his mistakes cost the team games. That may be true, but off the top of my head only one game comes to mind where that would even be close to being the case. That game was the Monday night game last December against the Patriots, when New England running back Kevin Faulk stripped Ed and basically negated the intercepion he just made. Even in that case, the problem was ball control, not Reed lateralling it. I will take those mistakes with the game-changing ability that Reed brings to the table any day of the week. I think people need to realize what a great asset he is to the Ravens and not nit-pick over a certain aspect of his game. It’s a classic risk-reward debate. And with Reed, I’d say the reward is well worth the risk.


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