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Uruk-Hai

*****Official Baltimore Ravens Thread*****

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1 minute ago, The_Man said:

BTW, game forecast is now looking like kickoff temp in the low 60s with showers

Again, long-range forecasts are far from exact but it seems clear there will be very unseasonably warm temps, whether it be in the low 50s or all the way up to low 60s

Too early to have a fix on if it's going to be dry, steady rain, or off and on showers. But the warm weather pattern will be bringing moisture with it

I'm getting sick of all the bad weather, I want to see LJ operate on a nice day with a dry ball and field. 

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1 hour ago, James Daulton said:

I'm getting sick of all the bad weather, I want to see LJ operate on a nice day with a dry ball and field. 

Plus. you don't want to sit in it 😉

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Whatever happened to that "Team Performance In The Last 16 Games" thread? I tried searching for it, but I am less than adequate to the task. 

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Happy 23rd Birthday to our lord and savior, Lamar Jackson

Will be very interested to hear what comes out of practice today, including Ingram's health. Hope they are sharp as the long layoff finally draws near its end

Still feeling pretty confident about Saturday, although I will grow increasingly pessimistic with each passing hour until kickoff, by which point I'll have decided this game is a tossup that comes down to turnovers. Do you realize Lamar has thrown 1 INT since the Oct. 6 game at Pittsburgh? That's amazing - makes me a little nervous that he's due. 

The more I look at Tannehill's recent success, the more struck I am by the weak pass defenses he's faced. When he finally went up against a top unit in the Wild Card game, he was really bad. Not a blinding insight, but this game will be about Baltimore's run D and also getting some points on the board and putting the Titans in a passing mode. I've been a little disappointed with Earl Thomas this year, though his pass coverage has picked up significantly in recent weeks even as his tackling remained average at best. I kind of feel like he's been working his way back from the injury throughout the year. I'm picking him as my surprise hero of the game - with the 3-week rest he's had, he's going to be as fresh and healthy as he's been as a Raven and I also think he's been conserving effort throughout the season with an eye to letting it loose in the playoffs. He'll have to bring the lumber vs Henry but, even more, be in position to lie in the weeds and come up with a big INT vs the Titans play action passing game. 

Interesting to see that Tannehill has 4 career starts vs Baltimore, 1 per season from 2013-16, all as a Dolphin. He’s 1-3, pulling out a Week 13 home win in 2015, 15-13. His most recent game was Week 13 in 2016, when he lost at Baltimore 38-6, going 29-40 for 226 yards, 1 TD and 3 INTs. In the 4 games combined, he was 82-132 (62%) for 846 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs, an 81.2 passer rating, and was sacked 15 times.

More important to me is what Ravens have done to opposing QBs with Peters and Smith in the lineup. Over their last 10 games, they’ve allowed opposing QBs an NFL best passer rating of 71.8, with a 56% completion rate, 9 TDs to 8 INTs, with 26 sacks. Before NE, every team Tennessee faced since its bye allowed a passer rating in the mid-90s during the same span.

Ravens are 10-2 following bye weeks under Harbaugh, and winners of 4 straight, including this year’s 37-20 Sunday Night takedown of New England. They’re also 9-3 in Week One games and winners of 4 straight - I include that to show they’re 19-5 with more than one week to prepare under Harbaugh and winners of 8 straight. I think the recent success is particularly relevant as I have heard Harbaugh speak about the Ravens’ recent embrace of analytics and that they now extensively self-scout during bye weeks to identify and address areas of weakness that other teams might have discovered.

Weather picture still not clear. It's definitely going to be warm and the heaviest rain is passing northwest of Baltimore. But there's a chance for a strong downpour to happen for an hour or so Saturday night, maybe starting around halftime. 

 

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Weather looking better for Saturday night. Mid-60s and rain likely to hold off altogether or start lightly late. Wind seems to be dying down too, all of which is good. I noted in the game thread that this will be the third Ravens home playoff game with kickoff temps in the 60s - which I think is crazy. Those other two games didn't go too well (loss to Titans on the Gary Anderson FG and loss to Peyton when he could only muster 5 FGs but that was enough to beat McNair that night)

In thinking about the Titans and how crazy everyone is going over their 201 yards rushing vs New England, I realized that's still 5 yards fewer than the Ravens' season-long yards per game average. Not a knock on the Titans, just showing how otherworldly the Ravens run game has been this year. Tennessee has hit the Ravens’ 206-yard average only 3 times all year, 1 of which was the Week 17 game that Houston wasn’t trying in.

Looking like Ingram isn't going to play. I guess we'll know today - if he doesn't practice, then I think there's no way he gets in the game. That will be a loss, but Edwards' effort vs Pittsburgh in Week 17 is making me fell a little better about it.

Still maintaining a reasonable sense of confidence as this week drags along. 

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1 hour ago, The_Man said:

Weather looking better for Saturday night. Mid-60s and rain likely to hold off altogether or start lightly late. Wind seems to be dying down too, all of which is good. I noted in the game thread that this will be the third Ravens home playoff game with kickoff temps in the 60s - which I think is crazy. Those other two games didn't go too well (loss to Titans on the Gary Anderson FG and loss to Peyton when he could only muster 5 FGs but that was enough to beat McNair that night)

In thinking about the Titans and how crazy everyone is going over their 201 yards rushing vs New England, I realized that's still 5 yards fewer than the Ravens' season-long yards per game average. Not a knock on the Titans, just showing how otherworldly the Ravens run game has been this year. Tennessee has hit the Ravens’ 206-yard average only 3 times all year, 1 of which was the Week 17 game that Houston wasn’t trying in.

Looking like Ingram isn't going to play. I guess we'll know today - if he doesn't practice, then I think there's no way he gets in the game. That will be a loss, but Edwards' effort vs Pittsburgh in Week 17 is making me fell a little better about it.

Still maintaining a reasonable sense of confidence as this week drags along. 

FWIW, on espn this morning Schefter said the Ravens don’t need to see Ingram practice to play and he expects that he will play.

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1 hour ago, Cobbler1 said:

FWIW, on espn this morning Schefter said the Ravens don’t need to see Ingram practice to play and he expects that he will play.

He practiced today, Harbaugh just said he was "limited" which is the definition of what they have to put on the injury report. 

At this point, I'm guessing he suits up but maybe Edwards gets the start? They only have 3 RBs on the entire roster, so suiting up 2 is pretty risky. Let's just say they suit up 2 and then Edwards gets hurt in the second quarter. You really going to have Justice Hill take every single snap for the next 2.5 quarters? So maybe Ingram suits up and sees a handful of plays - unless he's truly fully healthy. But even to have him in uniform would be good.

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I'm struggling with predicting a score for this game. I've narrowed the total down to between 37 and 66, though 

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1 hour ago, Uruk-Hai said:

I'm struggling with predicting a score for this game. I've narrowed the total down to between 37 and 66, though 

My initial pick was 34-13. I think that's a little optimistic, in keeping with the trend that has followed my midseason determination that this year's Ravens are truly one of the great teams of the last 30 years. These Titans are legit. I'll stick with my original pick but am thinking more like 30-17 now.

I looked at the list of teams with the largest point differential ever over the last half of a 16-game season. It’s a good list to be on:

1. 84 SF +177
2. 10 NE + 174
2 (tie). 19 BAL + 174

Then I expanded it to last 9 games of a season

1. 19 BAL +198
2. 84 SF +191
3. 12 NE +172

Last 10 games
1. 19 BAL +205
2. 84 SF +187
3. 94 SF +186

Last 11 games
1. 19 BAL +211
2. 84 SF +208
3. 07 NE +198

Special shoutout to the 76 Steelers who were +162 over their last 7 games - giving up a grand total of 22 points during that stretch. That might be when they put in the Mel Blount rule because that D was ridiculous. 

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Interesting article over at The Athletic on how to try and stop the Ravens offense. It's behind a pay wall (for sports fans, it's by far the best pay site I've ever encountered; I'll keep re-upping until they inevitably go bust), so I won't cut and paste any of it here. It's a deep dive with comments by pro and college coaches - some of whom have coached against Lamar Jackson. I got a little lost on some of the terminology, but understood the basics of each technique. Included are clips and diagrams of teams the Ravens have played this season trying some of these methods and how they fared.

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1 hour ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Interesting article over at The Athletic on how to try and stop the Ravens offense. It's behind a pay wall (for sports fans, it's by far the best pay site I've ever encountered; I'll keep re-upping until they inevitably go bust), so I won't cut and paste any of it here. It's a deep dive with comments by pro and college coaches - some of whom have coached against Lamar Jackson. I got a little lost on some of the terminology, but understood the basics of each technique. Included are clips and diagrams of teams the Ravens have played this season trying some of these methods and how they fared.

Here's another great USA Today article in a similar vein with some easy-to-understand video clips

And here's a fan site article with a lot of great insight

I'm starting to feel that the Titans aren't going to be able to limit the Ravens offense much, as long as Baltimore plays its game. They're not great vs inside runs and their coverage of TEs is already suspect, before losing their best covering LB to injury. Those are what the Ravens do best.

I am worried about the Ravens' edge run defense (as well as in the screen game). I'm not a believer in Ferguson AT ALL and hope they play Ward a lot more. Also, the Ravens aren't great in their base 3-4, preferring nickel and dime, but I'm afraid they might have to play it to get a little more beef on the field. In which case maybe Smith plays more at CB than Peters. Smith and Humphrey are both excellent run defenders for CBs, and Peters is bad. I don't think the Titans pass game matches up well for them vs. Baltimore. Humphrey can limit Brown and Earl Thomas shouldn't be fooled much by their vaunted play action game. If anything, I'm looking for Thomas to come through with an INT on a play-action pass, maybe a pick-six. Those clips above show how often Tennessee's play action game results in a pass to a WR/TE running an immediate crossing route. I like the chances of the Ravens scheming that up and putting Thomas in a position to play robber on one of those routes.

Still feeling reasonably confident. Maybe the Titans gash the Ravens with outside runs early on, but Baltimore will get at least a couple of stops and once the Ravens put up a few scores the Titans will have to get out of their offensive game plan, leading to opportunities for sacks/turnovers. 

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8 minutes ago, The_Man said:

Here's another great USA Today article in a similar vein with some easy-to-understand video clips

And here's a fan site article with a lot of great insight

I'm starting to feel that the Titans aren't going to be able to limit the Ravens offense much, as long as Baltimore plays its game. They're not great vs inside runs and their coverage of TEs is already suspect, before losing their best covering LB to injury. Those are what the Ravens do best.

I am worried about the Ravens' edge run defense (as well as in the screen game). I'm not a believer in Ferguson AT ALL and hope they play Ward a lot more. Also, the Ravens aren't great in their base 3-4, preferring nickel and dime, but I'm afraid they might have to play it to get a little more beef on the field. In which case maybe Smith plays more at CB than Peters. Smith and Humphrey are both excellent run defenders for CBs, and Peters is bad. I don't think the Titans pass game matches up well for them vs. Baltimore. Humphrey can limit Brown and Earl Thomas shouldn't be fooled much by their vaunted play action game. If anything, I'm looking for Thomas to come through with an INT on a play-action pass, maybe a pick-six. Those clips above show how often Tennessee's play action game results in a pass to a WR/TE running an immediate crossing route. I like the chances of the Ravens scheming that up and putting Thomas in a position to play robber on one of those routes.

Still feeling reasonably confident. Maybe the Titans gash the Ravens with outside runs early on, but Baltimore will get at least a couple of stops and once the Ravens put up a few scores the Titans will have to get out of their offensive game plan, leading to opportunities for sacks/turnovers. 

I'd put Brandon Carr on the edge before I'd put Ferguson there 😉

AJ Brown reminds me of Andre Johnson - a big, strong demon from pits of Hell who will beat the snot out of his cover guy while catching the ball. He frightens me in this game almost as much as Henry (another meek, retiring type). DBs gotta tackle, my friend.

I agree that this feels like a game where Thomas makes a big play. 

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One thing that has struck me this year is the respect and even affection opponents seem to show Lamar. It's like everyone likes him, appreciates his spectacular gifts, and doesn't want to see him hurt. He's taken very, very few cheap shots all season. The three or four hard hits he's had - Jets near the goal line, that sideline crush shot in Cleveland when Boyle didn't block the right guy, and one between the hashes at the end of a long run vs Houston come to mind - were all totally clean. I have to think that changes tomorrow. Not saying the Titans are going to try to injure him, or even cheap shot him, but in the playoffs I think opponents will be looking to inflict a lot more intentional punishment. We'll see.

In Week 17, Pittsburgh seemed to be the first team to try to hit the QB on every play where he held the ball for an extra beat or two before completing the handoff. RG3 and Watt got into it a little, and it turns out it didn't work because it totally removed the DE from playing the RB and the Ravens repeatedly gashed them straight up the middle for big gains.

One other thought is that the Ravens have been slow playing their offense for a few weeks now. I'd say starting with the Jets game, they pretty much abandoned the diamond formation - Lamar in pistol with a TE/FB on either side and the RB behind him. It was probably their most effective set, though it exposed Lamar to the most direct hits because sometimes he'd run it up between the tackles rather than stay outside. My feeling is that Harbaugh/Roman knew they were going to secure the #1 seed after the Patriots lost to KC in Week 14, and so they decided to not only spare Lamar the contact but also change up their tendencies and put different things on film for opponents to look at over the last 3 weeks. Would be interested to see if they went empty backfield more often in the last 3 weeks, which is my perception

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16 minutes ago, The_Man said:

One thing that has struck me this year is the respect and even affection opponents seem to show Lamar. It's like everyone likes him, appreciates his spectacular gifts, and doesn't want to see him hurt. He's taken very, very few cheap shots all season. The three or four hard hits he's had - Jets near the goal line, that sideline crush shot in Cleveland when Boyle didn't block the right guy, and one between the hashes at the end of a long run vs Houston come to mind - were all totally clean. I have to think that changes tomorrow. Not saying the Titans are going to try to injure him, or even cheap shot him, but in the playoffs I think opponents will be looking to inflict a lot more intentional punishment. We'll see.

In Week 17, Pittsburgh seemed to be the first team to try to hit the QB on every play where he held the ball for an extra beat or two before completing the handoff. RG3 and Watt got into it a little, and it turns out it didn't work because it totally removed the DE from playing the RB and the Ravens repeatedly gashed them straight up the middle for big gains.

One other thought is that the Ravens have been slow playing their offense for a few weeks now. I'd say starting with the Jets game, they pretty much abandoned the diamond formation - Lamar in pistol with a TE/FB on either side and the RB behind him. It was probably their most effective set, though it exposed Lamar to the most direct hits because sometimes he'd run it up between the tackles rather than stay outside. My feeling is that Harbaugh/Roman knew they were going to secure the #1 seed after the Patriots lost to KC in Week 14, and so they decided to not only spare Lamar the contact but also change up their tendencies and put different things on film for opponents to look at over the last 3 weeks. Would be interested to see if they went empty backfield more often in the last 3 weeks, which is my perception

Noticed that as well about your final thought. Makes sense. I’m so pumped for tomorrow.

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The Jets hit was the one folks here and elsewhere seemed to lead to the "See? Told you he'd get killed" thing. 

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7 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

The Jets hit was the one folks here and elsewhere seemed to lead to the "See? Told you he'd get killed" thing. 

And that was literally the play where he set the QB rushing record. Meanwhile, guys who ran far less missed some games or even big chunks of time - starting with Brees and Mahomes.

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17 hours ago, Uruk-Hai said:

The Jets hit was the one folks here and elsewhere seemed to lead to the "See? Told you he'd get killed" thing. 

As a Panther fan I saw Cam get killed many times in the past, and endure many cheap shots that weren't called. Wentz's helmet to helmet hit in the playoff game reminded me of hits that Cam took over and over, and they wouldn't get called. Cam is also really big and hard to bring down, and he sometimes ran reckless right into defenders. His body is paying the price now for all those hits. His running style is different than Lamar's though.  Lamar is like a hummingbird that spins and weaves through people. He still has to be careful. Some defenders show no mercy.

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12 minutes ago, simey said:

As a Panther fan I saw Cam get killed many times in the past, and endure many cheap shots that weren't called. Wentz's helmet to helmet hit in the playoff game reminded me of hits that Cam took over and over, and they wouldn't get called. Cam is also really big and hard to bring down, and he sometimes ran reckless right into defenders. His body is paying the price now for all those hits. His running style is different than Lamar's though.  Lamar is like a hummingbird that spins and weaves through people. He still has to be careful. Some defenders show no mercy.

Lamar's Fred Astaire, Cam's Gene Kelly. 

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Welp, boy & girls. That was a good, old fashioned butt-whipping,  There were a few near-misses that might have changed things, but Tennessee was the more efficient team and deserved to win.

Lots of work to do in the off season, especially if Yanda hangs 'em up.

Disappointing end to one helluva fun season.

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Heck of a regular season. Despite the idiot troll in every thread, there’s no reason to think what worked for 12 straight dominating wins won’t make this team formidable against next year. The schedule looks light on paper for whatever that’s worth at this point. Need help at LB. Josh Bynes and LJ Fort just doesn’t inspire any fear. Could use wr help and interior OL too especially if Yanda hangs it up. We have money to spend and a young offense with room for improvement.

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I am not near as knowledgeable as many Raven's posters here, but wanted to ask y'all what you thought was the key to the loss against Tennessee. I mean beyond the fact that Henry controlled the clock and the game.

I was surprised that the RBs had such a minor role. If Ingram was not healthy enough to carry the ball, why didn't Edwards get more of an opportunity. I realize that trailing big forced more passes as the Ravens sought to strike quickly, but:

  1. Ingram 6 carries for 22 yards (averaged 13.5 rushes)
  2. Edwards 3 carries for 20 yards (averaged 8.3 rushes)
  3. Jackson 20 carries 143 yards and threw 59 passes (season average was 26.7 passes and 1.7 rushes)

It seemed that they got away from their normal distribution fairly early and then falling further behind, just went all in on the passing game. Was Ingram's injury that much of a factor in the even greater dependence L. Jackson? It seemed that Edwards was a reliable Ingram replacement, but then neither of them had many opportunities. Or was he just keeping the majority of the rushes as the correct read?

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I'm not over it either, guys. 

Sorry for the disappearance after the loss, but I am fully hyped for next year. 

Which begins very soon. 

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37 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

I'm not over it either, guys. 

Sorry for the disappearance after the loss, but I am fully hyped for next year. 

Which begins very soon. 

A really good team will lose today, too.

Like all teams, Baltimore has some work to do. The fact that they have a stable, forward-looking organization leaves me little doubt they'll do well this off-season. 

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Yanda hanging it up tomorrow. What a great career.

I think he's a Hall of Famer, though some say his All-Pro numbers (which, for a Guard, is a lot of what you have to go on) don't measure up favorably. I think being the anchor of the O Line that blew away the all-time season rushing record gets him in. And I think there's a bit of a halo effect being a Raven on the HOF ballot these days, as hard as that is to believe. I think Suggs ends up going in on the first ballot, for Yanda it will be a matter of the backlog when he gets in. Also, I don't think the NFL has named an official team of the decade for the 2010s yet - if he's on that, it will give his candidacy a giant boost.

Leaves Ravens with gaping needs at:
Interior O Line
Edge Pass Rusher
Inside LB

Don't think they can afford an Edge Rusher in free agency and no way an impact rookie drops to them at 28. But on the bright side, they're in a great spot to pick up a stud ILB at 28 and then get a very high quality interior O Lineman in either the 2nd or 3rd. And one thing they seem to be good at picking is Guards - Yanda, Osemele, Ben Grubbs, even Bozeman last year (though he's not in the same class as those high picks)

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13 hours ago, The_Man said:

Yanda hanging it up tomorrow. What a great career.

I think he's a Hall of Famer, though some say his All-Pro numbers (which, for a Guard, is a lot of what you have to go on) don't measure up favorably. I think being the anchor of the O Line that blew away the all-time season rushing record gets him in. And I think there's a bit of a halo effect being a Raven on the HOF ballot these days, as hard as that is to believe. I think Suggs ends up going in on the first ballot, for Yanda it will be a matter of the backlog when he gets in. Also, I don't think the NFL has named an official team of the decade for the 2010s yet - if he's on that, it will give his candidacy a giant boost.

Leaves Ravens with gaping needs at:
Interior O Line
Edge Pass Rusher
Inside LB

Don't think they can afford an Edge Rusher in free agency and no way an impact rookie drops to them at 28. But on the bright side, they're in a great spot to pick up a stud ILB at 28 and then get a very high quality interior O Lineman in either the 2nd or 3rd. And one thing they seem to be good at picking is Guards - Yanda, Osemele, Ben Grubbs, even Bozeman last year (though he's not in the same class as those high picks)

They're most likely gonna have to do something at DL, too. Looks like Pierce may be gone. The Ravens always seem to find guys there, though.

I keep seeing that ILB from Oklahoma (Murray?) being mocked to Baltimore at 28. 

Good for Yanda going out when he wanted. He'll be missed, for sure.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Cuban Missile said:

Sorry for bad england, I am cuban.

Where were you when Ray Lewis retire? I was home eating crabcake when jon harbaugh announce on tv "ray lewis is retire" "no"

Welcome to fbgs:hifive:

Edited by Snorkelson
fbgs=footballguys
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Ravens making moves - especially on the DL

Yanda retires

Extend Jihadi Ward
Put franchise tag on Matt Judon

Get Calais Campbell for a 5th rounder, sign him to 2-year deal
Get Atlanta Second Round pick and Fifth Round pick for Hayden Hurst and Fourth Round pick
In other words, they got Campbell and a 2nd in exchange for Hurst and a 4th. That seems good

Release OL James Hurst
Sign Rams DT Michael Brockers

I guess it's still up in the air if they keep Judon or trade him. At this point, I lean toward they keep him. Because Campbell and Brockers give them great size, physicality and run-stuffing, but limited pass rush. Judon is really the only pass rusher they have on this team. They are now tight vs the cap so can't afford anyone in Free Agency and won't get a real threat drafting at #28

I'm so interested in the size they've gone for on the DL. Makes me think they target a very fast, maybe smaller ILB at #28 - with big bodies in front of him, he won't have to shed blockers and can use sideline-to-sideline speed to make plays. 

Ravens biggest needs are pass rush, ILB, interior O line. As I said above, they won't get pass rush, but should be able to fill other needs and maybe pick up another decent WR with 5 picks in first 3 rounds: 28, 47, 60, 92, 106

I'll misss Hurst. Was never quite sure why they took a 25-year-old guy so high, and he never really got the chance to shine, aside from his 61-yard TD vs Buffalo this year. But I think he is fast, has great hands and is actually an above average blocker. Guess he become trade bait with the emergence of Andrews. I think he'll put up numbers in Atlanta 

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