Every Wednesday, reporter Jon Meoli will serve up five stats you should know heading into that week’s Ravens game. This week’s stats, pertaining to Sunday night’s primetime showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers, focus on how the Ravens are going to stop the Steelers, and whether the Ravens will be able to match them offensively.
37 – Both the Ravens and Steelers average just over 37 yards per offensive drive, with Pittsburgh fourth at 37.69 yards per game and the Ravens fifth with 37.32. But where these teams differ is points per drive. Pittsburgh is up to 11th in the league 2.07, while the Ravens are fifth with 2.56. Before the offensive explosion against Indianapolis, the Steelers were 21st in points per drive with 1.82. Either way, this is the type of game where both teams could sustain drives, and the Ravens' short-yardage and red-zone offense will come into focus, as will the Ravens' red-zone defense.
1.87 -- Advanced Football Analytics charts win probability, which gives a...Read more
Dressed in a hospital patient’s gown and riding in a wheelchair, injured Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta arrived at a Halloween party Monday night in a costume that winked and nodded at his career-threatening hip injury, even if the long-term prognosis of the injury is still unclear.
Pitta, who suffered his second fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons last month against the Cleveland Browns, said doctors are not yet able to tell whether the injury would prevent him from returning to the football field.
“It’s tough,” Pitta said. “I have to be patient right now, I have to let myself heal and take it one day at a time and begin my rehab and work hard doing that when I can. It’s a tough process and something, unfortunately, I have been through before and will get through again.
“In a few months, we’ll see how I’m feeling and how things are going, and we’ll be able to make some determinations then. It’s still too early to kind of tell, and I’ll continue on like I did last year and...Read more
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake paid part of her ALCS bet with Kansas City Mayor Sly James with a rendition of a baseball-centric cover of Lorde's hit song, "Royals."
This one's about to get very meta. Preakness infield performer Lorde wrote a song called "Royals" because she saw a photo of former Kansas City star George Brett. Then, apparently, Royals fan John Long wrote a Royals-based cover of that song, and one of the many stipulations on a bet between Rawlings-Blake and James was that she perform "Royals" if the Royals won.
The Royals, as this metropolis has tried to forget, swept the Orioles in four games.
Before the series, Rawlings-Blake stipulated that if the Orioles won, James had to congratulate the Orioles on video in full Orioles gear, light his City Hall orange, rename a Kansas City street after the Orioles, and donate fitness equipment to Baltimore's rec centers.
James agreed on the condition that a Royals win would require Rawlings-Blake to refer to crab cakes...Read more
Welcome to the Monday Ravens 10-Pack, where reporter Jon Meoli hits on 10 stats, notes, and thoughts following a disappointing 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Read ahead for notes on the Ravens’ suddenly-thin secondary, the struggling pass attack, and what happened to last week's safety rotation.
1. It’s hard to watch that game and not wonder, “What exactly are the Ravens?” Given the big wins compiled so far, is this a juggernaut who simply can’t beat a good team on the road, or is it a more flawed team whose strengths are strong enough to overrun other flawed teams? Consider this: The Ravens’ have losses to a 5-3 Colts team and two to the 4-2-1 Bengals, giving the teams that beat them a total 13-7-1 mark. The Ravens' five wins have come over teams with a combined record of 13-22-1. They're 2-3 against teams with winning records, and 3-0 against teams with losing records (all in the NFC South). And with trips to Pittsburgh and New Orleans looming, those numbers could be even...Read more
Some sports name three stars of the game after the game. I’ll do that one better: I’m going to name them before the Ravens even play. These will be the three stars of the game when the Ravens travel to Cincinnati in search of payback following a Week 1 loss to the rival Bengals.
1. OLB Elvis Dumervil
Dumervil somewhat lived up to his last appearance in this space, when a late sack gave him 1.5 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In Cincinnati, Dumervil will again be one of the primary beneficiaries of a Ravens pass rush that simply seems to be sending more players than most offensive lines are capable of blocking.
The Bengals’ right tackle, Andre Smith, was a disaster against the Indianapolis Colts a week ago. He’ll be primarily tasked with blocking Dumervil, something he may not do as well at as he did seven weeks ago. A lot has changed since then for both Dumervil, who’s in the midst of his best stretch as a Raven, and the defense as a whole.
Cincinnati’s rookie center Russell Bodine...Read more
Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said he knows some indicators that could help the Ravens from giving up a big play on a trick punt return, as the Seattle Seahawks did in a loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
The Seahawks coverage team ran to the sideline to surround returner and Baltimore native Tavon Austin, but Austin was bluffing. With all of the attention on the wrong side of the field, teammate Stedman Bailey fielded the punt near the other sideline and returned it almost unbothered for a touchdown.
"You’ve seen it [on tape], you prepare for it, but until you see it in person, you have to figure out, 'How are we going to stop that play?' " Rosburg said. "There’s a couple of clues, which I’ll keep to myself, but I think it really speaks to the caliber of the players and the coaches in this league and the team that had it against them. They were doing everything right. They were chasing a very talented returner. Most everybody would be. I just give my hats off to St...Read more