Sam Koch has been through a lot in his eight years in Baltimore, with many more memories worth savoring than ones he wishes he could kick to the curb. But the 31-year-old said this "little rough spot" over the past four games has been the most maddening stretch of his career.
Since 1990, the year the NFL went to the six-team playoff format, nine teams have made the playoffs after starting the season 3-5, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals both did it last year, each winning seven of their final eight regular-season games to head into the postseason at 10-6.
Joe Flacco had been under siege like Steven Seagal during the first six games of the season. The Ravens quarterback had been sacked 19 times entering Week 7 and had taken a beating the previous two games. Flacco's offensive line battled back Sunday with maybe its best effort of the season in pass protection.
Roethlisberger, often hobbled by some injury or another, is healthy and back under center heading into Sunday's game at Heinz Field. Even though they haven't faced him since 2011, the Ravens know what Roethlisberger is capable of, especially on his home turf, and the Steelers believe having Roethlisberger could make all the difference this time around.
So desperate to upgrade their struggling offensive line, the Ravens were willing to make an unconventional deal by their standards. The Ravens don't like trading draft picks, though in this case, what they gave up should be sufficiently replaced when compensatory picks are awarded in March.
With the offseason addition of Elvis Dumervil to pair with Terrell Suggs, the Ravens have one of the most feared pass-rushing tandems in the AFC. The signings of Chris Canty, Marcus Spears and Daryl Smith has turned the Ravens' run defense from a weakness last year to a major strength this season.
The Baltimore Ravens host the Houston Texans on Sunday in another clash between the two perennial AFC powerhouses. The Ravens had dominated the budding rivalry, but the Texans beat them for the first time last year, blowing them out by 30 points. The Ravens have a score to settle, and I think they will. Here are four predictions that might have to go to right for them to pull off the minor upset.
The Ravens last Thursday couldn't cover Broncos tight end Julius Thomas. Now the Ravens are preparing to face another former college basketball player turned NFL tight end, Jordan Cameron of the Browns.
The Baltimore Ravens' season-opening 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos on Thursday night featured a team-wide breakdown as the reigning Super Bowl champions were outplayed in every facet. But one group that took the loss particularly hard was the Ravens' defensive backs, who were badly victimized on Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning's record night.
As tens of thousands of purple-bedecked fans packed near the Inner Harbor Thursday evening to watch country star Keith Urban sing atop a floating stage, lingering frustrations that the Baltimore Ravens were out of town faded away.
Baltimore Sun blogger and reporter Matt Vensel gives his take on the Baltimore Ravens' loss to the Denver Broncos, including thoughts on the Ravens defense, Joe Flacco missing Dennis Pitta and John Harbaugh's decision not to challenge Wes Welker's non-catch.
Beyond having the leg strength to rocket the football through the uprights, Justin Tucker was about more than just power. He was uncommonly accurate. Tucker connected on 30 of 33 field goals for a 90.9 percent success rate, the second-best mark for a rookie in NFL history.
As an encore, Flacco, who racked up team accomplishments since his rookie season in 2008, wants to take his individual game to the next level this season. It won't be easy with increased expectations and the loss of two of his favorite receivers. But if anyone can shrug off all this pressure, it's Flacco.
With a formidable pair of edge rushers in Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, nose tackle Haloti Ngata and a handful of other pass rushers, the Baltimore Ravens appear to have what it takes to harass quarterbacks. But time won't be on their side Thursday night against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.