It doesn't happen often, but Sunday the guys in the CBS broadcast booth got it mostly right in their keys-to-the-game talking points just before kickoff. Give them credit for that in their call of the Ravens 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins Sunday.
Now Torrey Smith is justifying that faith through his emergence as one of the best young receivers in the game heading into Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. For an offense that lost Boldin, tight end Dennis Pitta to a serious hip injury and has a dormant running game, Smith has become indispensable as the lone constant threat.
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.
Torrey Smith insists that the Baltimore Ravens are not using him any differently, that he is running the same routes down the field and facing the same kinds of coverages that secondaries used to account for him a season ago. But the speedy wide receiver is on pace to be targeted 58 times more than he was last season.
The Ravens will commemorate their Super Bowl XLVII victory one final time before Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns with a video tribute and the unveiling of world champion banners. Whether they pay homage to last year's team by getting back to the same offensive script from their stunning postseason run is not as clear.
For all the talk about the Ravens' overhauled defense, their offense is also in transition, and much of the burden has fallen on Joe Flacco's shoulders to help accelerate the learning process for the team's new pass catchers. Judging by the results ¿ Flacco threw two interceptions and 28 incompletions in the 49-27 loss to the Broncos ¿ the situation remains a work-in progress.
The decision, made with the fan base still in the midst of celebrating the organization's second Super Bowl title, was mildly criticized at the time, but the second guessing is growing louder by the day. It certainly didn't help that Boldin's dominant performance came just three days after his former team opened its season with a 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Like a lot of people in Baltimore, I watched San Francisco 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin play a great game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but I'm not sure he would be that effective with the Ravens this season.
Delivering punishing stiff-arms, boxing out cornerbacks for position and running crisp routes, Boldin delivered a trademark performance Sunday during a 34-28 victory Sunday night over the Green Bay Packers.
With a passing game in flux due to the offseason trade of Anquan Boldin and a hip injury to tight end Dennis Pitta, the running game was being counted on to be the rock-solid foundation of the Ravens' offense.
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.
The Ravens wouldn¿t be walking into Sports Authority Field at Mile High as the defending Super Bowl champs on Thursday night had they not been dominant when it mattered in the most important 20 yards of the field.
After an offseason of scrutiny at his position, Jacoby Jones will start the season as the No. 2 receiver for the Baltimore Ravens. Starting Thursday the pressure will be on Jones to produce like a starting receiver, something he hasn't been in a couple of seasons.
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.
A tight budget could make it extremely difficult to retain many unrestricted free agents, which includes offensive tackle Michael Oher, tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, cornerback Corey Graham, middle linebacker Daryl Smith, defensive end Arthur Jones, strong safety James Ihedigbo and kick returner Jacoby Jones. And the Ravens may not be able to expand their payroll with high-dollar free agents from other teams
However, to some outside the organization, there remains a lingering question about how the Ravens will react on the field when things inevitably go wrong, when momentum shifts away and motivation is needed. That's where Lewis and Reed did some of their best work over the years.
As the Ravens try to defend their Super Bowl title, they're betting heavily on the acumen of general manager Ozzie Newsome. Though some speculated faintly that Newsome might step away in the afterglow of a second championship, he has instead embraced the challenge of reconfiguring the roster one more time. It's a process that might inspire great anxiety in many NFL cities. But that's less the case in Baltimore where in Ozzie fans trust.
Yeah, we know. The game isn't in Baltimore. And whether you've moved on and are just excited for the season to kick off or you're still in a deep state of depression, there's only one thing to do: drink.
Before joining Maryland, freshman cornerback-returner Will Likely III, from Glades Central High School, was part of that unusual fraternity that has produced such NFL players as running back Fred Taylor and receivers Anquan Boldin, Santonio Holmes, Jessie Hester and Reidel Anthony.