In a matchup between two of the NBA's top teams since New Year's Day, John Wall heard "MVP!" chants while producing 26 points and 14 assists to lead the host Wizards past the Pacers, 112-107, on Friday night.
As best I can tell, Carroll County is a collection of Ravens, Redskins and Steelers fans. Beyond being the biggest football game of the year and for the commercials, it's going to be hard for any of these fan bases to get amped for tonight's 51st big game. To help you decide who to root for (the correct answer is Atlanta, by the way) I've decided to put together this guide of interesting facts about the teams that might be relevant to our local fan bases.
Among the myriad problems the Ravens must address in the offseason, beefing up the pass rush — especially on the edge — figures to be one of the top priorities. The defense finished the season with 31 sacks, which was tied for 24th in the NFL. The 2016 average was 34.9 sacks.
Hannah Fenske scored the go-ahead basket on a jumper with 29 seconds left and added two free throws in the final second to lift visiting Navy (8-5, 1-1 Patriot League) to a 62-59 victory over Boston University (4-9, 2-0).
It's tempting to view Sunday's game against the reeling Philadelphia Eagles as the calm before the storm, but be assured that the Ravens are not viewing it that way. Their postseason prospects might seem to depend almost entirely on their chances of beating the first-place Pittsburgh Steelers on Christmas Day, but looking past any NFL team — even one that has lost six of its past seven games — would be a prescription for a restful January.
Only three offensive players that started for the Patriots when they last met the Ravens in a divisional playoff game on Jan. 10, 2015, will be starting Monday night at Gillette Stadium. Yet, the only thing that seemed to matter to the Ravens this week was that the guy who directs the Patriots offense remains the same, perhaps even better.
More often than not this season, Dean Pees' vision for his defense has been realized. The Ravens have confused quarterbacks, overwhelmed opposing running backs and forced turnovers. They have the No.1-ranked defense in the NFL and players say their veteran defensive coordinator's game plans are a major reason why.
It's easy to get overlooked on the Ravens, and more so on the offensive line. Marshal Yanda is a five-time Pro Bowler at right guard. Center Jeremy Zuttah is the ninth-year anchor in the middle. And rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley was the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft. The lack of attention might be frustrating to some, but to right tackle Rick Wagner, it is welcomed.