In his last day on the job before being fired Monday morning, Cam Cameron called one of his more effective games even though mounting behind-the-scenes discord led to his dismissal. With Vonta Leach plowing defenders and Ray Rice dancing upfield, the Ravens used its running game to pile up a season-high 186 yards.
Ray Rice had just topped 100 rushing yards in a game for the first time since early October, but the frustration showed on his face. As the Ravens packed their bags before making the short drive back to Baltimore, he couldn't help but feel as if they had left yards and points — and a victory — out on the field.
Twelve games down. Four to go. Yes, we are at another quarter pole, so let's dig into the third quarter snap counts to see which trends have developed when it comes to playing time. These numbers, which come courtesy of the NFL, are pretty interesting due to the return of Terrell Suggs and injuries to other key Ravens players.
The Ravens rank 21st in rushing yards and 18th in yards per carry, and only eight quarterbacks have been sacked more often than Joe Flacco. But while their offensive linemen cannot hide from criticism whenever Rice hits a wall or Flacco hits the turf, Rice said he isn't worried about his big blockers, who at times have gotten pushed around on and off the field in recent weeks.
The Ravens have actually experienced remarkable health on offense this season. Not one of their starters has missed a game due to injury. Not quarterback Joe Flacco, who has one of the NFL's longest ironman streaks at his position. Not running back Ray Rice, who plays at position where players absorb a lot of hard hits and break down all the time. Not even center Matt Birk, who is 36 but hasn't missed a game since 2005.
After manhandling a soft Raiders front seven, the Ravens' line will be tested by the Steelers' OLB tandem of James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. Their extensive repertoire of pass-rushing moves is formidable
The Ravens scored 27 first-half points, tying the most ever in the John Harbaugh era, and kept pouring it on from there en route to a 55-20 blowout over the hapless Oakland Raiders in front of an announced 71,339 at M&T Bank Stadium. The 55 points set a new franchise record.
When the AFC's only two winning teams play Sunday afternoon at Houston's Reliant Stadium, the winner will improve to 6-1 and become the clear front runner in a conference presently marred by mediocrity.
With the exception of a single spin move by Dallas Cowboys star outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware to get past left offensive tackle Michael Oher and tackle quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens allowed just one sack Sunday.
The Ravens' NFL-best home winning streak survived the Dallas Cowboys, but just barely. The result was the Ravens' 31-29 victory in front of an announced 71,384 today at M&T Bank Stadium. Ray Rice scored two touchdowns and Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown.
Because of the poor performance by the offensive tackles against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, there had been some speculation that the Ravens might choose to start Bryant McKinnie at left tackle over Michael Oher and move Oher to the right side to replace rookie Kelechi Osemele. But that won't happen against the Cowboys on Sunday unless someone is really getting dominated.
And the Baltimore Ravens have done it despite continually getting off to slow starts. In the victory over the Chiefs, they scored just three points and gained 106 total yards in the first half against a team that seemed intent on giving the ball and field position away.
Ravens defensive tackle Terrence Cody became national talk radio fodder Friday after he and a pair of teammates were quoted in a Wall Street Journal article entitled ¿Does this New Uniform Make Me Look Fat?¿
Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday. That way he'll have an excuse to do the same to start his workday, too.
Every Tuesday, Baltimore Sun blogger Matt Vensel breaks down a critical play, sometimes with input from Baltimore Ravens players, from that week's game. Today, he looks at Ravens rookie running back Bernard Pierce's 21-yard again against the Cleveland Browns.