There are hundreds of moments and plays during the season that affect a team's final record or bid to make the playoffs. There are a lot of what-if moments: What if Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk hadn't scored with so much time left against the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday? What if the Philadelphia Eagles had been able to score on the two-point conversion pass in the final seconds?
Now that the NFL season is here, I'm putting a twist on my weekly Blogger on Blogger series. Each week, I hope to enlist a blogger who regularly writes about the Ravens' opponent to help me break down the game. This week, I exchanged emails with Max DeMara, who blogs about about the Detroit Lions for Lions101.com.
As NFL games ebb and flow, they are usually decided by a handful of plays. For the winning team, they are joyfully relived in the locker room after the game. For the losers, those plays linger in their heads beyond the 24-hour rule. This season, the Ravens have been on the losing end more than they are accustomed to.
Although Pierce has bulked up 10 pounds since last season to 228 pounds, the native of Ardmore, Pa., has maintained a lean build. Pierce has always preferred running through defenders rather than around them, but is working on battling that natural tendency to plow straight ahead.
One year ago, Rice was the talk of the NFL following a career-high 2,068 combined rushing and receiving yards in 2011. He was celebrating his newly-minted five-year, $40 million maximum value contract that included a $15 million signing bonus, the highest in league history for a running back.
When training camp launches later this month at team headquarters, a faster, more assured Pierce could pay significant dividends for the Ravens as they attempt to defend their Super Bowl title. As the primary backup to Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, Pierce is looking to emerge as a bigger scoring threat by finishing off long runs after scoring one touchdown last season when he occasionally flashed breakaway skills.
The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. This week, we exchanged emails with Dan Ciarrocchi, a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association who writes about fantasy football for Pro Football Focus and the Redskins for Hogs Haven.
The Ravens and Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice agreed to a five-year, $40 million extension Monday. Here's what other news outlets are saying about the big deal, which makes Rice one of the NFL's highest-paid backs.
This is what the 25-year-old had waited for all offseason: a multi-year commitment from the Ravens, and a chance to report to training camp next week armed with a new lucrative contract and long-term security.
Much has been made around here -- and elsewhere too -- about which players have and haven't been attending the Baltimore Ravens' voluntary organized team activities the past three weeks. The Ravens were missing seven players during their first OTA opening to media two Wednesdays ago. Attendance dipped the following Wednesday. This week, 19 players were not on the field. Is this a big deal? Here are some points and factoids to consider.