Baltimore Sun blogger and reporter Matt Vensel gives his take on the Baltimore Ravens' 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns, including thoughts on the Ravens' offensive identity, Terrell Suggs and their fierce pass rush, Marlon Brown's surprising start, and more.
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.
The Ravens are well-rested, motivated and ticked off, not a good combination if you are a Browns team that is looking for its first win in the series since 2007. Cleveland is an improving team and they will pose problems for the Ravens in several areas.
The Ravens will get a chance to right their ship against the Cleveland Browns, a team they have defeated 10 straight times. While Baltimore Sun reporter and blogger Matt Vensel thinks the Browns, who have a good defense, will put up a fight, picking an 11th consecutive win wouldn't be very courageous of him. But he is willing to go out on a limb and make these four bold predictions for Sunday's game.
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 Ravens were pleased with how cornerback Lardarius Webb moved around during his first regular-season game since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last October against the Dallas Cowboys.
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.
John Harbaugh pointed the finger directly at himself Monday when asked to explain the reasoning behind why the Ravens didn't challenge a third-down completion to Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker in the third quarter that actually bounced off the ground before he trapped it against his body.
One might think it is tough to find a positive in the Ravens secondary after Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for seven passing touchdowns Thursday night. But in his return to a real game after his second ACL injury in four years, Lardarius Webb gave the Ravens a little something to feel good about
As Huff failed to contain Broncos tight end Julius Thomas with the former college basketball player scoring two touchdowns, Elam wound up playing 15 snaps in relief of Huff, most of them with the game already decided in the fourth quarter, and had one tackle and no pass deflections.
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.
In his post-game press conference after Thursday night's 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos, Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked why he didn't challenge a pass reception by Wes Welker early in the third quarter.
We knew the Ravens would be in the nickel a lot against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. They probably had to use it even more than expected as the Broncos went three-wide on more than 75 percent of their plays. As a result, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graham and Lardarius Webb played significant snaps.
I expect a lot of the national media to say that the reason the Ravens lost and gave up a lot of yards to Denver and Peyton Manning is because the team no longer has linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed.
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.
When the Ravens take the field tonight against the Denver Broncos to begin the 2013 NFL season, their offseason defensive makeover will be on full display. There will be no Ray Lewis and no Ed Reed, but the two new leaders of the defense will be old and familiar faces.
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.