Tag Archives: Baltimore

Patriots v. Ravens: How They Match Up

After a much deserved Bye Week, the Patriots return to action on Saturday against the pesky Baltimore Ravens in Foxboro. Of course the team from Baltimore is very familiar with Gillette Stadium, especially in the postseason, as they are the only team to ever beat the Patriots there twice in the playoffs. Those wins were in the 2009 and 2012 seasons and Terrell Suggs and the militia of Ravens fans will never let the Patriots forget about those seasons.The Patriots will try to avenge both of those loses, and if they don’t, this season will be considered an enormous failure to the franchise.


Those games will mean nothing when the game starts on Saturday afternoon. Here’s how these two teams matchup:

Rushing Attack: Most people may have assumed that without Ray Rice, the Ravens would struggle with running the ball effectively. In reality, Baltimore has had more rushing yards they they’ve had in 5 season. Justin Forsett has led the way for the Ravens with over 1,000 yards on the season and 8 rushing touchdowns. The New England defense gave up an average of 104 yards per game in the regular season, but that number is a bit inflated due to the terrible start by the club. They gave up 191 rushing yards in week 1, and then in week 4 gave up 207 in the embarrassing Monday Night loss to the Chiefs.

The Patriots Run game has been what we normally expect from the Patriots. Ridley missed more half the year with an injury, and occasionally a running back will have a big game for the Patriots like Jonas Gray against the Colts. As seen during the Green Bay game, if the run doesn’t seem to work early, the Patriots completely abandon it, and go strictly to a passing game.

Advantage: Ravens

Passing Game: Joe Flacco has been known to air the ball out from time to time. He has success with that, and Steve Smith Sr., and Tory Smith are usually on the same page as him. He’s no Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but he’s proven he can get the job done when it matters. He is not “The best QB in the game” as his coach John Harbaugh claims, but somehow he wins playoff games. He’s thrown for 13 touchdowns and ZERO interceptions in his last 5 playoff games. Those stats are a little scary. As all of Baltimore has tried pointing out to me all week, Flacco also has the most road playoff wins in NFL history. That’s great, but a bit of a deceiving stat, considering great quarterbacks like Peyton and Brady haven’t had the opportunity to play on the road as much because of their regular season dominance.   Read more

Reasons Why You Should Hate the Ravens (In Case You Forgot)

On Saturday afternoon, the football team from Baltimore will come into Gillette Stadium to face the #1 team in the AFC. The Ravens are no strangers to playing in New England during the postseason. In fact they are only one of two opposing teams to win a game at Gillette after week 17, and they’ve done it twice in the past 5 years. If the history between these two teams doesn’t make you hate the Ravens, I can help with why you should hate them.

1.)    Terrell Suggs.


Suggs should be all the reason you need to hate the Baltimore Ravens franchise. He talked a lot of smack about the Patriots on different occasions. If he gets his ass beat by the Patriots he runs his mouth and accuses of them of cheating. If he beats the Patriots, he still runs his mouth in the most unsportsmanlike way.

Of course the Ravens had Ray Rice on this team until the start of the year, but somehow Suggs is still on this roster just because there was no video of him beating a woman. According to a 2009 report from the Baltimore Sun, Suggs beat his now wife on multiple occasions, and the one highlighted by the report detailed how he tried to pour bleach on Candace Williams.

So the lesson here kids is, if you want to play for the Ravens you can be as horrible as you want so long as there’s no video of the incident.

2.)    Worst Fans in all of the NFL.

I’ve experienced 31 teams come into Gillette, and Baltimore fans are by the far the worst when they come to New England. First of all they all wear these UGLY purple Camo pants.

I’m not a fashionista, but wearing something that ugly should be punishable by death.

camo pants

They all sing that horrible White Stripes song “Seven Nation Army”, y’know the one that every college marching band plays and every student sings along to. Pink Hats singing “Sweet Caroline” isn’t half bad after you’ve experienced these horrible people sing the White Stripes for 3 hours straight. In general, the Ravens have been the most disrespectful towards me at the stadium, and for no reason. They are this way even during a week 3 regular season game.

These Ravens fans gave Ray Rice a STANDING OVATION at training camp AFTER the incident in which he beat his wife. Not only were they satisfied with him only getting a 2 game ban, but they were ready to build him a statue for what he did.

I’ve crossed into enemy territory and have seen the Patriots play in Philadelphia. A place that is supposed to be the scariest place to wear opposing colors to a game. Compared to Baltimore fans, Philly fans seemed like Mr. Rogers. Way more friendly and respectful than fans of Baltimore. It’s not just Ravens fans who are horrible; it’s all Baltimore sports fans. Oriole’s fans are just as bad and would always talk smack to opposing fans even when their team was in the toilet.

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How Does Jackie Bradley Jr. Fit Into Red Sox’ Plans?

JBJ's performance this spring has many questioning his role with the team to start the season

Going into spring training, it was widely assumed that Jackie Bradley Jr. would be taking over the Red Sox everyday centerfield job, and that at some point Grady Sizemore would be healthy enough to challenge him for playing time. Things have not gone as planned, and the Red Sox find themselves looking at a different roster to break camp than they originally expected. To this point in spring training, Bradley Jr. has posted a .182/.250/.318 triple slash, almost a polar opposite of his stunning numbers from a year ago. Teams do not usually read too much into spring training stats, but it is still somewhat disappointing in the sense that the Red Sox expected Bradley Jr. to take the centerfield job and run with it, thereby leaving themselves with both depth and options in the event that Sizemore is not healthy or able to play every day. This plan has not come to fruition so far, and it has everyone questioning what will happen between Bradley Jr. and Sizemore regarding the centerfield job heading into Opening Day.

The Red Sox have been pleasantly surprised by what they have gotten out of Sizemore so far this spring, even if the player himself won’t admit any significant accomplishment. However, Sizemore is scheduled to start five games this week, at a time where John Farrell has clearly stated that he will be trying to get his regular lineup on the field as much as possible. This leaves many to believe that Sizemore’s performance (and lack of Bradley Jr.’s) is leaving him in line to start in centerfield on Opening Day in Baltimore. When asked this week if Sizemore has a chance to make the team come Opening Day, Farrell responded “Yes,” in addition to stating the Red Sox’ current expectation that he can become an everyday player. This was an entirely unexpected scenario going into the spring, although one that likely pleases the Red Sox.

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Red Sox Drop Two To Orioles, Set To Face Rays For Four Game Set

For the first time in the young 2013 season, the Red Sox lost a series, dropping two games to the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. After a strong performance in the Home Opener on Monday, despite cruising through 8 innings on Wednesday night, the Red Sox were not able to take a second game from Baltimore.

Joel Hanrahan after blowing a 2-run 9th inning lead on Wednesday

Joel Hanrahan after blowing a 2-run 9th inning lead on Wednesday

On Wednesday night the Red Sox had a 2-run lead in the top of the ninth inning. And then the new Red Sox closer, Joel Hanrahan, who pitched a rough inning in the home opener, came in to the game and allowed the Orioles 5 runs, and the game. Hanrahan and the Red Sox had the Orioles on the ropes, but they failed to throw a knockout punch.

On Thursday night Alfredo Aceves, starting in the place of John Lackey, pitched a decent game. Aceves gave up just two runs in 5 innings on 6 hits, and 3 walks. One of the runs allowed by Aceves was a solo home run to Chris Davis, the AL leader in RBI’s with 19 in just 9 games.

Clayton Mortenson relieved Aceves after 5 with the score tied at 2, and gave up a single in the 7th inning with 2 outs before being pulled for Andrew Miller. Miller was not able to get the final out of the inning as he walked Manny Machado, and then was replaced by Koji Uehara. Uehara gave up a double to Adam Jones which scored the Orioles third run of the game, and that was all they needed to beat the Red Sox.

Winning one-run games is nothing new to the Orioles, as the 2012 Orioles won 29 one-run games. Besides the minor hiccup in the 7th inning, and Hanrahan’s struggles, the Boston bullpen has been very efficient this season.

I guess the Rays didn't hear what happened to last Pro Sports team to wear letterman jackets to New England

I guess the Rays didn’t hear what happened to last Pro Sports team to wear letterman jackets to New England

Next the Red Sox will continue their home stand with the Tampa Rays coming to town for four games. The Rays are taking a page out of the Houston Texans playbook, and on their trip from Texas to Boston, the team will all be wearing ugly letterman jackets. The Red Sox hope it works out for the Rays just as much as it did for the Texans who lost 42-14 in Foxboro on Monday Night Football.

The Rays will start Alex Cobb on Friday night against Felix Doubront. Cobb did not allow a run in his first start of the season and has been the best starter for the Rays so far this year. After Doubront goes on Friday night, the Rays will be challenged by facing the Red Sox two ace’s, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The series will conclude on Patriots day morning, a game which starts at 11:05 am.

After HOT First Week, Red Sox Look to Continue Success

After 6 games, the Boston Red Sox are standing atop the AL East standings for the first time since September 1st 2011. It may not mean much in the early season, but they are giving fans hope, and are already getting fans attention, for a good reason, something that the 2012 team couldn’t do at all.

The Red Sox, 4-2, have won both because of their offense and their pitching. Boston is ranked second in team batting average at .290, only behind the Baltimore Orioles who have hit .301, and ranked 5th in the AL in pitching with an ERA of 3.29, the best team ERA in the AL East.

Jose Iglesias

Jose Iglesias

Jose Iglesias, who wasn’t expected to have much of an impact this year with Boston, and who has struggled at the plate in his limited time in the majors, is off to a very hot start offensively going 9 for 17 with an RBI, and two doubles. If Iglesias continues his hot streak, it will be hard to justify starting Stephen Drew over him when Drew joins the Red Sox later this week when he comes off the disabled list. Read more

Beating the Ravens Will Be No Easy Task for the Patriots

For the second consecutive year, the Patriots will host the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship in Foxboro. Last year the Patriots barely got by the Ravens to advance to the Super Bowl, and although the Ravens don’t seem to be as good as they were last year, and the Patriots seem better than they do last year, I think this year’s AFC Championship game will be even tougher than last year’s.

Tom Brady Ray Lewis

Over the past week the term “Team of Destiny” has been used by many analysts and sports talk radio hosts regarding the Baltimore Ravens. The term makes most people feel nauseous, as it should, but if you think about it the Ravens really are playing like they are the team of destiny.

A win in Foxboro on Sunday would avenge the loss of year. Last year was no ordinary loss. The Ravens had a chance to win the game when Joe Flacco threw what would be a touchdown to Wide Receiver Lee Evans. That pass which was in Evans in hands was knocked out by Sterling Moore at the very last second. The Ravens as we all know then tried to tie the game with a 32 yard field goal. The easy field goal was missed by Kicker Billy Cundiff.

To lose a game like that is something teams don’t forget. Sure, this year is a different team for the Ravens, but those players who were on the field last year surely haven’t forgotten about this. Every player has been fighting all year to get back to where they got last year for a chance at redemption.

Along with the storyline for avenging last year’s loss, throw in Ray Lewis, who is playing in his final season. Every player on the field knows how important it is to show up and win for the team leader, to extend his career one more game. Although Ray Lewis is one of the best motivational speakers and teammates, you have to wonder when the “Lets win one for the Gipper” speech gets old and starts to fade for players. They won one for “the Gipper” (In the case Lewis) in the Wild Card round against the Bengals, and then they went out and won ANOTHER one for the Gipper against the Denver Broncos.

On Sunday the Ravens won’t be the only team trying to avenge a loss. The Patriots haven’t forgotten about losing to the Ravens in week 3 on primetime. That game was an even closer game than the AFC Championship game last year with the Ravens defeating the Patriots 31-30 by kicking a game winning field goal as time expired. In that game, the biggest story was the replacement officials.

Here’s a recap of that game: http://boston.sportsthenandnow.com/2012/09/24/patriots-vs-ravens-recap-five-reasons-the-patriots-lost-sunday-night/

Of course there’s a lot to play for in the AFC Championship. Most of the sports media will be hoping for a Ravens win to create better storylines, but the Patriots will try to stop that, and make things harder on the media by making them report on meaningful stories pertaining to football. With everything on the line on Sunday, and with the recent history between these two teams, this game will be no walk in the park for the Patriots.

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