The Baltimore Ravens have been to the playoffs for 4 straight years with Joe Flacco as our quarterback. Each of those four years has ended with a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs. Including yesterday’s 23 to 20 loss, the Ravens have loss in the AFC Championship game twice in the last four years. I’m not sure which playoff loss hurts the most. I don’t know if it was last year’s collapse to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2nd half or this loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.
I do know that I am proud of my team. Many people didn’t give the Baltimore Ravens a chance against the Patriots and their powerful offense run by Tom Brady. They did not believe that the Ravens defense could stop Tom Brady from throwing any touchdown passes but they did. Nobody thought that Joe Flacco could out play Tom Brady statistically in this game but he did. Flacco had a 95.4 QB rating while Tom Brady had a low 57.5 QB rating. I mean who thought we would sweep the AFC North Division at the beginning of the season? Who knew that the Ravens would go undefeated at home for the first time in franchise?
In short, this loss was heartbreaking to say the least but there are several things to be proud of this season if you are a Ravens fan.
It will be the classic matchup of offense vs defense. The Baltimore Ravens have one of the best defenses in the NFL while the New England Patriots have one of the best offenses in the NFL. The last time the Baltimore Ravens played the New England Patriots in the playoffs, the Ravens not only won the game, but blew the Patriots out 33 to 14. Most sports analysts, however, are picking Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to win this time. The Patriots are heavy favorites to beat the Baltimore Ravens today in the AFC Championship game and advance to the Superbowl.
The last time the Ravens beat the Patriots in the playoffs they did so despite a poor statistical performance from Joe Flacco. Ray Rice had a big day that game and broke one for a TD on the first play from scrimmage. If you are counting the Ravens out in this game, take a look at what happened last time these 2 teams met in the playoffs in New England:
The story of the day is about Ed Reed’s comments that he made on SiriusXM NFL Radio about Joe Flacco. Personally, I think the media took Ed Reed’s comments and blew them out of proportion. I’ve listened to fans call in to radio talk shows upset by the comments. Some of these same fans acting upset probably have made more harsh criticisms of Joe Flacco in the past. Yeah, the timing of these comments may have been bad but it is what it is. Joe Flacco has very tough skin so maybe he’ll use this as motivation to have a great game against the Patriots. Like I said in a previous article, all Joe Flacco has to do is win a Superbowl and he’ll silence the critics.
I personally had no problem with the way Joe Flacco played against the Houston Texans. He threw 2 touchdown passes against a top rated defense and had no interceptions. If anything, I was embarrassed by the fact we couldn’t convert in short yardage situations. The offensive line was horrible. They gave up 5 sacks. Joe Flacco is probably the most durable quarterback in the NFL and it is a wonder that he never gets hurt. He is the best quarterback that the Ravens have had even though that isn’t saying much considering who we’ve had.
The Baltimore Ravens won ugly yesterday but we usually win ugly so that is no surprise. The Ravens found a way to defeat the Houston Texans and advance to the AFC Championship and that is all that matters. Here is a video clip of some of the Ravens vs Texans highlights from the playoff game at M & T Bank stadium in Baltimore.
The Baltimore Ravens remained undefeated at home during both the regular and post season this year. The Ravens also remained undefeated against the Houston Texans. This game was a little closer than the first one this year. The Texans continuously fed their star running back Arian Foster who ended up with 27 carries for 132 yards and a TD. Ray Rice was held to just 60 yards on 21 carries even though he got his opportunities.
The difference was that our quarterback Joe Flacco threw 2 TD passes and no interceptions and the young Texans QB threw no TD passes and 3 interceptions. The Ravens definitely need to improve in some areas but they did enough to win and hold onto the lead once they got it. The Ravens will have to go on the road to face an explosive New England Patriots offense led by Tom Brady.
The major area of concern for me is that the Ravens led the NFL in sacks but had no sacks today. We will definitely need a better pass rush when we play the New England Patriots next week.
In order for the Baltimore Ravens to beat the Houston Texans and advance in the playoffs, the Ravens will need a good performance from Terrell Suggs A.K.A. T Sizzle. Terrell Suggs is the founder of the now infamous Ball So Hard University.
The Ravens will play the Texans next Sunday at M & T Bank Stadium. It will be a rematch as the Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans earlier this season. The following clip has some hightlights from the first game earlier this season:
The Baltimore Ravens took care of business today beating the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 24 to 16. The win makes the Ravens the AFC North champs and clinches the #2 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Ravens will get a bye and a home playoff game at M & T Bank stadium.
Ray Rice has a field day against the Bengals rushing for 191 yards on 24 for carries and 2 touchdowns. The formula of giving Ray Rice the ball works and hopefully Cam Cameron will continues to use it in the playoffs. Ray Rice broke 2 long runs for TDs in the game. One of them was for 70 yards.
The Baltimore Ravens finished the regular season undefeated at home last week for first time in team history by beating the Cleveland Browns 20 to 14. Now the Ravens face a hungry Cincinnati Bengals team on the road. The Ravens have played poorly on the road all season long. The Bengals are hungry for a win so that they can get in the playoffs. If the Ravens use the formula which has proven to work, they should be able to pull out a victory. This means they must get the ball to play maker Ray Rice very often.