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Ravens look to control the clock
The Ravens are the NFL’s 22nd worst team in time of possession per game with 28:41. The inability to control the clock specifically stuck out in Baltimore’s 17-7 loss Sunday. The Bengals had the ball for 67 percent of the game.
Fox Sports’ Brian Billick asked Ravens head coach John Harbaugh how the hurry-up offense could hurt the clock.
Harbaugh told Billick that he doesn’t believe the no-huddle offense is necessarily the contributing factor in the Ravens’ struggles. He said that successfully controlling the clock is two-fold: getting first downs on offense, and getting the defense off the field.
In the loss against the Bengals, Carson Palmer kept converting third downs and putting points at the end of those drives. Meanwhile, Joe Flacco had difficulty getting first downs – huddle or no huddle. At the end of the first half, Baltimore had three first downs to Cincinnati’s 16.
And to put Harbaugh’s point into perspective, the undefeated Colts are 20th in the league in time of possession per game at 29:05. The Giants, Patriots, Saints, Bengals and Steelers are the top five.
I found it interesting who didn’t make the team: safety Ed Reed. I don’t blame the Pro Football Weekly’s team for selecting the Patriots’ Brandon Meriweather and unanimously selecting the Saints’ Darren Sharper, but it’s an interesting statement about the perception of Reed’s play thus far this season.
“The guy is a monster and the Ravens have only had one game where he’s gotten more than 20 carries,” Tunison said. “Baltimore got a little too infatuated with its newfound ability to air it out and thus found a way to go away from their strength in the first half of the season. A big reason why they’re sitting at 4-4 right now.”
Well, the title of the Tunison’s article is “Meaningless Midseason Awards.” And that’s just what this claim is – meaningless. Talk about evaluating the Ravens with blinders. Just because Rice hasn’t rushed more than 20 times a game, doesn’t mean he isn’t getting his hands on the ball.
In addition to his 573 rushing yards on 108 attempts, Rice has 46 receptions for 436 yards. The second-year sensation has tallied 1,009 yards from scrimmage and ranks second in the NFL averaging 126.1 net yards per game entering Week 10.
Stover vs. Hauschka
The Baltimore Sun put together this little stat sheet comparing how Matt Stover is doing for the Indianapolis Colts vs. the Ravens’ Steve Hauschka.
Matt Stover Field goals: 6 for 6, with a long of 40 yards
Extra points: 8 for 8
Total points: 26 points
Steve Hauschka Field goals: 8 for 11, long of 44 yards
Extra points: 26 for 26
Total points: 50 points
Power Rankings Week 10
The last couple of weeks the Ravens have taken an elevator up and down these rankings, which reflects their play on the field. Remember when Baltimore topped these lists?
Clark Judge of CBS Sports asked Browns head coach Eric Mangini about the possibility that his quarterback Brady Quinn was benched because of his contract and an escalator clause that rewards him the more he plays.
Here’s what Mangini said:
“No, absolutely not. With all the different contracts. . . . I don’t know what the incentives are. But that wouldn’t make my decision [even if I did].”
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk doesn’t believe Mangini. “There’s no good way out of this one for Mangini,” Florio said. “He’s lying, or he’s incompetent.
“Either way, it’s a dangerous strategy for a guy working for an owner who’s looking for any way to fire people who need to go without having to pay the balance of his contract.”
A Nashville judge has authorized the widow of Steve McNair to sell the restaurant he opened shortly before he was shot and killed. Probate Court Judge Randy Kennedy this week cleared the sale of Gridiron9 by Mechelle McNair, administrator of the ex-player’s estate.