Late For Work 10/13: Ravens Capable Of Blowing Out Teams

Ravens cautious of banged-up Texans and Mason may be too busy to reveal insider info.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, October 13th, 2011 at 9:22 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Ravens Capable Of Blowing Out Teams

In their three wins, the Ravens’ average margin of victory is 25 points.

That’s a lopsided combined score of 106-31.

Baltimore is outscoring opponents in the first quarter 52-7.

What does that all mean?

“What I think it means, first and foremost, is the Ravens are better than they’ve been in recent years,” said CSNBatlimore.com’s John Eisenberg in the video below. “They have the capacity to blow teams out and they certainly have done it.”

The Ravens are ranked sixth in the league in points scored per game (29.8). It’s not surprising to see who is listed ahead of them – all teams with winning records and likely heading to the playoffs – Green Bay (34.6), New England (33.0), Buffalo (32.8), Detroit (31.8) and New Orleans (31.4).

There is still a lot of football left to be played, but the Ravens’ ranking is a big jump from their 16th rank in 2010.

Ravens Have Blowout Potential This Year
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Historically known for physical defensive battles and low-scoring, close games, the Ravens have been slowly climbing the scoring ladder since Head Coach John Harbaugh, Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron and quarterback Joe Flacco took over in 2008. That year the team finished 11th in the league in scoring and ninth in 2009.

Of course, it hasn’t hurt to see the defense scoring as many touchdowns (four) as it has allowed (four).

Although the Ravens got a little carried away with their new attacking style against the Jets, says Eisenberg, the win against Pittsburgh was close to “a perfect game” and shows what Baltimore can do when everything comes together.

“I think we’re a well-balanced team,” said running back Ray Rice. “There are going to be days where our defense is going to carry us; there are going to be days where our offense is going to carry us. At the end of the day, we’ve got to find that line to work together.”

When they do, fireworks are sure to erupt.

“They have it in them to blow teams out this year, something they haven’t had in the last few years,” said Eisenberg. “Credit goes to a dominating defense and an explosive offense. It’s a combination that’s more volatile than they’ve had before.”

Mason Too Busy To Reveal Insider Info?

If anyone is concerned that receiver Derrick Mason could give the Texans an edge by revealing insider information after playing for the Ravens for six seasons and matching up against them two weeks ago, Head Coach John Harbaugh is not one of them.

I don’t think he’ll give them much that way,” Harbaugh said. “It’s been a while. He may have something. But for all these guys, when you get away from that scheme … He may have something on the players, maybe, kind of his insights. But he’s been working on the Jets’ system and learning that system. That stuff leaves you after a while and things change.”

Besides, Mason may not have enough time to worry about what the Ravens are planning.

He has three days to soak up his new playbook. The 15-year veteran receiver is determined to play this weekend.

I will play Sunday,” Mason told the Texans’ team website. “I’m going to do whatever I need to do to play Sunday and not just because it’s Baltimore or just because I want to be out there. I’ll be in the playbook all night tonight, tomorrow morning, all the way up until Sunday to make sure that whatever plays that I’m called to run, I’m able to run them.”

Safety Ed Reed  wondered how quickly Mason could absorb all the new information.

“It’s going to be interesting, man, to see how they incorporate Mason to the offense in such a short time, [on] such short notice,” Reed told reporters. “We knew they needed a receiver with Andre [Johnson[] being down. But Mason is a smart guy. I don’t know why it didn’t work out in New York, but Mason is a professional, and I know he’s going to be prepared if he’s put in the game.”

Even if Mason were able to share information about the Ravens, how much would it really help? It didn’t seem to make much of an impact two weeks ago in Baltimore’s 34-17 win over New York.

“How much you think he told the Jets?” Reed said with a smile.

Schaub Misses Practice

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub missed practice yesterday with a banged up shoulder, but says he will still play Sunday. 

“Matt’s just got a sore shoulder and a banged up thigh, so we’ll give him today,” Head Coach Gary Kubiak told reporters.  “Hopefully he’ll be back out here tomorrow. We gave Lefty [Matt Leinart] and the young kid [T.J. Yates] all the reps.”

While it doesn’t appear serious, it’s something to keep an eye on.

With receiver Andre Johnson and outside linebacker Mario Williams already missing Sunday’s game, the Texans have little wiggle room with Schaub.

Ravens Cautious Of Banged-Up Texans

Yes, the Texans listed 18 players on their injury report yesterday.

That’s twice as many as the Ravens listed, and it’s no secret Baltimore is pretty banged-up itself.

Still, the Ravens won’t allow themselves to believe Houston will just roll over at M&T Bank Stadium.

“The sight of the Texans limping into this Sunday’s showdown has raised the question of whether the Ravens — who are optimistic about the potential return of six injured players — are meeting Houston at the right time,” wrote the Baltimore Sun’s Edward Lee.

But as Lee said, it’s a notion that the Ravens are shooting down.

“I told our team before we left on the bye week that we’d be playing the best team in the AFC next week — the team that was playing the best,” Harbaugh said. 

And if you look at the game against Oakland even, statistically, they dominated the game in a lot of ways. I mean, they had over 400 yards passing. Defensively, they were getting after it pretty good. Oakland didn’t do anything until toward the end of the game. So that’s the team we’re going to play. I think they’re a contender for the conference championship. This is going to be a heavyweight match, and it’s going to be a tough ballgame for us.”

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