Hoping to cash in at M&T Bank Stadium

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Home for much of homestretch, Ravens look to continue success in Baltimore

November 21, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

For the Ravens, home is where the wins are.

Since 2000, the Ravens have compiled a 49-18 record in Baltimore. Their home winning percentage of .720 ranks third behind the New England Patriots' .743 (52-18) and the Indianapolis Colts' .725 (50-19). Coming home tastes even sweeter for a team that just completed three consecutive games on the road and five of the past six away from M&T Bank Stadium.

"It just feels good to not have to go get on a plane this week and get to stay at my home," linebacker Ray Lewis said. "Saturday is a regular Saturday. Lie in your own bed for a while and things like that. I think the guys kind of feel it, too. Not just in here, but the city is kind of feeling it, you know? We've been away from Baltimore for almost over a month now, so just to be back playing at home. ... You never want to go through that rough of a schedule, to have to do that. But I think to come out the way we did, I don't think you can ask for anything else."

The Ravens, who play four of their final six regular-season games at M&T Bank Stadium, have been especially successful at home in November, when the team has gone 13-4 since 2000. On the flip side, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Ravens' opponent Sunday, own a 13-5-1 record on the road in November. So something has to give, right?

"The bottom line is a football game is a football game, and you go out there and play it between the white lines, and it's all about how you go out there and prepare during the week and play on Sunday," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "It's fun to play at home, and it probably adds a little bit of something, but the best team wins."

Pro Bowl voting

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is not listed among the top five at his position in the AFC in early Pro Bowl voting.

The top five are the Tennessee Titans' Albert Haynesworth (206,925), the Pittsburgh Steelers' Casey Hampton (86,352), the Buffalo Bills' Marcus Stroud (80,981), the New York Jets' Kris Jenkins (74,343) and the Cleveland Browns' Shaun Rogers (72,950), according to results provided by the NFL.

"That doesn't even matter to me," said Ngata, who has more tackles than Hampton, Stroud and Jenkins and leads that group in interceptions with two. "We've got a lot of things we need to worry about, and that's just way back in terms of my priorities. I'm just trying to help the team win a game and get better and better every week."

In other Pro Bowl news, Lewis, free safety Ed Reed and fullback Le'Ron McClain lead in voting at their respective positions. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs has 112,110 votes, which ranks fourth behind the Miami Dolphins' Joey Porter (151,463), Tennessee's Keith Bulluck (117,856) and Pittsburgh's James Harrison (117,728). Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is fourth among special teams players, while cornerback Chris McAlister - who is on injured reserve after undergoing surgery on his right knee - is fifth at his position.

Back to work

Three starters - wide receiver Derrick Mason (dislocated left shoulder), cornerback Samari Rolle (neck surgery) and Reed (neck) - returned to practice in limited fashion.

Rolle no longer wore a sling on his left arm, and when asked by reporters about the arm, he held up both arms in a touchdown pose.

Starting left tackle Jared Gaither (right shoulder) missed practice for the second straight day. If Gaither can't play Sunday, Adam Terry (right ankle) would fill Gaither's position, and Willie Anderson - who was limited in practice because of a sprained left ankle - would start at right tackle.

Defensive tackle Lamar Divens (shoulder) and rookie guard David Hale (thigh) were also limited. Tight end Daniel Wilcox (thigh) and rookie safety Tom Zbikowski (thumb/thigh) were upgraded to full participation after being limited Wednesday.

End zone

Signed to a six-year, $57 million contract in February, cornerback Asante Samuel leads the Eagles with three interceptions and 17 pass breakups and has contributed to a pass defense that ranks 11th in the NFL after it was 18th last season. "Asante brings a lot to the table," said Ravens wide receiver Mark Clayton, who could see a lot of Samuel if Mason's dislocated left shoulder keeps him out Sunday. "He's very cagey, very smart, very instinctive." ... For the Eagles, running back Brian Westbrook (knee/ankle) missed practice for the second consecutive day. Free safety Brian Dawkins was limited because of a groin injury. ... The New York Giants broke more tackles against the Ravens on Sunday than against any other opponent. According to research compiled The Star-Ledger, the Giants broke and dodged 14 tackles and collected an additional 150 yards in a 30-10 win over the Ravens. That exceeded the previous season high of 13 tackles resulting in 77 yards in New York's 44-6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 5.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.