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By Matt Vensel | July 5, 2013
In eager anticipation of the 2013 NFL season, Baltimore Sun blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will take a daily look at one of the 13 opponents on the Ravens' regular-season schedule. Today is the Detroit Lions. The Ravens will make their only "Monday Night Football" appearance of the season in Week 15 against the Detroit Lions. The Lions are one of the toughest teams to project entering this season. In 2011, quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions passed their way to a 10-6 record before being outgunned by Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2014
For the fourth time in three seasons, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Tucker converted all three of his field-goal attempts in the Ravens' 23-21 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and his 32-yarder as time expired provided the decisive points in the road win. The kick was Tucker's seventh career game-winner. He also made field goals from 38 yards and 21 yards in the game. For the season, Tucker is 8-for-9 with his only miss coming from 55 yards in the Ravens' season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | December 14, 2013
RUSHING GAME RAVENS: A beleaguered Ravens running game took baby steps last week, gaining 97 total yards and averaging 3.6 yards per carry. Though he had pedestrian numbers, Ray Rice ran hard and also was a threat out of the backfield with five catches for 42 yards. Short-yardage situations continue to be the team's Achilles' heel. Center Gino Gradkowski and left guard A.Q. Shipley will be under the microscope against one of the league's best fronts. The Ravens still rank 29th in the league in rushing.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2014
When the free-agent market officially opens at 4 p.m. today, it isn't expected to be long before the top available offensive tackles - Branden Albert (Glen Burnie), Jared Velheer and Rodger Saffold - have new homes. But what about Eugene Monroe ? Four days ago, when the “tampering window” opened and representatives of free agents were allowed to start talking with teams, it seemed inevitable that Monroe would be playing his football somewhere else in 2014. By the end of the weekend, things had seemingly turned in the Ravens' favor and it appeared that the two sides were on the right track to getting a deal done.
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By David Selig and The Baltimore Sun | May 1, 2012
Pat Boyle , a former Calvert Hall football standout who went on to play at Temple, has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Lions . The 6-foot-5 left tackle was part of the winningest four-year class in Temple history. He played in at least seven games each of his four years with the Owls. He helped open holes for running back Bernard Pierce, whom the Ravens drafted in the third round Friday . In high school, Boyle was also an All-Metro track and field selection who ranked among the best in the state in the shot put. His twin brother Sean also plays on the offensive line for Temple.
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The Baltimore Sun | December 16, 2013
Baltimore Sun staff members give their thoughts on the Ravens' game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Week 15 of the 2013 NFL season. Matt Vensel, reporter: Justin Tucker for MVP. Childs Walker, reporter: This season gets more improbable by the week. Again the Ravens seemed on the cusp of a gut-wrenching loss after the defense squandered a late lead. Again they staved off the blow with an improbable clutch play, this time a 61-yard field goal by wunderkind Justin Tucker.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | December 17, 2013
Fullback Vonta Leach was an afterthought during Monday night's 18-16 win over the Detroit Lions. Leach has seen his playing time dwindle over the past two months, but his three snaps on offense against the Lions were his fewest since the Week 9 loss to the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens did not get into any goal-line situations and they used three-receiver sets on pretty much every play, even on the few third-and-short situations they faced. Leach lined up as a receiver on one play and pass protected on another.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | December 11, 2013
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel highlights five stats that really mean something for the Ravens. 25 -- routes run out of the slot by Dennis Pitta on Sunday. Four months after injuring his hip, Pitta made his season debut in Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings and played 36 snaps. He had six catches for 48 yards on a team-high 11 targets and also scored. Pitta did most of the damage out of the slot, not as a traditional in-line tight end. Five of Pitta's receptions came as a slot receiver for 30 yards and that fourth-quarter touchdown.
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Mike Preston | January 23, 2014
Even as the Ravens' search for an offensive coordinator appears to be moving away from him, former Detroit Lions assistant Scott Linehan would be their best option. On paper, Linehan has more experience than the three candidates who are reportedly in the running for the job: Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler, Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson and former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. As of midday Thursday, Linehan had not been scheduled for a second interview, according to a league source.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | December 12, 2013
Now that the NFL season is here, I'm putting a twist on my weekly Blogger on Blogger series. Each week, I will enlist a blogger who regularly writes about the Ravens' opponent to help me break down the game. This week, I exchanged emails with Max DeMara, who blogs about the Detroit Lions for Lions101.com . MV: The Lions were expected to run away with the NFC North after the Green Bay Packers lost Aaron Rodgers and the Chicago Bears lost Jay Cutler. But the Lions have lost three of their past four games and remain tied with the Bears at 7-6. The Packers, who could get Rodgers back this week or next, are a half game back at 6-6-1.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | February 3, 2014
On the first official day of the NFL offseason, Las Vegas oddsmakers aren't very optimistic about the Ravens' chances of winning next year's Super Bowl. According to Bovada, the 2014 Ravens have 40/1 odds to win Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Only nine teams face longer odds to win next year's Super Bowl than the Ravens, who went 8-8 this past season in defense of their title and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Of course, the Seattle Seahawks who won Super Bowl XLVIII with a dominating 43-8 victory Sunday over the Denver Broncos , are the early favorites and have 9/2 odds to repeat.
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Mike Preston | January 23, 2014
Even as the Ravens' search for an offensive coordinator appears to be moving away from him, former Detroit Lions assistant Scott Linehan would be their best option. On paper, Linehan has more experience than the three candidates who are reportedly in the running for the job: Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler, Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson and former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. As of midday Thursday, Linehan had not been scheduled for a second interview, according to a league source.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | January 21, 2014
After a week of interviews with both college and NFL coaches, four leading candidates have emerged to fill the Ravens' offensive coordinator vacancy. Current Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler, Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson, former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan remain under strong consideration to replace Jim Caldwell, who was hired as the Lions' head coach on Jan.14.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun | January 16, 2014
Head coach John Harbaugh and other Ravens officials have been mostly mum about the process of finding a replacement for offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, and the characteristics the organization is looking for in its next hire. However, one thing has become abundantly clear: The Ravens are operating from a position of strength with a desirable job to offer and plenty of interested and qualified candidates. "I think it's an excellent position," said NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly, a former general manager of the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2013
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco played through pain during the final two games after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee against the Detroit Lions in Week 15. Flacco said, however, that he won't need to undergo offseason surgery to repair the damage to his knee. "No, I'm not going to have to get anything done," Flacco said following the Ravens' season-ending 34-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. "It was just my MCL, and it will heal on its own. " Flacco appeared to be in pain after being hit in the end zone, grabbing his knee and wincing afterward.
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By Matt Vensel | December 23, 2013
When Dennis Pitta caught six passes for 48 yards and a touchdown in his return to the field in Week 14, it was seen as a sign of big things to come for the Ravens tight end. But over his past two games, Pitta has just six receptions on 11 targets -- as many as he had three weeks ago against the Minnesota Vikings. Teams know that quarterback Joe Flacco likes to look Pitta's way on third down and inside the red zone, as Pitta is probably his most trusted pass-catcher. And with Torrey Smith and other Ravens wide receivers struggling to get open against single-high safety looks, defenses have been able to focus on taking away Pitta.
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Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | December 17, 2013
It seems improbable, but the Ravens are more than willing to let Justin Tucker kick them all the way to the playoffs. Tucker's sixth field goal of the night, this one from 61 yards with 38 seconds to play, pushed the Ravens to their biggest victory of the season, an 18-16 win over the Detroit Lions in front of a raucous and shocked crowd of 64,742 at Ford Field on Monday night. The longest field goal in Ravens' history - and the longest ever in NFL history indoors - secured the Ravens' fourth straight victory and keeps them in control of their playoff future.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2013
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco played through pain during the final two games after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee against the Detroit Lions in Week 15. Flacco said, however, that he won't need to undergo offseason surgery to repair the damage to his knee. "No, I'm not going to have to get anything done," Flacco said following the Ravens' season-ending 34-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. "It was just my MCL, and it will heal on its own. " Flacco appeared to be in pain after being hit in the end zone, grabbing his knee and wincing afterward.
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By Aaron Wilson | December 23, 2013
The most lopsided loss during the Harbaugh era unfolded during a short week following a dramatic 18-16 win over the Detroit Lions. Ravens coach John Harbaugh acknowledged that the quick turnaround sapped the Ravens' energy. “It did, we felt it,” Harbaugh said. “We fought through it all week as best we could. Our guys were excited to play, and I thought the effort was there. They fought like crazy, but we just didn't have enough juice to pull it off. It's a legitimate factor.
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Mike Preston | December 22, 2013
The Ravens said they were treating the matchup with the New England Patriots as a playoff game, and they got a look at what a top-notch playoff team with an elite quarterback looks like. The Patriots embarrassed the Ravens in front of a packed M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday and snapped their four-game winning streak. In those games, the Ravens had luck, miracle comebacks and a never-say-die attitude. On Sunday night, they just got destroyed, 41-7, by the Patriots. Playoffs? The Ravens still have a shot at the No. 6 seed in the AFC, but have to beat the Bengals in Cincinnati next week and hope either the Miami Dolphins or the San Diego Chargers lose.
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