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By Matt Vensel | November 30, 2011
Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis said in a Wednesday conference call with Baltimore media that this has probably been the toughest season, both physically and emotionally, of his four in the NFL. Hillis earned a spot on the cover of this year's “Madden” video game after he rumbled for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010. But his 2011 campaign has been marred by a hamstring injury and a scrutinized bout with strep throat that some believe was a power play by Team Hillis to leverage for a new contract.
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By Jonas Shaffer | April 6, 2012
By month's end, Ray Rice could be the face of one of the most popular video-game franchises in America. So why are some Ravens fans now willing to root against the very same star they cheer on every fall Sunday? Three words, far scarier than any onrushing linebacker and oftentimes just as devastating: The Madden Curse. It's a worthwhile topic for anyone voting for Rice as he takes on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the Madden NFL 13 cover competition. Linebacker Ray Lewis, the 2005 cover boy - a bit of a misnomer, don't you think?
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By Edward Lee | December 2, 2011
Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis didn't need to be on the cover of a video game to make an impression with Ravens fans. Many of them remember his 144-yard, one-touchdown outburst against the Ravens on Sept. 26, 2010 that resulted in a too-close-for-comfort 24-17 win for the Ravens. But at least one player said the defense has buried the memory of that performance. “Like I said, we put that behind us,” defensive end Cory Redding said. “That was the first time we played them last season.
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By Matt Vensel | March 8, 2012
It's time for EA Sports to start its search for its next “Madden NFL” cover boy, and for a third straight year, the video game company is turning to football fans to decide who will be showcased on the box of the next installment of the popular franchise. EA Sports is doing a bracket-style fan vote to whittle down the field from 64 of the NFL's top players to one (unlucky?) cover boy. Two Ravens players, Terrell Suggs and Ray Rice, are vying for the “Madden” cover. But they face each other in the first round, forcing fans to make a tough choice between the team's two brightest stars -- and the overwhelming vote-getters in the Baltimore media's team MVP vote -- during the 2011 season.
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By Tony Grossi, The Plain Dealer | December 2, 2011
Peyton Hillis stepped into the locker-room mass interview area looking like a Ron Paul campaign worker. The Browns running back wore a Ron Paul bumper sticker on his baseball cap and a Ron Paul button and sticker on his T-shirt. The accoutrements were courtesy of right tackle Tony Pashos. As the media circle pressed close, a man holding a tiny clip-on microphone said to Hillis, "Is it OK if we pin this on you?" Hillis didn't miss a beat in responding: "Why not? You've pinned everything else on me this year.
SPORTS
By Mary Kay Cabot, The Plain Dealer | December 20, 2011
Browns running back Montario Hardesty still hopes to salvage what's left of his lost season. "I definitely want to finish out these two games strong," said Hardesty, who's carried the ball in one of the past seven games because of his torn calf muscle. "I've been really frustrated with this calf injury. It really hindered me a lot this year, but I have two more chances to go out and play. " Hardesty made the trip to Arizona and was active for the game, but stood on the sidelines and didn't play.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee | December 27, 2011
Peyton Hillis became the third opposing running back this season to gain at least 100 yards on the ground against the Ravens when they beat Hillis and the Cleveland Browns, 20-14, on Saturday. Hillis, who rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries, joins the Jacksonville Jaguars' Maurice Jones-Drew and the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch as 100-yard rushers against the Ravens, who surrendered 100 yards to three tailbacks in each of the previous two seasons (the Houston Texans' Arian Foster, the Carolina Panthers' Mike Goodson and Hillis in 2010 and the Cincinnati Bengals' Cedric Benson twice and the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson in 2009)
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By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2011
It wasn't a carbon copy, but the Ravens' defensive blueprint in Sunday evening's 24-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns was very similar to the one they used against the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving. For a second straight game, the Ravens smothered their opponents' running attack, then chased their quarterback. The Ravens sacked second-year signal-caller Colt McCoy three times, forced him from the pocket on a few other occasions and briefly knocked him out of the game. "We've got some young hunters.
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By Matt Vensel | November 28, 2011
We know the Ravens should fear themselves on Sunday in Cleveland. After all, it's a road game against a lesser opponent following an emotional win (though they do have 10 days to get their minds right). But should the Ravens fear the Cleveland Browns, who are 4-7 but a divisional foe nonetheless? The Browns defense is the biggest reason why they have been able to hang around in tight games against teams like the Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers. They also beat the Seattle Seahawks, 6-3, in one October game.
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By Edward Lee | December 2, 2011
Despite lingering doubt whether inside linebacker Ray Lewis' injured toe will allow him to play in the Ravens' clash with AFC North rival Cleveland Browns, Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said he anticipates Lewis returning to the field for Sunday's contest. “I'm thinking he's going to play,” Shurmur said during his conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. “There's been 10 days since the last game where he almost played. So that's my thoughts. I've had a chance now for a few weeks to see how this goes - limited, doubtful, questionable.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee | December 27, 2011
Peyton Hillis became the third opposing running back this season to gain at least 100 yards on the ground against the Ravens when they beat Hillis and the Cleveland Browns, 20-14, on Saturday. Hillis, who rushed for 112 yards on 24 carries, joins the Jacksonville Jaguars' Maurice Jones-Drew and the Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch as 100-yard rushers against the Ravens, who surrendered 100 yards to three tailbacks in each of the previous two seasons (the Houston Texans' Arian Foster, the Carolina Panthers' Mike Goodson and Hillis in 2010 and the Cincinnati Bengals' Cedric Benson twice and the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson in 2009)
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By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun | December 24, 2011
As the Ravens lined up for a third-down play that could have sealed a victory over the Cleveland Browns, they did so without Marshal Yanda, their right guard and perhaps their most punishing run blocker. On third-and-3 with 2:32 remaining in the fourth quarter, running back Ray Rice ran off left end and was gobbled up by a pair of Browns 2 yards short of the first-down marker. The Ravens secured a win, 20-14, when Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor jumped offside before the ensuing play.
SPORTS
By Mary Kay Cabot, The Plain Dealer | December 20, 2011
Browns running back Montario Hardesty still hopes to salvage what's left of his lost season. "I definitely want to finish out these two games strong," said Hardesty, who's carried the ball in one of the past seven games because of his torn calf muscle. "I've been really frustrated with this calf injury. It really hindered me a lot this year, but I have two more chances to go out and play. " Hardesty made the trip to Arizona and was active for the game, but stood on the sidelines and didn't play.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2011
It wasn't a carbon copy, but the Ravens' defensive blueprint in Sunday evening's 24-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns was very similar to the one they used against the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving. For a second straight game, the Ravens smothered their opponents' running attack, then chased their quarterback. The Ravens sacked second-year signal-caller Colt McCoy three times, forced him from the pocket on a few other occasions and briefly knocked him out of the game. "We've got some young hunters.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2011
The 8-3 Ravens will get an opportunity to remove a certain L-word from our vocabulary on Sunday when they play the 4-7 Cleveland Browns. The Ravens are coming off of a pair of critical, decisive victories against quality opponents, but unlike their letdowns earlier this season, they have had 10 days to prepare for this challenge. Here are five storylines to follow on Sunday as the Ravens play the Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium: 1. Getting off to a fast start: After the loss to the Seattle Seahawks a few weeks back, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that each of the team's letdown losses should stand by itself.
SPORTS
By Tony Grossi, The Plain Dealer | December 2, 2011
Peyton Hillis stepped into the locker-room mass interview area looking like a Ron Paul campaign worker. The Browns running back wore a Ron Paul bumper sticker on his baseball cap and a Ron Paul button and sticker on his T-shirt. The accoutrements were courtesy of right tackle Tony Pashos. As the media circle pressed close, a man holding a tiny clip-on microphone said to Hillis, "Is it OK if we pin this on you?" Hillis didn't miss a beat in responding: "Why not? You've pinned everything else on me this year.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | March 8, 2012
It's time for EA Sports to start its search for its next “Madden NFL” cover boy, and for a third straight year, the video game company is turning to football fans to decide who will be showcased on the box of the next installment of the popular franchise. EA Sports is doing a bracket-style fan vote to whittle down the field from 64 of the NFL's top players to one (unlucky?) cover boy. Two Ravens players, Terrell Suggs and Ray Rice, are vying for the “Madden” cover. But they face each other in the first round, forcing fans to make a tough choice between the team's two brightest stars -- and the overwhelming vote-getters in the Baltimore media's team MVP vote -- during the 2011 season.
SPORTS
By Jonas Shaffer | April 6, 2012
By month's end, Ray Rice could be the face of one of the most popular video-game franchises in America. So why are some Ravens fans now willing to root against the very same star they cheer on every fall Sunday? Three words, far scarier than any onrushing linebacker and oftentimes just as devastating: The Madden Curse. It's a worthwhile topic for anyone voting for Rice as he takes on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the Madden NFL 13 cover competition. Linebacker Ray Lewis, the 2005 cover boy - a bit of a misnomer, don't you think?
SPORTS
By Edward Lee | December 2, 2011
Despite lingering doubt whether inside linebacker Ray Lewis' injured toe will allow him to play in the Ravens' clash with AFC North rival Cleveland Browns, Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur said he anticipates Lewis returning to the field for Sunday's contest. “I'm thinking he's going to play,” Shurmur said during his conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. “There's been 10 days since the last game where he almost played. So that's my thoughts. I've had a chance now for a few weeks to see how this goes - limited, doubtful, questionable.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee | December 2, 2011
Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis didn't need to be on the cover of a video game to make an impression with Ravens fans. Many of them remember his 144-yard, one-touchdown outburst against the Ravens on Sept. 26, 2010 that resulted in a too-close-for-comfort 24-17 win for the Ravens. But at least one player said the defense has buried the memory of that performance. “Like I said, we put that behind us,” defensive end Cory Redding said. “That was the first time we played them last season.
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