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By Matt Vensel | September 19, 2012
When the New England Patriots offense first took the field against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, they did so without their leading receiver from their previous five seasons. But Wes Welker wasn't injured. He stood on the sideline as Julian Edelman took his place as the team's starting wide receiver opposite Brandon Lloyd. The box score will show that Welker ended up playing 63 of the 82 offensive snaps and led the Patriots with 95 receiving yards on five catches. But he didn't enter the game until the team's second possession -- and not until after versatile tight end/slot receiver/running back Aaron Hernandez injured his ankle on a screen play.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2014
In about a four hour span Sunday, the Denver Broncos went from offensive juggernaut to overmatched and overwhelmed against a swarming Seattle Seahawks defense that is among the best in recent memory. The Broncos are better than the team that barely showed up for the Super Bowl. They just picked the worst possible time to play their worst four quarters of the season. The stars had seemed to be aligned for the Broncos to win the Super Bowl and for quarterback Peyton Manning, the NFL's Most Valuable Player, to further bolster his legacy.
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By Edward Lee | January 17, 2013
The Ravens are one of the few teams that have not allowed New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker to enjoy too much success when they meet on the field. Prior to a 31-30 win on Sept. 23, the defense had surrendered just 22 receptions for 172 yards and zero touchdowns to Welker in four meetings. But Welker erupted for eight catches for 142 yards in that regular-season contest in Week 3, and he grabbed another eight balls for 131 yards in the Patriots' 41-28 dusting of the Houston Texans in Sunday's AFC Divisional round.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2014
MOBILE, ALA -- Michael Campanaro had already crafted a plan, convincing the defense that he intended to run another trademark intermediate route with a quick inside fake. Instead of cutting his pattern short at practice this week heading into Saturday's Senior Bowl all-star game, the Wake Forest wide receiver from River Hill dashed behind the secondary and made an over-the-shoulder touchdown catch. It was the kind of savvy, textbook play that prompted Atlanta Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie to single out the Clarksville native as an example of how to play the position to the other receivers on the North squad.
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The Baltimore Sun | January 21, 2013
Anna Burns Welker, wife of New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker , posted some not-so-nice things about Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis on her Facebook page after last night's AFC championship game, according to a post on TheBigLead.com today . On her Facebook page Sunday night, Burns Welker said: "Proud of my husband and the Pats. By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis' Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay. What a hall of fame player!
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By Edward Lee | September 19, 2012
The controversy that has erupted around the New England Patriots is the reduced amount of playing time four-time wide receiver Wes Welker has gotten in the team's first two games of the season. As far as the Ravens are concerned, however, Welker remains as one of the primary focal points in the week leading up to Sunday night's contest at M&T Bank Stadium. “He's still a factor even though he's not 'The Guy,'” cornerback Cary Williams said Wednesday. “He's still 'The Guy' in our book, and we're still going to prepare like he's the No. 2 or the No. 1 wide receiver because we know what he's capable of, especially after last season.
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By Edward Lee | January 23, 2012
Lardarius Webb continued a sparkling 2011 campaign, recording his third interception of the postseason when he leaped into the air to snatch a Tom Brady pass intended for wide receiver Julian Edelman in the first quarter. But the Ravens cornerback, who led the defense in interceptions with five in the regular season, took little solace in his performance in the playoffs. “Wasn't good enough,” he said simply. Webb, who finished with six tackles and one pass breakup, was also flagged for illegal contact on New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker - a costly infraction that negated an interception by strong safety Bernard Pollard on the very same play.
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February 9, 2012
Needs to be more careful Jeff Otterbein Hartford Courant Look, she was sticking up for her man, so give her some credit for that. But was it the smart thing to do? Of course not. Not in today's world where something goes viral seconds after it comes out of one's mouth. Wes Welker is a great receiver. He catches that pass more often than not, but Tom Brady's throw was not exactly on target. It was his fault too. Yes, there were some drops in that game.
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By Matt Vensel | July 1, 2011
Joe Flacco got married last weekend, but we haven’t heard how the Ravens quarterback feels about being a married man. Until now. Flacco appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Friday and he talked about how he’s still in love with his wife and how he doesn’t plan on throwing her any footballs on his honeymoon. “I don’t want to break her nose on our honeymoon or anything like that,” Flacco told host Dan Patrick . Flacco told Patrick that he invited his offensive linemen and other select teammates to the ceremony, which was held at a church in Philadelphia.
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January 6, 2010
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Van Valkenburg discusses and debates the strengths and weaknesses of each team with The Boston Globe's Christopher L. Gasper each day leading up to Sunday's playoff game . New questions and answers will be posted each afternoon at baltimoresun.com/ravens and boston.com Chris, Is this a trick question? Even with Wes Welker out, the Ravens' passing game doesn't compare to the Patriots' aerial attack. Let's put it this way: If passing the football were a math equation, Tom Brady and the Pats would be like Matt Damon's character in "Good Will Hunting," whereas Joe Flacco and the Ravens are still trying to memorize the multiplication tables.
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By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun | December 20, 2013
Swiveling in the pocket as he eyed the Ravens' coverage schemes during the AFC championship game last January, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady certainly didn't lack for inviting targets downfield. Brady threw to tight end Aaron Hernandez and wide receivers Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. During a 28-13 loss at Gillette Stadium, he passed with 320 yards for one touchdown and two interceptions. Heading into Sunday's rematch against the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, however, Brady is no longer so fortunate.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 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 Alec Shane, who blogs about the New England Patriots for Pats Pulpit . MV: The Patriots have experienced a lot of turnover at the skill positions on offense, letting Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker walk and releasing Aaron Hernandez before he went to prison.
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By Matt Vensel | December 18, 2013
On Monday, the Ravens had to try to shut down Megatron. This weekend, they must deal with Minitron. Julian Edelman might not have the athleticism and imposing stature of Calvin Johnson or an intimidating nickname, but over the past few weeks, Edelman has been one of the NFL's most productive wide receivers. Since Week 12, Edelman has been targeted 51 times by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He caught 37 of those passes for 414 yards and four touchdowns. Brady threw his way a whopping 19 times in last week's loss to the Miami Dolphins and Edelman had 13 catches for 139 yards and a score.
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By Matt Vensel | September 9, 2013
One might think it would be tough to find a positive in the Ravens secondary after Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for seven touchdowns Thursday night. After all, Corey Graham had his rockiest game with the Ravens, Michael Huff did not cover or tackle well and Jimmy Smith got beat for a touchdown, too. But in his return to a real game after his second anterior cruciate ligament injury in four years, Lardarius Webb gave the Ravens a little something to feel good about by playing 62 of the 71 defensive snaps against the Broncos -- and playing well.
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Peter Schmuck | September 7, 2013
When you consider the final score, it's hard to make the case that any one play undid the Ravens in Thursday night's ugly NFL opener against the Denver Broncos. But it isn't very difficult to determine the moment when that intangible pendulum called momentum swung back so hard it knocked the defending Super Bowl champions all the way into next week. Maybe Peyton Manning still would have picked the Ravens secondary apart if John Harbaugh had thrown his replay flag and ended Denver's first drive of the second half.
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By Matt Vensel | September 6, 2013
After Ray Lewis retired as a Super Bowl champion and Ed Reed bought two tickets to Houston, the Ravens took full advantage of the opportunity to rebuild a defense that had uncharacteristically crumbled at times. To casual observers, losing the two future Cantonites meant that the defense would completely fall apart. But those who had been watching this team closely realized that Lewis and Reed were no longer playing anywhere near a Hall-of-Fame level, understandable considering they were in their mid-30s.
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By Matt Vensel | September 5, 2013
After months of anticipation, Joe Flacco and the Ravens kick off the 2013 regular season against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos tonight. Much less anticipated is the season debut of my weekly gameday feature, Four Ravens predictions sure to go wrong. Each week, I'll make four semi-bold predictions for the Ravens game. Try not to take them too seriously, OK? 1. TORREY SMITH WILL BEAT THE BRONCOS DEEP AGAIN: In last year's playoffs, Smith twice beat Champ Bailey for long touchdowns receptions.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2013
For 30 minutes, the Ravens' new-look defense held-up well against Peyton Manning. However, the momentum of the game changed on the Denver Broncos' first drive of the third quarter when they scored a touchdown that should have never happened. On third and 9 from the Denver 21, Manning threw to Wes Welker who went to the ground seemingly to make a 10-yard reception. Replays, however, showed that the ball actually hit the ground but word of that never got down to the Ravens' sideline and head coach John Harbaugh.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2013
For 30 minutes, the Ravens' new-look defense held-up well against Peyton Manning. However, the momentum of the game changed on the Denver Broncos' first drive of the third quarter when they scored a touchdown that should have never happened. On third and 9 from the Denver 21, Manning threw to Wes Welker who went to the ground seemingly to make a 10-yard reception. Replays, however, showed that the ball actually hit the ground but word of that never got down to the Ravens' sideline and head coach John Harbaugh.
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Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2013
DENVER - Eight months after leaving the same stadium on the ultimate high, the Ravens trudged out of Sports Authority Field late Thursday night as a thoroughly beaten team, taken apart by Peyton Manning and exposed by the Denver Broncos in every way. In a 49-27 defeat in a game that they led at halftime, all the Ravens' preseason concerns rose to the surface, from defensive breakdowns to dropped passes to dubious penalties. Manning threw seven touchdown passes, the most ever allowed by the Ravens, which tied the NFL record for the most touchdown passes.
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