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1st and 10: Ten predictions for Ravens-Patriots

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1st and 10: Ten predictions for Ravens-Patriots

1. Ray Rice willnot rush for 100 yards ....Rice has averagedabout 104 yards in four career games against the Patriots, but that was helpedgreatly by his 83-yard touchdown run in the 2009 playoffs. In last year'splayoff game, the Patriots controlled the line of scrimmage, holding Rice to 67yards on 21 carries, and that defense is stronger this year. 2. .. and neitherwill Stevan Ridley. Ridley, thePatriots' second-year back out of LSU, has 196 yards in two games this season,including 125 yards in the season opener at Tennessee. But the Ravenslinebackers set the edge well last week in Philadelphia and were pretty stoutagainst LeSean McCoy, holding him to 81 yards on 25 carries. 3. The Patriots'Vince Wilfork will have at least two tackles for loss.Ravens centerMatt Birk was overmatched by Wilfork, the Patriots' four-time Pro Bowldefensive tackle, in the AFC Championship Game last season. He had threetackles for loss and a sack in that game. Birk and guards Ramon Harewood andMarshal Yanda will have their hands full again.

4.Anquan Boldinwill have at least four catches.Boldin was quietin the Eagles game last week, with two catches for just 7 yards, his lowestsingle-game total since the 2010 playoffs. Boldin had six catches for 101 yardsat New England last year, and offenisive coordinator Cam Cameron said theoffense works best when everyone is involved. This week, Boldin is moreinvolved.5. If the Ravensface third-and-1, they will pass.The Ravens'third-and-2 and fourth-and-2 calls at the end of the Eagles game -- bothincomplete passes -- were dissected ad nauseam on talk radio this week. Cameronsaid that had it been third-and-1, they would have run the ball. This week?Don't bet on it. They want no part of running up the gut at Wilfork onthird-and-short.6. Tom Brady willbe intercepted.Tom Brady hasfaced the Ravens six times, and he's thrown at least one interception in fourof those games. The Ravens need to get pressure, and then let Ed Reed,Lardarius Webb and company create havoc in the secondary. 7. Wes Welkerwill have at least five catches.Welker'sproduction is topic No. 1 in New England these days, as the Patriots seem to bephasing out the veteran who led the league with 122 catches last season. He hasonly eight through the first two games this season and had seen his playingtime diminished before the injury to tight end Aaron Hernandez. Still, he's apart of this offense and Brady will find him.8. The Ravenswill win the turnover battle.The Ravens, atplus-4, and the Patriots, at plus-3, both rank among the top five in the leaguein turnover ratio through two weeks. The Ravens have recorded six turnovers intwo games, and although a couple of those were gimmes (a botched handoff), theRavens generate plenty as well. Witness Lardarius Webb's helmet-to-ball hit onLeSean McCoy, or Bernard Pollard's diving interception.9. Justin Tuckerwill remain perfect.The Ravens rookiekicker is already putting to rest any debate about whether they made the rightmove in keeping him over Billy Cundiff. Tucker was perfect from 56 -- tying afranchise record -- 51 and 48 yards last week and is 6-for-6 through two games.He won't be perfect all season, but he will be on Sunday.10. Final score:Ravens 27, Patriots 23Something has togive here. The Ravens have won 13 straight games after a loss. They have won 11in a row at home. The Patriots have never lost to the Ravens in the regularseason. Both teams are missing key players. Both teams are coming off lossesthat exposed their weaknesses. But Joe Flacco has been exceptional in games immediately after losses, with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions in the last 13 such games. He leads the Ravens to a well-earned win.

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Baltimore Ravens Week 6 awards after shutout win over Titans

Baltimore Ravens Week 6 awards after shutout win over Titans

The Baltimore Ravens went into the Tennessee Titans' home and completely robbed them in a 21-0 shutout win.

Here are the players and plays that stood out from the afternoon.

PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME: Ravens Defense

The Ravens defense had a historic afternoon recording a franchise-record 11 sacks. Yup, you read that right. 11 sacks.

Za'Darius Smith led the way with three, followed by Patrick Onwuasor with two and Matthew Judon, Terrell Suggs, Tony Jefferson, Kenny Young, Anthony Levine Sr. and Chris Wormley with one apiece. The 11 sacks tied for the second most by a team in league history and the most in a game since 2012.  It was so historic, the Ravens changed their Twitter name to included 11 S's. 

But that wasn't the only impressive part of the Ravens' afternoon. Marcus Mariota was limited to 10 completions and the defense allowed just 51 passing yards  —  the fewest in franchise history  — and 55 rushing yards. The Titans finished the afternoon 1-for-10 on third down as well.

With the shutout, the Ravens defense cemented its place as one of the NFL's most elite units in 2018. A win that must have been extra sweet after a 12-9 overtime loss to the Browns the week prior and with former defensive coordinator Dean Pees staring back from the opposite sideline. The Ravens remain the only NFL team to not allow a second-half touchdown this season. 

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE GAME: Michael Crabtree

After dropping what would have been the game-winning touchdown Week 5 against the Browns, Michael Crabtree said his priority this week was to get back into the lab and correct his mistakes. Out the gate, the veteran receiver stayed true to his word finishing the Ravens' first drive catching three passes for 52 yards and one touchdown. Earlier in the week, Joe Flacco had faith his receiver would get over the hump of six drops in five games and was willing to stand by him until it happened.

"Besides just trying to give him the confidence that, you know, I'm still going his way when he calls for it and I still believe that it's going to be the difference...it's something that he'll definitely get over," Flacco said.

The patience worked as Crabtree finished the day with six receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown leading all Ravens receivers.

But more importantly, the relationship between Crabtree and Flacco continues to grow.

"That’s trust. That’s what you need in football, you know," Crabtree said postgame. "Quarterback, receiver relationship. It’s only going to get better. It’s all about how much time you put in, how much work you put in. I’m new; this is my first year here so I got to do what I got to do."

STAT OF THE GAME: Flacco makes his way into the history books

With 25 completions Sunday against the Titans, Flacco became the third different quarterback in NFL history to complete 25 or more passes in nine consecutive games, per the NFL's communication department. Drew Brees sits atop the list with 11 and 10 consecutive games followed by Peyton Manning with nine. Flacco finished the 21-0 win 25-for-37 with 238 yards, one touchdown and one interception. 

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Ravens pile up team-record 11 sacks against former defensive coordinator

Ravens pile up team-record 11 sacks against former defensive coordinator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Baltimore Ravens swarmed around their new defensive coordinator, Don "Wink" Martindale, celebrating after a game that will go down in the record books.

Getting 11 sacks along with a shutout against the man Martindale replaced makes this mark even sweeter.

Za'Darius Smith had a career-high three sacks as the Ravens piled up the franchise-record Sunday in routing the Tennessee Titans 21-0 in the rain, just missing the NFL record shared by five teams by one.

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh called it an "historic defensive performance."

The Ravens (4-2) smothered Tennessee, allowing just 106 yards of offense while they turned Marcus Mariota's day into the worst of his NFL career. Eight different Ravens sacked Mariota, and four got their first sack this season at his expense. The Titans never got closer to the end zone than the Ravens 37, each time pushed back with yet another sack.

"We want to be something special out there," Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon said. "For Wink, it's great to go against his predecessor, and he stepped up and we came through and pitched a shutout. You don't ever talk about unicorns while you're doing it, but we got it done. We got it done for him, and we celebrated after."

Martindale was promoted to defensive coordinator when Dean Pees retired after last season. His retirement lasted less than a month with first-year coach Mike Vrabel luring Pees to join him as the Titans' defensive coordinator.

Asked about Pees, Smith only said that the coordinator told him at his pro day at Kentucky that the linebacker would be a Raven.

"Love him to death, but hey, we won tonight, so we're going to leave it at that," Smith said with a smile.

The Titans (3-3) had not been shut out at home since the franchise relocated to Tennessee.

"That's the headline: The `Tennessee Titans didn't do nearly enough on all levels to win the football game,'" Vrabel said. "Or even make it competitive."

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