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Ravens blow late lead, lose to Browns in OT


Ravens blow late lead, lose to Browns in OT

BALTIMORE -- Five things we learned watching the Ravens (1-4) lose 33-30 to the Browns, a stunning defeat for them at M&T Bank Stadium:

1. The Ravens have never been in this kind of October trouble under coach John Harbaugh

Welcome to the AFC North basement. The Ravens are injury riddled, and their next two games are out West against the 49ers and the Cardinals. Things could get worse before they get better. Think about it. The Ravens still haven’t won a home game yet. They had not lost to the Browns since 2007. Things that never happened to the Ravens since Harbuugh and quarterback Joe Flacco arrived in 2008 have happened this year. The forecast for the Ravens right now looks very bleak.

2. Ravens injuries are a huge concern

The list of Ravens injuries that were announced included outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (groin), cornerback Lardarius Webb (thigh), cornerback Will Davis (knee), and wide receiver Darren Waller (concussion). Ravens running back Justin Forsett , who had 121 yards rushing, Webb remained in uniform on the sideline after his injury, which could be an indication that his injury would not be long-term. However, Dumervil’s injury could be very damaging to the defense, as could the mounting injuries to the secondary. Terrell Suggs (Achilles injury) is already gone for the season, and he and Dumervil combined for 29 sacks last season. Meanwhile, imagine if Brooks, Webb, and Davis are all unable to play Week 6 against the 49ers. The Browns moved the ball up and down the field in the second half. The Ravens may not be able to stop the 49ers, or any other opponent, with a patchwork defense.

3. The Ravens generated offense without Steve Smith (back injury)

Without their leading receiver, the Ravens scored 30 points, which is usually enough. Give credit to Kamar Aiken (four catches, 78 yards) who has stepped up this season more than any other Ravens receiver not named Smith. However, the Ravens stalled out when it mattered most, settling for a field goal at the end of regulation, then going three-and-out on their first possession of OT. Not having Smith in those clutch moments really hurt.

4. Wide receiver Jeremy Ross gave the Ravens a major boost

Ross won’t be going back to the practice squad anytime soon. He had a 46-yard kickoff return, a 17-yard punt rerun, and caught two passes for 18 yards. The Ravens have found a returner, and another target for Flacco.

5. Browns quarterback Josh McCown is a problem for the Ravens

McCown beat Baltimore in 2013 when he was with the Bears. He did it again today, with a superb performance, throwing for 457 yards. McCown may not get respect everywhere, but he should get it from the Ravens.

MORE RAVENS: CB Davis, Webb both leave game in second quarter

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Dominant defense earns Ravens' Za'Darius Smith AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors

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Dominant defense earns Ravens' Za'Darius Smith AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors

The defensive performance on display by the Baltimore Ravens Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in a 21-0 shutout win was flat out historic. So historic that it's earned linebacker Za'Darius Smith AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

A franchise-record 11 sacks were laid on quarterback Marcus Mariota during the Week 6 matchup, with Smith leading the way with three of them.   

So far this season the 26-year-old has 20 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. As someone who is in the final year of his rookie NFL contract, he's certainly proving he is worthy of getting paid this offseason. 

"It feels great, man. It's big," Smith said of the honor during media availability Wednesday. "I know when I first found out I called my mom and she was already looking at it. But I called her and she was trying to congratulate me and was like 'who would've ever thought the guy that played one year of high school football would be where he at now and making so many goals.'"

But earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week isn't the only goal Smith has in mind. His performance through the first six weeks and assisting the No. 1 ranked scoring defense is just a stepping stone to the ultimate honor.

"I was telling her, 'Ma you know this is a good self-goal but my main goal is to get us to the Super Bowl.'" 

The road to the Super Bowl for Smith and the Ravens continues this Sunday vs. Drew Brees and the Saints. 


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Peter King awards two Ravens with weekly honors for defensive performance vs.Titans

Peter King awards two Ravens with weekly honors for defensive performance vs.Titans

The Baltimore Ravens' Week 6 dominate performance over the Tennessee Titans is gaining national attention. 

A historic game that displayed the offense and defense firing on all cylinders, it's hard to pinpoint who had the biggest impact. 

So in his latest edition of Football Morning in America, NBC Sports' Peter King awarded not one, but two Ravens with weekly honors.


Against the Titans, Smith led the Ravens defense with three sacks and five tackles in their historic 11-sack game. On of three Defensive Players of the Week, King explained why Smith's performance stood out.

In the most dominant defensive performance of this ultra-offensive season, the Ravens shut out Tennessee 21-0 and had 11 sacks. Another one of GM Ozzie Newsome’s draft gifts that keeps on giving, Smith (2015, round four, Kentucky) contributed three sacks of Marcus Mariota and five tackles in a virtuoso game. Net passing yards for Mariota: 51.

Smith, who's entering the final year of his rookie NFL contract, has shown over six games he deserves to get paid in the offseason. So far this season the 26-year-old has 20 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble. 

COACH OF THE WEEK: Don "Wink" Martindale

In his first season as defensive coordinator, Don "Wink" Martindale has seamlessly made the transition from linebackers coach to leading the NFL's No. 1 scoring defense (12.8). But what impressed King the most from the 21-0 shutout was how Martindale's squad got to Mariota from every direction. 

When a unit records more sacks (11) than completions allowed (10), the leader gets an award. Those are the rules. Martindale’s pass rushers got to Marcus Mariota every possible way—up the middle, around the edges, in the pocket, on bootlegs, you name it. The total set a new franchise record and was one short of the single-game NFL mark of 12. And it came with a familiar face watching: Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees used to hold the same position in Baltimore. Shout out to the Ravens social media team for renaming the account RavenSSSSSSSSSSS, one ‘S’ for each sack.

This Ravens defense, who has always been known for its dominance, is ranked first in points allowed (12.8), first in yards allowed (270.8), second in passing yards allowed (188.0) and third in rushing yards allowed (82.8) heading into Week 7. In addition, they have yet to surrender a second half touchdown all season. Trusting of the talent this roster holds, the respect "Wink" has for his players is equally reciprocated. 

"It was really emotional when they told us we had 11 sacks," linebacker Patrick Onwuasor said postgame. "We just went out there and we were like, ‘We have to get Coach Wink . We have to put the Gatorade on him.’ So, we tried to turn him around so he couldn’t see it coming, and we had to get him real good."

Martindale will now face the No. 1 scoring offense in the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.