Ravens

Quick Links

Title games feature Ravens-Pats, 49ers-Falcons

201301131623590088821-p2.jpeg

Title games feature Ravens-Pats, 49ers-Falcons

One game is a rematch. The other might feel like one - at least to one of the teams.

For the second straight year in the AFC, the New England Patriots will host the Baltimore Ravens with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

In the NFC, it will be San Francisco traveling to Atlanta, with the Falcons defense trying to stop a versatile, running quarterback for the second straight week.

``Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are mobile quarterbacks who throw the ball at extremely accurate levels,'' Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud said. ``We can use this game as a cheat sheet to prepare for next week.''

On Sunday, the Falcons barely got past Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, who overcame a 20-point deficit to take a one-point lead, but gave it up after Matt Ryan drove Atlanta into field goal range and Matt Bryant made a 49-yard kick with 8 seconds left.

Atlanta is the only team not making a repeat appearance in the NFL's final four. Last year, it was the Giants playing, and beating, the 49ers for the NFC title.

On Saturday, Kaepernick passed for 263 yards and rushed for 181 - a playoff record for a quarterback - to defeat Green Bay 45-31.

``We're one step closer to where we want to be,'' said Kaepernick. San Francisco hasn't been to the Super Bowl since 1995, when Steve Young led the 49ers to their fifth Lombardi Trophy.

Though the Niners must travel cross country for the game, they opened as 3-point favorites in a meeting of teams that played twice a year until 2003, when Atlanta was moved from the NFC West to the NFC South. Their only previous playoff meeting was a 20-18 win for the Falcons in the 1998 divisional playoffs. Atlanta won at Minnesota the next week to make its only Super Bowl.

San Francisco's 20-17 overtime loss last year to the Giants was part of a tense day of football that began with New England's 23-20 victory over the Ravens in the AFC title game.

In that game, Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal that would have tied the game with 11 seconds left.

This season, Justin Tucker beat out Cundiff for the kicker's job. Tucker hit a 47-yarder against Denver on Saturday to lift the Ravens to a 38-35 win in double overtime, extending Ray Lewis' career for at least one more week and putting the 17-year veteran one win away from his second Super Bowl.

``We fought hard to get back to this point and we're definitely proud of being here,'' Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. ``We feel like it's going to take a lot for somebody to come and kick us off that field come the AFC championship game.''

Lewis and the Ravens will have to stop the NFL's most potent offense. The Patriots put up 457 yards in a 41-28 victory over Houston, which left them one win away from their sixth Super Bowl in the 2000s.

``I think the two best teams are in the final,'' Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. ``Baltimore certainly deserve to be here and so do we.''

The Patriots were made early 9 1/2-point favorites against the Ravens.

These teams met in the regular season and that game was also decided by a kick - Tucker's 27-yard field goal that sneaked through the right upright for a 31-30 victory. Or did it?

While the Ravens were celebrating, Pats coach Bill Belichick ran to midfield and grabbed a replacement official's arm as he tried to exit the field. The NFL fined Belichick $50,000 for the gesture.

New England is the even-money favorite in Vegas to win the Super Bowl. San Francisco is next at 2-1, followed by Atlanta (5-1) and Baltimore (8-1).

Among the possible Super Bowl story lines:

-The Harbaugh Bowl. Jim Harbaugh coaches the 49ers and John Harbaugh coaches the Ravens.

-A rematch of San Francisco's 41-34 win at New England on Dec. 16 - one of the most entertaining games of the regular season.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

How 'Big Truss' helped define the 2019 Ravens season

How 'Big Truss' helped define the 2019 Ravens season

For nearly two months, all anyone in Baltimore — and around the NFL — could talk about were the Ravens. Those conversations likely spanned from Lamar Jackson to the team’s 14-2 regular season. 

It wouldn’t be a surprise if someone said, “Big Truss,” during that conversation, either. 

In what started as a simple phrase between Jackson and Marquise Brown which originated from South Florida, the saying “Big Truss” grew to something much bigger than something between two people. It was something woven into the fabric of the 2019 Ravens, even if they didn’t know it.

“If they aren’t laughing at you, your dreams aren’t big enough,” coach John Harbaugh said after the team’s final regular season game. “So, we have big dreams, big goals, big ambitions, big faith, Big Truss — that was not planned, either."

As the phrase “Big Truss” graced signs and t-shirts and tattoos, it became a rallying cry for the NFL’s best team in the regular season. 

“Big Truss” was printed on doughnuts and used as names for fans on Twitter while everyone from Jackson to Mark Ingram to Harbaugh to Justin Tucker took their turns in the spotlight due to their play on the field. When they got the opportunity, they made sure to say “Big Truss.”

But what went under the radar about “Big Truss” was that the Ravens weren’t a fun team to follow simply because they had fun postgame. Rather, they were one of the most fun teams in the NFL on and off the field as well. 

Their quarterback had one of the most electrifying seasons an MVP player has ever had, they broke the single-season rushing record and they dominated talented teams each week during the regular season. The defense was opportunistic and boasts a likely future Hall-of-Famer in Earl Thomas and was pieced together by a handful of players that, as of September, were looking for work. 

The Ravens made football fun in 2019, as their personalities on the field shined just as bright, if not brighter, as they did off the field. 

“Big Truss” spread across the NFL and, as could be expected, was the source of mockery once the Ravens lost to the Titans. In the offseason, it even reached the presidency.

Make no mistake, the phrase wasn’t the reason why the Ravens were fun to watch in 2019. That was due to every Jackson spin move, Ingram touchdown and double-digit victory the team had. 

“Big Truss” just was the rallying cry behind it all. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Ravens held a moment of silence in remembrance of George Floyd

harbaugh-usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Ravens held a moment of silence in remembrance of George Floyd

The Ravens organization held a team-wide moment of silence on Thursday to in honor of George Floyd, whose funeral took place on Thursday as well.

According to a statement released by the team on Twitter, the moment of silence took place at 3:45 p.m. ET and lasted 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The timeframe was the same length as how long Minneapolis police office Derek Chauvin was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck, restricting him of air and ultimately causing him to die.

The gesture by the team was in accordance with the NAACP and other organizations that deemed Floyd's funeral on Thursday as a "National Day of Mourning." 

Ravens fullback Pat Ricard shared a message head coach John Harbaugh had written to the team informing them of the moment of silence. Taking place through Zoom, Harbaugh hoped that players and their families would join in to honor Floyd.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: