Archive for March, 2008

"Ginger" Jason Garrett – Ravens' Next Head Coach?

March 14, 2008

Or just the next guy to stiff-arm the city of Baltimore (Joe Girardi, anyone?)

As of about noon today, it seemed like a foregone conclusion, but as the hours crept on…and on…and on, no official word came from 1 Winning Drive. After spending about 7 hours inside “the Bellagio” in Owings Mills meeting with Ravens officials, during which time his wife, Brill, took a 3 hour drive with Dick Cass to Lord knows where, Jason Garrett emerged to speak to the press for all of 2 minutes, and basically said “uh…yeah, I was in there…doing stuff….see you guys later…maybe.” And with that, he was off to his next interview, in Atlanta.

Garrett’s actions today are a bit peculiar to us, and after watching him leave B-More contract-less, we have to think the Ravens’ brass must have had him tied up, either literally or figuratively, inside the complex. Maybe the meeting with Ginger lasted all of 1 hour, after which Ozzie Newsome drew Garrett a map to “leave” the building – a map which actually led to the intricate “Shining”-esque maze between the practice fields. Garrett would then spend the next 6 hours testing his Princeton education in a futile attempt to locate his car and/or his kidnapped wife.

The word is that Dallas Cowboys owner, Garrett’s current boss, Jerry Jones, is prepared to match any offer the Ravens present to Garrett, for him to remain in big D as offensive coordinator. We don’t know about you, but if we were in Jason Garrett’s shoes, we couldn’t get away from Jones quick enough. His moronic actions at the end of the divisional playoff Sunday, standing on the sidelines right next to the head coach like some billionaire cheerleader, prove just how much fun working for him must be.

The Ravens offered Garrett the job, that much is certain. Whether or not he will accept it remains to be seen, but our first impression is that if this deal was going to happen, it would be done. After 7 hours, what else could he possibly need to see? Either:

  1. He does not want to be the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, plain and simple; or
  2. He is using the Falcons job, as well as Jones, to drive up the price on the Ravens.

Either way, we don’t want him. If he really is just discussing things with his wife, then we will cut him some slack. It is definitely an important decision, especially for a guy who has only been coaching for 3 years. However, if either of the above 2 scenarios are true, we say “Next Man Up!”

What do you think? Is there any chance he comes back, or did he walk for good on the B-More job?

Steve: Remember the ABCs of Coach Hunting: Anybody But Cowher!

March 14, 2008

As of this writing, over on the Baltimore Sun’s webpage, their informal poll on who should be the next Ravens coach shows Rex Ryan at #1 with 30.6% of the votes and Bill Cowher #2 with 29.5%.


What the hell planet are you living on where we suddenly embrace a guy who we spent 11 seasons absolutely hating simply because he is the “best man for the job?” If Steve Biscotti woke up tomorrow morning and “changed his mind” (as he is prone to doing, apparently) about wanting to be the owner of the Baltimore Ravens, thought about it for a few minutes, and decided that maybe ol’ Jimmy Irsay would be the “best man for the job,” would you be OK with that too?


And what if the Ravens do hire Cowher as their next head coach? And Billy Boy decides that, you know what? The “best man for the job,” at roaming safety for the Ravens isn’t Ed Reed…its Troy Polamalu. So he trades Reed and a 3rd round pick to the Steelers for that nappy headed ho. Oh yeah, and the “best man for the job” at blitzing linebacker isn’t Bart Scott….its Joey Porter. So Billy Boy Cowher and Billy Boy Parcells agree to send Bart to south Florida and let Joey do his mud-hole stompin’ right here at M&T for the next 4 years. Are you OK with that too?


If you endorse Cowher as Ravens head coach, please turn in your purple at the front desk, you won’t be needing it any more.

“Best Man for the Job.” Give me a f**king break.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can start thinking about those who would actually make sense here in B-More. As for Ryan, he obviously wants the job, telling the Sun that he would be “a good fit, based on the facts.” He is far from the only person of interest though, as Stephen over at Ravens TD tells us that the Ravens have identified as many as THIRTY potential candidates.

The squealers took a chance last year with a little-known coordinator named Omar Epps Mike Tomlin, and so far, it looks like a good move. Everyone knows who Josh McDaniels and Jason Garrett are at this point, but there are plenty of other guys out there, any of whom could walk into that interview room at 1 Winning Drive and completely Wow the Ravens brass. Be open minded on this one, Ravens fans, and don’t fear the change that is coming…but please, don’t do a complete 180 on a guy just because he traded in his terrible towel for a microphone.


2008 NFL Draft Position, Vol. 3

March 14, 2008

Like we said last week….beating the Steelers is worth falling a few spots in the draft order. Since that is exactly what happened, the Ravens will pick 8th in New York City this April. Mock drafts will abound in the coming months, and we will try to look at and link a bunch of them here. For now though, sticking with the Scouts, Inc. board, at #8 we have….

Brian Brohm QB (6′3″, 225, 4.78) LOUISVILLE

Scouts Grade: 96

Flags: (D: DURABILITY) Player that can’t stay healthy

Strengths: A drop-back passer with adequate height and good overall bulk. Displays outstanding mechanics. Keeps the ball high and has a high release point. Release quickness is adequate. Shows excellent touch and timing on throws. Knows how to change up velocities and can hit his receivers in stride in the short, intermediate and deep zones. Avoids telegraphing most of his throws. Knows how to keep safeties honest and is also adept at reading coverage. Arm strength is adequate. Lacks elite zip but can make all the necessary NFL throws. Does a good job of selling fakes. He has quicker feet than he gets credit for and he does an adequate job of sidestepping the rush. His straight-line speed is adequate and he’s not afraid to tuck the ball and run. Has a good mental clock and generally knows when it’s time to run or throw the ball away. He has outstanding intangibles and grew up around the game of football. A hard worker on and off the field. Displays a passion for the sport similar to that of Peyton Manning (Colts).

Weaknesses: His biggest flaws can be seen when he faces fast defenses that consistently get pressure on him (see: Rutgers and first-half vs. Miami in 2006). He needs to make quicker decisions and do a better job of recognizing hot reads and making accurate throws under pressure. He lacks ideal mobility. He has adequate foot quickness and straight-line speed but he is not a great overall athlete and he’s not elusive as a runner. Can avoid the rush but not a threat once he tucks the ball and runs. He will take more than his share of hits from within the pocket. Durability has been a major issue throughout his career and is concerning regarding his NFL future. Had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder in January of 2007. He missed nearly three full games with a thumb injury in 2006 and suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the 10th game of the 2005 season.

Overall: During his first three seasons (2004-’06) Brohm appeared in 32 games (21 starts) and completed 472 passes on 712 attempts (66.3 percent) for 6,751 yards with 41 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions. He has also rushed for five touchdowns. Brohm missed two games in 2005 after undergoing knee surgery and two games in 2006 due to thumb surgery. Wisely chose to return to school knowing that his body of work can improve on a junior season (2006) that included nearly three full games missed with a thumb injury and a shoulder injury (non-throwing) that required surgery in the off-season. There’s no arguing that Brohm has the mental and physical tools to succeed as a future starting quarterback in the NFL. In our opinion, though; Brohm still has a lot to prove and is a bit overrated due to the protection he gets, the system he has played in and, comparatively speaking, the lower level of DI-A competition he faces. Furthermore, Brohm has the unenviable task of returning to school as an elite quarterback prospect under the microscope. It will take a healthy and extremely productive season under new head coach Steve Kragthorpe — and his new system that more resembles a pro-style attack  for Brohm to land a spot in the top-five picks of the 2008 draft.

2007 Stats: 308/473 4024 yards 30 TD 12 INT Rating 154.2

Another quarterback, huh? A week ago, this would have been a resounding NO to us, but with the departure of Brian Billick, maybe it should be reexamined. If the next head coach of the Ravens is somebody who has shown they can develop quarterbacks, would you feel more comfortable choosing a QB like Brohm or Ryan in the first round? His durability issues are a huge red flag, especially here in B-More (just ask Kyle Boller how the “protection” has been this year-then ask him again because he probably forgot what you said already).
Draft speculation note: There are two cornerbacks projected to go in the 10-15 range, Mike Jenkins from South Florida, and Malcolm Jenkins from Ohio State. The Ravens may be wise to go after one of these guys, and they might even be able to trade down a few slots to pick them up. Malcolm Jenkins will be playing in the BCS National Championship game for the Buckeyes on Monday, so keep an eye on him against those speedy LSU receivers.

Billick Fired

March 14, 2008

Well, it actually happened. As unlikely as it seemed that Steve Biscotti would fire his head coach, he did just that this morning. Many fans have been clamoring for Billick’s head for weeks, months, even years, and today, December 31, 2007, they finally got their wish. While the players should shoulder just as much blame for the nightmare that was the 2007 season as Brian does, it just comes down to the simple fact that it is easier to fire 1 guy than fire 53.

At his press conference this afternoon, Biscotti was clearly upset at the way things turned out, saddened by the business decision that had to be made, that of firing one of his good friends, a man that Biscotti said he “admires.”

Here at the Nest, we’re flabbergasted, to say the least. All along the speculation in B-More has been that Billick would simply be asked to reinvent himself yet again, and the Ravens would bring in a new offensive coordinator who would call all the shots. In the end, though, Biscotti surprised us all by deciding that the Ravens needed an injection of “new blood.”

When asked if defensive coordinator Rex Ryan was atop the list of potential candidates, Ozzie Newsome was non-committal, but did say that Ryan would certainly be interviewed in the coming days.

Rex Ryan would be a great fit for the Ravens Head Coach, we think. All reports say that the players love playing for Ryan, and we know he would not meddle with the offense in the least.

However, neither the Ravens or us fans should jump to any conclusions, as the front office will have their hands full over the next several weeks sifting through some very impressive NFL resumes.

As far as talent already on the roster goes, the Ravens should be at the top of the list for any coach looking for an NFL head gig this offseason.

Ravens 27 Squealers 21 (The YOU CAN'T WIN HERE Game)

March 14, 2008


I finally get to write about a win, how exciting!

Although, of course, in typical Ravens 2007 fashion, they had to make us sweat and pull our hair out in the final minutes even after building a 27-7 lead going into the 4th quarter. Seriously…think about it. Of the Ravens 5 wins this season, exactly ONE has been convincing for 60 minutes. Jets: comfortable lead nearly disappeared in the 4th quarter. Cardinals: ditto. 49ers: Joe Nedney missed field goal in the final 2 minutes to preserve the win. Rams: CONVINCING! Steelers: Ya know what? Who gives 2 shits? At least we beat them, and thats good enough for us.

The Ravens finish up the most disappointing season in franchise history with a win over the hated Squealers, and end the league’s longest losing streak in the process. It is certainly nice to not have that hanging over our heads going into the off season here in B-More.

And spare us the “we were playing our backups” routine, towel-waving douchebags.  The Ravens have been playing a teamful of backups for the last 10 weeks. 

Troy Smith played reasonably well, throwing for 171 yards and a touchdown, as well as running for 23 yards. Several of his runs were on 3rd downs, and kept the chains moving. He did a good job moving in the pocket, and looked off receivers. He certainly made his share of mistakes though, as at least 3 of his passes should have been intercepted.

Ravens backup running backs Corey Ross and Musa Smith were also very effective, with Smith carrying 22 times for 83 yards and Ross 12 for 72. Each also had a touchdown, Ross’ on a 32 yard scamper in which he faked Steelers safety Anthony “Guarantee” Smith right out of his jock. Perhaps they read the Nest and took exception to my saying that nobody would confuse them with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew! Hey, anything we can do to help, fellas.

On a side note, did anyone else watching the game feel like we had reverted back to Detroit in January of 2006? Was Jerome Bettis coming home to Baltimore or something? I speak, of course, of the absolutely atrocious officiating, reminiscent of Super Bowl XL, where the flags flying all over the field from the zebras may as well have been terrible towels.

The only reason the Steelers were able to get on the board at all in the first 3 quarters was the terrible pass interference call on Corey Ivy at the B-More 2 yard line. Now, from my vantage point in section 519, as well as what I saw on the jumbotron, it sure as hell looked like Ivy was looking back for the ball, and he and Nate Washington’s legs simply got tangled up. If you watched it on TV and saw something else, please, let me know. And after that, the “touchdown” Davenport scored reminded me of Baby Ben’s phantom TD from that super bowl. Plane not broken, thank you very much. Then the roughing the passer on Ngata for shoving Charlie Batch so hard in his shoulder that Batch…:GASP:….nearly fell over!! Then on the very next play, a terrible non-call on holding against the Squealers.

Ugh. :Deep Breath:

It doesn’t matter now though, right? Santa Billick and his purple and black elves delivered the late Christmas present of a victory over ‘dem Stillers, and we are grateful here in B-More.

Don’t think that just because the season is “over,” that we are done covering our Ravens here at the Nest. We will continue to preview the 2008 draft, as well as covering all the off-season moves made by Ozzie & Co. Also, look for our 2007 SEASON Recap, coming soon.

Squealers (10-5) @ Ravens (4-11)

March 14, 2008

Mercifully, the 2007 season draws to a close this week when the Ravens host the AFC North Champ Squealers in the regular season finale. All the indignities and embarrassments we Ravens fans have been forced to endure during this nine game losing streak have finally come to a head, coagulating like the pus in a giant pimple, and we can start our painful squeeze in the hopes of popping it and removing this disgusting blemish from our face forever. Unfortunately, standing in our way our those black and gold towel-waving inbreds from Steel-town, who promise to descend upon M&T Bank Stadium in droves this Sunday, like the stubborn cockroaches they are, refusing to crawl back under the cabinet even after the lights have been turned on. (Why is this blog so gross already? I guess the disgusting play has gotten to me enough that I now think in terms that only an 8 year old boy could understand.)

On a related note, as fans that will be stuck with enduring the aforementioned soulless Squealer fans this week, we here at the Nest would like to take this opportunity to condemn the mass selling of tickets that has gone on leading up to this game. All you Ravens “fans” that sold your tickets, knowing full well some Iron City swilling yokel with a yellow shit rag would buy them, should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. And not only that, if there were any justice in the world, you would be forced to give up your PSLs, as well as writing hand-written apology letters to everyone in your section who had to put up with the drunken “Yins.” Seriously….you sold your tickets to the Steelers game? You’re dead to us.

As far as the game itself goes, well, in the dialect of our fearless leader, “it is what it is.” Troy Smith will be starting for the Ravens again, and looks to build on last weeks’ mediocre performance in Seattle. It won’t be easy goin’ for Troy though, as the Ravens lone “offensive weapon,” Willis McGahee, is sidelined with 2 cracked ribs, so the purple-and-black will turn to the 1-2 combination of Mike Anderson and Musa Smith, who nobody is confusing with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, to try to loosen up the Steeler defense. The Squealers will be starting Charlie Batch at QB, as Baby Ben Roethlisberger will sit due to injury being scared to death of Bart Scott. Running back Willie Parker, who broke his leg in St. Louis, is also unavailable, and Najeh “the dump truck” Davenport will carry the “load” for Pittsburgh. For those of you unaware, Najeh got his nickname from an incident in college where he defecated in the laundry hamper of an unlucky coed who had turned him down for a date.

The Steelers still have something to play for, as a win coupled with a Jacksonville loss would give them the #3 seed in the AFC, which is important because it could spare them having to travel to Foxboro for a divisional playoff matchup, should they be lucky enough to get that far. The Ravens would love nothing more than to end the season on a high note, avoid the stink of 10 consecutive losses to end the year, and alter the Steelers’ playoff fates, however insignificant it may seem.

As much as we like to think about our high draft pick come April, the difference between picking 5th and picking 8th isn’t enough for us to be OK with losing to the Squealers. Unfortunately, in what will amount to a game pitting many of the Steelers backups against many of the Ravens 2nd and 3rd stringers, the Ravens will probably just let us down again.

Steelers 27 Ravens 16

2008 NFL Draft Position, Vol. 2

March 14, 2008

With the San Francisco 49ers win over Tampa Bay last week, they notched their 5th win of the year, bumping the Ravens up to #5 on the 2008 NFL Draft Board, as it stands right now. Over at Scouts, Inc., the #5 player on the board is…..

Matt Ryan QB (6′4″, 221, 4.8) BOSTON COLLEGE Scouts Grade: 97

Strengths: Is tall enough to scan the entire field from within the pocket, reads defenses fairly well and generally finds the open man given enough time. Accurate, takes something off underneath passes and can lead receiver when throwing underneath. Puts good touch on downfield passes and flashes the ability to drop the ball in over coverage. Mobile enough to get outside the pocket and throws well on the run. Shows good poise, is a leader on the field and wants the ball in hands late in games. Appears to be adjusting to new offense well and can be an effective game manager.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, doesn’t put great zip on downfield passes and gets into trouble when tries to throw into tight coverage. Lacks ideal mobility, has some problems buying time in the pocket and doesn’t always make sound decisions when the protection breaks down. Isn’t going to make defenders miss, doesn’t have great top-end speed and isn’t a dangerous open field runner that can consistently pick up yards with feet. Though tough and willing to play through pain, sustained a high-ankle spring during the 2006 season opener, broke left foot during 2006 Virginia Tech game, underwent foot surgery in January and durability is a concern.

Overall: Ryan was redshirted for the 2003 season. During his first three seasons (2004-06) Ryan played in 26 games (18 starts) completing 419 passes on 693 attempts (60.5 percent) for 4,806 yards, 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Ryan missed one game in 2006 with a sprained ankle. The table is set for Ryan to have a big year because Boston College is expected to open up its offense and he has the accuracy as well as the smarts to excel in the new scheme. However, his lack of elite arm strength and mobility does put a cap on his upside. His potential to develop into an effective starter or above-average backup should make him a late first-day pick if he stays healthy and improves his decision making in the face of pressure.

Obviously, this assessment was written prior to the 2007 season, and Ryan’s numbers this year helped his draft position immensely. He completed 60% of his passes for over 4200 yards, with 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. We know Ravens fans will salivate at the thought of a potential franchise quarterback like Ryan, but how comfortable would you be with Brian Billick developing him? And what about Troy Smith? How would you feel about a Ravens quarterback soup come training camp that consists of the ingredients Troy Smith, Kyle Boller, Matt Ryan, and possibly even Steve McNair? We know we are desperate for a QB of the Future here in B-More….should the Ravens take one this high on the board?

Seahawks 27 Ravens 6 The TROY CAN’T SCORE IN THIS O EITHER game

March 14, 2008

Once again the Ravens showed their all around ineptitude yesterday, falling without anything close to a fight to the Seattle Seahawks. Troy Smith had a decent day making his first NFL start, but when he is playing behind such a sorry excuse for an NFL offensive line as the Ravens have, it is difficult to give him a fair evaluation. He looked eerily similar to so many Ravens quarterbacks before him, that it only lent further evidence to the theory that it is the offensive system of Brian Billick, and not the guy running it, that is to blame for….


We now interrupt this regularly scheduled game recap for the 24-hour-a-day Ravens Christmas Music Channel to begin its broadcast. You will hear such classics as:

Fumblin’ Balls

(Jingle Bells)


Fumblin’ all the time

The Ravens can’t move the ball

Offense is a crime,

Not another draw!


Secondary blows

Couldn’t cover me

What fun it is, to be our foes

and score so easily!


Fumblin’ balls, Fumblin’ balls,

Sizzle was on “Cribs”

Matt Hasselbeck lit us up

and Willis Broke 2 ribs! Hey!


Ew, The Ravens Really Suck

(Hark the Herald Angels Sing) 

(Hummed, and Sung, by the Peanuts Kids)

Guuuruuuuuruuuuu Ruuu Ruuu Ruuuu Ruuuu Ruuuu
Guuuuu Ruuuu Ruuuuu Ru Ru Ru Ruuuuuu

Ew, the Ravens really suck
Can’t help themselves, and have bad luck
One yard runs, and two yard passes
He was down! That ref needs glasses!

Painful, all we fans can’t watch
Here comes yet another botch
We’ve never seen play this poor
Crap football in Baltimore

Billick the Guru
(Frosty the Snowman)

Billick the Guru, was a smug and prideful guy
With a wicker hat and a bad playbook, and his offense makes us cry.
Billick the Guru, has three more years to stay
He makes bad calls, and won’t run the ball
Yet somehow still gets paid!

There must have been some magic in that offense of the ‘Vikes
For when he coached that team up there, scoring was one of his “likes”
O’, Billick the Guru, was in love with his big words
And Ravens fans pray, that he’ll go away
So there’s no purple “Free the Birds.”

All L’s

All L’s, All L’s, All L’s, All L’s
The last 10 games of the season, are prob’ly all L’s

Ravens Got Run Over by the Seahawks
(Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer)

Ravens got run over by the Seahawks
Up there in Seattle Christmas Eve (Eve)
You can say there’s such a thing as offense
But those of us in B-More don’t “Believe”

I could go on all day…but I’ll spare you.

Happy Holidays to all of you out there, from your friends at B-More Birds Nest!

Ravens (4-10) @ Seahawks (9-5)

March 14, 2008

We would say that things don’t get any easier for the Ravens this week, but it’s pretty much impossible to get any easier than it was last week, and they still managed to screw that up. This week they travel cross country again to take on the NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks. Ugh. The ‘hawks are 6-1 at home this season, and are pretty much a match-up nightmare for the Ravens all around.

The Ravens can’t stop the pass, giving up over 220 yards per game. Seattle coach Mike Holmgren loves passing like a fat guy…er…like HE loves cake.

The Ravens are terrible on the road, at 1-6 this year.  The Seahawks have one of the NFL’s best home field advantages, as their raucous crowd causes opponents to false start nearly 3 times a game, tops in the NFL.

The Ravens will be trotting out rookie QB Troy Smith for his first NFL start, and the B-More offensive line has been a sieve lately. The Seahawks are 2nd in the NFL with 41 sacks.

The Ravens “can’t stand the rain.” It rains a lot in Seattle, from what I hear.

So yeah, the Ravens have about as much chance of ending their league-high 8 game losing streak as an 8-layer burrito has in a room with Mike Holmgren.

On the injury front, Samari Rolle is probably out again, and we’ve given up hope at this point of the Stormin’ Mormon making it onto the field again in ’07. Instead of “Heeeeaaap,” maybe we should start yelling “Weeeeeeeep.” You know, cuz he’s always crying. No? Ok, you think of something.

Ray Lewis hasn’t practiced all week with a dislocated finger, but knowing Ray, he’ll be in there come game time. Having Ray in always makes a difference, as we saw last week after he got hurt, but unless he can scare cornerbacks Corey Ivy, Derrick Martin, and Jamaine Winborne into actually covering those guys that are always running past them, this one will probably get ugly quick.

Hawks QB Matt Hasselbeck is one of the best in the league at this point, and has plenty of weapons to work with, although even University of Washington receivers would probably do well against the Ravens.

I mean seriously….we couldn’t stop Cleo Lemon. Watching Hasselbeck carve up the purple-and-black secondary will have Holmgren lost in daydream about carving up his Christmas day turkey by halftime.

Troy Smith will be running for his life all day, much like Kyle Boller, and Steve McNair before him, have been doing all season. He is more mobile than either of those 2, and has better pocket presence than Boller. He also keeps his eyes downfield when he scrambles, unlike Kyle, so Troy will likely make some plays that give Ravens fans some hope for his future. However, he will also make several costly mistakes trying to force the issue, and this one won’t be close.

Mike Holmgren is fat.

Seahawks 27 Ravens 14

Ravens (4-9) @ Dolphins (0-13)

March 14, 2008

       ravensfish.JPG This weekend the Ravens (and me!) travel to sunny Miami to take on the winless Miami Dolphins, in what could appropriately be named the “Toilet Bowl” of the 2007 season. These 2 teams have combined to lose their last 23 games! The 0-13 Dolphins also lost their last 3 in ’06, while the Ravens, not satisfied with just setting the new franchise record for consecutive losses, have absolutely obliterated the old record and show no signs of slowing up, losers of 7 straight. Well, something has to give in the humid south Florida air this Sunday.

Rest assured that Dolphins faithful will have no pity on us Ravens fans. It’s now been over a year since the fans of Miami last got to celebrate a victory, when the fish beat the (gasp!) New England Patriots, 21-0 last December 10. Yep, the Pats. Ironically, the two teams competing for perfection at opposite ends of the spectrum in 2007 can each point to the same game in which their respective (regular season) losing/winning streaks began.

The porpoises benched rookie QB John Beck last week, and now turn back to 4th year veteran Cleo Lemon to try to get coach Cam Cameron his first win. Lemon has started 5 games this season, throwing 3 touchdowns to go along with 6 picks, and also having run for 4 scores. He can move around decently, but the Ravens historically don’t have too much trouble wrangling in those running quarterbacks (Just ask Mike Vick-you can reach him c/o United States Prison System). Also, he makes mistakes, having thrown at least 1 interception in 4 of his 6 appearances this year, and 2 INTs twice. If the Ravens depleted secondary, which will be missing Chris McAlister (on IR) and likely Samari Rolle (shoulder) again, can cover somebody, and can catch the ball when it hits them in the hands, it will go a long way to helping them win.

As far as the Dolphins defense, they have suffered greatly from the loss of MLB Zach Thomas, who is out for the season due to migraine headaches. His absence from the middle of their D is a big factor in them being dead last in the league against the run. Surprisingly, though, they are 3rd in the NFL against the pass. Hmmm…A+B=C….RUN THE DAMN BALL! The Ravens seemed to discover their identity as a running team 2 weeks ago against New England, but Willis McGahee wasn’t even able to get started last week, as the Colts built a huge lead quickly and forced the Ravens to pass. As we all have learned throughout the Brian Billick tenure (which WILL extend to next year, in case you hadn’t heard) is that bad, bad things happen when the purple-and-black are forced to throw.

Speaking of throwing, it will be Kyle Boller getting the start this week. As much as some of you clamor to see more of Troy Smith, Boller, barring injury, will continue to be the Ravens starter, as he does give them the best chance to win. Unfortunately, as we have documented here numerous times, Kyle is no “road-warrior.” His record as a starter away from M&T now stands at a dismal 5-14, and 0-2 in ’07. The Ravens need to take the pressure off him by pounding the ball on the ground, and setting up those play-action fakes (because, as he displayed last week, Boller has a tendency to throw the ball to the spot the linebacker was supposed to vacate, whether he actually moved or not.) Cross your fingers that we don’t see Troy Smith in this game, as that will probably only mean either a) Boller got hurt, or b) The ‘phins are spanking us somethin’ awful.

Next week in Seattle may be a different story, but for this week at least, the Ravens have something to play for: They REALLY don’t want to be the answer to the trivia question, “Who is the only team the 2007 Miami Dolphins beat?” As such, they will come out fired up and, hopefully, won’t pack it in at the first sign of adversity. It will be a boring, slow, smash-mouth game, filled with 2 yard runs and 5 yard passes. In short, what we’ve seen all year save for the Pats game. The Dolphins think this is their best chance for a win this year. They’re probably right. But that still won’t matter in the end.

Ravens 20 Dolphins 16 (sorry UnbiasedGuy, predictions are just too much fun)

Note:  D.Baby will be traveling to Miami for the game this weekend, so we’ll try to put together a crazy photoblog for the recap next week. 


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