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#pounditWednesday, September 23, 2020

Articles tagged: Baltimore Ravens

Titans players troll Ravens by yelling ‘Big Truss’ after pulling off upset

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans had some fun at the expense of the opposition after Saturday’s massive upset victory.

As the Titans players exited the field following their 28-12 win over the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens in their divisional playoff game, they were heard to yell “Big Truss” on their way to the locker room.

Titans safety Kevin Byard, who had a huge interception off Lamar Jackson to set the tone in the first quarter, was among those yelling it.

“Big Truss” was the Ravens’ mantra during their stellar 14-2 regular season. Running back Mark Ingram even famously used it to hype up Jackson in a November press conference. Unfortunately, the mantra became so popular that it was bound to blow up in their faces if and when they got eliminated.

Lamar Jackson, Ravens fall victim to infamous Drake curse

Drake NFL curse

Drake has claimed yet another victim in the sports world.

The Baltimore Ravens lost at home 28-12 to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night to see their season come to a premature and disappointing end. Those who were following things during the week might have seen it coming, though.

On Tuesday, Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson turned 23. Drake, a famous rapper, wished the quarterback happy birthday via Instagram. The message showed Drake wearing clothing that said “Truss” on it, which is a phrase the Ravens have used this season.

Right then and there, Drake officially and publicly showed his support to LJ, and it came before the Ravens’ playoff game.

So what’s the problem?

Drake is notorious for being a frontrunner, and whenever he jumps on a bandwagon, the team seems to lose. He even acknowledged that during the NFL playoffs last year.

Lamar Jackson would respectfully disagree with the notion he was cursed this week. He says he’s been friendly with the rapper for a while.

“Yeah it was pretty cool,” Jackson said of the shoutout. “I’ve been talking to Drake for the longest, you guys don’t know that, but I’ve been talking to him for the longest, so it was pretty cool.”

Jackson can say what he wants, but everyone else will say he fell victim to the curse.

If you’re an athlete, avoid Drake at all costs.

Baltimore Ravens have headset communication issues during playoff game

John Harbaugh

It’s not unusual for an NFL team to have communication issues with their headsets during a game, but what was surprising was to see a home team affected by headset problems. That was the case for the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night.

Late in the first quarter of the Ravens’ home playoff game against the Tennessee Titans, CBS reporter Evan Washburn said that some of Baltimore’s coaches were having headset issues.

“During that previous possession, enough of their coaches were having interference in their headsets. They’re trying to remedy the problem. It didn’t cut communications, but there was clearly some coaches that were having trouble communicating upstairs,” Washburn said.

Because the Ravens’ system was not down completely, Tennessee’s communications were allowed to continue while the Ravens worked to fix the issue. If a team’s communications go out entirely, all headset communication is turned off to make things fair for both sides.

Here is the rule on the matter:

In the event one club experiences a coach-to-player radio system malfunction or failure, the other club does not have to shut down its system and may continue using it. However, if the coaches’ intercom system has been completely shut down on both sidelines pursuant to the equity rule, all coaches’ headsets must be removed, and radio communications from the sidelines to the field must be conducted by walkie-talkie only.

There have been plenty of rumors about teams having their headsets sabotaged during road games, but that does not apply here since Baltimore was home.

Was Ravens staffer wearing Bluetooth earpiece on sidelines during Browns game?

Ravens coach bluetooth

The Baltimore Ravens have been fined in the past for violating the NFL’s rules regarding coach-to-player communications policy, and there are questions about whether they did so again during Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

At one point during the broadcast, a Ravens staffer who was standing behind head coach John Harbaugh appeared to be wearing a bluetooth earpiece. Many on Twitter wondered if that was a violation NFL rules.

There are some rumblings that the staffer works security for the Ravens, but it’s unclear if that would mean he is allowed to wear an ear piece on the sideline.

The Ravens were fined $200,000 during the 2018 preseason after it was discovered that multiple players were using coach-to-player communication technology in their helmets. Only one player on the field at a time is allowed to have coach-to-player communication capabilities in their helmet. That fine came not long after Baltimore was fined for a separate violation of NFL rules.

Report: Terrell Suggs unlikely to report to any team but Ravens

Terrell Suggs

Terrell Suggs is going to cause some difficulties if any NFL team but one claims him on waivers, according to a report.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday that Suggs, who was surprisingly waived by the Cardinals on Friday, will strongly consider not reporting to any team that claims him unless it’s the Baltimore Ravens.

This presents a significant difficulty. The Ravens have the last waiver claim right now, meaning 31 other teams will have the chance to claim Suggs first. It remains to be seen if Suggs’ threat will be enough to scare away all 31 of them.

Suggs would be due roughly $350,000 from any claiming team, but the money is not a significant factor to him and he simply wants to return to Baltimore. Suggs must be claimed by 4 p.m. ET on Monday.

The Ravens didn’t retain Suggs as a free agent last offseason, and he didn’t seem to want to leave. With 5.5 sacks on the season, he can clearly still help a team, but he doesn’t want to help just any team. Whether those teams respect his issues — or one jumps in and claims him just to prevent him from landing with a Super Bowl contender in Baltimore — remains to be seen.

Ravens OC Greg Roman shares his philosophy on protecting Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson has defied conventional NFL wisdom this season by succeeding as a dual-threat quarterback. Historically, such a run-heavy focus for an NFL quarterback has not worked long term due to the injury risk; running backs tend to not last long due to the consistent pounding they take each week, and quarterbacks who similarly run the ball are being exposed to hits as well.

But that’s not how Greg Roman sees it.

NBC’s Andrea Kremer reported on Thursday night that Roman’s philosophy on mobile quarterbacks is that they are actually safer in space rather than standing in the pocket.

That runs contrary to what most would believe.

Roman, 47, in his third year with the Ravens and first as their offensive coordinator. He had success coordinating offenses for Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor in the past, both of whom succeeded under him as mobile quarterbacks.

If anyone knows about how to coach up mobile quarterbacks, it’s Roman. And he also apparently knows how to keep them healthy, too.

Ravens practice with wet footballs to prepare for 49ers

Lamar Jackson

The Baltimore Ravens are doing everything they can to ensure that their big matchup Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers is not significantly marred by the weather.

With rain in the forecast for Sunday’s game, the Ravens spent Thursday practicing with wet footballs in anticipation of the potentially difficult conditions.

Rainy weather is always going to have a major impact on football games, but this one could be particularly vulnerable. The Ravens run the ball a lot, and both teams are highly-regarded defensively, particularly the 49ers. Weather could make things easier on both defenses while really scrambling the offensive gameplans. Considering what Lamar Jackson has been up to lately, that would be a real shame, but it seems the Baltimore offense is trying to think ahead and mitigate the impacts.

Earl Thomas basically guarantees Ravens are getting to Super Bowl

Earl Thomas

The Baltimore Ravens have looked like by far the best team in the AFC for about two months now, and many are picking them to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. From the way it sounds, veteran defensive back Earl Thomas is already counting on it.

With the Ravens preparing to face the NFC’s best team, Thomas was asked if he thinks Sunday’s game between the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will be a preview of Super Bowl LIV. The Pro Bowler is not ready to crown the Niners just yet, but he seems to think the Ravens have already punched their tickets.

It certainly would not be a surprise if the Ravens get to the Super Bowl in Miami and end up raising the Lombardi trophy, especially if Lamar Jackson continues to play the way he has. Baltimore has destroyed its last three opponents by a combined score of 135-26, so picking them to win it all would not exactly be a hot take.

That said, making a Super Bowl guarantee always comes with a risk. Teams like the New England Patriots basically don’t allow it, as they don’t want to provide their opponents with any bulletin board material. Thomas, however, is obviously not concerned about that. This isn’t even the first time this season he has made a guarantee about the playoffs. Time will tell if that confidence plays out the way the Ravens hope it will.

Ranking the top 10 Super Bowl contenders

Patrick Mahomes

We’re deep enough into the NFL season that we can start prognosticating about potential Super Bowl winners and be realistic about it. We have a pretty good idea of which teams are going to be in the playoffs, and which of them can seriously consider themselves contenders to win the Super Bowl. It’s the right time of year to start hitting one’s stride, and a few teams are doing just that.

Here are the top ten Super Bowl contenders as it stands late in the regular season.

10. Houston Texans

The Texans are a somewhat confusing team. They’ve beaten Kansas City on the road with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, and they came extremely close to beating the Saints in New Orleans. However, questions linger about their defense, and their oft-maligned offensive line always seems to pop up as an issue at some point during the season. That said, any team with Deshaun Watson in its ranks has a chance every time he steps on the field, so they’re worth taking seriously.

9. Buffalo Bills

The Bills have an outstanding defense and arguably the game’s best secondary. For an 8-3 team, however, the hype around them is limited. There’s a simple reason for that: they have yet to really beat anyone good enough to prove their excellence. The 6-5 Tennessee Titans are the only team with a winning record that Buffalo has beaten, and none of the other opponents they’ve defeated have more than three wins on the season. Their next four games come against Dallas, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and New England, which should go a long way toward proving whether they’re serious or not.

8. Minnesota Vikings

Questions will understandably linger over whether or not Kirk Cousins is a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback. He’s definitely aware of his reputation of being unable to win big games, and that’s a reputation that he will have to shed if Minnesota is going to make a deep playoff run. Still, the Vikings have a sturdy defense and weapons on offense. On paper, they have everything you’d look for from a serious contender, but their inconsistency remains a worry. Still, they’re 6-1 in their last seven, which cannot be discounted.

7. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have, at least up until now, been unable to replicate last season’s excitement. Between injury and underperformance, Patrick Mahomes hasn’t quite been as exciting, and the offense not quite as dynamic. As they continue to get healthier, the second half of the season has the potential to be kind to the Chiefs, but the major question remains the defense. Whether that unit is good enough to fuel a playoff push could determine just how much the Chiefs are able to accomplish, but Mahomes certainly gives them a chance.

6. Green Bay Packers

With a few exceptions, Matt LaFleur’s new offense seems to produce excellent results for Green Bay, and they’ve put up some truly impressive performances. The defense is an issue, and it’s not clear how well they’ll stand up to the best offenses in the NFC. Also concerning is their performance against San Francisco in a game in which they were blown out. The 49ers are the exact kind of team the Packers are probably going to have to find their way through in the playoffs. Still, Aaron Rodgers is great, the offense is dynamic, and they’re a threat to anyone they play.

See No.’s 1-5 on Page 2

Ravens starting center Matt Skura out for season with knee injury

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are doing things on offense this season that have never been seen before in the NFL, but they got some bad news on Tuesday regarding one of their most important players.

Ravens starting center Matt Skura suffered a knee injury during Monday night’s blowout win over the Los Angeles Rams, and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that it will sideline him for the remainder of the season.

As Garafolo mentioned, Skura had been having a great season and is currently second in the AFC Pro Bowl voting at his position. He is a big reason Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram and the rest of Baltimore’s offense have been able to overpower opponents all year, so his absence could create a big problem for the Ravens.

The New England Patriots lost their starting center prior to the season, and their offensive line has had issues all year because of it. Any injury to a starter is difficult to overcome this late in the season, so Baltimore’s depth is about to be tested.