Week 16 Ravens Pre-Game Thread

axx

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Looked at the weather down in Baltimore, and it's going to be quite warm - 60s - 70s, but it's going to be rainy and windy and maybe thunderstorms as well.
 

jsinger121

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That should limit his ability to scramble for first downs and keep him in the pocket longer.
 

Ed Hillel

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That should limit his ability to scramble for first downs and keep him in the pocket longer.


Well, it should at least give Jabba the Huttower a fighting chance.
 

dcmissle

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That would be very good.  Flacco is good at this, particularly for a guy of his size.  He has not done it enough, IMO -- until the past couple of weeks.
 

RoyHobbs

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Whether Flacco is injured or not, and I've said this elsewhere but really want to state it again, is there any doubt this game turns on at least one call by the officials.
 
All the ingredients are there: a season-plus of blown calls across the league, nebulous rules, arbitrary enforcement thereof, calls in particular going against the away team (the Patriots in particular, it seems), Flacco's huck-it-up-to-draw-flags style...
 
You know, here is the NFL's problem: I've watched its product for decades now, and no longer trust it. I don't look forward to a tense, physical battle between my team and its worthy opponent, I'm now wondering what fuck-up we'll be ranting about come Monday morning.
 

tims4wins

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RoyHobbs said:
Whether Flacco is injured or not, and I've said this elsewhere but really want to state it again, is there any doubt this game turns on at least one call by the officials.
 
All the ingredients are there: a season-plus of blown calls across the league, nebulous rules, arbitrary enforcement thereof, calls in particular going against the away team (the Patriots in particular, it seems), Flacco's huck-it-up-to-draw-flags style...
 
You know, here is the NFL's problem: I've watched its product for decades now, and no longer trust it. I don't look forward to a tense, physical battle between my team and its worthy opponent, I'm now wondering what fuck-up we'll be ranting about come Monday morning.
 
Your last paragraph hits home for me. It was painful losing the Carolina and Jets games (and to some extent the Miami game), and the Cleveland win just kind of felt like some redemption for other blown calls. Your team really has to win by multiple scores in order to feel like they "earned" a win. I don't like that feeling. When the Pats beat the Rams, it felt like they deserved it; the refs didn't influence that in the least. Ditto the 3 point (Super Bowl) wins over Carolina and Philly. Now if they were to win a playoff game by 3, I'm sure the refs would be part of the story.
 

NickEsasky

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Ok when we are now preemptively complaining about the officiating you know it's gone too far. Yeah there have been some shitty calls against the Pats. Two in particular that might have cost us games. We've also gotten a call or three along the way. The officiating isn't what is ailing the Patriots. Injuries and a lack of execution are. 
 

tims4wins

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NickEsasky said:
Ok when we are now preemptively complaining about the officiating you know it's gone too far. Yeah there have been some shitty calls against the Pats. Two in particular that might have cost us games. We've also gotten a call or three along the way. The officiating isn't what is ailing the Patriots. Injuries and a lack of execution are. 
 
The point is more that the Pats have had at least 4 games hinge on a single call (Jets, Panthers, Browns - sort of, Phins), which kind of takes the excitement out. I agree that the Pats have had their share of breaks this year. I just hate seeing games come down to a single officiating call. It reduces the outcomes of these games to a coinflip. It's not so much the effect on the Pats, as it is the effect on the product.
 

ivanvamp

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tims4wins said:
 
Your last paragraph hits home for me. It was painful losing the Carolina and Jets games (and to some extent the Miami game), and the Cleveland win just kind of felt like some redemption for other blown calls. Your team really has to win by multiple scores in order to feel like they "earned" a win. I don't like that feeling. When the Pats beat the Rams, it felt like they deserved it; the refs didn't influence that in the least. Ditto the 3 point (Super Bowl) wins over Carolina and Philly. Now if they were to win a playoff game by 3, I'm sure the refs would be part of the story.
 
I hate to say it, but on the Ty Law interception play, Mike Vrabel clearly hit Kurt Warner right in the face mask.  A clear 15-yard personal foul penalty.  It wasn't called.
 
I bring that up because in the aftermath of the tuck rule, many Pats fans, including myself, said that even if the tuck rule didn't exist, it should have been a 15-yard penalty on Woodson anyway because he hit Brady in the face mask.  And that rule was definitely in place at the time.  
 

mascho

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BigSoxFan said:
Refs can't call a bogus pass interference if Flacco is on his bacco. Just once, I'd like to see our front 7 take matters into their own hands when the game is on the line.
 
Pierce and Rice do a great job in pass protection and blitz pickup.  
 
Eugene Monroe, however, looks vulnerable at LT.  Chandler needs to have a good game.
 

ivanvamp

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mascho said:
 
Pierce and Rice do a great job in pass protection and blitz pickup.  
 
Eugene Monroe, however, looks vulnerable at LT.  Chandler needs to have a good game.
 
We'll have plenty of complaints after the game about how much he was held, but no flag.
 

DJnVa

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Seriously - I can guarantee that sometime in the near future, the league will need to adjust their passing rules because offenses are figuring out that they can exploit these rules to the detriment of the on-field product
 
You're assuming the NFL sees what's happening as a detriment. So far, evidence doesn't appear to show that.
 

Stitch01

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BigSoxFan said:
Refs can't call a bogus pass interference if Flacco is on his bacco. Just once, I'd like to see our front 7 take matters into their own hands when the game is on the line.
They did in the Texans game.
 

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mascho said:
 
Pierce and Rice do a great job in pass protection and blitz pickup.  
 
Eugene Monroe, however, looks vulnerable at LT.  Chandler needs to have a good game.
 
I think with a QB like Flacco the pressure up the middle in his face is going to be more important then the edge pressure.  Flacco does not strike me as a super accurate passer.  Not allowing him to step into throws would further hurt his accuracy.  I know that all QBs get affected by pressure in front of them, but a QB like Flacco seems more vulnerable to it then most. 
 
The Ravens have struggled to run the ball all year.  I'm curious if we will see more Jones/Vellano one-gaping/penetrating then we will see Siliga and Soapaga play a more traditional nose.
 

tims4wins

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I think with a QB like Flacco the pressure up the middle in his face is going to be more important then the edge pressure.  Flacco does not strike me as a super accurate passer.  Not allowing him to step into throws would further hurt his accuracy.  I know that all QBs get affected by pressure in front of them, but a QB like Flacco seems more vulnerable to it then most. 
 
The Ravens have struggled to run the ball all year.  I'm curious if we will see more Jones/Vellano one-gaping/penetrating then we will see Siliga and Soapaga play a more traditional nose.
 
In the past the Pats haven't been able to pressure Flacco up the middle because they didn't want him to escape the pocket and scramble for yardage all day long. Now that he has a gimpy leg, it may be the opportune time to bring middle pressure.
 

mascho

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Spaulding Smails said:
Doesn't Winter's crew typically call the most penalties on average? Ugh.
 
Historically, his crews call more penalties than the average.  That has normalized this year.  But more concerning to me is the fact that "home team winning percentage" in his games is above the league average this season.
 
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/officials/WintRo0r.htm
 
Unless I'm misreading that.  I haven't slept in two weeks.
 
EDIT:  Yeah, I was misreading that.  My bad.
 

Stitch01

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Super Nomario

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Ed Hillel said:
Hmmmm...if his baseline is normal, does extra rest matter? In other words, would he be any more likely to get concussed Sunday than in 2015? Honest question.
I don't have an honest answer, but I'm not sure anyone does. I don't know if it's possible to say conclusively that playing last week after sustaining a concussion the previous week did or did not contribute to leaving with a concussion against Miami. We also have to consider the possibility that Solder is good at disguising concussions / faking his way through concussion tests - he didn't even come out of the Cleveland game. I think erring on the side of caution is the appropriate move here.
 

dynomite

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I don't have an honest answer, but I'm not sure anyone does. I don't know if it's possible to say conclusively that playing last week after sustaining a concussion the previous week did or did not contribute to leaving with a concussion against Miami. We also have to consider the possibility that Solder is good at disguising concussions / faking his way through concussion tests - he didn't even come out of the Cleveland game. I think erring on the side of caution is the appropriate move here.
I tend to agree.

This is the tough thing about concussions. Obviously I don't know anything about Solder's physical health, or much about concussion protocol in general. But seeing a kid who's had back-to-back concussions trying to play is hard to watch, whether it's perfectly safe or not.
 

Super Nomario

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FWIW, the advanced stats people like the Pats. FO has the Pats 6th in DVOA, the Ravens 20th. Advanced NFL Stats has the Pats 62% favorites on Sunday and ranks the Pats the #11 team, with Baltimore 26th. I think Baltimore is underrated statistically by both due to their early-season struggles, but I thought it interesting enough to point out.
 

Shelterdog

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dynomite said:
I tend to agree.

This is the tough thing about concussions. Obviously I don't know anything about Solder's physical health, or much about concussion protocol in general. But seeing a kid who's had back-to-back concussions trying to play is hard to watch, whether it's perfectly safe or not.
 
I find that the discussions about concussions are pretty non-productive: maybe there are neurologists who have a good idea of how long people should sit, etc. but that knowledge hasn't made its way into the world so you get a lot of handwringing about safety based purely on the number of concussions someone has had, which may or may not be a valid reason for concern.
 

dynomite

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I find that the discussions about concussions are pretty non-productive: maybe there are neurologists who have a good idea of how long people should sit, etc. but that knowledge hasn't made its way into the world so you get a lot of handwringing about safety based purely on the number of concussions someone has had, which may or may not be a valid reason for concern.
Right, I think that's part of the problem. I'm vaguely uncomfortable whenever the issue comes up, but I have essentially nothing to go on. But there's always that tiny chance that you're watching the next Junior Seau or Ryan Freel.
 

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It's especially confusing in this case since they never acknowledged that he left the Miami game because he suffered a concussion or they were being cautious.  Its seems to have taken on a life of it's own that he was concussed two weeks in a row.  I don't expect the pats to confirm or deny it, but they just as easily could have been cautious with him this past week and played it safe.
 
If he has passed the tests, then he's passed the test.  The tests are there for a reason.  At this point I find it hard to believe that Nate Solder is not aware of the dangers that concussions pose to him after football.  If he has passed the test and still has concerns then he should keep himself out, but if the docs say he is good to do and he thinks he is good to go, then I have no problem with it.
 

dcmissle

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Super Nomario said:
FWIW, the advanced stats people like the Pats. FO has the Pats 6th in DVOA, the Ravens 20th. Advanced NFL Stats has the Pats 62% favorites on Sunday and ranks the Pats the #11 team, with Baltimore 26th. I think Baltimore is underrated statistically by both due to their early-season struggles, but I thought it interesting enough to point out.
 
Early-season struggles and the fact that these metrics don't account for revolving doors very well if at all  -- recent departures like Gronk, additions like Pitta.
 
Nor do they factor in matchups particularly well.  It will be dismissed as an old chestnut, but Brady does not play particularly well against this crew as measured by his high standards.  Eight career games in which he has thrown 2 more INTs than TD and has a completion percentage of 57.  Yes, the opposing cast changes, but its style and level of play on defense remains consistent.
 
I'm putting more hope in a bad Flacco leg, which could materially impact this game by depriving him of mobility and diminishing his accuracy.
 

Super Nomario

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Shelterdog said:
 
I find that the discussions about concussions are pretty non-productive: maybe there are neurologists who have a good idea of how long people should sit, etc. but that knowledge hasn't made its way into the world so you get a lot of handwringing about safety based purely on the number of concussions someone has had, which may or may not be a valid reason for concern.
My understanding (and I am not a medical professional) is that there's no way of knowing the real extent of brain damage in living people - all the tau tests that the BU clinic does can only be done on dead bodies. I'm sure neurologists have a lot more knowledge than we do, but a perusal of the NFL concussion rules doesn't make it clear if the latest and greatest technological advances are required; the sideline tests are symptom-based, with a good chunk being self-reported.
 
In general I'm averse to the "handwringing" you describe in cases where there's specific medical knowledge we don't have (such as the "Should Gronk start on the PUP?" thread), but here's a case where the science is largely in its infancy, the incentives for player and team don't necessarily align with long-term consequences, and the long-term consequences are in some instances dire. I think some caution is appropriate.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Brady had 2 decent games against Dean Pees last year, throwing for 300+ yards both games, but he couldn't punch it into the end zone. Sounds eerily familiar...
 
Let's hope he can make Pees look like the guy we remember from his time here, and hopefully Brady can get his team across the fucking goal line a few times.
 
Edit: Take it back. He threw a few picks that I forgot about in the playoffs last year. Not going to win many games with this offense by doing that...
 

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Super Nomario said:
My understanding (and I am not a medical professional) is that there's no way of knowing the real extent of brain damage in living people - all the tau tests that the BU clinic does can only be done on dead bodies. I'm sure neurologists have a lot more knowledge than we do, but a perusal of the NFL concussion rules doesn't make it clear if the latest and greatest technological advances are required; the sideline tests are symptom-based, with a good chunk being self-reported.
 
In general I'm averse to the "handwringing" you describe in cases where there's specific medical knowledge we don't have (such as the "Should Gronk start on the PUP?" thread), but here's a case where the science is largely in its infancy, the incentives for player and team don't necessarily align with long-term consequences, and the long-term consequences are in some instances dire. I think some caution is appropriate.
 
And what's your basis for thinking holding him out this week is the appropriate amount of caution? I feel we in the public (and those in the media) are so completely uninformed on the topic that it's impossible to evaluate something as simple as that. I certainly agree that one should be particularly cautious with neurological conditions-the downside to further injury is a lot more grave than if you pull a hamstring because you got back too soon--but at this point I can't even figure out what would qualify as cautious or not.
 

mpx42

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Kenny F'ing Powers said:
Brady had 2 decent games against Dean Pees last year, throwing for 300+ yards both games, but he couldn't punch it into the end zone. Sounds eerily familiar...
 
Let's hope he can make Pees look like the guy we remember from his time here, and hopefully Brady can get his team across the fucking goal line a few times.
 
Edit: Take it back. He threw a few picks that I forgot about in the playoffs last year. Not going to win many games with this offense by doing that...
 
Both picks were in the 4th quarter of the Ravens game - one was simply a ball batted up in the air at the line of scrimmage, the other was a deep ball to Lloyd into single coverage down 15 with 1 minute left. The decisions were understandable.
 

dcmissle

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Kenny F'ing Powers said:
Brady had 2 decent games against Dean Pees last year, throwing for 300+ yards both games, but he couldn't punch it into the end zone. Sounds eerily familiar...
 
Let's hope he can make Pees look like the guy we remember from his time here, and hopefully Brady can get his team across the fucking goal line a few times.
 
Edit: Take it back. He threw a few picks that I forgot about in the playoffs last year. Not going to win many games with this offense by doing that...
 
 
This is tangential, but Pees has done a phenomenal job in Baltimore the last 2 seasons.  The defense was just awful the first part of last year, in substantial part because of injuries to Webb.  Pees stabilized the situation and tweaked for weeks to get them to a point that they were good enough to win a championship.
 
This year Pees has done an outstanding job blending a lot of new talent, which Ozzie did a good  job acquiring.
 

crystalline

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Shelterdog said:
 
And what's your basis for thinking holding him out this week is the appropriate amount of caution? I feel we in the public (and those in the media) are so completely uninformed on the topic that it's impossible to evaluate something as simple as that. I certainly agree that one should be particularly cautious with neurological conditions-the downside to further injury is a lot more grave than if you pull a hamstring because you got back too soon--but at this point I can't even figure out what would qualify as cautious or not.
It's not just the public- everyone including medical professionals is uninformed. About all brain diseases, really - except for brainstem lesions and cancers we know almost nothing about the causes of disease. As an example, Prozac was originally developed by Lilly simultaneously as a weight loss drug, a heart disease med, and an antidepressant. As soon as the FDA approved it for depression Lilly dropped research on the other indications. All brain treatments are developed by trial and error and validated by epidemiological data now. Same thing is going on with concussions.
 

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RedOctober3829 said:
So BB took the team to the movies today....there's a new and lovable Bill. Wonder if he gets roasted like Rex did if they lose.
But what did they see? Maybe he was comparing the fight for survival in the Hunger Games with making a Super Bowl run.
 

mpx42

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OUT:
 
Boyce
 
QUESTIONABLE:
 
Arrington
Dennard
Dobson
Fletcher
Solder
Spikes
Thompkins
 
PROBABLE
 
Amendola
Brady
Cannon
Gregory
Hooman
Svitek
Talib
 
Getting longer every week.
 

NortheasternPJ

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RedOctober3829 said:
@jeffphowe: Bill Belichick took the Patriots to see "Lone Survivor" today during a full-team movie trip.
Is love to see give players faces when they showed up and bill declares they're going to the movies.
 

NortheasternPJ

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RedOctober3829 said:
@jeffphowe: Bill Belichick took the Patriots to see "Lone Survivor" today during a full-team movie trip.
Is love to see the players faces when they showed up and bill declares they're going to the movies.
 

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Bill broke routine and took them to the movies.  He was really chatty at his press conference.
 
This has to means that they had a great week of practice and that Bill is pleased heading into Sunday.  Beware the Pats after a great week of practice.
 

Stitch01

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Chance of severe T'Storms Sunday.  A delay would suck, not sure they would be allowed to finish broadcasting given the NBC exclusivity window.
 

Reverend

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NortheasternPJ said:
Is love to see give players faces when they showed up and bill declares they're going to the movies.
 
I wonder how much trepidation is involved. "It's a trap!!"
 

dcmissle

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Stitch01 said:
Chance of severe T'Storms Sunday.  A delay would suck, not sure they would be allowed to finish broadcasting given the NBC exclusivity window.
 
I was happy when they flexed it.  Now I may end up getting out of there the same time had it not been flexed.  By 7:30 they'll be pissing in the men's room sinks.