2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens' uplifting win can't mask team's flaws

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-11 17:12

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens still have flaws in their running game, Joe Flacco is getting hit far too often in the pocket and the defense let a 17-point lead slip away Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Those shortcomings made it a little more difficult for the Ravens to enjoy a much-needed 20-17 overtime victory that snapped a three-game losing streak and kept the defending Super Bowl champions afloat in the murky AFC playoff picture.

Despite allowing a desperation 51-yard touchdown pass on the final play of regulation, Baltimore (4-5) bounced back to stay in the hunt for the AFC North title and in contention for the conference's second wild-card berth.

''Overcame much adversity ... overcame some of our own mistakes,'' coach John Harbaugh said Monday. ''Our guys held strong at the end, especially after the challenging situation at the end of regulation, when you think you have the game in the hand.''

The victory bought the Ravens an extra week of time as they patiently wait for running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce to become healthier - and hopefully, Harbaugh believes, more effective.

Baltimore produced only 85 yards on 30 rushing plays against Cincinnati. Rice was limited to 30 yards on 18 carries and Pierce gained 31 yards on eight attempts.

''We need to get better with our run game,'' Harbaugh said. ''We gained a few more yards, but that to me is negligible because we're not as a successful as we want to be. Not even close.''

It has been an issue that has plagued the offense for the entire season. If the Ravens could have run more efficiently, then perhaps the Bengals wouldn't have gotten the ball back with 1:28 left after Baltimore went three-and-out in a drive that lasted 27 seconds.

''If it was just one thing, you'd either be able to fix it or throw your hands up and say it's something that you can't fix because you don't have the answer,'' Harbaugh said of the team's anemic rushing attack. ''Neither one of those is true. The answers are there, and it's not just the run game. The pass game ties into it as well. The bottom line is we've got to block better, we've got to get guys blocked better.''

Rice had four straight 1,000-yard seasons before this year. At this point, he has 289 yards and is averaging a mere 2.5 yards per carry. Rice missed the third game of the year with a hip flexor strain, and he apparently still hasn't recovered.

''You've got to look at the numbers, and definitely it's not the same,'' Harbaugh conceded. ''So what is it? It's injury, or there's not as much room to run. Or it's both. His health has been a factor, there's no doubt about it. He's working harder to become healthier. That's important to get past that hip flexor. Those are muscle injuries, and it's hard to predict exactly what impact that has, but you've got to assume it's had an impact.''

Pierce isn't 100 percent, either.

''Bernard's had his hamstring issues the last five weeks, which he seems to be coming out of,'' Harbaugh said.

All this would be easier to take if the passing game was clicking, but Flacco threw two interceptions against Cincinnati, lost a fumble upon being hit in the pocket and was sacked five times.

''We got touchdowns which proved to be big, but we struggled all day,'' Flacco said. ''You have to give credit to their defense, but we have to do a lot of things better in order to be successful.''

Next up: A duel in Chicago on Sunday against the Bears. The Ravens are 1-4 on the road, but at least they'll be taking some momentum into Soldier Field.

''It was important to win,'' Harbaugh said of the Cincinnati game. ''We were able to do that, and it meant a lot. Now it's important to win the next game.''

Harbaugh on Monday was presented with the Amos Alonzo Staff Coaching Award. Previous recipients include Tony Dungy, Bill Belichick and Mike Krzyzewski.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group