Inside The Bills

Points not expected early

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2013 – 11:15 am

Three games hardly represents a trend, but as the Bills and Ravens enter today’s game neither offense has gotten off to any point-producing starts in any of their games this season. That’s why both clubs are at or near the bottom in first quarter scoring.

The Ravens have just a single touchdown this season when it comes to scoring in the first quarter over their first three outings. They have yet to score on an opening possession this season.

The Bills meanwhile are the only NFL club that has yet to score any points in the opening quarter of any of their first three games. Jacksonville has a defensive score, a safety, for their only first quarter points this season.

Both the Buffalo and Baltimore offenses have been slow starters to this point. We’ll see if that changes today.


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Ravens will challenge Bills vertically

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2013 – 10:15 am

The Ravens on their own merit like to stretch the field with deep passing routes knowing they have a quarterback with a cannon for an arm in Joe Flacco. After seeing Buffalo get victimized a few times in the past two weeks on deep balls, the Bills are expecting them to throw downfield every bit as much as they usually do if not more today.

“I think what we’ll be challenged with again is this team more than any of the teams we’ve played before consistently challenges you vertically down the field,” Bills head coach Doug Marrone told Buffalobills.com. “They run quite a bit of vertical routes and they always have someone coming underneath. The one thing they’re doing is they’re hitting some of that
underneath stuff and running after the catch for first downs. So they have some speed, but the quarterback is an elite quarterback. He’s going to find those guys.”

Baltimore ranks 12th in the league in completions of 20 yards or more with 11 in their first three games.


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A 3rd down figure for Bills-Ravens

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2013 – 8:02 am

As we covered on Buffalobills.com this weekend, third and long has been a problem not only for Buffalo’s offense, but surprisingly for their defense as well as they’re giving up conversions on third-and-long 52 percent of the time. On Sunday they face a Baltimore team, that while struggling a bit in offensive production has found a way to convert on third down.

No offense in the NFL has more third down conversions than Baltimore. The Ravens have racked up a total of 24 through three games.

On the flip side of that, only one other defense has surrendered more third down conversions than the Bills. Cleveland has given up 24 third down conversions, which is just one more than Buffalo (23).

The Bills will need to go hard in the opposite direction of those numbers to post a win against the defending Super Bowl champions today.


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Ravens vs. rookie QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2013 – 12:51 pm

The Baltimore Ravens not surprisingly have had pretty good success against rookie signal callers. Here’s a look at their numbers.

According to ESPN.com, the Ravens since 2008 are 5-2 against rookie QBs. In those seven games they’ve allowed rookie QBs to throw just two touchdown passes against nine interceptions. The collective passer rating of those rookie QBs that faced the Ravens? 58.8.

 


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Ravens RB Rice, 7 others questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2013 – 3:00 pm

The Ravens official injury report has been released and RB Ray Rice is listed as questionable. So is DT Chris Canty, who is trying to return from a thigh injury. Here’s the rest of the Baltimore players, who are not a sure thing for Sunday’s game with the Bills.

Veteran WR Brandon Stokely was added to the injury report Friday with a groin injury.

Player Pos Injury Participation   Friday Friday Status
Jacoby Jones WR Knee OUT OUT
Marlon Brown WR Neck FP Probable
Terrence Cody DT Knee DNP Doubtful
Shaun Draughn RB Ankle LP Questionable
Ryan Jensen C Foot DNP Doubtful
Pernell McPhee LB/DE Knee LP Questionable
Arthur Brown LB Chest LP Questionable
Chris Canty DE Thigh LP Questionable
Ray Rice RB Hip LP Questionable
Deonte   Thompson WR Foot LP Questionable
Brandon   Williams DT Toe LP Questionable
Brandon   Stokeley WR Groin LP Questionable

 


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Ravens Rice a likely game time decision

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2013 – 2:42 pm

Baltimore RB Ray Rice (hip) practiced again on Friday, but has been limited all week. Here’s what Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said following Ravens practice on Rice’s availability Sunday.

“We stand by the fact that we’re hoping [Rice will] get there,” said Harbaugh. “He’s got a better chance than he had last week. He has practiced, to an extent, throughout the course of the week, and we’ll know on Sunday. We’ve got our fingers crossed.”

BaltimoreRavens.com tweeted the following from Rice after Friday’s practice.


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Who is playing Ravens role of EJ in practice?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2013 – 8:13 am

The Baltimore Ravens in preparation for EJ Manuel, have a pretty good body double in terms of athleticism to use on their scout team in practice this week.

Backup QB Tyrod Taylor is serving as EJ Manuel on Baltimore’s scout team offense. Wary of Manuel’s ability to run the read option, defensive coordinator Dean Pees is pleased with the looks Taylor is giving his defense.

“You definitely have to devote some time to it. You can’t ignore it. We’ve got a good quarterback here that gives us a good look at it, so that helps, with Tyrod [Taylor],” said Pees. “When you’re looking at their whole offense and everything that they do, especially their running game being fourth in the league and all that, you’ve got to spend some time looking at it.”

Even Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell recognizes the value of Taylor’s athleticism giving Baltimore’s defense a quality simulation.

“It’s a great value to have someone like that on your team,” said Caldwell. “I know Dean [Pees] has probably spoken to that a little better than myself. It’s very hard to emulate guys with that kind of athleticism if you don’t have a guy that can do it. Tyrod [Taylor] is exceptional and does a tremendous job. He gives our defense a picture and certainly does prepare them for a guy like we’re facing this week, who is also extremely mobile, a very capable passer and smart. It’s a great luxury.”


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RB Rice limited again Thursday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2013 – 4:35 pm

The Baltimore Ravens believe they’ll have RB Ray Rice back in the lineup Sunday against the Bills after he missed last week’s game with a hip flexor injury. On Thursday however, he was just a limited participant. There were a few other key players that were limited for the Ravens too.

Practicing on a limited basis along with Rice, were DT Chris Canty (thigh), LB Arthur Brown (chest), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe).

According to the team’s official twitter account, WR Marlon Brown (neck) returned to practice and was a full participant.


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Ravens injuries at WR could be helpful

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2013 – 9:55 am

Already without WR Jacoby Jones (knee) this week, the Ravens also have another receiver upon whom they’ve relied the first three weeks of the season dealing with an injury.

Marlon Brown, who has lined up opposite Torrey Smith, missed practice Wednesday with a neck injury. The origin of the injury is unknown since he played the whole game for Baltimore last week. If Brown can’t play it would leave the Ravens without two of their top three receivers.

In addition reserve WR Deonte Thompson was limited in practice Wednesday with a foot injury.

Absences at receiver for Baltimore would be a welcome sight for the Bills, who could be without each of their top three corners on their depth chart if Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) can’t play. Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks are not expected to play Sunday.


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CB Rogers puts last Sunday behind him

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2013 – 5:53 pm

He got beat for a pair of long touchdowns last week including the game winner in the team’s Week 3 loss to the Jets. He also had a big pass breakup to save a touchdown on an attempted flea flicker by New York. For Justin Rogers Sunday night and Monday weren’t much fun, but on Wednesday Rogers had effectively put his last outing behind him.

“Yeah I think I’ve been able to do for the most part,” said Rogers following Wednesday’s practice. “It was unfortunate and I was kind of hard on myself. The thing about this game is you’ve got to move on and I think my teammates and especially coaches they’ve really been pushing me to move on. By them telling me to move on and short term memory and getting out there today and being able to practice I kind of put it behind me.”

Rogers, who said the corrections for his game deal mainly with technique (getting in position, getting head around, not peeking too much at QB), knows his play last week will put a bulls-eye on his chest, but the cornerback sees that as an opportunity, not a problem.

“It’s definitely an opportunity to make plays,” he said. “This game is about making plays when you look at it. The more opportunities you get, the more times you get thrown at, the more opportunities to make a play so you’ve got to accept the challenge.”

Head coach Doug Marrone, who still had Rogers lined up at one of the starting cornerback spots in practice Wednesday, is adamant that the defense has faith in his abilities.

“Justin Rogers is not the first player to have a poor game,” said Marrone. “The one thing about it is he’s on this team and he’s out there practicing and like I said after the game, the one thing I appreciate is competing. It would be different if he fell down or wasn’t near the play or couldn’t do it, but he’s right there to make that play. We know it’s very close and we just keep pushing him to be able to do that.

“This sport you have to be so mentally tough, especially at corner. The two positions when you’re out on islands, people talk about corner and left tackle. You’ve got to be able to forget and come back the next play because if you can’t you’re not going to really last in this league and I think that’s something we all know. He’s got to shake it off. He went out there today and competed his butt off and that’s what we expected from him.”


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Ravens Harbaugh on Bills DB situation

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2013 – 5:18 pm

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is all too aware of Buffalo’s injury situation at cornerback and safety. But as is usually the case the Baltimore sideline boss was complimentary of the Bills secondary.

“They’ve got a lot of depth there,” said Harbaugh. “They’ve done a nice job of building depth in there. They have a lot of DBs on the roster, and they’ve played a lot of those guys. So, that’s impressive. We’ve been down that road ourselves, so we
understand the injury part of it. We had no healthy scratches out of the seven guys last week, so we’ve been battling injuries as well. I think every team faces that.”

As Bills head coach Doug Marrone said last week, no team feels sorry for any other because they’re usually dealing with injuries of their own. Baltimore was without RB Ray Rice, WR Jacoby Jones and DT Chris Canty last week among others.

 


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Ravens RB Rice limited in practice

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2013 – 4:38 pm

Here’s a look at the Ravens injury report following Wednesday’s practice participation. Baltimore RB Ray Rice, who missed last week’s game with a hip flexor injury was a limited participant in practice.

Player Pos Injury Participation   Wednesday
Jacoby Jones WR Knee OUT
Marlon Brown WR Neck DNP
Terrence Cody DT Knee DNP
Shaun Draughn RB Ankle DNP
Ryan Jensen C Foot DNP
Pernell McPhee LB/DE Knee DNP
Arthur Brown LB Chest LP
Chris Canty DE Thigh LP
Ray Rice RB Hip LP
Deonte   Thompson WR Foot LP
Brandon   Williams DT Toe LP

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Ravens WR Jones ruled out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2013 – 4:15 pm

The Baltimore Ravens have announced that they will be without one of their receivers Sunday against the Bills.

The team said WR Jacoby Jones is out for Sunday’s game.

Jones injury is a knee, which he hurt in the opener. He was also allegedly struck in the head with a bottle in an off the field incident last week.


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Spiller full go at practice Wed.

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2013 – 3:03 pm

In the wake off all the injuries the Bills have sustained over the past two weeks, the team had good news regarding the health of C.J. Spiller.

Spiller, who left Sunday’s game with a quadriceps injury, said on Monday he expected to be good to go for this weekend’s game against the Ravens. He proved that on Wednesday when he participated fully in practice.

“The biggest thing I wasn’t hesitant and that was really going to be my biggest mental hurdle. Was I going to be hesitant on my cut? And I wasn’t. I was able to push off it. There’s still some soreness in there, it’s not completely where I want it to be. But by Sunday I think it’ll be completely gone. It was one of those things where yesterday it felt a certain way and today I woke up and it felt great. So we’re going to see how it reacts tomorrow when I wake up and if it’s good to go I’ll practice again.”

The fact that Spiller was a full participant was a very encouraging sign for his availability Sunday. If he practices again on Thursday there should be nothing standing in the way of the Bills back playing against the Ravens.


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Flacco all for starting rookie QBs right away

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2013 – 2:39 pm

Ravens QB Joe Flacco was a first-round pick just like EJ Manuel, and just like Manuel he started right away. Looking back on it now Flacco is in favor of getting out on the field instead of sitting and watching for a year, provided the signal caller has the right mental make up.

“If you feel like you have a guy who’s mentally tough then it’s always better to start right away,” he said. “I mean, there’s no better place then in games to really grow and get that experience and become better. You can’t really reproduce that in any way even if you’re practicing really well it’s tough to get that same kind of game-like situation. So I always say if you feel like you have a guy that’s mentally tough enough and can handle losing some games or not always playing to like how they always should, then that way is the best way to go.”

Flacco feels as though his career benefited from being thrown into the lineup as a rookie.

“There’s no doubt about it. Not only does it help you learn and get better, it just gives you a lot more confidence to get in there Day 1 and just go after it,” he said. “When you sit on the bench for a year or two then you kind of just start to lose that confidence and all that stuff that you had and developed over the last couple of years when you were in college. I think when you’re thrown into the fire right away you just feel like they had confidence in you and that gives you the ability to keep that confidence you had. The longer you sit on the bench and the longer you don’t play I think the more you just start to doubt yourself.”


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Red zone fixes won’t be easy

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2013 – 9:17 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone after reviewing the game tape, didn’t feel all that different about what cost them the game Sunday against the Jets. He knows what needs to be fixed, chief among them execution in the red zone on offense.

“Defensively we’ve done a good job this year in the red zone,” Marrone said. “Teams have been able to convert 40 percent for touchdowns, which is much improved than we’ve been before. Offensively right now we’re at 50 percent and that’s what hurt us. We wound up kicking three field goals and we weren’t able to convert them into touchdowns. That’s what we need to do to win. That’s it in a nutshell.”

Improving red zone touchdown efficiency may be easier said than done this Sunday when the Bills face the Ravens at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Baltimore’s red zone defense ranks ninth in the league, tied with the Bills defense allowing opponents to score touchdowns just 40 percent of the time. The difference between Baltimore and Buffalo however, is the Ravens have allowed half the number of possessions inside their 20-yard line.

The Bills have given opponents 10 possessions inside their 20 while Baltimore has surrendered just five. With just two touchdowns scored from the red zone on the Ravens all season, only Kansas City has allowed fewer touchdowns (1) this year through the first three weeks.


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Ravens Rice still a question mark

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2013 – 6:36 am

Ravens RB Ray Rice missed last week’s game for Baltimore with a hip flexor injury. He’s still working his way back to full health and Baltimore coach John Harbaugh considers Rice’s odds a bit better for Sunday’s game in Buffalo.

“I don’t know about good, or great or whatever, but he was close this (past) week, to a degree,” said Harbaugh of Rice. “So was DT Chris [Canty]. With those muscle things, you never know for sure, but they were in the ballpark this week, and we think that will put them really in the ballpark coming up.”

Baltimore, much like the Bills last week, found running the ball difficult against Houston’s strong run front, which often brought a safety into the box. Here’s how the Ravens approach eight man fronts.

“We’ve played some very good fronts; I don’t want to minimize the fact that we’ve had to block some good people,” said Harbaugh. “A lot of times when you watch the tape, there is really good blocking going on out there. Sometimes, against a really good front where they’ve got seven guys that can make plays … One guy here, one miss there, one bad target in another place, each time that’s what holds you back.

“Our run game is not where it needs to be. We’re going to go to work on that – we have been working on it. We’ll continue to do so, and we need to make that important. One thing we’ve seen that, philosophically, we’re going to stick with it. It’s something that we think is important. We’re going to be able to run the ball here; it is a part of our DNA, and it is part of who we are as a football team. It’s going to be important, and we have the people to do it. The run game is something that has to happen for us.”

 


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C.J. knows future opponents will load box

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 1:36 pm

After seeing the success that the Jets had Sunday loading the box with eight defenders and holding Buffalo’s run game in check, C.J. Spiller is fully expecting future opponents to take the same approach until EJ Manuel and the receiving corps makes them pay in the passing game.

“That’s going to be the model,” said Spiller. “If I’m a defensive coordinator that would be my biggest thing too, to stop our run and pretty much make our rookie quarterback beat us. I have all the confidence in EJ. He’s going to be great. He’s going to be a great player and teams are going to force him (to beat them) and see how handles it. I think he’s going to do a great job at it. We welcome that. It’s just going to open it up for other guys. Once we do start making those plays and guys start backing up out of (the box) then everything else will open up.”

Spiller said the Jets dared the Bills to beat them with the passing game.


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Ray Lewis warns Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2010 – 10:15 am

Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis was pretty steamed about their overtime loss to the Patriots Sunday, and he made it clear that he and his fellow teammates plan to take it out on the Bills this Sunday.

After warning the Patriots that they’ll be ready if they meet up with them in the playoffs, Lewis also had some words for the Bills concerning Sunday’s game.

“We are going home and then we are going to the bye week,” Lewis told the Baltimore Sun. “It’s going to be rough on Buffalo.”

Let the bulletin board material begin.


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