Welcome to our Ravens liveblog! We'll be posting live updates and analysis from The Baltimore Sun sports staff throughout today's game.
Also, Jeff Zrebiec will join us to answer your Ravens questions before today's game, and Matt Vensel will join us at halftime to talk about the action on the field.
Happy gameday, Ravens fans! I'm back moderating today's Ravens chat - though with the weather being what it is, I wish I were at M&T Bank Stadium right about now.
Good afternoon. Beautiful afternoon for football at M&T Bank Stadium. Both teams are on the field warming up and we're about 35 mins from kickoff.
Just to review: Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham is inactive, which means that Ravens should see a lot of rookie TE Tyler Eifert, the first-round pick out of Notre Dame.
For the Ravens, no huge surprises among inactives although rookie DT Brandon Williams is down. That's a little surprising but Ravens have opted to go with DeAngelo Tyson instead. CB Asa Jackson also not active despite being activated to 53-man roster following end of 8-game suspension. Ravens obviously feel good aobut the health of James Ihedigbo, Corey Graham and Jimmy Smith, who were all questionable for the game. All three will paly.
Hey there, Jeff. Let's get things started with a question from Facebook:
Why can't Flacco find Torrey Smith in the endzone this year? And will this be the week he finally breaks out.
There's a couple of reasons for that: One, Smith is the Ravens top weapon so teams have been focusing on taking him away; Two, Smith is not as effective in the red zone, like physical guys like Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta were. Those guys made a ton of plays in traffic and over the middle. Smith is still working on that. And three, Flacco hasn't been very accurate on the deep ball yet and that's where Smith would traditionally get his TDs.
It's a windy day today so it may be hard for the deep pass to get going. But Ravens need to find ways to get Smith the ball underneath.
At the time they got him, Ray Rice was a little banged up still with a hip injury and Bernard Pierce was dealing with a hamstring injury. So Ravens felt like they needed Scott for a little insurance.
Any hope? Sure, every week the Ravens seem to get some positive plays from special teams. Tucker has hit 15 FGs in a row. Doss is one of the league leaders in returns. But they nullify any positives with a stupid penalty here or there, a turnover or a bad Sam Koch punt. But there's been enough positives to think that the Ravens are more than capable of putting a complete game together in this facet.
Hard to say. There's no injury that we know of. My guess is he might not have practiced very well this week or DeAngelo Tyson practiced much better. Since Marcus Spears was released, the Ravens have sort of been mixing and matching with their DL rotation. Obviously, coaches felt that Tyson was a better fit to play this week.
But speaking about Williams, the Ravens just haven't gotten a whole lot of their rookie class this year. Matt Elam has started every game but one but can't see he's made any impact plays. Arthur Brown has taken a while to get up to speed. Ryan Jensen hasn't been active all year. Mellette is on IR, Marc Anthony was cut. Kapron Lewis-Moore hasn't played as exepcted as he rehabs knee injury. Rick Wagner has played sparingly. With all the turnover that they've had, the Ravens needed some of their rookies to come in and make immediate impact and it hasn't happened.
I think it's way too early to label it a "bad draft." But it's fair to say that early returns haven't been great. As I said, Ravens needed rookies to come in and play immediately. It's not always realistic in some cases but the opportunity as been there for guys like Elam and Arthur Brown. And they have shown some signs but they have work to do.
OK guys, enjoy the game. We're about 10 minutes away from kickoff.
Thanks, Jeff! Enjoy the game.
Not Jacoby Jones' best return.
Did Dan Dierdorf seriously just say that he hasn't seen Dallas Clark drop a pass like that one? Uh... what team has he been watching?
Bernard unable to resort to his usual defense-dodging hijinks on that pass.