Hi all! I'm back moderating and helping to host this week's Ravens chat. Apparently it's pouring at M&T Bank Stadium today, which makes me a little relieved to be in the Sun's offices instead.
Welcome to today's live chat of the Ravens' home game against the Green Bay Packers! We'll be providing live updates and analysis before, during and after today's game.
Ravens reporter Jeff Zrebiec will join us for a live chat before today's game, and Matt Vensel will answer your questions at halftime.
Who's got score predictions for today's game?
Good afternoon from M&T Bank Stadium. Been raining really hard for much of pregame but it appears to have stopped or at least to be slowing down considerably. According to weather reporters, there is supposed to be no rain between 1 and 4. Feel free to start with your questions.
I'd be surprised if the Ravens don't keep Tandon Doss in the punt return role. He leads the NFL in that after all. But I'd expect to see less of him on offense with both Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown back.
Just to review a couple of pregame matters: LT Bryant McKinnie, who started first give games, is inactive for Ravens. Eugene Monroe will start. ALso inactive: WR Brandon Stokley, C Ryan Jensen, G/T Jah Reid, DT-Marcus Spears, NT-Terrence Cody, OLB John Simon.
Here's a question we're pulling in from Twitter, Jeff:
Stokley being inactive leaves Ravens with five active receivers: Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss, Marlon Brown and Deonte Thompson. Going to be really interesting how Ravens divide snaps among those guys. Torrey Smith won't be affected. But the other WRs will probably lose some snaps.
Marcus Spears has been dealin with a knee injury. It's not serious but it's significant enough where he was limited in practice all week. I think he probably could have played but the Ravens are pretty deep along the defensive line. Brandon WIlliams and DeAngelo Tyson are more than capable of playing well, allowing them to ease Spears back in.
McKinnie had his knee drained this week. But you have to wodner if this is the beginning of the end of his tenure with the Ravens. If the Ravens could get anything for him, even a late-round pick, I have no doubt they'd trade him. Either way, that Rick Wagner is active over him is pretty glaring.
This is not a dominant offensive line so I don't think that plugging Eugene Monroe in for McKinnie is going to solve all the Ravens' protection problems., I do think it will help in the long run, but Osemele and Gradkowski also have to start playing better. I think the protection will be improved but it remains very much a work-in progress.
I do not own a single piece of pink clothing. Though I respect all the NFL does for the cause, my wardrove will remain pink-less.
The big reason would be pass rush. If the Ravens can mount a consistent pass rush on Rodgers, especially without blitzing, that could really bode well. If Rodgers is getting plenty of town and is allowed to move comfortable in and out of the pocket, there is no reason to believe he won't be able to pick the Ravens apart. The Ravens secondary has improved since Week One but there's not one team in the NFL not vulnerable against a great QB and a talented group of pass catchers.
Meant if Rodgers is getting plenty of time, obviously.
Any other questions for Jeff before we let him get back to the proceedings at M&T Bank Stadium?
Ravens have been so unpredictable so hard to say but I think Flacco could be in line for a good game today. One, the Ravens are going to need to put up points and Flacco knows that. Two, he finally has a healthier WR corps. Three, the Packers have struggled at times in coverage. There should be plays to be made. I think Flacco will raise his game today.
OK guys, thanks for the questions. Enjoy the game and talk to you next week.
Any last-minute predictions, Ravens fans?
Definitely, PackAttack. The Ravens have been playing pretty tight, close games, too.