Ravens Week 1 Things
We’d like to think we know, but we don’t. Never have we known less about our favorite NFL teams than right now as we get ready for Kickoff Weekend. In this age of limited padded practices and watered down preseason games we can figure out the Patriots will be good and the Browns will be bad and little else.
It’ll take 3-4 games to get a feel for this season; front line players seldom play in exhibition games and hardly break a sweat when they do. I understand why coaches protect their top players in meaningless games but it’s not good for cohesion or team building. Many players who haven’t played more than a quarter in August now have to adapt to playing all 4 quarters.
There will be more missed blocks, tackles and neutral zone violations than a paying customer should see but the playing field is even and the real games are finally here.
The Ravens open in Cincinnati where the Bengals are a 3-point favorite.
Five Bengals Things
- The Bengals kickoff their 50th season Sunday. They missed the playoffs last year (6-9-1) for the first time in 6 years.
- Former Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis (118-103-3) is entering his 15th year as head coach of the Bengals. He’s led the Bengals to the playoffs 7 times but is 0-7 in the postseason. He’s 17-11 against the Ravens and 10-8 vs. John Harbaugh.
- A.J. Green has 49 career receiving TDs, four away from Isaac Curtis (53) for third on the Bengals all-time list. Chad Johnson (66) is the team’s all-time leader.
- Since week 4 of 2015 the Bengals defense has an NFL leading 29-game streak with at least one sack. Washington is next with 24.
- Last year in Baltimore QB Andy Dalton hit the 3,000 yard passing mark for the sixth straight season. Dalton became only the second QB to do that in his first 6 seasons. Peyton Manning was the first and Cam Newton has since joined the club.
Five Ravens Things
- In 2016, the Ravens played 12 games decided by 8 points or less and went 6-6 in those games.
- Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker was 10-for-10 on field goal attempts of 50 yards plus in 2016 he converted 38 of 39 for the season and didn’t miss an extra point (27-27).
- Ravens safety Eric Weddle had 4 interceptions in his first year in Baltimore. The Ravens tied for the league lead with 18.
- Since 2014, the Ravens have produced the NFL’s most blocked kicks (12), including an NFL-high 4 last season.
- New Raven Brandon Carr has played 144 consecutive games; the streak is the third longest among current NFL cornerbacks. Ravens punter Sam Koch has the team record with 176 consecutive games and counting.