The Ravens lost another one of their top playmakers.
Already playing without quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Justin Forsett and wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., the Ravens watched starting tight end Crockett Gillmore leave today's game against the Miami Dolphins with a back injury.
Gillmore made a seven-yard catch in the first quarter and was drilled to the ground by Koa Misi and Michael Thomas. It isn't clear whether that was the play on which Gillmore was hurt.
In his second season, Gillmore has been a revelation this year for the Ravens. He entered the game with 32 catches for 405 yards and four touchdowns in nine games.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 5:08pm
Baltimore officially placed Joe Flacco (ACL/MCL) on season-ending injured reserve.
Clausen worked with Ravens Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman for the past two seasons in Chicago, which gives him a mental leg up in joining Baltimore midway through the season. He already knows the framework of the system.
"I think it's probably way early and obviously speculative, but the indications that I've been given would be that he would be back for the start of training camp and it wouldn't be an issue," Harbaugh said Monday. "However, as we all know, those are always things that get determined based on how the rehab goes."
Good news for Flacco owners. Like Harbaugh said, it's certainly possible there are setbacks in rehab, but the timetable he was given indicates Flacco will be ready for camp next summer.
"It's just the nature of the game, man," Flacco said after the game. "Stuff like this happens. So you've just got to stand tall and get through it."
Friday, November 20, 2015, 6:29pm
Eagles QB Sam Bradford (concussion, left shoulder, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 11. Bradford is in step two (of five) of the concussion protocol and is going to have a tough time making his return for Week 11. He also has a separated left shoulder, but wants to play. But it looks like Mark Sanchez will get the start. In eight starts last year, Sanchez completed 63.8% of his passes for an average of 277 yards, 1.50 TD and 1.13 INT. That equates to 16.6 FP, or about what Joe Flacco averaged as the QB13 last year. He has a nice matchup with the Buccaneers, who are #24 in QB aFPA. However, he was also a main player in The Buttfumble. Last year, Jordan Matthews averaged 4.2-67-0.67 in games that Sanchez attempted at least 20 passes. He averaged 4.1-39-0.29 in the other seven games.
Thursday, November 19, 2015, 5:53pm
Eagles QB Sam Bradford (concussion, left shoulder) missed practice again Thursday. Bradford is in step two (of five) of the concussion protocol and is going to have a tough time making his return for Week 11. He also has a separated left shoulder, but wants to play. But it looks like Mark Sanchez will get the start. In eight starts last year, Sanchez completed 63.8% of his passes for an average of 277 yards, 1.50 TD and 1.13 INT. That equates to 16.6 FP, or about what Joe Flacco averaged as the QB13 last year. He has a nice matchup with the Buccaneers, who are #24 in QB aFPA. However, he was also a main player in The Buttfumble. Last year, Jordan Matthews averaged 4.2-67-0.67 in games that Sanchez attempted at least 20 passes. He averaged 4.1-39-0.29 in the other seven games.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 6:07pm
Eagles QB Sam Bradford (concussion, left shoulder) did not practice Wednesday. Bradford is in the concussion protocol and is going to have a tough time making his return for Week 11. He also has a separated left shoulder, but wants to play. But it looks like Mark Sanchez will get the start. In eight starts last year, Sanchez completed 63.8% of his passes for an average of 277 yards, 1.50 TD and 1.13 INT. That equates to 16.6 FP, or about what Joe Flacco averaged as the QB13 last year. He has a nice matchup with the Buccaneers, who are #24 in QB aFPA. However, he was also a main player in The Buttfumble. Last year, Jordan Matthews averaged 4.2-67-0.67 in games that Sanchez attempted at least 20 passes. He averaged 4.1-39-0.29 in the other seven games.
While the depth chart in the team's weekly release is considered unofficial, this is an indication that Givens should be considered the frontrunner over Marlon Brown and Jeremy Ross in taking over Steve Smith's starting spot.
"Every time he has gotten in the game, he has made plays," Flacco said. "I think guys see that, guys react well to that. I think he’s becoming one of us."
It's evident Flacco already has more chemistry with Givens. In the last game, Flacco's 18-yard pass to Givens on a back-shoulder throw jumpstarted the winning drive.
“He’s starting to feel it a little bit,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He and Joe [Flacco] are starting to develop something, an understanding for one another.”
Givens showed a lot of promise as a rookie for the Rams in 2012, gaining at least 50 yards in seven of eight games during a midseason stretch. St. Louis had major issues at quarterback in 2013 and 2014, and Givens fell behind Kenny Britt, Brian Quick and Tavon Austin on the team's depth chart over the past two seasons. Now the 4.41 speedster is going to see major snaps for Ravens with a quarterback who throws a nice deep ball. In his career, Givens has seen five-plus targets in 16 games and has averaged 3.5 catches for 54 yards and 0.12 TD in those games. He's not likely to set the world on fire, but it's feasible that he posts WR4 numbers the rest of the way.
This is what happens when Steve L Smith is lost for the season with an Achilles injury and first-round pick Breshad Perriman is sidelined with a sprained knee. If Sunday's 29-26 win over the San Diego Chargers is any indication, Aiken will assume Smith's role as Joe Flacco's top target.
After Smith left late in the third quarter, Aiken was targeted on half of Flacco's 10 passes. He caught five passes for 59 yards in a little over a quarter and drew a key 21-yard pass-interference penalty that set up the winning kick.
Once considered a given to again be among the most stable and feared units in the NFL, the Ravens rushing offense has been successful only in a formation that a year ago it shied away from.
Through two games this season, running backs Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro are averaging seven yards per carry (12 rushes, 84 yards) out of the shotgun formation — all of those carries coming in Sunday's 37-33 loss to the Oakland Raiders. But that duo, and rookie Buck Allen, averaged 2.82 yards per carry (34 rushes for 96 yards) when quarterback Joe Flacco was under center.
It's a unique problem for the Ravens, and one likely exacerbated by the game situations Sunday in Oakland — the Ravens twice trailed by two scores, and found a rhythm in the shotgun that had eluded them through the first game against the Denver Broncos.
But their 12 carries on draw plays out of the shotgun were more than Ravens running backs had during all of the 2014 season (nine), and through two games was the only way the offense substantially moved the ball on the ground. No NFL team used the shotgun formation less than the Ravens last season.
However small the sample size, it brings into question how the pair of top backs will be utilized going forward, and whether the zone scheme that Forsett found success in last year will yield similar results this year. Fantasy owners probably don't care what formation Forsett is in at this point, but perhaps it's at least good news the Ravens have found something to build off in the run game.
"We need to take our shots," Flacco said after Wednesday's practice at San Jose State University. "If nothing else, at least it let teams know that we’re going to do that."
And who is Flacco going to target downfield? Steve Smith had six catches on passes over 20 yards last season, which ranked 37th in the NFL. Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown and Michael Campanaro combined for one such reception in 2014.
"I don’t think we’re going to have that guy right now that’s going to run by guys five times a game," Flacco said.
"But we definitely have guys that can run crossing routes and be hit 30 yards downfield and can run double moves downfield. So, that’s what we’re going to do."
Related Players: Breshad Perriman
We still recommending stashing Breshad Perriman, though it's getting harder and harder to do so. His speed will add a sorely needed dimension to this offense.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 10:14am
With longtime deep threat Torrey Smith in San Francisco and his replacement, first-round wide receiver Breshad Perriman, out for going on four weeks, the Ravens passing game has seemed to lack a down-field dimension through training camp and the first half of the taken on a different look than years past.
Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, while acknowledging that missing top-end speed, said the team has other ways of getting chunks of yardage in the passing game than by hitting a receiver who has run past his defender.
“We’ve hit a lot of deep balls; you saw last week if you were in Philadelphia,” Trestman said. “We went on the edge and practiced and made some plays on the edge. [If] you went on the deep ball in the National Football League, you don’t have to go by your guy to beat him. The guy can be on top of you, and you can back-shoulder throw. That’s a vertical throw, too, and we [had] a bunch of that in the games, in the practices anyways. We got one by Marlon [Brown] in the game.
“We have enough speed to get down-field,” Tresman said. “It’s [about] how we do it and how we scheme it and approach it. Our guys are fast enough.”
The down-field passing game has been a big part of the Ravens offense, with quarterback Joe Flacco completing 21 of 56 passes over 20 yards down-field for 663 yards with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Factor in the seven drops on such passes, and the balls that resulted in Smith’s league-leading 11 pass interference penalties drawn for 229, and you have a big part of the Ravens offense.
Steve Smith has also provided a target down-field, as evidenced by his Week 1 touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals. Kamar Aiken ran the proverbial “Torrey Smith route” early in Saturday’s game against the Eagles. But the return of Perriman, whose speed Trestman said is “one of the big reasons we got him,” will help that aspect of their offense, the story said.
On fields hidden by trees and protected by their castle of a practice facility, the Baltimore Ravens are doing their thing. The Ravens are breaking in a new offensive coordinator, their fourth in five seasons, in the process extending their reputation as a rehab stop for fallen stars.
So as Marc Trestman stood amid the Ravens' offense during a visit last week, his stoic demeanor occasionally interrupted by the urge to demonstrate a pass pattern or shout a correction, it was fair to wonder: What is he doing with a franchise that runs the ball as frequently as the Ravens? And how will this offense change, if at all, with a pass-first playcaller?
After spending two days around the team, it seems clear that coach John Harbaugh hired Trestman to run the Ravens' existing offense, with perhaps a few tweaks, rather than install his own. Trestman has followed suit, but of course there is nothing to document until the regular season begins. He will, after all, have Joe Flacco at quarterback and two new pass-catching weapons in rookies Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams at his disposal.
The Ravens hired Cam Cameron in 2008, a year after his tenure ended with the Miami Dolphins. Jim Caldwell (2012) and Gary Kubiak (2014) followed. Next up is Trestman. A few weeks ago we had a story how the Ravens would continue to be a run-first team, and this article falls right in line with that. A run-first offense with some Trestman wrinkles - that should benefit RB Justin Forsett the most, and Forsett should get a bump in value in PPR leagues as a result of being on the receiving end of more passes. Matt Forte caught 102 balls last year with Trestman as the Bears head coach.
A year ago, Justin Forsett was a journeyman looking for a job at the Baltimore Ravens training camp. Now, one Pro Bowl appearance and a 1,529 yards later, Forsett is seeking an encore to the finest of his seven NFL seasons. "I'm still hungry, still ready to go out and fight," the 29-year-old running back said. "Nothing is given to me."
Forsett was third on the depth chart last summer behind Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro. All three running backs were prepared to take one step back after incumbent Ray Rice returned from a two-game suspension for domestic violence. All that changed when a video surfaced in September showing Rice striking his then-fiancee in an elevator. The Ravens immediately released him, and Forsett ultimately proved to be far more adept at running the ball than anyone on the Baltimore roster.
He rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards — more than his previous five seasons combined. Forsett also caught 44 passes for 263 yards and provided solid protection in the pocket for quarterback Joe Flacco. That earned the 5-foot-8, 195-pound Forsett a three-year, $9 million contract with $3 million guaranteed. He intends to earn every penny of it.
Forsett is a potential fantasy stud RB who can possibly be had later in the second round of 12-team leagues or even the early third round in 10-team leagues. With Marc Trestman as the OC, Forsett has a chance to increase his receptions and be a valuable PPR back. Trestman has already said the Ravens will continue to commit to the run making Forsett's potential even higher.
While it seems like yesterday that a young Joe Flacco was drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens, he’s already heading into his eighth season as an NFL quarterback. He’s a seasoned, mature veteran and the leader of one of the winningest pro football franchises over the last decade. Flacco is the Super Bowl XLVII MVP and has the most playoff wins of any NFL quarterback since he entered the league in 2008. Last season, he had his best statistical outing yet, putting up 3,986 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. Nobody wants to see those numbers regress even if Flacco has his fourth coordinator in four years. In fact, the hope is that he gets even better and breaks the 4,000-yard milestone. When asked about what he’ll do to better his game in 2015, Flacco didn’t say a single thing about stats, wins or any accolades, such as getting a Pro Bowl nod for the first time. Instead, he named three specific goals: 1) Stay healthy 2) Maintain strong communication with his OC Marc Trestman 3) Work on his footwork
Perhaps the most important fantasy-related item to take away here is Flacco building his relationship with Trestman. The story said Flacco isn’t worried about the offense under Trestman due to its similarity to the system Gary Kubiak implemented last season. Flacco is ranked 16th among our QBs this year. He lost his deep threat in Torrey Smith but the team drafted Breshad Perriman, who is expected to start alongside Steve L Smith, and fill the deep threat void. We project Flacco for 4,259 yards, which would put him tenth. He'll continue to have QB2 value and probably could start for your fantasy team in certain matchups.
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