September 23, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Torrey Smith (82) high fives fans after beating the New England Patriots 31-30

Ravens Exact Their Revenge on the Pats and Week 4 Predictions


Wow!  I was lucky enough to attend the Ravens – Pats game and it was incredible.  I’ve been honored to attend several premier sporting events in my life and M&T Bank Stadium became the absolute signature event on Sunday night.  Little did I know that I would be part of an FCC investigation over language broadcast over NBC.  By the way, it was a totally bull manure call…

Before another word is written I think it is important to acknowledge the sacrifice that Torrey Smith made to even show up for the game.  I cannot imagine the sorrow he carried around in his helmet that night.  I truly hope that his exertions and team bonding gave him a modicum of solace in his family’s difficult time.  Torrey, if you’re reading, the thoughts and prayers of the entire Ravens Nation are with you.  Not because you played lights-out on Sun, but simply because you are a human being, a Raven, and have made a difference in the lives of those around you.

As far as the game goes, as predicted, the Ravens offense shined while the defense survived and then rose to the occasion when it counted on the last drive.  It was a pleasure to watch Ray Rice run for 101 yards and Joe Flacco throw for 382 (over 120 of which went to Torrey Smith) all on the same night.

Oh yeah, and the Steelers lost…

Predictions:  Only two AFC North contests this week since Baltimore is playing Cleveland and Pittsburgh is on a bye week.

My record:

-          Last week: 3 for 5 (I have to admit that even though I predicted Seattle over Green Bay, I didn’t anticipate it would be such a controversial win…)

-          Season: 10 for 13

Cleveland at Baltimore (Thur, 8:20pm EDT, NFL)

What Vegas says: Baltimore by 12.

What I think: As much as I would like to completely discount the Browns this is the NFL and the old adage of “any given Sunday” also applies to Thursdays.  That said I think the Ravens are the more complete team and should walk away with the win.  The key to this game will be the Ravens’ ability to stop Trent Richardson and put the game in the hands of the Browns’ rookie QB – a QB with a rating of 60.7.

Ravens win 34 – 23.

I’ll be on a plane to Colorado during the game.  Please keep me updated on Twitter …. @drifterval

Cincinnati at Jacksonville (Sun, 4:05pm EDT, CBS)

What Vegas says: Cincy by 2 and ½.

What I think: If Andy Dalton and company can play at the level they brought to Washington last week, this should be a relatively easy contest.  Take the Bengals and the points.

Bengals win 31 – 27.

Upset of the week:  Jets pull it together long enough to take down the 49ers.

Tags: Baltimore Ravens Cleveland Browns Ebony Bird Joe Flacco New York Jets NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Ray Rice Torrey Smith Trent Richardson