We are running this Minute by Minute blog right through the end of Sunday’s Ravens-Redskins game in order to keep you up to date on the latest news and nuggets surround the game.
Up on top here is window that will bring in my Twitter feed @Rich_TandlerCSN and that of my Redskins coverage partner Tarik El-Bashir @TarikCSN. That will bring you short form information and answers to your questions.
We’ll update the blog with the latest news as warrants.
Time is hours and minutes until kickoff.
Halftime analysis by Tarik El-Bashir
The Ravens scored touchdowns through the air on three of their first four possessions at FedEx Field, and the visitors took a 21-14 lead over the Redskins into halftime.
Facing a Washington secondary hobbled by injuries and a suspension, it was expected that Joe Flacco would take aim downfield. And that’s exactly what the Ravens’ quarterback has done.
Flacco is 10 of 13 passing for 127 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His first two touchdown passes were to Anquan Boldin, who beat cornerback DeAngelo Hall on each of them. Hall sprained his ankle against the Giants last week and was limited in practice all, while Cedric Griffin was missing due to a four game suspension.
The Redskins’ offense, however, kept things close. Robert Griffin III connected with Josh Morgan on a four-yard score in the first quarter, and Alfred Morris scored from a yard out later in the opening period.
But Flacco and the Ravens’ offense were too much. Midway through the second quarter, he found tight end Dennis Pitta open for a 14-yard score.
In the second half, the Redskins must find do a better job in pass coverage, obviously. But they also need to stop hurting themselves. Morris fumbled for a second week in a row (his turnover set up Pitta’s score) and penalties at inopportune times have led to stalled drives.
Off to a fast start
We are about 12 minutes into this game and we have three possessions and three touchdown drives. The Redskins got the ball first and drove 80 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a four-yard touchdown pass from Robert Griffin III to Josh Morgan. Alfred Morris was the big force in that drive as he got things started with a 29-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.
The Ravens answered right back with Ray Rice tearing off a 49-yard run to set up a 19-yard TD pass from Joe Flacco to Anquan Bouldin.
Washington responded with am eight-play, 83-yard drive that culminated in Alfred Morris’ one-yard touchdown plunge.
The Redskins lead 14-7 nearing the end of the first quarter.
Banks among inactives
1:30—Here are the Redskins’ inactives:
OT Tom Compton, QB Rex Grossman, KR Brandon Banks, OL Josh LeRibeus, OL Adam Gettis, LB Rodderick Muckelroy, WR Dezmon Briscoe
The most notable and surprising on this list is Banks. He has not missed a game since the was called up from the practice squad for the fourth game of the 2010 season.
Report: Suggs out for Ravens
1:30—Per multiple media reports, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs is out today with a torn biceps. Per the flip card, his backup is rookie Courtney Upshaw.
Weather may not be a factor
1:45—It is not raining here at FedEx Field as of now and per the Weather.com hourly forecast it will not rain during the game. The field was covered up until about a half hour ago.
As of right now, it doesn’t look like weather will be a factor. But, if you know the DC area, you know the adage—if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute, it will change.
I'm about to head to the game, I should be ther by about 10. I have put out a call for questions on Twitter, feel free to hit me up there @Rich_TandlerCSN. Or, if your not the Twiiter type feel free to ask one here in the comments.
Thanks, talk to you from Landover soon.
RG3 plays well on wet track
5:15—It’s raining at FedEx Field and it looks like that will be the case all day, steady in the morning and off and on during the game.
That might slightly favor the Redskins, who are the better running team. Alfred Morris will still be able to plant his foot and power into the crease in the defense and it would seem that RG3 has an advantage because he knows where he’s going and the defense doesn’t.
On the other hand, Ray Rice seems like he is a good mudder, being relatively low to the ground. And the last time the Redskins played in any substantially wet weather they dropped 10 passes in a loss to the Steelers.
But Griffin can operate in the rain. Check out this account of Baylor vs. Texas from just over a year ago, a game played on “a rain-soaked day”.
Robert Griffin III, the quarterback Texas passed on during recruiting, passed all over the Texas secondary on his way to, at the very least, an invite to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation. Griffin had 320 yards passing and touchdown throws of 59 and 39 yards to go along with 32 yards rushing and two more scores.
"He's a world-class sprinter and has a world class arm in a program that ain't done nothing," Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro said.
Griffin has done something now. He has led that nothing program to nine wins for the first time in 25 years. In the first seven plays, Griffin directed two touchdown drives and had passes of 59 and 48 yards. He also left the Longhorns' defenders a little bewildered.
Who to root for
6:15—Your weekly guide to who you should root for today has been posted, go take a look.
7:30—Was Mike Shanahan trying to motivate his team with his talk after the Carolina loss that he was going to use the rest of the season to “evaluate” players for next season.
We’ll never know but what he said sure seems to have worked. Or, at least what he told the players the day after those comments worked. DeAngelo Hall told Albert Breer of NFL.com that Shanahan assembled them in the meeting room and put the NFC standings up on an overhead projector.
"Coach came in there and showed us that at 3-6, we still had a chance. We knew if we came out there and take care business -- and we knew we had to play the Giants again, we had Dallas twice, Philly twice, we knew we had a chance to write our own fate."
" ... (Shanahan) was like, 'Listen, man, I'd never say anything like that to you guys, I still feel like we've got a chance.' And guys saw that and were like, 'Damn, we've played bad and we still got a chance.'"
They still do have a chance, a pretty good one actually. In fact, if they win today and either the Giants lose to New Orleans or the Seahawks fall to the Cardinals, their playoff fate will be in their own hands.
Torn biceps? No problem
17:30—Ravens pass rusher Terrell Suggs, who stunned everyone by coming back to play about six months after tearing his Achilles tendon, is questionable for tomorrow with a torn biceps that he suffered last week.
But Suggs is not pulling off another medical miracle here. As painful as it sounds, and there’s no doubt that it hurts, playing with a torn biceps is not all that unusual. In fact, for a while in 2009 the Redskins had both of their defensive ends playing with the injury.
Phillip Daniels suffered his torn biceps near the end of the fifth game of the season and he did not miss a practice or a game. Andre Carter sustained his later in the season and played the last two games with it.
A tough ticket
19:30—If you were planning on waiting until the last minute to scoop up a cheap ticket to this game, you may be out of luck.
A look at StubHub shows that sigle seats in the nosebleeds are going from $130-$140. Lower level seats along the sideline will set you back at least $250 and if you can’t get any of those they jump up to the $450 range.
Certainly, the proximity to Baltimore is driving up the demand and it is likely that there will be a solid contingent of purple-clad fans. But look for the place to be packed with Redskins fans.
Cowboys linebacker killed
22:00—This is not related to the Redskins except in the sense that anything that affects the Cowboys affects them because they are in a pool of teams tied at 6-6, a game out of the second and final wild card spot.
The Cowboys players have just been informed that practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed last night in an accident. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was driving the car involved in the accident and Brent has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
More developments as they unfold.