Ravens Strongside Blitz
The Ravens have lost five of their last six pre-bye games and are now 4-8 in those situations. The good news is that Baltimore has won five straight post-bye contests and are 7-4 after a week off.
In his first season, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is the 16th coach in Steelers history and one of only two current NFL head coaches who was a wide receiver in his playing days. Minnesota's Brad Childress was the other. Tomlin was a three-year starter at William and Mary, where he was a teammate of Minnesota safety Darren Sharper. Tomlin names Ravens cornerback Corey Ivy as the "greatest overachiever he's ever coached." Tomlin and Ivy were in Tampa Bay together earlier this decade.
Unfortunately, a couple of players with local ties were injured during Sunday's Week 8 games. Former Maryland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, Cleveland's second-round pick in 2006, suffered an unspecified ankle injury in the first quarter of the Browns' eventual 27-20 win at St. Louis. Jackson never returned to the game, in which the Browns won on back-to-back Sundays for the first time since beating Pittsburgh and Oakland in 2003.
Also, former Ravens quarterback and current Carolina signal-caller Vinny Testaverde, who turns 44 next month, had to leave his team's 31-7 loss to visiting Indianapolis early in the third quarter. Testaverde aggravated a tendonitis condition in his right Achilles tendon when he was stepped on during a handoff play by another Alumni Report regular, former Navy guard Mike Wahle. Testaverde did not return to the game.
With the modern-day phenomenon of corporate names on stadiums causing a stir among fans, it's worth noting that the Ravens are 6-13 since 2003 in road facilities that have such names. There are four such games on the schedule this year, in San Diego (Qualcomm Stadium), Pittsburgh (Heinz Field), San Francisco (Monster Park) and in Seattle (Qwest Field).
Issue 2.44: November 1, 2007