Chat with Jamison Hensley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN NFL Nation Baltimore Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley stops by to chat and answer all of your Ravens questions.
Hensley joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun for 11 years. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he lives in the Baltimore area with his wife and son.
Send your questions now and join Hensley Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:00 PM)
Thanks for joining the chat. It's supposed to be 70 degrees for the Ravens-Patriots game on Sunday. Not exactly December football weather. Well, enough of the small talk and let's get to some chatting ...
How can the refs sleep at night after that game? They stole it from Detroit.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:02 PM)
There were a lot of blown calls. I don't hear Lions fans chirping about getting away with a hit to Joe Flacco's knee. That should have drawn a flag, too.
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi, With Justin Tucker kicking Baltimore to victory, now with the Patriots at home and the Bengals on the road, who'll have to step up the next two weeks to keep the Ravens at the # 6 playoff spot?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:04 PM)
The key players have to be Dennis Pitta and Torrey Smith, both of whom have to step up in the red zone. That's the area of the field where Pitta excels. And Smith had a string of games with a TD, so he can get into the end zone. FGs aren't going to win most games. And if the Ravens win the next two, they win the division, not a wild-card spot.
Kevin Baltimore [via mobile]
The toss plays to ray rice seemed to work a lot better then runs up the middle, will we be seeing a lot more of that?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:05 PM)
Good point. It was smart to do that against the Lions, who have Suh and Fairley inside. But that was a good way to get Rice into more space. It would be wise to do that a couple of times a game, in my humble opinion.
Dan lynchburg va [via mobile]
Is Jimmy Smith a prime example of why labeling a rookie player a bust after one season moronic?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:07 PM)
Some players do take some time to develop. Just look at Paul Kruger, too. But some players never do, and it shows up in the first couple of years. Travis Taylor, Mark Clayton and Kyle Boller to name a few.
Tom (McSherrystown, PA)
I don't think letting Aurthor Jones go is smart. I worry how many snaps Ngata can play moving forward. Can we sign Jones?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:08 PM)
I agree it wouldn't be smart. But the Ravens may not have a choice. With their amount of cap space, the Ravens have too many other needs to overpay Jones.
The ravens did have some calls go there way.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:09 PM)
Yes they did. No arguing that. But the refs didn't make Calvin Johnson drop passes or force Matthew Stafford to throw the ball right to Daryl Smith, either.
Renn (Columbia, MD)
What do you think is the most ideal 1st round matchup in the playoffs for the Ravens--assuming they qualify?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:10 PM)
Ravens would have no problems playing the Bengals or Dolphins in the first round.
Todd S (Linthicum)
Many people are criticizing the Ravens for scoring FGs and not TDs in Monday's win over the Lions, but I would contend that this is actually a very good sign for the team. If you look back to several losses (Buffalo and Green Bay come to mind), the Ravens were trying to force TDs and instead turned the ball over due to poor throws, bad play calls, or too aggressive decisions by Harbaugh. A FG or two instead of a turnover (even on downs) in almost every loss would have resulted in a win for the Ravens. I'd much rather have FGs than turnovers. Thoughts?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:13 PM)
That's one way of looking at it, and I agree that it's better to settle for a FG in the red zone than force a pass and get it picked off (which would result in no points). But when you're playing the better teams in the league, you're going to have to get touchdowns. Ranking 29th in the red zone shows how big of a problem it is for the Ravens this season. And congrats on the recent wedding, Todd.
Ryan (Hanover, PA)
Obviously excited about the win but how many games can they win w/o scoring a TD?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:14 PM)
Not many. The Ravens have a good defense but this isn't 2000 when they could win with Stover and a record-setting defense.
Tyler Brown (Virginia)
Do you know if the players or coaches really pay attention to all the chatter and talk that goes on
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:17 PM)
I believe more than ever, thanks to the Twitter-sphere.
Is Brandon Williams not playing because he is truly struggling? Or, is it more an acknowledgement of the good play by Cody and Tyson?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:18 PM)
By the way Tyson has played, I would say he has forced himself into the lineup.
The Ravens have played the Pats eight times since the 2009 season (three in the playoffs). Has this become a rivalry game?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:19 PM)
It almost feels like the Patriots and Ravens are in the same division, doesn't it? I would rank the Patriots right behind the Steelers in terms of rivals for the Ravens. A rivalry is based on frequency and the importance of the games. Playing the Pats in the past two AFC Championship Games qualifies.
Bryan (Los Angeles)
Do you think with the emergence of Marlon Brown and the need to sign Pitta, Monroe, Art Jones, and possibly Torrey in the offseason. The ravens will let Jacoby walk. I dont see us getting a home town discount.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:22 PM)
Whether they can bring back Jones is going to be a big question in the offseason. I believe the Ravens are going to be aggressive in re-signing Pitta and Monroe. Right behind them is getting Smith signed to an extension. I don't see them having any money for Jones, who will command a big contract after the season he's had. That leads us to Jones, whose price tag goes up because he's a dual threat. In a perfect world, they would keep him. I'm not sure if that's practical considering they have a young receiver in Marlon Brown and other options in the return game.
The Patriots boast the 31st run defense in the league. Based on the results in Chicago (last in run defense) game, do you see the Ravens playing more ground game and trying to keep the score lower and TOP higher? Keeping it out of Brady's hands always seems like a good idea...
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:24 PM)
Plus, you have to factor in Flacco being injured. Getting the run game going is going to be a big key in this game. The Ravens have to like their chances with Wilfork not being in the middle of that defense.
What odds do you give the ravens to win out?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:25 PM)
Much better after winning in Detroit. The Ravens have been a strong team at home, which should give them the edge over the Patriots. And, given the Bengals' history in big games, you have to like the Ravens' chances in Cincinnati.
Greg (MD) [via mobile]
Chances the Ravens sign Golden Tate, Julian Edelman, or Eric Decker in 2014?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:26 PM)
If the Ravens sign a wide receiver in the offseason, it's either going to be Jacoby Jones or a cheaper alternative.
Hi Jamison, got the song "purple Rain" stuck in my head now - hope that is a good omen - great win last week in Detroit - Are you as concerned as I am with our inability to cross the goal line with the ball in our hands?? would love to see a reprise of a typical Ray Rice vs New England performance
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:28 PM)
Teams that have consistent success in the red zone are the ones who can run the ball or have accurate QBs. The Ravens don't have either. Flacco is at his best throwing the ball deep. As I wrote earlier, I believe Rice will play a bigger role, especially in the red zone against the Pats. But there's not denying that red zone offense is the biggest concern, and it goes back to the inability to get the tough yards in the running game.
Matt (Charleston, SC)
If the Ravens win Sunday and Miami wins their games @ Buffalo and vs. Jets, it will be an elimination game. Have you heard any talk about the Ravens vs. Bengals game getting flexed to the week 17 SNF game on NBC?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:29 PM)
I believe the Bears and Packers play in the finale as well. If so, that has more national appeal to be the prime-time game.
Hi Jamison,While it seems like it would be great to win the division and get the 4th seed, doing so would likely put us up against the Chiefs or Broncos. If we have the luxury of choice, do you see Harbaugh angling for the 6th seed instead?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:30 PM)
Have you seen the Ravens play on the road this season? Clearly, the Ravens want to win the division and play at home in the first round.
David (Bel Air, MD)
It's awesome that Justin Tucker made that long field goal to win the game, but wasn't it really a stupid call by Harbaugh anyway?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:31 PM)
Flacco completed just one pass that resulted in positive yardage on that drive, which came after he took a shot to the knee. You really think Flacco would've converted a fourth-and-six? Harbaugh made the right call. The odds were better that Tucker would make a 61-yarder.
If the Ravens don't have an accurate passer, who made that third and fifteen completion to Jacoby Jones on the last drive? That was a thing of Beauty.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:32 PM)
That was a better catch by Jones than a pass by Flacco. Jones had to go up and make that grab. And, again, that was a longer throw over the middle. In the red zone, you have to make the tough throws from 15, 10 and 5 yards.
JB (Bel Air)
Good afternoon Jamison. 1) Any updates on Joe's knee/do you see this indering him for the upcoming game? 2) Any word if Caldwell will add any wrinkles to the offense now that they're at full strength to try and produce more TD's? Thank goodness for JT, he did great Monday, but in my humble opinion, the Ravens will need to score more TD's to make some noise in the playoffs.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:34 PM)
Only update on Flacco is he won't need an MRI and he may be fitted for a brace. Availability for Ravens is at 5 p.m. today. Practice is at 3:45.
What do the Ravens have to do to beat the Patriots on Sunday?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:34 PM)
Run the ball.
After starting the game poorly with missed tackles, I thought Elam played very well in the second half. Do you think the light bulb has finally come on?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:36 PM)
Here's a good time to plug that I have a post on Elam on the Ravens' blog right now.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:37 PM)
Thanks for all of the great questions. Please check the blog all week for all news and options with what's going on with the Ravens. Hope you enjoy the rest of the week and Sunday's game.