Wake-up call: Flacco is less predictable

October, 2, 2012
10/02/12
8:00
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It's Tuesday and that means the lineup will be game balls, power rankings, knee-jerk reaction, blogger blitz and quarterback report card. So, I probably should get to work on all of that. Here's the wake-up call (which now comes in order of the division standings) ...

RAVENS: Joe Flacco is spreading the ball around this season, targeting at least seven different players in all four of the Ravens games, according to the team's official website. "It allows you to be less predictable,” coach John Harbaugh said. "I think that’s a philosophy thing, that’s the way we want to approach it. The more good players you have, the more ways you want to get the ball in their hands." Tight end Dennis Pitta continues to lead the Ravens with 32 passes thrown his way. But there are three others (Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith) who have been targeted at least 28 times.

BENGALS: With four cornerbacks inactive, Terence Newman stepped up Sunday. He played on all but one of 60 defensive snaps. In being targeted six times, Newman allowed two catches and knocked down two passes. "That's why you have six or seven former first-rounders on this team," Newman told the team's official website. "Somebody goes down, somebody has to step up. I think that's definitely one of the advantages of having a secondary like this. If one guy goes down, another guy is able to step up."

STEELERS: Outside linebacker James Harrison participated in a full practice for only the third time since last season, but that’s no guarantee he can play Sunday against the Eagles, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Since the start of the 2011 season, Harrison has played in 11 games and has missed eight due to injuries and a one-game suspension. “It’s just something you’ve got to deal with,” Harrison said. “The constant questions, of course, nags and irks you. So you get to a point where you’ve got to deal with it. And my way of dealing with it is (talking about his status only) on Fridays.” Harrison, though, has his sights set on playing.

BROWNS: It's unclear whether strong safety T.J. Ward will play Sunday after having surgery on his right thumb. The Browns could move Eric Hagg, who was benched two games ago, into the starting lineup and shift Usama Young to strong safety. There's just one problem: Young suffered a knee injury in Thursday night's game, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. “Feeling a lot better,” said Young, who practiced Monday. “We’ll see. I’ve gotta take it day by day. I was able to do some moving around on it. I’m moving around on it pretty good.”

 

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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