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NFL Playoffs Capsule: Ravens at Patriots

NFL Playoffs Capsule: Ravens at Patriots

BALTIMORE (12-6) At NEW ENGLAND (13-4)

Sunday, 6:30 p.m., CBS

OPENING LINE - Patriots by 9 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Baltimore 8-10; New England 10-7

SERIES RECORD - Patriots lead 7-2

AP PRO32 RANKING - Ravens No. 11; Patriots No. 2

LAST MEETING - Ravens beat Patriots 31-30, Sept. 23, 2012

LAST WEEK - Ravens beat Broncos 38-35, 2 OT; Patriots beat Texans 41-28

RAVENS OFFENSE - OVERALL (16), RUSH (11), PASS (15)

RAVENS DEFENSE - OVERALL (17), RUSH (20), PASS (17)

PATRIOTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (1), RUSH (7), PASS (4)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (25), RUSH (9), PASS (29)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Teams meet for second straight season in AFC championship game and third time in playoffs, all in Foxborough. Ravens won 33-14 in wild-card game Jan. 10, 2010. ... Ravens beat Patriots this season on last-play 27-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. ... Ravens lost AFC title game last year when Joe Flacco threw two incompletions from Patriots 14-yard line followed by Billy Cundiff's failed 32-yard field goal attempt on next to last play. ...Win sends Ravens to Super Bowl for second time, first since 34-7 win over New York Giants on Jan. 28, 2001. ... Ravens 8-5 postseason road record is best in NFL for teams with minimum of 10 road games. ... LB Ray Lewis retiring after this season, his 17th. He's 12-7 in postseason games and only Raven remaining from last championship team. He has 30 tackles in two playoff games this season. ... Ravens gained 503 yards in this season's win over Patriots. They averaged 459 in two playoff wins this year. ... With five postseason road wins, Flacco tied with Eli Manning for most in NFL history and only quarterback with postseason victory in each of first five seasons during Super Bowl era. Flacco 2-3 vs. Patriots in his career with nine TD passes, four INTs. He threw for postseason franchise record 331 yards in playoff win over Broncos. ... RB Ray Rice rushed for 131 yards against Broncos, his second playoff game with more than 100 yards rushing. First was 33-14 win over Patriots when he rushed for 159, starting with 83-yard TD run on Ravens first offensive play. Led AFC running backs this season with 61 receptions. ... WR Jacoby Jones had 70-yard TD catch with 31 seconds left in regulation against Broncos. He led NFL in kickoff return average with 30.7 yards and returned two kickoffs and one punt for TDs. ... WR Anquan Boldin averaging 108 yards receiving in playoffs with 10 of his 11 catches going for first downs. ... WR Torrey Smith has nine catches for 209 yards and three TDs in two career games vs. Patriots. ... LB Paul Kruger led Ravens in regular season with nine sacks. He had at least one in six of his last eight regular-season games and 2 1/2 in this year's playoffs. ... Patriots going for second straight Super Bowl appearance and third in six years, but lost previous two to New York Giants. Won three NFL titles in four years but none in seven full seasons since then. ... Win sends Patriots to eighth Super Bowl, tying Dallas and Pittsburgh for most all-time. ... Patriots 14-3 at home in postseason. ... Brady's 17th postseason win last Sunday broke tie with Joe Montana for most by NFL quarterback. ... Brady 7-6 in postseason after starting 10-0. ... His 78.4 passer rating in seven career games against Ravens lowest against any opponent. ... Bill Belichick's next win is his 18th as coach in postseason, one behind Don Shula and two behind NFL leader Tom Landry. ... TE Rob Gronkowski sidelined for season after breaking left arm on Patriots seventh offensive play vs. Texans, had missed five games with broken left forearm before returning for regular-season finale. ... Third-string RB Shane Vereen scored three TDs - two receiving, one running - last Sunday against Texans. His 124 yards from scrimmage were career high. Only other players with two TD receptions and a TD run in the same playoff game were Roger Craig and Ricky Watters. ... RB Danny Woodhead expected back after hurting thumb on Patriots first offensive play against Houston and missing rest of game. ... Patriots led NFL with 427.9 yards and 34.8 points per game. ... Patriots first in NFL with plus-25 turnover differential, got only turnover of game against Houston on INT by DE Rob Ninkovich. ... DT Vince Wilfork and Ninkovich tied for second in NFL during regular season with four fumble recoveries.

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Fantasy Football: Week 4 Waiver Wire

Fantasy Football: Week 4 Waiver Wire

Three weeks of the NFL Fantasy Football season are in the books. The fourth comes with a twist: Here come the bye weeks. Now, here come the free agent options.

QUARTERBACKS

— Because Aaron Rodgers is on a bye or you don't love Eli Manning at the Vikings

1. Joe Flacco, Baltimore – No amazing street options this week, but Flacco has some hope with a home matchup against a Raiders defense allowing the fourth-most points to fantasy QBs. Maybe angry Steve Smith will show and carry the day.

2. Dak Prescott, Dallas – The Cowboys face a 49ers defense that allowed six touchdown passes over the last two weeks. Trusting a rookie to produce two weeks in a row is historically dicey, but maybe Prescott, who put up good points against Chicago in Week 3, can do just that.

3. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia – The impressive rookie cannot help owners in Week 3 with Philadelphia off, but Wentz looks more and more like a viable quarterback-by-committee option.

Others: Trevor Siemian (at Bucs), Brian Hoyer (vs. Lions)

— You can drop Tyrod Taylor - Until Sammy Watkins is active AND truly healthy, the Bills don't have enough weapons to make owners feel good using Taylor.

RUNNING BACKS

— Because Eddie Lacy and the Eagles options are off and Jeremy Langford's ankle situation has you spooked and somebody grabbed Cameron Artis-Payne already

1. Jordan Howard, Chicago – Faces a Lions defense that has allowed 115.5 rush yards over the last two games and does with Jeremy Langford expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Owners can spend at least 1/3 of their auction budget and more for those in RB hell. Good chance Howard, who had 92 total yards on 13 touches in Week 3, keeps the job if he produces.

2. Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore – This goes out for those seeking depth. Dixon is due back soon from a preseason injury. When he does, the rookie should move quickly into the mix and then some for a backfield not getting the job done. At all.

3. Dwayne Washington, Detroit – Chicago has allowed at least one rushing TD in every game this season. Washington received 10 carries in his expanded role last week.

Others for Week 4: Orleans Darkwa, NY Giants; Kenyan Drake, Miami; Jay Ajayi, Miami

Others for stashing purposes: Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia; Dion Lewis, New England

WIDE RECEIVERS

— Because no Jordy Nelson or Jordan Matthews this week and injuries to Sammy Watkins an Willie Snead are not cool, man

1. Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland – The new "Slash" and the Browns best weapon. Crazy to think the Redskins could consider having Josh Norman shadow shadow the QB-turned-WR around. That Pryor will be given a shot to make plays with hands, feet and arm is the real intrigue.

2. Michael Thomas, New Orleans – No Willie Snead, no problem for the Saints on Monday night. San Diego has allowed 410 yards to fantasy receivers the last two weeks.

3. Jamison Crowder, Washington – The Redskins have plenty of playmaking receivers and it's time to realize Crowder is one of them. Touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, Kirk Cousins trusts him an he leads Washington in receptions and targets.

Others: Cole Beasley, Dallas (PPR), Quincy Enuwna, NY Jets; Steve Smith, Baltimore; Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay; Chris Hogan, New England; 

TIGHT ENDS

— Because you can't trust Rob Gronkowski will really play and Zach Ertz, Jared Cook are on a bye.

1. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota – The connection with Sam Bradford looks legit. Went 7-70-1 against Carolina after finding the end zone the previous week.

2. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay – In the Bucs first game without Austin Seferian-Jenkins meant lots of work for Brate. Ten targets is something. Catching five of those throws for 46 yards and touchdown is something else.

Others: Zach Miller, Chicago; Hunter Henry, Tennessee

DEFENSES 

— Because you stream this position

Likely available options in Week 4 – Redskins (vs. Browns), Jets (vs. Seahawks)

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Ravens' Timmy Jernigan raising game to become consistent force on defensive line

Ravens' Timmy Jernigan raising game to become consistent force on defensive line

Ravens third-year defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan is having his best start to a season, at one point taking over Sunday’s victory against the Jaguars.

During a stretch of just over six minutes in the fourth quarter, Jernigan sacked Blake Bortles, deflected a pass by Bortles, and tipped another pass by Bortles that was intercepted by Tavon Young.

Jernigan and Terrell Suggs lead the Ravens with three sacks apiece, and Jernigan leads the team’s defensive linemen with eight tackles. But Jernigan’s consistency has opened eyes this season.

“To take over a game in a sense, to stack big plays…he has flashed in the past,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “He does show up, then all of a sudden you kind of wonder where he went in past years. This year, I see him making play after play. He has really eliminated the negative plays. Even if he is not in great position, if he gets in an awkward spot, he seems to fight his way out of it and hustle to the ball. I think his motor is running really high right now, and he is doing a lot of good things.”

The Ravens have three defensive tackles consistently winning their battles up front – Jernigan, Brandon Williams, and undrafted rookie Michael Pierce. If that trio continues to be disruptive up front, expect the Ravens’ defensive success to continue as well.

MORE RAVENS: T-Sizzle making his snaps count, helps Ravens to 3-0 start