How Forsett Celebrated His First NFL Award
Justin Forsett's dream season continued as he was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week yesterday morning. It was the first time he's ever earned a player of the week award in his seven-year career.
It's a major milestone to say the least.
Here's his reaction shortly after the news broke, gracious as always.
"Thanks for all the love and support!" he wrote on Twitter. "I thank God for this time in my life and I know the best is yet to come! #RavensNation #BMore."
And here is what he did to celebrate an hour later on an Amtrak train.
Presumably, Forsett is heading out of town for a bye-week breather and the Pack 'n Play is for the adorable little guy in the video below. I like it. The NFL's fourth-leading rusher is a family man, and isn't above daddy duties.
The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson noted that Forsett's surprising season comes after he signed a one-year contract worth $730,000 in March. That's easily the least expensive deal of the other top-5 running backs in the league (although Dallas and Pittsburgh are getting quite the bargains, too).
Cowboys' DeMarco Murray: $1.59 million
Texans' Arian Foster: $8.5 million
Steelers' Le'Veon Bell: $936,500
Ravens' Justin Forsett: $730,000
Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch: $8 million
Forsett already set a career-high for rushing yards in a season (721), and we're only 10 weeks in. Since it's such a huge incline in production, the question that remains is whether the 5-foot-8, 196-pound Forsett will burn out in the second half of the season.
"I believe that Forsett will be able to hold up through the season because he is a veteran," wrote The Sun's Mike Preston. "He knows that the season is a marathon.
"The Ravens also are helping him by sprinkling in Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro, as well. As long as that continues, Forsett and the rest of the running backs should continue to be productive."
Mosley Among Leaders In Pro Bowl Voting
Rookie C.J. Mosley is second among inside linebackers in Pro Bowl balloting, the league announced.
Mosley has 71,246 votes from fans, and is only behind the Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly with 105,730 votes. Fan voting makes up one-third of the determination for Pro Bowl selections, as players* *and coaches make up the other two-thirds.
No other Ravens are ranked atop their positions in fan Pro Bowl voting, including perennial Pro Bowlers Terrell Suggs, Marshal Yanda and Haloti Ngata.
"It takes exceptional instincts to thrive at inside linebacker," wrote NFL Media's Gil Brandt. "This was true in the days of Lee Roy Jordan, it was true when Ray Lewis was ruling the field and it's true now. Mosley does indeed have exceptional instincts. He's more of a narrow-bodied guy, but this actually makes it easier for him to drop into coverage. Mosley's an excellent tackler who plays with tons of energy and had a very good first half of the season. He leads NFL rookies with 90 total tackles and ranks fourth league-wide. Mosley has exceeded my expectations for him."
Mosley could also become the first Ravens rookie to lead the team in tackles since Ray Lewis in 1996, per ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
While Mosely is out to a great lead, voting isn't over yet. It concludes Dec. 15, and the Pro Bowl winners will be announced Dec. 23. The Pro Bowl, which will be held at the University of Phoenix at the Super Bowl XLIX site, will be played on Jan. 25.
Is Webb Still Fighting Through Injury?
Cornerback Lardarius Webb hasn't looked like his normal self.
"Unlike previous seasons, he hasn't been as physical at the line of scrimmage and hasn't shown as much confidence breaking on passes," wrote Hensley.
His six passes defensed are behind the pace of his 22 last season, which was the second most in the league.
Webb is the first to say he wants to improve. After Sunday's win against the Titans, Secondary Coach Steve Spagnuolo sent Webb a text message that read "Great job, good win."
Webb's response: "Happy for the win, but I have to play better, coach."
With the sixth-year veteran missing three of the first four games of the season with a back injury, Hensley wonders whether Webb is still recovering.
Spagnuolo indicated he is.
"He might be fighting a little bit still with the injury," Spagnuolo said. "But he fights through it and he continues to play, so I look for him to get better and better."
Can The Smiths Play Well At The Same Time?
When Steve Smith's production is up, Torrey Smith's is down, and vice versa.
Consider the stat lines below:
Steve Smith's first 6 games: 35 catches, 573 yards, 4 TDs
Steve Smith's past 4 games: 14 catches, 155 yards, 0 TDs
Torrey Smith's first 5 games: 11 catches, 176 yards, 1 touchdown
Torrey Smith's last 5 games: 16 catches, 270 yards, 5 touchdowns
Of course, defenses have to pick their poison, and when they focus on one Smith, the other will get more favorable coverage. Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak says there is only one ball, and you can only spread it around to multiple weapons so much.
"I have to always find ways to get guys the ball," Kubiak said. "I wish I could get them all the perfect amount every week, but those things usually don't work that way."
That said, in the video below, CSNBaltimore.com's Clifton Brown wonders whether both Smiths can play well at the same time.
AFC North Most Competitive, Not Best
All four teams in the AFC North are two games above .500 heading into Week 11, which hasn't happened in the NFL since 1935. That is not a typo – 1935.
That stat has led many to debate whether this is the best division of all time.
But The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec doesn't think so.
"Most competitive? Sure. The best? I'm not seeing it," he wrote.
Zrebiec believes that the AFC North's winning records have been padded because they've all played against two of the weakest divisions (in terms of record). He says the top billing goes to the NFC West.
"You can't hold the schedule against the AFC North teams, but you certainly have to consider it when determining the strength of the division," Zrebiec wrote.
- The Ravens reportedly worked out a ton of fullbacks and tight ends yesterday. They had fullback Jordan Campbell, fullback Nikita Whitlock, tight end Tom Crabtree, tight end Nathan Overbay, tight end Konrad Reuland, and quarterback Bryn Renner on Wednesday. They ended up signing Reuland. [ProFootballTalk.com]
- The Ravens miss tight end , says Zrebiec. "Every time I see Flacco rush a throw or just hurl a ball to no one in particular, I'm reminded of how much the Ravens still miss tight end Dennis Pitta," he wrote. "Pitta's absence might have been talked about too much last year. This season, it's probably not getting mentioned enough as a reason for the offense's ongoing inconsistency."
- How does Dean Pees compare to the Ravens' previous five defensive coordinators? "I think Dean Pees compares very well to the previous defensive coordinators that the Ravens have had," Preston wrote. "Marvin Lewis and Rex Ryan had players like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and Peter Boulware in their primes. Currently, Pees has an older Suggs and Ngata. C.J. Mosley could develop into something special, but it is too early to make any real predictions. There is one other thing to consider when comparing defensive players and coaches of the past to players and coaches of today. Today's NFL does not allow the defenders to hit."