Friday, January 28, 2011

Should I even watch the Super Bowl?

As a Ravens fan, I do not want to see the Steelers win the Super Bowl.

As a Bears fan (yes, they are my back up team, I was born just outside of Chicago), I do not want to see the Packers win the Super Bowl.

But if I had to pick, I want the Packers to win the Super Bowl. I am more of a Ravens fan, and living in Baltimore, there are way too many Steelers fans that I see on a daily basis, driving around, walking around, showing off their stupid "Terrible Towels" and requesting that annoying "Black and Yellow" rap song at every club. I made the mistake last weekend of going to Pittsburgh. My girlfriend wanted to visit some college friends. Her college friends are all Steelers fans, minus the lone Ravens fan. It took a lot of strength to hold back and not flip out. I hate the Steelers. I also hate the Packers. I am somewhat biased though. Aaron Rodgers was my fantasy quarterback this past season. He did quite well for me.

On that note though, I would love to see this game go into multiple overtimes unless they call it a draw and no one wins the Super Bowl this year. But that most likely isn't going to happen. But I can still hope.

As far as my actual, unbiased prediction... I would have to break it down like this. Both teams have great defenses, and everyone knows the old saying, "Defense wins championships". So when both teams have a good defense, I guess it's time to look at the offenses. Well, its pretty obvious that the Packers have the better offense. I know a lot of people will say that the Packers don't have a running game, and that may be true. But even if they did have a running game, it's not like you can run on the Steelers anyway. I have to give the edge to the Packers when it comes to the offense.

But to me, the determining factor is going to be some untangiables. For instance, the Steelers have been here before. They have won a couple of Super Bowls recently. They have the experience. Their players know the routine. They are that veteran team that can keep their composure.

The Packers on the other hand are a young, energetic team. They don't have many players who have been on this big of a stage before. However, this is where I feel like the Packers will actually have the advantage. These young guys, mainly on their defense, won't be as worn down as some of the older players on the Steelers. I feel that the Packers defense will be able to virtually shut down the Steelers offense. I don't think that the Steelers defense will be able to do the same to the Packers. If I look at last weekends' games, the Packers got off to a hot start against the Bears, and I feel that they will be able to do the same at the Super Bowl. In the Steelers game, they let the Jets back into the game at the end and the Jets had a chance to pull it off. I know the Bears came back on the Packers a little bit down the stretch, but I felt that the Packers seemed more comfortable and more poised, especially since the Packers were on the road.

But we'll see. Maybe I'm still just hoping that the Steelers lose. I went to the Ravens/Steelers game in Baltimore this year. I'm still upset with that loss. And I'm still upset with the loss in the playoffs. I think I hate Pittsburgh. When I was up there visiting... It was just so damn cold. And my girlfriend's friends were just too obnoxious. I hate the color yellow. But I hate "Black and Yellow" more than green and yellow.

I'm going with the Packers, 31-23.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Long Absence

It's been an extremely long time since the last time that I posted, but I am thinking about posting some more now that I have some down time at work and may want to just get some of my ideas out there. I know that no one really reads this, but I figured I would at least entertain myself by posting.

Now that the Ravens season is over and I have had some time to cool down, I think I am going to come back here in a couple of days to recap the season and possibly talk about the Super Bowl, if I can stomach that... we'll see.

Until then, this is all for now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

There Goes the Season

I’m usually not a pessimist, but after that performance that the Ravens just put on national television, it’s obvious. I cannot believe how that game turned out. I am so bitter right now, and to me, this season is over for the Ravens.

The Ravens are now 6-6, and if by some miracle they can put something together and win their last four and finish 10-6, they still need so much help. As much as it pains me to say it Baltimore, it’s over. I’ll still be attending the last two home games against the Lions and the Bears, but it’s just to show my support for the team for next year.

And the worst part about this season was the expectations that this city had for the Ravens, including myself. I mean, we lost in the AFC Championship for crying out loud. We should be well on our way back to there. Instead, we are playing for the slimmest of chances to sneak into the playoffs. I mean, we need the Jaguars, the Patriots, and the Broncos to lose a lot of games in the next four weeks. Well, at least two of the three of these teams. And that is only if we win out. It is disappointing to have the same record as the Dolphins and Jets. It’s hard to show my anger through these words without being completely inappropriate, but trust me: I have used all those words this evening.

When I was watching the game tonight, my one buddy started ripping on Joe Flacco. I believe his exact words were, “Why couldn’t we get a quarterback from a real college? He played against teams like Towson?” So obviously he lost hope in Flacco. I haven’t, but I think I have with our play calling. I mean, Flacco has the tools to be a quality quarterback in this league, but instead of progressing, he is quickly digressing in his development. And personally, I feel that they are trying to make him do too much. Once again, just like the Colts game, we had the ball first and goal on the one, and failed to score a touchdown, obviously as Flacco threw the pick in the end zone. Grant it, we did score on first and goal two possessions earlier, but do it again. RUN THE BALL THREE TIMES UP THE MIDDLE!!! It’s that simple. It you can’t score on first and goal from the one yard line in the NFL, you don’t deserve to be there. Instead, Flacco threw interceptions on back to back plays. And get the ball to Ray Rice. I like Willis McGahee, but it is indisputable that Rice is our go to back. Rice finished the game with 54 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards, and 21 of these yards came in garbage time after the game was already over.

But I’m done here. I just needed to vent and throw in my two cents after this poor performance. Hopefully the playoff gods are in our favor and everything happens just how we need it to, but I’m not banking on it. It’s time for me to go watch re-runs of Pawn Stars.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tough Monday Night Game in Lambeau

It's that time of year again. Every game counts. Every game is a must win. No difference this week as the Ravens travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers in historic Lambeau Field. It is not going to be an easy game.

Aaron Rodgers is the third highest rated quarterback in the entire NFL, with only Drew Brees and Brett Favre ahead of him. Yes, that is correct. He has a better rating than Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger. He's good. He's damn good. He is an up and coming star in the NFL, and the Ravens have to try and stop him Monday night, in his house. And he has quite a few weapons to go to.

The pair of receivers that the Packers currently have is arguably among the most talented in the entire NFL. Donald Driver and Greg Jennings have combined this season for 100 catches and over 1,500 yards already, including eight touchdowns. These stats compete with some of the leagues' best. Let's take a quick look at some other big name receiving duos. Let's start off with Wes Welker and Randy Moss, combining for 151 catches, 1878 yards, and 12 touchdowns. That's pretty hard for any other duo to touch, especially when the Patriots throw it as much as they do. But let's look at some other names: Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald with 131 receptions, 1491 yards, and 11 scores; Marques Colston and Devery Henderson with 82 receptions, 1445 yards, and nine touchdowns; and finally, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark (a tight end who acts like a receiver) with 153 catches, 1821 yards, and 14 touchdowns (so maybe they are the NFL's best combo). Anyway, the point is, the Ravens have their work cut out for them, obviously. They are facing a top-notch quarterback with top-notch receivers. The only good news is that the Ravens have played the Patriots and the Colts, and had chances to win both of those games had a play or two gone their way at the end of the game. Needless to say, the defense is going to have to show up again, and get to Rodgers, who is the most sacked quarterback in the NFL with 44 sacks.

With all with being said about the passing game, the Ravnes also have to look to stop their running game led by Ryan Grant, who is well on pace for over 1000 yards this season. He is seventh in the NFL in rushing with 890 yards, behind elite running backs who were all picked in the first round of fantasy drafts earlier this season. Grant most likely wasn't taken in the first round. Grant has also scored five touchdowns. And the Ravens, who used to be known for their stout running defense, are giving up 98 yards per game, and have allowed seven rushing touchdowns. The last time the Ravens were allowing this many yards a game was all the way back in 2002, when the Ravens finished 7-9.

With all that being said about the Ravens defense, the Ravens offense is going to have to show up as well, which means a healthy dose of Rice, Ray Rice. Even though the Packers defense has been playing somewhat well lately, it had been against the Lions and 49ers. The Packers also lost to the Buccaneers, so they aren't necessarily flawless. Joe Flacco finally had a decent performance against a good defense in the Steelers, throwing for 289 yards and one touchdown. He is going to have to do at least that, maybe more, to keep up with the Packers offense. Rice is going to have to get the ball at least 20-25 times, whether by handing him the ball or throwing it to him, and Todd Heap and Kelley Washington are going to have to help Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton, who are both coming off of impressive, seven reception games each.

I am really looking forward to this game Monday night, but it is going to be a tough one. I am going to be sitting on the edge of my seat, hoping that the Ravens can pull this one off. It is a must win. They know this. I heard Ray Lewis talk yesterday, and he said they went into the Steelers game as if it was a six game season. One down, five to go. I feel that they can win this, so my prediction this week is that they will edge out the Packers in a 30-24 contest, making a defensive stand at the end of the game that will send the city of Baltimore into an uproar as fans watch the game at their favorite local watering holes. I haven't been too good on my last two predictions as I said that the Ravens would beat both the Bengals and the Colts, so let's hope that this time I am correct.

I'll be sitting, watching nervously with you Baltimore. Let's not end this season yet.

The Ravens travel into historic Lambeau Field to take on the Packers in a must win game on Monday night.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Can the Saints or Colts Go 16-0?

The answer is yes, and it is going to happen. But probably just to the Saints. I mean, did you see them play on Monday night? I loved to watch the Patriots lose. And not only lose, but give up. It was great to see Bill Belichick and Tom Brady standing side by side with five minutes left, knowing that they just got embarrassed on national television.

Also, the Saints have quite an easy schedule, playing the Redskins, Falcons, Cowboys, Buccaneers, and Panthers. The only tough game that people may see in those five games is the Cowboys, but then when you hear that it is a primetime game in the Superdome, there is no question that the Saints won't take care of business. Example A: Monday Night Football against the Patriots three days ago. And the Saints have pressure to keep winning, because if they want home field advantage throughout the playoffs, they probably can't lose with the Vikings hot on their heels at 10-1. However, the Vikings could easily lose another game, but you never know. The Vikings look pretty good as well, and just barely lost to the Steelers.

As for the Colts, well, they don't have much to play for now. I mean, they have already clinched their division. And without even trying, they can easily win two of their last five games against the likes of the Jets and Bills. However, their other three games are against the Titans, the Jaguars, and the Broncos, who all have a shot at making the playoffs. And they are up by three games over the closest teams, which include the Bengals and Chargers. They should have no problem clinching home field, forcing the AFC Championship to go through Indianapolis, if they win in the playoffs. Soon, they will most likely bench Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clark to ensure that they are healthy for the playoff run.

So can one of these teams go undefeated? Absolutely. Can both of them? Unlikely, but possible. The Saints just seemed to dominate the so-called team of the decade, and besides one bad half against the Dolphins in week seven, no one has given them much of a challenge. The Colts on the other hand have come from behind time and time again to pull off last minute victories. I mean, Peyton Manning is probably the best quarterback that I will ever see play this game. But this year, Drew Brees is playing out of his mind. And Brees has a ton of weapons, where Manning has two big guns, Wayne and Clark. I could name the 12 different players that Brees has thrown to this year, but just take my word for it. (I mean, Manning has thrown to 11 different receivers, but still, you haven't heard of any of them).

But we'll see in the next five weeks if either one of them can be the second team to finish the season 16-0.

Can either Peyton Manning or Drew Brees lead their team to a perfect 16-0 regular season?

Big Win Against Rival Steelers

I know I've been slacking a little on these posts, but it's been a pretty hectic week for me to say the least. But with all that has happened this past week, the highlight was when Billy Cundiff's field goal in overtime gave the Ravens a much-needed victory over the much hated Pittsburgh Steelers. I still smile as I think back to be leaning on my crutches in M&T Bank Stadium, watching hundreds of Steelers fans walk out of the stadium, trying to hide their "Terrible Towels". I had to sit through three games last year as the Steelers barely edged out the Ravens to sweep them and knock us out of the playoffs. Sunday night felt awesome. I feel like I had something to do with the victory, especially when I woke up Monday morning with a nice, hoarse voice after yelling so much the previous night.

However, even though the Ravens won, it wasn't the prettiest game, but they found a way to win. This is the mark of a good team. And I'm glad that for once this season, we were on the positive side of a close game. And I will give credit to where it is due.

Thank you Ray Rice for having a Pro Bowl caliber season; otherwise, we would be eliminated from the playoffs already.

Thank you Paul Kruger for finally making an impact on this team, and for making Dennis Dixon look like he has never started an NFL football games, even though it took until overtime for you to show up.

Thank you secondary, mainly Lardarius Webb and (I can't believe I am about to say his name) Chris Carr. They both played out of their minds to hold the Steelers wide receivers from absolutely destroying us.

And thank you Billy Cundiff for not being Steve Hauschka.

But it is a team game, and the Raven showed up and played a wonderful game. Now they can't loose again, at least in my opinion, if they want a chance to make it to the playoffs. There are too many teams bunched up right now, so the Ravens cannot afford a loss. The two toughest games we have are coming this Monday night, and then 20 days after that, as the Ravens travel to Green Bay and Pittsburgh. As long as they can pull these two off and take care of the Lions, Bears, and Raiders, I see no reason why the Ravens can't make another surge for the AFC Championship, and possibly their second Super Bowl appearance.

We all know what happened last time the Ravens made it to Super Sunday...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Blind Side

The other night, I decided that I would go get a rare glimpse into the life of the Ravens rookie right tackle, Michael Oher. I went to watch the movie "The Blind Side" so that I could see, as a fan, a different side of a player's life. And I was extremely glad that I decided to go watch this movie.

Oher had a tough life, as we were shown how he grew up in the ghetto in Memphis. We saw how his mother neglected him in order to go get her fix with crack. We saw the decision that he made to not follow in the footsteps of the other kids in the neighborhood.

Then we got to see how a family, the Touhy's, brought him in and raised him as their own child. It was a very heart-warming story, and one that I am glad to have seen. Before, I heard the quick story of how a white family adopted a young black man, but I wasn't quite expecting some of the troubles and tribulations that both the Touhy's and Micahel Oher had to go through.

Without giving any parts of the story away, I thought that I would just have to give my unprofessional movie review and suggest that people go watch this movie, regardless if you are a football fan or not. Either way, I am sure that you will enjoy it, especially if you are a Ravens fan, because there is a nice little moment at the end that makes you proud to have brought this young man into the Ravens' family.

Michael Oher, with NFL commisioner Roger Goodell, on the day that the Ravens drafted him with the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft.

Fantasy Football Wrap-Up: Week 11

So as the season goes on, it becomes more and more evident how hard it is to be consistent at fantasy football. As I look at my leagues, this goes not only for me, but for everyone else in my leagues. Unfortunately for me, I went 1-3 in my four leagues this week, with my only win coming in my worst league.

So my team Big Heads Beer Belly was able to pull off my second straight win after loosing my first nine games. This was actually my second straight week where I scored the most points out of anyone else in the league. This week's final score was 128.2-117.64, knocking my opponent out of first place. I was led by Wes Welker and Sidney Rice, who each scored over 20 points, but I had solid performances by most of my other players to edge out Calvin Johnson's and Drew Brees's big days by my opponent. Even though I don't any chance of making the playoffs with my 2-9 record, I am still going to try to put a good team together so that no one in my league has an easy week.

Now for all the bad news of the week. First with my team Ray Rice-A-Roni, where I was barely edged out of a victory by a score of 124.94-116.86. The most disappointing thing about this loss is that I had the second highest total in the entire league, I just happened to be matched up against the team that scored the most. Calvin Johnson once again killed me by putting up 22.1 points for my opponent, as well as Vernon Davis putting up 16.8, DeSean Jackson and DeAngelo Williams each adding 15, and the rest of his team at least scoring seven. My team looked good as Ricky Williams put up 31.8, Aaron Rodgers put up 23, and Sidney Rice put up 20.9, but that's about all I had going for me. Needless to say, I came up just short to drop 7-4, which still makes be tied for second place somehow.

My other league that I still have a decent chance of getting into the playoffs in is with my team OherTheSteelers ToWinTheNorth. I had another close loss in the league, this time against the team that is in first place, so this was a tough pill to swallow. Matt Schaub let me with 24 points as Ryan Grant also added 19, but a trio of players putting up 18 (Tom Brady, Greg Jennings, Hines Ward) was just enough for my opponent to beat me by a final score of 93-85. This put me at 6-5 and tied in second place with three other teams, so the playoff picture is going to be tight up until the final snap of week 13.

And for my final team, Ed Reediculous, which is looking more and more as though I will miss the playoffs as I lost 139-112.5 to take me to 3-8, tied for last place. Tom Brady's 23.5, Laurence Maroney's 17, and a solid performance by many of my other players just wasn't enough as his entire team blew up, including Calvin Johnson's 22, Sidney Rice's 20, and many others that were able to score nearly 140 points for my opponent.

All in all, it wasn't a good week for my fantasy teams, but for two of them, I am in prime position to secure a playoff spot, giving me a chance to continue playing fantasy football for a little while longer.

Just Not Enough to Take Down the Undefeated Colts

The Baltimore Ravens had a hard fought game on Sunday afternoon against the AFC South leading Indianapolis Colts. The Colts came in as one of two remaining undefeated teams, joining only the New Orleans Saints. The Ravens knew that they were going to have to play extremely well to shut down Peyton Manning and his high powered offense, and for the most part, they did. The Ravens came up just short of pulling up a huge upset that would have drastically shaken up the AFC North.

The Ravens defense was able to hold the Colts offense to only 17 points, which in most games would seem like enough to pull off a win. However, once again, the Ravens offense struggled to finish their drives, and were only able to amass five Billy Cundiff field goals for 15 points. Cundiff made five of his six field goal attempts in his Ravens debut, with his only miss seemingly being the could have been game winner. But before people start pointing fingers at Cundiff, we may need to look at a few other situations that could have given the Ravens this must needed win.

With 12:08 left in the fourth quarter, the Ravens got a first and goal on the one yard line, ran the ball three times, and did not get into the end zone. With the Ravens offensive line, and running backs such as Le'Ron McClain, Ray Rice, and Willis McGahee, there is no excuse for not getting seven points out of that drive.

The other play game later in the fourth quarter, with 2:49 seconds left. Joe Flacco dropped back to pass, and threw an interception to Gary Brackett on the Indianapolis 13 yard line, well within Cundiff's range to add three points and give the Ravens the lead. No excuse for throwing a pick. It was a great defensive play by Brackett, but as the leader of the offense, Flacco should have been more careful with the ball.

It was an extremely disappointing loss for the Ravens, especially since both the Steelers and the Bengals lost on Sunday. So instead of staying in the same third place position, the Ravens could have moved up to be tied with the Steelers, and only one game back of the Bengals. But since that didn't happen, the Ravens probably can't afford to lose another game, especially one to the Steelers. And they will get their first crack at Pittsburgh come Sunday night when the Steelers visit Baltimore.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Horseshoes are Back in Town

On Sunday afternoon, the former Baltimore football franchise comes back into town as the Colts take on the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. This is probably going to be the toughest game that the Ravens have played this season, which isn't a promising statement considering the Ravens have already lost four games. Not to mention, Peyton Manning owns the Ravens, with a record of 6-2. The last time the Colts lost to the Ravens was on December 2, 2001 when the Ravens won 39-27. Since then, it has been all Colts. The last meeting with these two teams came last year when the Colts destroyed the Ravens in Indianapolis by a final score of 31-3.

The Colts bring their undefeated 9-0 record into Baltimore after a last second come from behind victory over the Patriots on Sunday night. It may have been somewhat of a gift from Bill Belichick as he went for it on the now infamous fourth and two, and didn't get it, giving Peyton Manning a short field, which is never a good idea.

Honestly, I want the Ravens to win so badly, and I'll be there screaming at the top of my lungs in section 522, as if it is going to help the corners cover Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. But I do not have a good feeling about this game. Domonique Foxworth hasn't lived up to his contract, and Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb aren't shut-down corners. The only hope the Ravens have is that there is a strong pass rush, which may be even more unlikely now that Terrell Suggs is out for an extended period of time. Let's hope Paul Kruger can live up to his hype.

And the Ravens offense needs to show up. They only scored one offensive touchdown on the Browns! That's unacceptable. Period. Monday night should have been a 38-3 trampling, not a 16-0 slopfest. Ray Rice keeps doing his thing, but Joe Flacco has looked average at best lately. They need to take advantage of this banged up Colts defense and put some points on the board.

My prediction for this week (as I forgot to get online and put one up last week) is not going to please the masses around here. Peyton Manning is just too good. Even though I want the Ravens to pull off this upset, I feel that they will lose. And the final score I am guessing is 34-17, a game that Peyton Manning puts away in the early fourth quarter. Let's hope I'm wrong about this, but after watching the games that each one of these teams has just played, I do not see any other outcome.