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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Fantasy Football Teams: Wrap-up For Week 10

Believe it or not, if you have been paying attention to my fantasy football wrap-ups, I have finally won a game in my one league! Thanks to my friend Ian for putting together a dismal performance this week. It was actually quite impressive as I put up 111.46 points, bringing my wonderful team Big Heads Beer Belly to a respectable 1-9 record. I was led this week a host of players, including LaDainian Tomlinson's 21.6 points, Sidney Rice's 20.1 points, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh's 16.5 points, just to name a few. Peyton Manning's 28.54 and Jonathan Stewart's 20.2 just wasn't quite enough as my opponent only put up 80.84 points. That's enough excitement for a 1-9 team.

Now for my team Ray-Rice-A-Roni, the league where I was in first place. I was unfortunately bumped off of my high horse, as I lost 108.62-94.96. Sidney Rice and Aaron Rodgers combined for nearly 40 points, but it wasn't quite enough as Chris Johnson blew up with 35.2 points and Brandon Marshall added 26.3 to give my opponent a much-needed victory. I am still tied for first place, but with two other teams. We'll see if my line-up can show up for me this week.

Now for my embarrassing match up of the week. My team OherTheSteelers ToWinTheNorth, I got extremely blown out by a score of 113-51, but it wasn't my entire fault. I mean, what was I supposed to do when Kurt Warner, Adrian Peterson and Reggie Wayne all go for over 20 fantasy points each? But at the same time, my team really pissed the bed. Matt Forte gave me 16 points, and the Vikings defense added 10. Besides that, no one else broke double figures. But hey, let's look on the bright side; I'm tied for second place with a 6-4 record, but in a very tight league. It'll be interesting coming down the stretch in this one.

And for my final league with my team Ed Reediculous. I had a tough loss in this league, which may or may not have knocked me out of the playoff contention for good in this league, sending me to 3-7. I lost this match up by a score of 97-90. Tom Brady gave me 33, L.T. gave me 21, and T.J. 16, but it wasn't enough as Rodgers added 25 points, Frank Gore 18 points, and the 49ers defense 17 points for my opponent. It came down to the wire; I just didn't have enough fire power in the end.

So I still have hope in two of my leagues, as I sit toward the top of the standings, but I have all but been eliminated from the playoffs for good in my other two leagues. It'll be interesting to see how I fair in the coming weeks, but let's hope I can be updating this section of my blog until the end of the season.

All Eyes On Cundiff

As Matt Stover gets set for his triumphant return to Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium, all eyes will be on the Ravens newest addition, kicker Billy Cundiff. Cundiff is going to be this city's savior now that the Ravens have cut Steve Hauschka, or at least he better be.

After Hauschka hooked yet another field goal, and got an extra point blocked, he was cut last night, and today, he was replaced by Cundiff. Cundiff has kicked in five games this year for the Browns, going six-for-six on field goals and four-for-four on extra points. The most shocking thing about this is that I didn't even know the Browns had scored four touchdowns this year for him to make these extra points, but apparently, they have.

We'll see what happened Sunday, as Cundiff has one chance, and if he fails, who's the next guy up in this position?

Our savior, Billy Cundiff, shown above, making a game winning field goal as the Browns stomped the Bill earlier this season 6-3.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Win is a Win

So it may not have been very pretty last night, but the Baltimore Ravens pulled out a victory, sweeping the season series against the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens offense struggled throughout the night, as the Ravens defense was able to pitch a shut-out, their first shut-out since week 12 of the 2006 season, when they dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 27-0 victory.

The defense only allowed 160 total yards to the Brady Quinn driven Browns offense, forcing two turnovers, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Dawan Landry. The often invisible Chris Carr happened to be in the right place as the right time as he added the other pick. I was very impressed with the defense, but then again, it was the Browns, who are arguably the worst team in the NFL. We'll see what happens this upcoming week as Peyton Manning and the Colts visit M&T Bank Stadium.

The offense was quite worrisome, as we were only able to score one offensive touchdown, by none other than Ray Rice, who seems to be the lone bright spot on this Ravens offense lately. Joe Flacco shows some good plays throughout the last few games, but overall, has struggled the last three games. Flacco has not broken the 200 yard passing mark since week six against the Vikings.

And as for the special teams unit... I don't know how else to say this, except that Steve Hauschka is gone. He just misses too many kicks, and isn't even booting the ball on kickoffs. I would be surprised if he is kicking for the Ravens come Sunday.

So as the Ravens have improved to 5-4, they still have a long road ahead of them, which starts this week with the undefeated Colts. Let's hope that the defense can make Peyton Manning even resemble Brady Quinn, but I'm not betting on that one.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Fantasy Football Teams: Wrap-up for Week 9

So after starting this new segment, I actually had a decent week in fantasy this week... except for my forgotten team, which we will get to. But first, for the more positive teams this week.

As I told you last week, I was tied with a number of teams for first place with my team OherTheSteelers ToWinTheNorth. I was able to pull out another victory in this league to improve to 6-3 and remain tied with only one other team for first place. The final in the fantasy battle was 89-73, where I had a balanced attack with Matt Schaub scoring 16, and Ryan Grant and the Falcons defense both adding 15, easily overcoming Aaron Rodgers, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Cedric Benson, who scored 59 of my opponents 73 points this week.

My team Ed Reediculous was able to pull out a victory as well to improve my record to 3-6, hanging on to any slim hopes of this team making the playoffs. This was a rather convincing victory as I won with a final score of 89.5-59. Tom Brady put up 23.5 for me, Laurence Maroney and the Falcons defense each put up 14, and John Carney, my kicker, even added 12 for me to easily overcome Phillip Rivers and his 23 points, as only Andre Johnson was able to reach double figures with 10 for my opponent.

Now for my best team, Ray Rice-A-Roni, where I now sit in first place by myself with a 7-2 record as I was able to defeat my opponent 95.14-85.73, a match-up that came down to Monday night as I took on the team that was tied with me going in. I had to give my thanks this week to Aaron Rodgers, as he put up 24.24, the Steelers defense, as they put up 21, and Ryan Grant, who put up 15.6. My opponent has a balanced attack with Joseph Addai putting up 23.2, Peyton Manning putting up 15.92, and Broncos defense putting up 13. However, it wasn't enough, as I pulled it out. Things are looking good for me in this league.

However, things are not looking good for me in this next league, where my team Big Heads Beer Belly fell to 0-9, pretty much making sure that I finish in last. Once again, it wasn't really close, as I lost 88.12-72.12. I guess it's a sign when my defense, the Steelers, put up the most points with 21. Matt Schaub did have 12.32, and Matt Forte added 10.7, but no one else really gave much of an effort as Aaron Rodgers' 22.92 along with Steve Breaston's 15.1 led a large of enough charge to put me away for my ninth straight loss.

However, I did go 3-1 on the weekend, putting up decent points in every league, but not really blowing anyone out of the water. But as long as I did enough to get by, I am satisfied with my teams this week. We'll see what next week brings to me.

Some Teams Just Want It More...

It's taken me a few days to even want to relive the embarrassing performance put on by the Ravens this past Sunday against the Bengals. Baltimore now faces an uphill battle the rest of the season that will test every aspect of the team.

Once again, the Ravens defense let Cedric Benson run for over 100 yards, seemingly destroying the reputation that it is hard to run on the Ravens. One cause for this may have been that Haloti Ngata did not suit up, despite any positive thoughts I was allowing myself to believe going into the game.

After a few early scores by the Bengals, the Ravens defense did tighten up, not allowing any second half points, but overall, it wasn't their most impressive performance. The receivers were somewhat contained, but because of sub-par efforts on both sides of the ball, the Bengals dominated the time of possession battle by twice as much, 40 minutes to 20 minutes.

And I have no idea what our new, high-powered offense was doing on Sunday. The Ravens offense was averaging 28 points a game coming in and they were only able to put up one touchdown on Sunday. Without Ray Rice and his 135 yards of total offense and one touchdown, our offense would have been non-existent. And for the first time in his short career, Joe Flacco looked, how can I put it nicely, god-awfully terrible.

But hey, the Ravens may be down, but they are most certainly not out. This upcoming week, the Ravens play the cure-all Cleveland Browns, and man, do they need it. The Ravens need to regroup and get back on the winning track, as they have a tough schedule down the stretch.

Ray Rice and Cedric Benson both have good offensive days, both accumulating over 100 yards.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Big Game Against the Bengals

The Ravens travel to Cincinnati this upcoming Sunday to take on the Bengals, which is going to be an extremely intriguing game. The Bengals are coming off of a bye week, so they have had two weeks to prepare for the Ravens. And you know they were very interested in that Ravens beat down of the Broncos last week. Fans are going to be tuned in to see who learned more from the first meeting between these two teams when they took on one another on October 11, a game in which the Bengals took 17-14. I expect a similar type of game this week.

If I am John Harbaugh, I am worried that Carson Palmer is going to do what Kyle Orton didn't: throw the ball down field. And a lot. The Bengals are going to force the secondary to stop their talented receivers. Chad Ochocinco has had an extremely productive season, and they have a few other capable receivers with the likes of Chris Henry, Andre Caldwell, and Laveranues Coles.

In order for the Ravens' secondary to perform well, they will need to rely on the pass rush up front. And this could be a big problem this week, as Haloti Ngata is nursing his injured ankle. If he can't go, the likes of Justin Bannan and Kelly Gregg are going to have to fill his role, with help from the rest of the defensive line. However, Ravens defensive coordinator feels good about Ngata's chances to play, saying, "I think Haloti will do what he has to, to play." This is great news for Baltimore. If the Ravens defense can play like they did against the Broncos, they should be able to pull out another victory. The Ravens need to shut down Cedric Benson just as they with the Broncos running attack, as well as containing the receivers.

We'll see come Sunday. I'm going to add another new twist to this here blog, and that is my weekly prediction of the Ravens game, and maybe a few other games here and there. So this week, I'm taking the Ravens to put on a good performance, beating the Bengals 24-13. We'll see what I know come Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some People Just Aren't Team Players

If it's not Terrell Owens on the 49ers, it's Terrell Owens on the Eagles, or the Cowboys, or even on the Bills. But what do you know? Now it's Roy Williams on the Cowboys. Even though I really can't stand the Cowboys, for once, I have to be on Tony Romo's side. Williams is complaining that Romo can't throw the football correctly to him. But it seems to me that someone else on his team, Miles Austin, is doing just fine with Romo throwing him the ball.

Williams still thinks that he is the number one receiver, which on a depth chart, he might be. But since Williams has been in Dallas, he has played 16 games, only catching 33 balls for 447 yards and three touchdowns. This season, Miles Austin has 26 receptions, 563 yards, and six touchdowns. Now who would you consider the number one wide receiver? I just wish people like Williams, and Owens for that matter, would just keep their mouths shut and not express their insecurities to everyone when maybe, just maybe, someone else is a little bit better than you. Or at least realize that you are playing a team game, and be happy for your team, especially when they are winning.

Be Thankful We Live In Baltimore

There are a lot of pathetic teams in the NFL this season, and a few front offices around the league are actually starting to admit it. Let's be thankful that we either live in Baltimore, or that you route for the Ravens. The two teams that have been in the news this week are the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Browns.

As for the Redskins, none other than Daniel Snyder, the owner, spoke out to apologize for the team's performance this season. Snyder is an extremely wealthy individual who rarely speaks out about how the Redskins are playing and how he spends his money. However, at a charity event on Tuesday, Snyder spoke out about the embarrassing play of his team. Snyder's words were, "It hurts. It really hurts. We are really trying very, very hard, everyone at Redskins park, the coaches, the players. The organization's quite frankly held together well, and I think we've got an opportunity the rest of the season to hopefully get it going. But to date, we've let everyone down, including ourselves, and we know that and we're just apologetic. We've blown some games that we obviously should have won." He was also asked about other issues this season, such as banning signs and other forms or protest inside his stadium this season, which he declined to comment on. Personally, I do not think that this man knows much about football, and it is evident in his exorbitant spending on his players, which obviously isn't working out for the Redskins. They have lost to some pathetic teams this season, giving the Lions, the Panthers, and the Chiefs their first wins in quite some time, as well as barely edging out the Rams and the Buccaneers. And as for their upcoming schedule, I do not see them winning many, if any, of their remaining games. They do play at the Raiders, but that isn't a guarantee by any stretch of the imagination.

And now for the Cleveland Browns, who may even be worse than the Redskins. In this case, the Browns owner, Randy Lerner, met with two die-hard Browns fans who are attempting to have a protest at the Ravens @ Browns Monday Night Football game on November 16. Fans Mike Randall and Tony Schafer met with Lerner for two hours on Tuesday. The protest that they are trying to hold is to make sure that no Browns' fans enter the stadium until after kickoff on the Monday night game to show the nation that the fans aren't happy with the Browns' futility. After the meeting, Randall said that it went well and that Lerner was receptive to his ideas and that Lerner is "doing everything he can to improve the Browns" and "he wants it to happen- now". Well, then he is going to have to do a lot- now. The Browns are terrible. Awful. They just had George Kokinis removed as general manager, who head coach Eric Mangini handpicked to hold that position. How is it Kokinis' fault when he was been there for less than a year? And from what I have heard, Kokinis is a great NFL mind. He came from the Ravens, so I'm sure he has a good track record. But hey, who am I to say that it isn't his fault, with two futile quarterbacks in Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. Since the new Cleveland Browns have been around since 1999, they have only made the playoffs one time and just continue to be basement dwellers year in and year out. What a terrible time to be living in Cleveland. Not only is their football team appalling, but the other night, in the World Series, their last two opening day starters took on one another in Game 5 as C.C. Sabathia took on Cliff Lee, and it seems as though LeBron James may or may not come back to play for the Cavaliers.

Like I said Baltimore, just be thankful that we live in Charm City. Yeah, the Orioles might be struggling a little bit, but they are turning things around (keep your fingers crossed), but hey, we have the RAVENS! Needless to say, just take a look down 95 at the Redskins and across the division at the Browns, and no matter what, you will always be having a better day here in Baltimore.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Fantasy Football Teams

Every Tuesday for now on, I am going to add a new weekly segment on how I faired in Fantasy Football. I'll give a quick update on how I have done thus far, and recap this past week's performance by my teams.

I am in four leagues right now, and I am all over the place with these teams. In no particular order, these are my team names along with my record and what place I am in:

• Ed Reediculous- 2-6, and in 12th place, out of 12 teams

• OherTheSteelers ToWinTheNorth- 5-3, tied for 1st place, but in 4th place because of point total, out of 10 teams

• Big Heads Beer Belly- 0-8, obviously in 10th place, out of 10 teams... pretty embarrassing, I know

• Ray Rice-A-Roni- 6-2, tied for 1st place, but in 2nd place because of point total, out of 10 teams

So like I said, I am either doing quite well, or I am embarrassing myself by putting my teams out there. Let's take a look at what just happened to me this past week.

Ed Reediculous was up all weekend until the Monday night game rolled around, where I had the Saints kicker John Carney left to play, but my opponent had a few players left, including Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas, and Jason Elam. Needless to say, Brees and Thomas decided to put up some decent numbers, giving my second straight defeat in this league with a final score of 79.5-62.5. LaDainian Tomlinson and LeSean McCoy both had decent days for me, scoring 17 and 15 respectably, but when Brees put up 24.5 and Thomas put up 19, I didn't have much of a chance with the rest of my team deciding to not show up.

OherTheSteelers ToWinTheNorth gave me a much better result as I was able to pull off a Monday night come from behind victory to secure a 90-85 victory as Marques Colston put up 14 points for me. This was my second straight victory in the league, which was helped out a lot by Matt Forte, who put up 24 points for me, which is his best fantasy week this season, and makes my first round pick of him look much better now. Forte's big day was enough to hold off my opponent's big day put in by Steven Jackson's 21, as well as Phillip Rivers and Matt Stover each adding 13.

Big Heads Beer Belly has been a disappointment for me all season long, and this week was no different. My team doesn't look bad on paper, but week in and week out, my players just do not show up for me. I was handed my 8th straight loss this week by a final score of 101.48-69.66. Most of my scoring came from two players, Tomlinson and Forte, who scored combined 41.7 of my team's points. It is getting a little ridiculous now. My opponent could have beaten me with just a few of his players, led my Chris Johnson who had a break out day with 35.9 points by himself. Vincent Jackson added 16.3 for him, and Miles Austin and Matt Stover also both added 13 points. It looks like the number one pick next year is mine for the taking.

But now for my best team, Ray Rice-A-Roni. I was able to put up solid numbers this week in this league thanks to solid contributions by every player on my team, led by Roddy White's 16.8, LeSean McCoy's 15.2, and Matt Ryan's 13.46. The final score that helped me break by two losing streak was 89.96-61.98. It was an easy victory against the last place team in this league, whose best contribution came from Percy Harvin's 14.6 and the Titans' defense 14. Besides these to point totals, he didn't have a whole lot of promise.

I hope the first installment of my fantasy football recap has been entertaining, and I hope to be able to have some better results in the future. Trust me; I hate to lose, so putting a few last place teams together is not making me very happy.

Saints Hang On Late Against the Falcons

What another great game for a Monday night. This season has been full of great Monday night matchups, and last night did not disappoint. Coming in, two high-powered offenses were ready to put up a lot of points, and scoring was not hard to come by in the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints' defense held off the last minute charge of Matt Ryan and the Falcons to win by a touchdown.

After the Saints won last night, they have solidified themselves as a top team both in the NFC and the NFL. Along with the Colts, the Saints are the only other unbeaten team in the NFL. And the Saints have beaten some pretty good teams, including the Falcons, the Eagles, and the Giants, as well as taking care of teams that they should have dominated. Drew Brees is a lock to make the Pro Bowl right now, and has got to be at the top of the league when it comes to the MVP discussion. He has so many weapons on offense this year, having completed multiple passes to eight different receivers, led by Marques Colston, on Monday against the Falcons. Even with Brees throwing for over 300 yards, the Saints rushing game also put on a dominant performance, rushing for 146 yards, led by Pierre Thomas. And with the offense being so great, it is hard to believe that the defense has been just as impressive, recording three interceptions and three sacks on Monday night, and looking dominant week in and week out.

But let's not forget about the Falcons, who still have hopes of making the playoffs, most likely as a Wildcard team with the Saints making a run at an undefeated season. If the playoffs were to start today, the Falcons would be the first team left out, as they are currently in seventh place in the NFC. And after last night's performance against an impressive Saints team, the Falcons look as if they can play with the best teams in the league. I expect them to play well in the coming weeks, playing opponents such as the Redskins, the Panthers, the Buccaneers twice, the Jets, and the Bills. They also play the Giants, the Eagles, and the Saints again, but if they can pull off one big win as well as sweeping all of the sub-par teams, then the Falcons should be sitting pretty as the playoffs start. Matt Ryan, despite a less than memorable game last night, is still having a great season. Before last night's game, Ryan has 11 touchdowns to go with his six interceptions. This gap has now narrowed to 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions, but he still has a respectable quarterback rating of 82.4. The Falcons also have some great weapons on offense with Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez as Ryan's two favorite targets, combining for 10 receptions, 197 yards, and the only receiving touchdown against the Saints. And let's not forget about Michael Turner out of the backfield, who broke out with 151 yards in the ground, adding a touchdown himself. Turner showed a lot of burst and power last night, as exemplified by his one run where he broke a tackle from every player on the Saints defense, or so it seemed. Needless to say, the Falcons should not be counted out yet, but they do have some work to do in the coming weeks.

As the NFL reaches the halfway point, the upper echelon of teams is starting to separate themselves from the rest of the league. In the coming weeks, the playoff picture is going to become much clearer for a lot of teams. It remains to be seen who is going to step up and continue to play well, but Monday night showed two top candidates for the NFC Championship game.

Matt Ryan and Drew Brees look to lead their teams into the playoffs. Was last night's Monday night game a preview of the NFC Championship game?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Unbeaten Never More!

After a winless October, the Ravens were able to knock off one of the only remaining undefeated teams by crushing the Broncos yesterday afternoon. The Ravens took full advantage of the bye week, preparing masterfully to shut down the Broncos offense and taking full advantage of every offensive possession. Even the special teams showed great signs of life by scoring a lot of the Ravens 30 points.

Lardarius Webb took the opening kickoff of the second half 95 yards to the house to give the Ravens a 13-0 lead, and the Ravens never looked back. He has cemented himself as the kickoff return man, and should also be out there on punts. The Ravens coaching staff are still hopeful that Chris Carr can contribute on special teams, but I think that Carr should be an emergency back-up.

Steve Hauschka also had a great day, making all three of his field goal attempts as well as adding three extra points. This should take away any concerns that people have about Hauschka after he missed the field goal against the Vikings as time expired two weeks ago.

The Ravens defense only forced one fumble on the big hit that Ed Reed delivered to Knowshon Moreno, and they were only able to get two sacks on Kyle Orton, but as a defensive unit, they played very well. Terrell Suggs dropped an interception that he could have easily taken to the end zone, but his hands didn't quite cooperate with him. It was a great sign to see them shut down some extremely skilled receivers, holding Brandon Marshall to only four catches for 24 yards, and not allowing any Bronco to gain 50 yards rushing or receiving. This is a great sign as the Ravens get ready to play another talented offensive unit in the Bengals this upcoming Sunday.

The Ravens offense was impressive itself, as they scored a pair of touchdowns, one by Derrick Mason on a 20 yard pass from Joe Flacco and one by Ray Rice on a seven yard run. The Ravens' receiving core looked impressive as they are all starting to be trusted more and more by Flacco. Todd Heap grabbed three balls and reached a personal milestone as he now has 400 career receptions.

All in all, the Ravens looked impressive, putting them back on track to make a run at the playoffs. They are going to have to continue to play well as they have a lot of tough games coming up, including the Bengals, the Colts, the Packers, and two games against the Steelers. Let's all hope that they can do what they did this Sunday for the rest of the season.

Lardarius Webb returned the opening kickoff of the second half to give the Ravens a boost of momentum coming out of the locker room.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Next Wave of Young Running Backs

In week 8 of the NFL, there are a few teams that will be giving some young running backs a chance to show off their skills, possibly propelling them as the next new wave of young running backs in the NFL. With injuries to both Brian Westbrook and Leon Washington, rookies LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles and Shonn Greene of the New York Jets are going to see an increased workload. And with some off the field issues, week 9 for the Kansas City Chiefs could have second year man Jamaal Charles as the primary back. All three of these backs have flown under the radar in their early careers, not gaining nearly as much publicity as other young backs such as Knowshon Moreno and Chris "Beanie" Wells.

Let's first take a closer look at LeSean McCoy. It might surprise you to learn that McCoy is actually the leading rusher this season for the Eagles, gaining 15 more yards on the ground than his counterpart, Westbrook. And with Westbrook continuing to be plagued by injuries every season, McCoy is looking more and more like the every down back of the future; the man to replace Westbrook full-time. Not to say that Westbrook is done his career by any means, but this is Westbrook's 8th NFL season, and everyone knows that the average lifespan of an NFL running back isn't very long. Most "experts" say that a running back usually sticks around for seven seasons, with about four or five productive years. With that being said, Westbrook's career seems to be on the downswing. And who is next in line? McCoy did have a solid game in week 3 against the Chiefs, putting up 84 yards on 20 carries, adding one touchdown. And the New York Giants, who the Eagles play this week, are giving up on average 103 yards on the ground each game, and have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns. So I'm expecting a breakout performance for McCoy to put him on the map permanently.

And as for Shonn Greene, he is in a little bit of a different situation, but is primed to put himself on the map as well. He is taking the place of back-up Leon Washington, behind Thomas Jones. However, last week, both Greene and Jones had huge games against the Oakland Raiders. Greene put up 144 yards and two touchdowns while Jones put up 121 yards and one touchdown. And with Rex Ryan's rush happy offense to help protect rookie Mark Sanchez, there are going to be plenty of touches for Greene. And if we go back to the average lifespan of a running back, Jones' career is about to be done as well. This is Jones' 10th season, so if we go by averages, Jones might be calling it a career soon. But that remains to be seen, as Jones has posted totals of over 1,000 rushing yards the past four seasons, and is on his way to do it again this year. But the day that Jones hangs up his jersey, it looks as if Shonn Greene will be ready to become the every down back. All of this is just speculation, and will depend on the return of Leon Washington, who was placed on the injured reserve after breaking his leg after one carry last week.

Finally, we have Jamaal Charles, who has a lot to prove before he can step into the shoes of Larry Johnson, who has been increasingly in the negative news in the past few years. After a great career at the University of Texas, Charles was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL draft, and hasn't shown too much in the NFL in his first two seasons. The one chance that he did get last year against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Charles rushed for 106 yards on 18 careers, but hasn't done much since, rarely getting more than five carries a game. And with Larry Johnson being currently suspended, Charles will be given the opportunity to try and prove himself. The Chiefs have a bye week this week, but take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 9, who are giving up about 99 yards a game, but only surrendering three rushing touchdowns. So we will see what awaits Charles. And once again, if we go back to the normal lifespan of an NFL running back, Johnson is also on the down swing, with this being his seventh season.

I know that there are a lot of other young running backs out there, but these are three that haven't really gotten a lot of press or opportunities to play. Obviously, people like the Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall (it kills me to admit this) are on the upswing of their career, and there are other sleepers out there, such as the Colts' Donald Brown, but he is behind Joseph Addai, and not really getting enough carries yet to show what he can do. But in the next few weeks, let's keep an eye on McCoy, Greene, and Charles to see if they can replace their elder counterparts and bring in a new wave young running backs.

Can LeSean McCoy, Shonn Greene, and Jamaal Charles be the next wave of top running backs in the NFL?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Can the Ravens get back on the winning track?

The Ravens welcome the undefeated Denver Broncos into Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium this upcoming Sunday. This is going to be a tough game, showing the Ravens if they deserve to be back in the discussion of one of the top teams in the AFC, and the NFL for that matter.

As has been the case all season, the Ravens secondary is going to be the focal point of the other team. The Broncos have some extremely talented wide receivers with the trio of Brandon Marshall, Brandon Stokely, and Eddie Royal, as well as tight end Tony Scheffler. The Broncos also have some familiar names at running back, such as Correll Buckhalter, Knowshon Moreno, and LaMont Jordan, but if I were the Ravens defense, I would be more worried about their talented receiver core. Can the Ravens secondary contain these receivers, or should we expect the same kind of defensive performance that the Ravens put up against the Vikings, the Bengals, and the Patriots?

And as for the Ravens offense, we have quite a test ahead of us on this side of the ball as well. The Broncos defense is number one in the NFL in points allowed, only surrendering 11 points per game, and the number two defense overall in the NFL in total yards allowed. Hopefully the Ravens offensive line can push back the Denver defensive line, allowing for some early success on the ground so that Joe Flacco can have less pressure on him in the pocket. If the Ravens can control the ball early, then they can allow our defense to rest, and keep the Broncos' high-powered offense off the field as well. The Ravens need to balance their attack by utilizing Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and even Le'Ron McClain, our long lost fullback. By changing the pace at running back, hopefully we can keep the Broncos defense off balance.

This is going to be a tough game on both sides of the ball. I feel that the winner is going to be the team that does well in special teams and defense. If the Ravens can maintain good field position and at least finish drives with field goals instead of punts, then we should be in good shape. Otherwise, if we give someone like Eddie Royal a good chance at a return, he could burn our special teams, coming up with a big return that could send the Ravens packing with their fourth straight loss. Let's hope this doesn't happen. The Ravens have had two week to prepare for this game. Let's see what our coaching staff's game plan is this upcoming Sunday.

Brandon Marshall is the Broncos Pro Bowl wide receiver. Can the Ravens secondary stop him, or at least contain him?

NFC Prime Time Games

This past week ended with two much anticipated primetime games. On Sunday night, the Arizona Cardinals took on the New York Giants, and on Monday night, the Philadelphia Eagles took on the Washington Redskins. A lot was expected of both games, and both of them delivered.

As for the Sunday night game, a lot of people had their eye on the New York Giants, seeing if they could rebound from their embarrassing week six blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints by taking on another formidable offense in the Cardinals. The Cardinals came in at 3-2, seemingly having to prove to people that last season wasn't a fluke. The Giants, at 5-1, had to show why they were considered one of the top teams in the NFC as well. I expected quite a high scoring affair, but I would be disappointed. Instead of a high-flying performance by many young wide receiver superstars, it was the running games and defenses that showed up. Both Beanie Wells and Brandon Jacobs showed good vision and power as they both had decent nights on the ground, but neither one of them was utilized as much as I thought they should have been, especially when they got off to such great starts. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin combined for nine catches and 158 yards, which is a decent night combined, but not quite the show that we wanted to see. And for the Giants, the ball was distributed quite evenly, with Hakeem Nicks being their top receiver, hauling in a touchdown where the ball got tipped by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie but ended up in Nicks' hands.

Both quarterbacks threw the ball a lot, with Eli Manning getting the short end of the stick by getting picked off three times. His final interception came with 1:08 left in the game, which put a stop to any last minute comeback that the Giants were hoping for. Arizona's defense showed that they can be a force to be reckoned with, and if the offense continues to get in rhythm, they could be a tough team down the stretch.

As for the Monday night game, it was a chance for one of two teams to rebound after coming off of embarrassing losses to sub-par teams. The Eagles had just lost to the Oakland Raiders, who seem like the laughing stock of the league this season, and the Redskins gave yet another team their first win of the season by loosing to the Kansas City Chiefs in week six. This game went about as expected as the Eagles prevailed in a somewhat boring game. Thank God for DeSean Jackson who provided some excitement by scoring two times, once on a 67-yard run and another on a 57-yard catch from Donavan McNabb. He also added some decent kickoff returns. Besides Jackson, the Eagles offense looked rather flat, and if it weren't for the Eagles' defense picking off Jason Campbell for another touchdown, the Redskins might have been able to steal the victory. But the Eagles were able to hold on and win. However, they may have lost at the same time as Brian Westbrook got injured, looking rather shook up as he was helped off of the field in the first half. Hopefully LeSean McCoy can fill his shoes. McCoy has done a decent job this season, but we'll see when the Eagles take in the Giants this upcoming Sunday.

After these two NFC Prime Time games, it still remains to be seen if any of these teams are in the elite class of the NFC. Obviously, the Giants and Cardinals are almost there, but you still have to like the Minnesota Vikings (who barely lost to the Steelers) and the New Orleans Saints (who had to come back late to beat the Dolphins) as the favorites to make it to the NFC Championship game. But as I have said before, it is early still, and the NFL season is a long and grueling one. A lot can happen between now and January, so a lot of things are going to shake out in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jeff Fisher: Good Joke or Terrible Career Move?

After the Tennessee Titans lost their sixth game this season, making them 0-6, Jeff Fisher decided to have a little fun on Tuesday. At a charity event, Fisher was asked to speak, and then he had to introduce former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy. After he introduced him, he took off his shirt and revealed a Peyton Manning Colts jersey. This was then followed by Fisher saying, "I just wanted to feel like a winner".

Personally, I thought that this is hilarious, but then I got to thinking. The Titans and the Colts are not only having completely opposite seasons, but they are division rivals. What would Baltimore do if John Harbaugh sported a Ben Roethlisberger jersey at a charity event? Can you imagine? Ravens fans would be up in arms, yelling for Harbaugh to be fired. Regardless of the joke that Fisher made, it is a slap in the face of his fans. You just don't wear a jersey of a player from another team, especially one in your division. The fact that Fisher even owns a jersey of a player from another team would be enough to anger me, much less wear it out in public. Let's just hope for Harbaugh's sake that he has burned any of his jerseys of other teams, or at least packed them away in storage where they will not see the light of day as long as he is the Ravens coach.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New identiity in Baltimore now

Ever since I can remember, when the Ravens defense was out on the field, I couldn't have felt safer. However, this season, I feel the opposite way unfortunately. Our defense looks like a sieve out there, letting anything run or pass through it at any given time. When our offense is out there, I feel like we always have a chance to score, and our opponents offense isn't on the field, which means our defense isn't.

In the Vikings game, we were letting both Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor gain substantial gains on the ground that we haven't allowed in the past years. Grant it, Peterson is probably the best back in the league, and Taylor is no scrub, but we are the Ravens. We are supposed to be a top five defense in every category. Not this season though. I'm not one to hop on the bandwagon of blaming our defensive coordinator, but there has got to be something. Greg Mattison still has, from what I thought, some of the best defensive football players in the entire NFL.

Ray Lewis is going to the Hall of Fame one day as arguably the best linebacker to ever play the game. Ed Reed is "reediculous" out there, picking off quarterbacks left and right (not so much this year). Terrell Suggs is a great all around linebacker and is still yet to reach his prime, at least this season. And we got two tremendous big boys, Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg, who clog up the middle of the trenches. Everyone else, in my opinion, is solid enough that this defense should be playing better.

A lot of people are getting on the secondary, which may be completely just, but it might not be 100% on them. Mattison needs to put these guys in a position to succeed. We have been playing against some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL the past three losses, with the likes of Tom Brady (who absolutely blew up with six touchdown passes), Carson Palmer, and finally, Brett Favre. These three men know how to play this game and can pick apart a defense. And they all have pretty good receivers to throw the ball to. Our secondary looks vulnerable, but maybe it's not Domonique Foxworth and Fabian Washington's fault. They need some help over top, and if Ed Reed and Dawan Landry aren't there to support them, well I'm sure it's hard to cover Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco, and Sidney Rice (who is emerging this year as a Pro Bowl caliber wide receiver).

All I'm saying is that our offense is here to stay. We can put up points with the best of them now. When the Ravens were down by 17 points on Sunday, it looked like the game was over; people were giving up. One person who didn't give up was Joe Flacco. He brought us back to take the lead late. And he gave Steve Hauschka a chance to let Baltimore forget who Matt Stover was. Instead, he missed a 44 yard field goal by the narrowest of wide lefts, and the Ravens fell just short. But I know one thing: if the Ravens defense would like to show up sometime soon, the Ravens could still be considered a Super Bowl contender.

Joe Flacco led a formidable comeback that wasn't quite enough to beat the Vikings.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Is this guy serious?

So, the St. Louis Rams are a terrible franchise right now, possibly well on their way of having the NFL's worst record, almost a guarantee with Kyle Boller as your starting quaterback. In the last three seasons, including the five games this season, the Rams are 5-32, and their 0-5 start this year don't look too promising. So who wants to buy this pitiful franchise: none other than the controversy-stricken Rush Limbaugh. What a great improvement...

I don't understand why this man feels that he would be a good fit for the Rams, much less the NFL. This man is an ultra-conservative who lets his opinions be known, much of which are directed at minorities, mainly African-Americans. He wants to own a team in a league where 78% of the players are African-Americans. Let's take a look at some of his quotes, and let you decide if he should be making financial decisions on the future of these men.

When working for ESPN in 2003(yea, that was a mistake), Limbaugh said about Donovan McNabb, "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well." Well, that was the end of his employment for ESPN.

Let's look a few years later, in 2007. On his website, he stated, "The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it." Wow. What else can you say after a statement like that? I am shocked that he is actually employed and allowed to broadcast. I mean, I guess it's freedom of speech and all, but really Rush? Come on man, if you a racist, keep these derogatory comments to yourself.

Oh, you thought I was done? Not yet, I'll give you a few more examples. After being pulled out of the bidding process by NFL union leader DeMaurice Smith, who is backed by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, Limbaugh called these three men "Obama-ites" who were portraying "Obama's America on full display."

And because 24 of the NFL's 32 teams need to approve all franchise sales, Smith decided that the league shouldn't waste time on Limbaugh and his antics since he couldn't see any owner gambling on the financial history of their thriving NFL teams. I just do not see anything positive coming out of a partnership between the NFL and Rush Limbaugh.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another great Monday Night Football game

Who would have thought that the New York Jets at the Miami Dolphins in week five of the season would present us with such a great game? This is the second Monday Night Football game in a row that I watched every second of, and was glad that I did (except for all the hype about Hispanic heritage, I mean really, speak English in television unless I'm watching the game on ESPN Deportes). But back to the game! Wow, was that a great back and forth battle or what?

After Mark Anthony took about 10 minutes to sing the National Anthem, the thing that immediately caught my attention was the Dolphins uniform. Man, were those things bright or what? And after this game, I was tempted to go and buy one of these bright orange Ronnie Brown jerseys. What a game he had! Dolphin, I mean, Landshark Stadium, as it is now called, was going bizerk the entire game. And you know why? The Wildcat! Need I say more?

Dan Henning, the Dolphins offensive coordinator, looked like a genius going up against Rex Ryan and his dominating defense. They mixed up their offense in a fashion that I have not seen before. Not only did Chad Henne and Ronnie Brown take direct snaps in this game, but so did Ricky Williams and even Pat White. The Jets defense looked all out of sorts, not knowing who to cover, who had the ball, or who was even on the field for that matter. On the first Wildcat play, only the third play of the game Ronnie Brown rolled out to his left to find Anthony Fasano wide open for a gain of 21 yards. This set the pace for the rest of the game as the Dolphins ran 16 Wildcat plays for a total of 110 yards, including the game winning touchdown with only six seconds left on the game clock. It made for a very exciting 31-27 victory for the Dolphins.

Not to go unnoticed is the play by the two quarterbacks, who combined now have a total of eight NFL starts. Chad Henne went 20-26 for 241 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a quarterback rating of 130.4. Not bad for his third start. And Mark Sanchez also somewhat impressive, going 12-24 for 172 yards and one touchdown, also with no interception. Obviously, Henne has a much better overall game, but one other thing that may have came out of this game for Sanchez was the emergence of Braylon Edwards as his number one receiver. I don't think I commented on this yet, but on Wednesday of last week, the Jets and the Cleveland Browns made a trade sending Edwards to the Jets in return for Chansi Stuckey, another player, and a couple of draft picks. Edwards stepped up as Sanchez's go to guy, hauling in five catches for 64 yards, including a very impressive touchdown catch as well as another deep ball where he came up just a half yard short of his second score of the night.

All in all, it was another pleasant Monday Night Football game from two unsuspecting teams. From the looks of it right now, the Denver Broncos traveling into Qualcomm Stadium to take on the San Diego Chargers could turn out to be yet another great match-up. I'll let you know what I think next week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another disappointing week for the Ravens

After sitting on top on most people's NFL power rankings for the first three weeks of the season, the Baltimore Ravens have now dropped two games in a row to fellow AFC powerhouses. And just when Baltimore thought things couldn't get much worse, they now how to travel into the loud Metrodome to take on the undefeated and very impressive looking Minnesota Vikings, who are steadily climbing week to week up the power rankings. The Baltimore Ravens are currently #11 on ESPN's power rankings.

Not only did the Ravens look rather dismal against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but they also broke a streak that had been lasting for the past 39 games, going all the way back against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 10, 2006. On that date, Larry Johnson ran for 120 yards on the stout Ravens defense. On Sunday, Bengals running back Cedric Benson also ran 120 yards to break the 39-game streak. Yes, that is correct. You just read the name Cedric Benson. The same Cedric Benson that looked like a complete bust for the Chicago Bears after being drafted number four overall in the 2005 draft. Benson didn't rush for over 700 yards in a season for his three seasons in Chicago, and just barely eclipsed the 700-yard mark last year for the Bengals. This season, Benson is leading the NFL (yes, the entire NFL) in rushing yard with 487 yards, ahead of running backs like Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson, and Ronnie Brown. I know, it seems impossible, but unfortunately, it is not, and the Ravens go from taking on the number one rusher in the league this past Sunday to take on the number two rusher in the league this Sunday.

Let's just hope this upcoming game wasn't like our last. The game against the Bengals was a very disappointing game that very much resembled the Patriots game from the previous week. The Ravens were in both games until the very end, with our offense coming up just sort, and our defense not making the big stop at the end to put them away. Not to mention questionable officiating that may or may not have swung the momentum in the other direction, but let's not go there again.

But Baltimore, do not give up hope yet! I mean, we are playing the NFL all-time leader in interceptions this Sunday. Oh yea, he is also the NFL all-time leader in touchdowns too. But hey, he is 40 years old now; we should be able to beat him, right?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Of course you want to sign now!

So it's official, Michael Crabtree and the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a contract that will pay Crabtree $32 million over the course of the next six years. The big thing now is whether or not Crabtree is actually worth this money. In my opinion, this conceited pompous prick needs to take a good look in the mirror and realize how much he has hurt his team. The 49ers have miraculously outperformed their expectations without him, going 3-1, so hopefully now that Crabtree is going to be part of the mix their chemistry will not be interrupted. He has missed all of the OTAs (Organized Team Activities), rookie camp, training camp, the preseason, and the first four weeks of the regular season. In my opinion, the 49ers gave this kid a much needed but undeserving second chance. I feel is really suspicious that now that his team is 3-1, he wants to be a part of the team.

After the NFL draft in April, Michael Crabtree was disappointed when fellow wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, from the University of Maryland, was taken over him. Crabtree demanded that he deserved more money than Heyward-Bey, but the truth of the matter is that is not how the NFL draft works, and Crabtree wouldn't accept it. Now, instead of being out on the field outperforming Heyward-Bey on a week by week basis, which wouldn't have been difficult considering the struggles of JaMarcus Russell leading to Heyward-Bey having two receptions on the season for only 36 yards, Crabtree has put himself behind the 8-ball, something that could take him weeks to get over.

In the coming weeks, we will see how Crabtree fares, seeing if he can develop any chemistry with the rolling 49ers offense led by quarterback Shaun Hill. In my opinion, he is going down the road of being a top first round bust, a thing that is becoming more and more prevalant in the NFL these days.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Over/Under: When will Favre's arm give out?

Yes. The quarterback that holds every quarterback record there is had a wonderful game Monday night, and picked up yet another record, if that is what you want to call it (he has now beaten all 32 NFL teams once). I'll give it to the guy. Brett Favre looked as good as he ever has, making precise throws, putting up great numbers, and securing a victory wearing a purple #4. But let's think back to this time last year, when Favre was in a New York Jets uniform.

Last year, through week four, the Jets were 2-2, where the Minnesota Vikings are 4-0. Before we start saying how much better he is this year than last year, let's look at whom he played. Through the first four weeks of the 2008 season, the New York Jets had beaten the Miami Dolphins (a playoff team last season), lost to the New England Patriots (who are the Patriots), lost to the San Diego Chargers (a playoff team last season), and beaten the Arizona Cardinals (who made it to the Super Bowl to barely loose to the Steelers, which makes me want to throw up typing that). So yea, they were 2-2. As for the Vikings this year, they are 4-0 because they have beaten the Cleveland Browns (who are 0-4), the Detroit Lions (who are 2-26 going back to November 11, 2007), the San Francisco 49ers (ok, they are having an decent season but haven't really faced much competition except the Vikings), and the Green Bay Packers (which is making me write this blog). So does everyone have that now? The Vikings are 4-0 because they haven't faced much, and the Jets were 2-2 after a tough start last season. And now you are asking "What is the point of all this?"

Here is the point. Brett Favre is getting so much credit for being such a great quarterback, which he was, back in the day. This season, these are Brett Favre's numbers: 85 completions on 125 attempts, which is 68%, 837 yards, eight touchdowns, and only one interception. This time last year, Favre was: 87-124 for 70%, 935 yards, 12 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Then after week four last year, Favre only threw for 10 more touchdowns. At this time last year, Favre was a better quarterback than this year.

Grant it, he has this guy that lines up behind him this year that is probably going to end up being the best running back of all-time, maybe. Adrian Peterson is going to take a lot of pressure off of Favre and give the Vikings a good chance to be a very good team. But how long can Favre sling the ball around the field like he did on Monday night? I sat there and watched every second of that game the other night, except for when I had to check in on my boy Chuck Liddell on Dancing With The Stars. But besides that, I saw the Brett Favre that I saw when I was younger, when he threw that ball that rolled on Antonio Freeman's back, rolled over, caught it, got up, and housed it to the end zone to beat none other than the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football. But he is also the same Brett Favre who dominated the first four weeks last season and fell off the face of the earth faster than Usain Bolt crosses the finish line nowadays.

All I'm saying is that we have to be careful with cheering too many praises for the man who turns 40 years old on Saturday. I love to watch him play, and he is one of the best quarterbacks that I am going to ever see play (I'm only 22 years old, then again, I get to see Joe Flacco for the next 15 years). Good luck Brett Favre, you are going to need it my man, especially in your week six match-up against the amazing Baltimore Ravens.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No need to panic in Charm City

The Ravens didn't quite receive the result that they were looking for as they visited the Patriots in Foxborough on Sunday afternoon. After a hard fought game, the Patriots were able to hold off the Ravens last minute scoring attempts to pull off the victory. A lot of people are quick to place blame on different things, as am I, so let's take a look at what could be the problem.

The number one hindrance that the Ravens faced on Sunday was the referees. Every time it looked as if Baltimore's defense was halting a Patriots drive, a piece of yellow laundry would litter the field, giving Tom Brady an extra opportunity to pick on the Ravens' secondary. Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs both were called with roughing the passer penalties on third downs when they barely grazed Brady. On the Suggs "hit", Brady immediately turned around to look at head referee Ron Winter, who waited for Brady to yell at him until he started nodding and reached for his flag. If Tom Brady cries enough, he is going to get his way. This became obvious after this play, and this game for that matter. Even Coach John Harbaugh got in on the action, receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty himself, showing his passion for defending his players. Joe Flacco got hit plenty of times after he had gotten rid of the ball, and only received one penalty flag, showing that the officials were being more biased toward New England. The most notable late hit that stands out in my mind is when both Flacco and Ravens left offensive tackle Jared Gaither got sandwiched by two Patriots defenders. Luckily, from what I've heard, Gaither was able to move his limbs and extremities after being carted off the field. If Gaither is out for a significant period of time, the Ravens' offensive line will definitely feel his absence.

A lot of people are quick to point to certain players, in particular, Mark Clayton. I know that he dropped a crucial pass at the end of the game on a fourth down that could have given the Ravens a first and goal. But give him a break; the ball hit him right between the 8 and the 9 on his jersey, and went right through his hands. It's not his fault. Ok, enough of the sarcasm. He should have got the damn ball, but he didn't, and if Derrick Mason would have caught the ball on the previous play, Clayton wouldn't be the scapegoat. But let's stop panicking. We are 3-1. We are in first place.

Besides the referees, I say we might have to look to our own sidelines and review some of our play calls. The Baltimore Ravens, who going into the games against the Patriots, were the fifth ranked rushing defense in the NFL. And they got off to a great rushing attack against New England, but then just stopped handing the ball off. The Ravens rushed for only 17 times, but for 116 yards, which is an average of 6.8 yards per carry. And with that being said, Willis McGahee, arguably our hottest running back, only had five carries. And our Pro Bowl fullback, Le'ron McClain and his 260-lb frame didn't touch the ball one time. Don't get me wrong, I am a Wacko for Flacco, and he can put the ball where it needs to be, but what was Cam Cameron thinking? We threw the ball 47 times and ran it only 17 times. I wonder why the Patriots defense was so successful. The Ravens offense became a little bit too predictable as the game progressed.

Once again, there is not one thing that lost us this game, but it once obviously a combination of things. Let's hope the boys practice hard out there at The Castle in Owings Mills this week and are prepared to take on the Cincinnati Bengals come Sunday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All this talk about needing a new WR in Baltimore?

Before the Ravens took one regular season snap, all I heard was how bad we needed a new, top-notch wide receiver, someone such as Brandon Marshall or Anquan Boldin. But now that the Ravens are off to a hot start and playing like the best team in the NFL, I would have to seriously disagree with the opinion that the Ravens need a new receiver. Joe Flacco has been able to put the ball exactly where it needs to be, making the Ravens' receiving core look like one of the best in the league.

Let us compare.

Our best receiver, hands down, with no argument, would have to be Derrick Mason. So far this season, he has 12 receptions for 196 yards and one touchdown. Surprisingly, our next best receiver thus far has been Kelley Washington, who also has 12 receptions for 167 yards and one touchdown. And Mark Clayton has also gotten off to a decent start with nine receptions for 132 yards and one touchdown. If you would have asked me, or anyone for that matter, to predict the statistics of these three gentlemen, no one would have told you that all three of them would have been this productive thus far. I thought that they were all going to have decent numbers, but not these numbers. And to add on to these three, possibly the biggest surprise of them all would be our long lost tight end, Todd Heap, who has ten receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns. If you ask me, thank God for Ozzie Newsome for not listening to the media critics who were begging for Marshall and Boldin. Boldin has actually gotten off to a good start with 16 receptions for 171 yards and one touchdown. Even though Boldin might have a few more receptions, he is complaining about wanting a new contract which will far outweigh the $3 million that the Ravens are paying Mason. And as far as Marshall, he has gotten off to a sub-par start by his standards with 12 receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown, which is right along the same lines of Mark Clayton. Once again, Marshall is also demanding a new contract as well as having a tainted history with a lot of legal issues.

Even though I do not own any part of the Ravens, I feel as though I have saved money by the front office not going out on a limb to give up a first round draft pick to bring in one of these receivers. As we have all heard before, "In Ozzie we trust," and I will continue to trust him since I know he is going to put a winning team out there week in and week out.

Can the Ravens finally beat the Patriots?

After coming off of an impressive game against the basement dwelling Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens head into Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. In the Ravens' fourteen-year existence, they have never beaten the Patriots. The city of Baltimore will hope that their luck changes this upcoming Sunday as the Ravens try to remain at the top of the NFL as one of the only remaining undefeated teams. After this past Sunday, the AFC has 3 other undefeated teams, the Colts, the Jets, and the Broncos, and the NFC has 3 undefeated teams, the Giants, the Saints, and the Vikings.

Against the Browns, the Ravens only surrendered one field goal in the 34-3 victory. The Ravens only allowed 186 total yards while gaining an astounding 479 yards. These statistics are very promising as the Ravens prepare to take on one of the league's best offenses of this decade. In the Patriots victory this past Sunday, they were able to put up 26 points while accumulating 445 total yards against the Atlanta Falcons while virtually shutting down their offense, only allowing 10 points and 257 total yards. Something is going to have to give come this Sunday, let's all just hope that the Ravens defense is going to be able to get pressure on Tom Brady and that our secondary will be able to contain the formidable Randy Moss and, if he plays, the speedy little Wes Welker.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the unforgettable match-up in Baltimore on December 3, 2007 when a late roughing the passer penalty on Bart Scott prompted him to take the penalty flagand through it into the stands, showing the frustration both of that drive by the Patriots, but also of the disappointing season by the Ravens. The penalty on Scott was followed by a game winning touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Jabar Gaffney with 44 seconds left in the game. This win by the Patriots helped propell them to an undefeated regular season where they went on to loose to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
Needless to say, this match-up on Sunday is one of the most compelling ones of the weekend with many eyes watching every play of this game. With the Ravens remaining at the top spot on many NFL power rankings, the New England Patriots are not far behind at the number seven position. The main match-up within the game to look out for is the Ravens cornerbacks against the Patriots receivers. Another one that I plan on keeping a close eye on is the Ravens pass rush against the Patriots offensive line. If the Ravens can flush Brady out of the pocket and get to him a few times, they should be able to rattle him enough, making him make mistakes. Hopefully the Ravens will be able to do this with a three or four man rush, because the more people that are rushing Brady, the less people that the secondary will have helping them in coverage.

Let me know what you think Baltimore... Is it Sunday yet?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ravens vs. Brown at M&T Bank this Sunday

After starting off the season 2-0, the Ravens are riding a high wave of emotion as they prepare for their week 3 match-up against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are struggling this season going 0-2 so far by being defeated by the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos in two games that ended up being relative blowouts. The Ravens were able to hold off a last second come back at San Diego to secure their fourth regular season victory going back to last season.

The Ravens were able to sweep the season series in 2008 against the Browns, and look for their third straight win against the Ravens former city this upcoming Sunday. The Ravens have not lost to the Browns since November 18, 2007, when they had to go into overtime to decide the victor.

There are some intriguing match-ups to look for as these two teams take the field at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. As many people have been discussing this week, if the Ravens have one weak spot in their defense, it may be in the secondary. With that being said, the Browns do have a talented receiving core with Braylon Edwards as their number one and Joshua Cribbs as their number two. Even though he is a little banged up with a hamstring injury, former Raven running back Jamal Lewis looks to have a break-out game against the NFL's number one rushing defense, giving up a staunch 41 yards per game.

Now it's time for some outside opinions on the status of our beloved Baltimore Ravens. Is the Ravens secondary as terrible as people are trying to convey? I mean, Dawan Landry had an interception last week, and already has 14 tackles in two games. Dominque Foxworth, while having some troubles defending receivers that had substantial height advantages, still had two passes defended against San Diego. Fabian Washington and Frank Walker did all that they could to contain the Chargers' receivers. Oh yea, and there is that other guy back there, what was his name again?? That's right, Ed Reed. He's not a bad ballplayer. So is it the secondary's fault? I mean, we could blame it on the pass rush, since Coach Harbaugh was hesitant to blitz so that the speedy Darren Sproles wouldn't have more room to work with. And Trevor Pryce seems to not have his motor running up to speed quite like he has in his past three seasons here in Baltimore. I guess we'll see the game plan this Sunday, and see if our secondary, and for that matter, our defense in general, can play well enough to reassure the rest of the NFL that Baltimore's defense is still a force to be reckoned with.

Great Story outside the NFL

Thanks to one of my good friends and co-workers, I was informed of a moment in high school football in Missouri that makes us all sit back and remember that football is just a game, and not some battlefield where a war takes place every Saturday and Sunday throughout the fall.

In a freshman football game in St. Jospeh, Missouri, just outside of Kansas City, Maryvale High School's freshman team was up 46-0 over Benton High School. With 10 seconds left in the game, Benton's coach put it one of his freshman running backs, Matt Ziesel for the final play of the game. Matt has down syndrome and never gets a chance to play in any of Benton's football games. One of Benton's coaches walked to the other side of the field to ask Maryvale's coach if they would give up the shutout in order to make this day special for young Matt. Without hesitation, Maryvale's coach informed his players of the situation, and on the ensuing hand-off, Matt Ziesel ran his first rushing attempt for a 60-yard touchdown run. A story like this should make everyone realize that football is a game, enjoyed by people of all ages. People need to take a step back when they are at their tailgates and in their seats this upcoming weekend and appreciate the opportunity that they are at one of America's finest sporting events and not take it for granted. It's fun to have a little trash talk between one another and joke around, but in the end, remember that it is just a game. Remember that there are people like Matt Ziesel that take every moment out on the playing field for everything that it is.

For a link to this story, please go to http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4498494&categoryid=2378529.

Congratulations Matt Ziesel on your first touchdown run!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quick Trip Around the NFL

Vick is finally back!!! This is by far going to overshadow any other story this week in the NFL. After not stepping on the football field since Christmas Eve in 2006. What kind of impact can we expect a man who has been away from the game for over two and half years? And according to Andy Reid, we may not even see the former highest paid player in the history of the league this upcoming Sunday as the Eagles take on the Chiefs in Philadelphia. How is Vick going to perform when, or if, he gets the chance?

And now let's go to a highly debated topic within the same NFC East that some people may have overlooked, but is worth taking a look at. On Sunday night in the opening of the brand new $1 billion plus Cowboys Stadium, one play has many Giants fans upset at a certain Cowboys player. Who is this player? None other than 6'7", 340 pounder Flozell Adams, who decided to trip Giants defensive end Justin Tuck in the second quarter of Sunday night's game. Giants fans are outraged, and the $12,500 fine that Adams received wasn't enough for some Giants fans. It didn't seem to be completely intentional, but that's up for debate. Should a large man like Adams be fined for trying to block a quicker, more elusive pass rusher when the trip could have been accidental? Or did Adams not got fined enough for knocking out New York's top pass rusher from a year ago for at least one game, possibly two?

Now let's shift gears back to a story that is a little closer to home. I know a lot of you will love this story as I have a huge smile on my face typing it up. That's right... the huge win by the Chicago Bears over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Man, how sweet a victory this one was for the Bears. As a Ravens fan first, I was delighted to see the Steelers go down, seemingly not able to come up with that final drive to put away the Bears (much thanks goes here to Jeff Reed for missing two field goals in the Windy City). But it was even better since my second team, Da Bears, were able to pull off a huge upset, all while giving Chicago fans a chance to fall in love with the new franchise quarterback, Jay Cutler. There are a few questions that come out of this defensive battle.

1) Is the Bears defensive going to be ok without its leader, Brian Urlacher?
2) Is the Steelers defensive going to be ok without its leader, Troy Polamalu?
3) Is Jeff Reed going to be affected by these misses for the rest of the season?
4) Is Jay Cutler for real?

This should give you all food for thought for awhile.