Ravens Thoughts plus Who Wants to Make Some Money?

October 12, 2007 |

Last Monday Ray Bachman and I sat in for Rob Long and I made some comments about the Ravens which seemed to stir some people’s fury.  I pointed out that the Ravens are a team built to squeak into the playoffs but not make it to the Super Bowl. 

The Ravens lack an offensive superstar: a guy who can single-handedly will his team to victory.  I know many of you think highly of Demetrius Williams, Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton.  Your admiration is understandable if misguided.  Derrick Mason is a terrific possession receiver.  He catches balls in traffic, he’s got great hands but, let’s face it, he couldn’t outrun Tony Siragusa if Siragusa had a buffet table strapped to his back.  As for Williams and Clayton, answer this question: how many of you drafted Clayton or Williams for your fantasy football team?  Oh  a few of you did?  Great.  Either of them starting? 
All of the voices out there who blame Brian Billick for the Ravens anemic offense, in particular the red zone offense, should understand that the team doesn’t have enough true athletes who can make the big play.  Todd Heap is one of the best tight ends in football. But he’s a tight end.  Tight ends don’t win ball games by themselves.  Tony Gonzales had Priest Holmes, Antonio Gates has LaDainian Tomlinson. Jeremy Shockey had Tiki Barber.  Heap has Willis McGahee.  A good back, top three in the league right now, but not a game changing back.  Not until he gets over his fear of touchdowns. Game changers find ways to get you touchdowns, not field goals, touchdowns.  McGahee hasn’t shown that yet.  With the Bills last year he had five TDs.  Six the year before.  He’s good.  He’s VERY good but it’s not enough.

Okay, so if you don’t have a game changing wide receiver or running back then you need an elite quarterback.  McNair’s not elite.  Not anymore.  He was brought in stabilize a position that’s had more uncertainty than the future of Britney Spears’ children.  And he’s done an excellent job.  However Tom Brady wins football games by himself.  So does Peyton Manning.  McNair?  Sorry, not happening. 

If you want to blame anyone for the Ravens offensive woes blame the defense.  You see the problem is that the Ravens defense is so good the team keeps making the playoffs or coming close.  It’s time for the Ravens to go 4-12 for a couple of years and grab one or two college offensive superstars early in the first round.  Until that happens you’ll just have to settle for making the playoffs almost every year.  Sorry folks.

So maybe now you’re trying to come up with teams that lacked offensive "game changers" but still made it to the Super Bowl.  At dinner the other night Rob Long pointed out the ’90 Giants.  However the ’90 Giants did have a game changing offensive player.  It was Scott Norwoord the kicker for Buffalo.  You might also be thinking of the Bears last year.  They had Devin Hester on special teams AND they play in the NFC.  Things are different in that conference.  Play some defense, try to fumble less than your opponent and anyone can make it into February.  If you have other mentions, we’re all ears. 

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GUARANTEED FIVE MILLION STAR LOCKS OF THE WEEK

The guarantee is as follows: if I don’t make you some money this week, well, then, um,  I’ll try to win you some money next week.   Here we go…

College Football

Good luck, you’re on your own!  Although I kinda like Virginia Tech (-7) to bury Duke and Wisconsin to cover +6.5 at Penn State.

Pro Football

Green Bay -3 over Washington-  This one’s a gift from me to you.

New England -5.5 over Dallas- Another gift.

NFL LOCK- Eagles -3 at New York Jets.

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