Tag Archive | "Arizona Cardinals"

Anquan Boldin brings in a 27-yard touchdown pass against the Cleveland Browns during the 4th quarter at at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on September 26, 2010. Boldin scored three touchdowns in the Ravens 24-17 victory over the Browns. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

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Blog & Tackle: One-liners on the NFL through Week 3

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Chris Pika

Week 4 is the first week that byes take place in the NFL, so this is a great time to take short stock of each of the clubs through three weeks. And by short, I mean one line on each team — some stats, some observations and some conjecture.

First up, the AFC teams by division. Records are through Week 3:

Anquan Boldin brings in a 27-yard touchdown pass against the Cleveland Browns during the 4th quarter at at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on September 26, 2010. Boldin scored three touchdowns in the Ravens 24-17 victory over the Browns. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

AFC East

New York Jets (2-1): Despite crippled Revis Island on defense, brash Jets are only team in AFC East with perfect division record (2-0).

New England Patriots (2-1): QB Tom Brady (8 TD, 109.1 passer rating) is back to form as Patriots have AFC’s highest point total (90) and highest TD total (12) so far.

Miami Dolphins (2-1): Even with deep threat WR Brandon Marshall and RB Ronnie Brown, Dolphins have same amount of TDs (5) as Buffalo, Cincinnati and Baltimore.

Buffalo Bills (0-3): Another lost year for Bills, which have scored fourth-least points (47) in AFC and have given up most points (87) on defense in the conference.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0): The question for head coach Mike Tomlin is if the Steelers are 4-0 after a win over Baltimore in Week 4, why change QBs to Ben Roethlisberger?

Cincinnati Bengals (2-1): Bengals, despite record, have struggled on offense as QB Carson Palmer (12th rated AFC passer at 71.3) hasn’t found rhythm with T.O.cho Show.

Baltimore Ravens (2-1): Defense, led by MLB Ray Lewis, continues to carry a team expected to score much more in 2010 (44 points; 2nd-lowest in AFC), despite breakout game by WR Anquan Boldin (3 TDs) last week.

Cleveland Browns (0-3): Browns are led by Peyton … not Manning, but RB Hillis (220 yards, 3 TDs) as Browns gave popular AFC Super Bowl pick Ravens much trouble in Week 3.

AFC South

Houston Texans (2-1): Texans got over the hump of beating the Colts, but Houston is not the best team in state of Texas after bad loss to Cowboys.

Tennessee Titans (2-1): Titans defense has allowed fourth-fewest points in the AFC (42), and the Tennessee offense has RB Chris Johnson (4 TDs), but continuing issues at quarterback.

Indianapolis Colts (2-1): Despite loss to Houston, Colts still have potent passing attack with QB Peyton Manning and are arguably still best club in the AFC.

Jacksonville Jagaurs (1-2): Jaguars have worst scoring differential in AFC (-43), and Jack Del Rio could be the AFC’s first fired coach.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (3-0): Most surprising number for unbeaten Chiefs is that defense has allowed least points in the AFC (38), and in weak AFC West, KC might have enough to win the division.

San Diego Chargers (1-2): Special teams burned for two scores at Seattle, and Chargers QB Philip Rivers (AFC-high 4 INTs) is missing a suddenly resurgent RB LaDainian Tomlinson, now with the Jets.

Denver Broncos (1-2): Broncos getting decent offensive production from QB Kyle Orton, but overall have a minus point differential (-4; 61 PF, 65 PA).

Oakland Raiders (1-2): High-priced K Sebastian Janikowski could have made Raiders a 2-1 team with made kicks at Arizona, but Raiders need more than 3s (4 TDs, tied for lowest in AFC with JAX) to be competitive in up-for-grabs division.

Now for the NFC:

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles (2-1): The Eagles have gone from a transitional season with QB Kevin Kolb to division title hopes with QB Michael Vick, who might be a legit NFL MVP candidate down the road.

Washington Redskins (1-2): Opening victory over Dallas doesn’t look as good after defense was shredded in last two weeks and Cowboys’ struggles.

New York Giants (1-2): A minus-30 scoring differential (55 PF, 85 PA) is third-worst in NFC, and head coach Tom Coughlin is starting to feel the heat.

Dallas Cowboys (1-2): Cowboys avoided 0-3 start in Week 3 with big win over Houston, and Dallas has the personnel to rebound in a wide-open NFC East race.

NFC North

Chicago Bears (3-0): Most unlikely last remaining 3-0 team in NFC gives head coach Lovie Smith some breathing room as O-line tries to keep QB Jay Cutler upright in Mike Martz offensive system.

Green Bay Packers (2-1): Despite mental miscues in Week 3 loss at Chicago, popular Super Bowl XLV NFC pick has plenty of offensive weapons for QB Aaron Rodgers, but need run game to be re-established after Ryan Grant injury.

Minnesota Vikings (1-2): QB Brett Favre looks very old right now, and Vikings best chance to win is to get away from pass-first mindset to get the ball into Adrian Peterson’s hopefully sure hands more often.

Detroit Lions (0-3): Injury to QB Matthew Stafford put dent into head coach Jim Schwartz’s immediate rebuilding plans, and Lions don’t get a break in Week 4 against Packers.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (2-1): Falcons posted most-impressive win of Week 3 as they marched out of New Orleans with a OT win, and Atlanta has NFC best-tying +31 point differential.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1): AFter 2-0 start, Bucs ran into Steelers’ buzzsaw in Week 3, and Tampa Bay is staring at possible 2-3 record with games vs. Cincinnati and New Orleans after bye week.

New Orleans Saints (2-1): Saints run defense was exposed in loss to Falcons, and defending Super Bowl champs need fast starts in order to avoid same fate against strong run teams going forward.

Carolina Panthers (0-3): Winless Panthers have least TDs in NFC (3), and head coach John Fox may be running out of rope with owner Jerry Richardson.

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks (2-1): Head coach Pete Carroll sidestepped Southern California mess and he has put Seattle in early position to make headway in weak NFC West.

Arizona Cardinals (2-1): Despite record, Cards have minus-29 point differential (48 PF, 77 PA) and would be 1-2 if Oakland made a field goal or two in Week 3.

St. Louis Rams (1-2): Rookie QB Sam Bradford will have to grow up in a hurry, but the shame is that the Rams can’t play Washington every week.

San Francisco 49ers (0-3): Head coach Mike Singletary used the next-to-last bullet in his gun after firing offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, and the last one might be used by 49ers ownership at end of the season if disappointments continue.

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is sacked by Baltimore Ravens Haloti Ngata during the second half in their NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, September 13, 2010. The Ravens won the game 10-9. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

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Blog & Tackle: Week 1 NFL scoring struggles

Posted on 14 September 2010 by Chris Pika

If you thought the amount of scoring in the NFL’s Week 1 games was less than usual, you were right in a big way. A total of 21 teams scored less than 20 points in the 16 games — that number was the highest total of Week 1 sub-20-point team scoring since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, according to research through Pro-Football-Reference.com.

The 2010 teams under 20 points? Minnesota 9, New Orleans 14, Cleveland 14, Tampa Bay 17, Miami 15, Buffalo 16, Denver 17, Atlanta 9, Pittsburgh 15, Oakland 13, Carolina 18, Detroit 14, Chicago 19, Arizona 17, St. Louis 13, San Francisco 6, Dallas 7, Washington 13, Baltimore 10, New York Jets 9 and San Diego 14. The league, as a whole, averaged just 18.3 points per team in Week 1.

Here are the year-by-year teams scoring 19 points or less in Week 1 from 1970-2009 (via Pro-Football-Reference.com.

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is sacked by Baltimore Ravens Haloti Ngata during the second half in their NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, September 13, 2010. The Ravens won the game 10-9. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

The 21 teams was a far cry from last season’s Week 1 total of only 14 teams. In the decade of the 2000s, 153 teams scored under the 20-point mark in Week 1, an average of 15.3 per season. Since the NFL expanded to 32 teams and eight divisions in 2002 for 16 opening weekend games, the average was 15.25 per season from 2002-09.

There are a lot of factors at play in why this was the case in this particular opening weekend. Better defenses, weather issues and injuries to key players certainly played a part. But one other factor might also be in play.

The last time most clubs play their starters for an appreciable time in the preseason is Week 3. Most clubs hold out starters or play them very little (one or two series) in the final week in order to look at players fighting for the final spots during the remainder of the game.

It’s almost a bye week for the starters on both sides of the ball, since they will not face live competition for two weeks until the regular season starts. So, when the starters get back on the field in Week 1 of the regular season, the timing is off when it needs to be at its sharpest.

Here are the year-by-year totals of Week 1 teams at or under 19 points in the decade of the 2000s.

Total Teams Scoring 19 Points or Less in Week 1 (2000-09)
2009: 14
2008: 17
2007: 18
2006: 19
2005: 15
2004: 15
2003: 14
2002: 10
2001: 15
2000: 16

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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SEATTLE - DECEMBER 20: T.J. Houshmandzadeh #84 of the Seattle Seahawks straight arms Sabby Piscitelli #21 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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Blog & Tackle: How TJH was used in 2009

Posted on 07 September 2010 by Chris Pika

The Ravens acquisition of WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh yesterday gave the club a tough receiver who will help Baltimore in the short term by giving QB Joe Flacco another target in the expanding passing game.

What kind of numbers will the about-to-be 33-year-old TJH put up in 2010? It’s obviously hard to say as the Ravens will have to get him up to speed on offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s playbook and Flacco’s passing style. But, we can look back on how he was used in Seattle last season, thanks to STATS, Inc.

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 20: T.J. Houshmandzadeh #84 of the Seattle Seahawks straight arms Sabby Piscitelli #21 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Seahawks targeted him 61 times (31 receptions) on first down, 39 times (28 catches) on second, 31 times (18 receptions) on third and four times (two catches) on fourth down. Of all game situations of down and distance, he was thrown to the most on first down and between 8-10 yards to go — 58 targeted passes.

He averaged over 10 yards per catch, regardless of the down, and had six plays of 25 yards or more. Of his 79 catches, 52 resulted in first downs, a 65.8 percent rate.

After a two-touchdown day at Arizona in mid-November, he did not catch a touchdown the remainder of the season. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. He was targeted almost the same in each half of the season — 68 targets/41 receptions/417 yards in the first eight games; 67 targets/38 receptions/494 yards in the final eight games.

Seattle threw to him the most between the 40s (43 targets/29 receptions/311 yards) and also from their own 20 to their 39-yard line (40 targets/23 receptions/249 yards).

In the red zone, the Seahawks targeted him 19 times, and he caught just four passes for 19 yards and two scores. The four red zone catches were his lowest total since 2002.

Inside the opponent 10, he was targeted 10 times, and he made three receptions for six yards and one TD.

Where did Seattle throw him the ball, direction-wise? Mainly to the right side of the field with 36 targets to the right (23 catches), and 40 (21 catches) to the right sideline. He also caught as many balls behind the line of scrimmage (eight) as he did over the middle in 2009. But, interestingly, 13 of his 16 receptions caught on the left side of the field went for first downs, an 81.3 percent rate, while eight of his 11 catches to the left sideline moved the chains (72.7 percent).

The Seahawks looked for him the most in three-receiver sets (67 targets/34 catches/3 plays of 25+ yards/23 first downs) and in four-receiver sets (45 targets/31 receptions/2 25+ yard plays/17 first downs).

One oddity was that despite playing just four games on grass in 2009, TJH averaged more yards per catch (15.7 to 10.0), had more catches go for first downs by percentage (76.2 to 62.1) and had more 25+ yard pass plays (4 of 6) on the real stuff.

Finally in yards after catch, he averaged 3.6 per reception, which was 102nd in the NFL. Bookending him at 101 was Ravens TE Todd Heap (3.7) and former Baltimore WR Kelley Washington (3.6). TJH’s average was better than Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco (3.3), Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (3.2) and now-former Ravens (and current Rams) WR Mark Clayton (2.6).

TJH was tied for 56th in the league in total yards after catch (284) with New England’s Kevin Faulk and Denver’s Jabar Gaffney. His YAC total was better than four players with at least 1,000 yards receiving — Derrick Mason (273), Carolina’s Steve Smith (246), Ochocinco (239) and San Diego’s Vincent Jackson (228).

While not one of his best overall statistical seasons, Houshmandzadeh led the struggling 5-11 Seahawks in both receptions and receiving yards in 2009. While he won’t be counted on to lead the 2010 Ravens in those two categories, he can still be an important part of Baltimore’s passing game as someone opposing pass defenses shouldn’t forget about when checking on Anquan Boldin deep and Ray Rice coming out of the backfield.

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Blog & Tackle: Stats to check out on WNST.net

Posted on 13 January 2010 by Chris Pika

There will be plenty written and said in the next few days about the Ravens’ AFC Divisional Playoff matchup with the Colts on Saturday.

If you don’t know how much sports information resides on WNST.net, here is a great example of what you can find if you click on the grey bar at the top of the page where it says NFL: A head-to-head analysis of the Ravens and the Colts in 2009, and each team’s individual stats.

Ravens-Colts 2009 Comparison

2009 Baltimore Ravens Stats

2009 Indianapolis Colts Stats

I will have my “How I See It” column with a Ravens-Colts prediction up early Friday morning, but these team numbers should give you something to discuss with your friends leading up to game time.

All four games this weekend will be too close to call, in my opinion. The big surprise may come in New Orleans, where the Saints are vulnerable against the Cardinals. In fact, all four road teams (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas and New York) have good reason for optimism against the division winners they face.

If you are not one of the many people traveling to Indy on the WNST Purple Playoff Trip or by other means, please join us at 8 pm here on WNST.net for the Playoff Purple Haze Live Chat with news and info from the Lucas Oil Stadium press box from Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark and your comments and questions during the game.

Click @BlogAndTackle to follow Chris Pika on Twitter

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/13/10)

Posted on 13 January 2010 by Jack McManus

9:51-

Ian Eagle is the next guest. Drew congratulates him for having the best comment of the year. Eagle said that Baltimore is not used to playoff baseball, that’s not a low blow, its a fact. Eagle next talks about the Ravens upcoming game with the Colts. He agrees with Drew that regardless of the outcome of the game, the national media will focus on the Colts’ decision to rest their players at the end of the regular season.

eagle

9:27-

Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Weekly is next up. he begins by talking about the interesting matchup between Arizona and New Orleans. He states that the Saints have lost their reputation of invincibility with a bad losing streak to end the season. He also talks about the success the Cardinals have had in the playoffs. Moving on the Ravens, Wilkening explains that the team had an excellent game plan coming into New England. Wilkening also talks about the Bengals’ quick exit from the playoffs. Instead of placing a lot of blame on Carson Palmer, he explains that the offense needs to become more balanced and add a deep threat to compliment Chad Ochocinco (Johnson?). In regards to possible upsets this week, Wilkening states that the Dallas Cowboys have the best chance of going on the road and defeating the Vikings.

9:09-

Rick from Parkville calls in. He first mentions that the Terps have recently picked up a solid linebacker commitment. Next, Rick talks about how the Ravens need to keep Peyton Manning off the field. He also mentions that the offense needs to get into a better passing rhythm.

flacco

7:53-

Pat Kennedy is next up with Drew. He states that there is a difference between a poor record and playing badly. He has seen progress recently and calls the next 5 game stretch very important. Kennedy mentions how he has shifted his lineup so the team has a bigger frontline. He explains that with these improvements hopefully the team can win some more close games.

7:50-

Ed in Park Heights brings up another point in the argument over whether or not the Ravens should have kept Matt Stover. He states that Dannell Ellerbe, who was one of the last players to make the team could have been cut if the team kept two kickers.

7:34-

Brendon Ayandaejo joins Drew early this morning. He starts off by talking about how he will be recovered in plenty of time for the start of next season. Ayanbadejo next discusses how the Ravens will try to contain Peyton Manning this weekend. On the offensive side of the ball it is important to once again run the ball and control the clock. Ayanbadejo also chimes in on the steroid debate that has been renewed by Mark McGwire’s admission of steroid use. He believes that so many players used performance-enhancing drugs it is almost an even playing field.
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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/12/10)

Posted on 12 January 2010 by Jack McManus

9:51-

Dan from Fallston next calls in. He talks about how the Ravens only passed the ball 10 times this past weekend. If the team is able to run the ball that often, the team is probably in good shape no matter what.

9:34-

Stan Cotten, the play-by-play voice of Wake Forest, is next up with Drew. He discusses the up and down season Wake has experienced thus far. He calls the team’s inconsistent nature “odd.” Cotten next turns to how the Demon Deacons will try to shut down Greivis Vasquez. He states that Vasquez will definitely get his points, Wake must just limit his overall impact on the game. Cotten agrees with Drew that the ACC is having a down year this season.

aminu

9:22-

Drew and Glenn talk about the decision Bill Belichick to defer to start the game. Both agree that in the playoffs, it is very important to start off with the ball in order to have a chance to seize momentum. No team can assume there will be a close game and they can “steal” a possession by taking the ball in the second half. Glenn also brings up the fact that the Colts have never won after a first round bye in the playoffs.

belichick

9:02-

Steve in Edgewood is next up. He brings up the idea that the Ravens should knock Manning out of the game early on and deal with a fine or suspension later on. Its probably not a good plan.

8:56-

Jerry from Timonium calls in. He brings up a previous game against the Colts in which Peyton Manning abused the secondary early on. He states that the Ravens need to get off to a much better start and rush the passes more effectively to have any chance of winning.

manning

8:35-

Tom in Rising Sun is the next caller. He compares that Patriots receiving corps to the Colts. Drew states that he believes Colts receivers and tight ends are much stronger that those of the Patriots. Tom also asks whether or not Flacco will be able to get back into a rhythm passing the ball. Drew explains that the team’s plan was not to run the ball as much as they did.

8:12-

Patrick Stevens joins Drew to talk about the Terps. Stevens talks about the scheduling issues for the mens’ basketball team. After the teams victory over Florida State on Sunday night, the team had a short turn around before having to face Wake Forest tonight. On the topic of Wake, Stevens talks about how the Demon Deacons also lost to William & Mary during their out of conference schedule. Stevens next discusses with Drew how the ACC is most likely not as strong as it has been in recent years. Stevens states that if one player a night other than Greivis Vasquez can step up, the Terps will be a dangerous team. To finish up Stevens talks about how the CAA is a very strong basketball conference this season. It is a distinct possibility that a team could get an at-large bid out of the conference.

vasquez

8:06-

Kevin in Baltimore is the next caller. He asks Drew what advice he would give to Tiger Woods. Drew talks about how Tiger may now be able to play better golf if all his other issues are off his mind. He goes on to say that it was a very good idea for Tiger to “disappear” for a while.

7:50-

Ross Tucker from Sports Illustrated is on with Drew to talk about the NFL playoffs. He first talks about how he really believes that Ravens have a solid chance of beating the Colts this weekend. Tucker thinks that the key to the game will be the pressure the Raven defense can put on Peyton Manning. Drew mentions that if the Ravens can get off to another strong start, they have a chance to win. Tucker also speaks about the thrilling game between the Packers and Cardinals this past weekend. He explains that the way the Saints finished the season leaves them in a vulnerable position to lose to the Cardinals.

7:43-

John from Canton calls in to talk some Ravens. He starts off by talking about Ed Reed’s tendency to lateral the ball. He states that all the other defensive players should not get in a position to receive a backwards pass.

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/7/09)

Posted on 07 January 2010 by Jack McManus

9:48-

Jim Nantz who will call the Ravens-Patriots playoff matchup this weekend comes on with Drew. Nantz invites Drew to see him before the game. He talks about the teams’ previous game that was the Raven’s first loss of the season. Nantz next explains how the league has turned into an offensive league. He states that through the draft and hiring decisions the Ravens have adjusted well to this change. After talking to Harbaugh, Nantz says that the coach believes that team is better at every aspect of the game.

nantz

9:31-

Sean Salisbury now joins Drew. He says that he is looking forward to a hard-hitting, good game between the Ravens and the Patriots. Drew tells Sean that he is sticking with his Super Bowl pick of the Chargers over the Packers in the Super Bowl. Drew states that he thinks the winner of the Green Bay-Arizona game will defeat the Saints. Sean agrees that a physical team could take down the Saints.

game

9:13-

Devin Barclay is the next guest. He is a Maryland-native and was the kicker for Ohio State this past college football season. Barclay is a former professional soccer player. After his short career, he walked on at Ohio State and began to kick field goals. He talks about the pressure of playing for such a prominent national power house, like the Buckeyes. He next discusses why his soccer career did not pan out. He states that one thing can never determine one’s career. He explains that a multitude of factors led him to step away from the sport when he did.
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9:00-

Steve from Pimlico calls in. He brings up the fact that a team’s quarterback makes or breaks the coach. He gives the example of Bill Belichick before and after Tom Brady was the starting QB.

8:30-

Drew talks about a comment Mike Paskoff made on his blog this morning. Mike then calls in and the two get in a heated discussion. They talk about Drew’s decision to lose a game on purpose

8:09-

Brian Billick makes his weekly appearance. He begins by discussing the excitement of wild card weekend and the uncertainty for some head coaches. He next talks about the Cleveland Browns’ situation. The team is carrying some momentum into the offseason by winning its last four games. Brian explains that he is not sure what direction Mike Holmgren will take with coach Eric Mangini. Drew reminds Brian that the Buffalo Bills play the Ravens next season. Brian responds that he believes the Bills will find a top young coordinator to the head coach. Before he leaves, Brian says that Dallas will beat Philly, Green Bay will beat Arizona, the Ravens will beat New England, and New York will beat Cincinnati.

billick

7:31-

Jalen Parmele of the Ravens joins Drew early this morning. He starts off by talking about how it is exciting for him to able to make a name for himself in the NFL. He also states that he hopes to be a part of the mix for the kick returning job next year. Next, Parmele explains how the game this upcoming weekend will be special, since it is his first ever playoff. He also discusses the difference between returning punts and kicks. He states that he has not returned punts since high school. On the topic of preparation for the Patriots, Parmele says that the team is doing  essentially the same thing as the other weeks.
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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (11/5/09)

Posted on 05 November 2009 by Jack McManus

9:51-

And today we finish up with salutes to all those who got involved in the show this morning as we every day.

9:40-

Sean Salisbury is the next guest. He is on to talk about the NFL with Drew. Sean believes that a must win game can occur early in the season, and this week’s Ravens-Bengals game is just that. He thinks that the Ravens will use their toughness and physicality to win the game. Sean explains that the Eagles beating of the Giants says a lot about the momentum of both teams. The Eagles are in midseason form that Andy Reid always gets his team into. He also thinks the Giants will be able to turn the season around and still be a force in the NFC East. Moving on, Sean states that the 49ers are much improved, but they must learn to finish games. He calls “winning ugly” something that good teams are able to do. The Colts did this against the 49ers last week.

salisbury 

9:11-

Mark Mussina joins us now. He starts off by saying that he believed that both starters would struggle last night. This only partially was the case. He also talks about the Phillies’ failure to hit left handed pitchers. Mussina calls Jimmy Rollins vastly overrated. Rollins was very ineffective as a lead-off hitter. His on-base percentage against lefties is very low. Discussion next moves to Johnny Damon’s career. Damon’s numbers are very impressive and if he continues to play for a few years he could make a case for the Hall of Fame. Mussina also talks about Andy Pettitte’s Hall hopes. His postseason performance will help his case. His numbers also compare favorably to Curt Schilling in some areas. Finally, Mussina compliments the ability of Mariano Rivera. He states that he has never seen a pitcher able to control his pitches like Rivera is able to.

pettitte 

9:09-

Joey the Yankee fan calls in. He calls himself a “Yankee apologist.” He apologizes to Orioles fans for his team constantly beating the O’s.

8:52-

Drew follows Glenn up with by taking a shot at Steve Melewski. Melewski recently stated that WNST has an agenda when it comes to the Orioles. Drew explains that his only agenda is to have the Orioles be a winning franchise again. He says that Melewski is being paid to be an Orioles apologist.

8:41-

Glenn kicks off “Cheap Shots From the Bleachers” with a shot at The Tribune Company. Glenn sat next to Dan Connolly last night at a viewing of “The Blind Side.” Connolly is the national baseball beat writer for the Baltimore Sun. Glenn explains that The Tribune Company believes that one national writer is enough to cover an event as large as the World Series. Instead, writers like Connolly should be sent to the Series to write stories that have a Baltimore connection. Topics that could have been used for this year’s Series include Mark Teixeira, Sam Perlozzo, and AJ Burnett.  

8:20-

Brian Billick is next up to talk some football. He begins by talking about the Cardinals-Panthers game this past weekend. The game mirrored the Cardinals upset of the Panthers in the playoffs last year. Brian next comments on the teams that are facing major organizational problems, including the Browns who are rumored to be interested in Brian as coach. He explains that the Browns are in trouble because they are in need of a new coach and a new general manager. He states that he would not want to go to a team where the coach had no say in regards to personnel decisions. Brian will be calling the Panthers-Saints game this weekend. The Panthers must use the same formula to beat the Saints that they used to defeat the Cardinals.

billick 

8:03-

A caller congratulates Drew for the Yankees victory. The caller explains that just because the Yankees win they way they do, not every team needs to spend huge amounts of money. He also points out that despite the expensive payroll of the team, the team was still very close to not winning the World Series.  

7:58-

I apologize, but I just feel the need to post this picture.

mussina 

7:45-

TowsonUniversityMen’s Basketball coach, Pat Kennedy is on with Drew. He starts off by describing the changes to his coaching staff this season. The team has lost a few key assistants this season to other schools. Three new coaches have been brought in. He next talks about how the team still has a couple positions that are notcompletely set. He states that the team has excellent depththisseason, with two solid players at each position. The team will open the season on November 13th at home against Miami of Ohio. He calls Old Dominion a team to look out for in the CAA. He explains that the top teams in the conference will be as strong as they have ever been.

kennedy

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Blog & Tackle: Penalties by the numbers

Posted on 02 November 2009 by Chris Pika

Many Ravens fans are of the opinion that the officials are targeting the Ravens, either for reputation, or for earlier comments after the New England game that went unpunished by the NFL league office.

Now, based on my time in the league, I believe that NFL offiicials are the best in the four major sports. How you watch a game in the stands at an angle overlooking the field is much different that seeing it at field level. The speed of how the game occurs would be jarring for even the most well-informed fan to make the correct call at game speed. It’s a tough job that requires split-second decision making and rock-solid rules knowledge. That doesn’t mean they get it right all of the time, but the percentage is higher than what you think, based on evaluations.

With that opinion, here are the NFL leaders in penalties called, accepted and yards penalized (via STATS, Inc.) without further comment, just grist for the mill on a Monday. All of the below info is through Sunday’s games.

Total Penalties Called On (accepted and declined)
1. Buffalo 69; 2. St. Louis 64; 3t. Baltimore 62; 3t. Green Bay 62; 5. New York Jets 60; 6. Philadelphia 59; 7. Oakland 57; 8t Detroit 56; 8t. New York Giants 56; 10. Houston 55. (Least: Jacksonville & Seattle, 36 each)

Total Penalties Accepted
1. Buffalo 59; 2. Green Bay 57; 3. St. Louis 55; 4. Baltimore 53; 5. New York Jets 52; 6t. Arizona 50; 6t. Dallas 50; 6t. Philadelphia 50; 9. Detroit 49; 10t. Kansas City 47; 10t. Oakland 47. (Least: Seattle 33, Jacksonville 34).

Total Penalty Yards
1. Baltimore 510; 2. St. Louis 477; 3. Green Bay 474; 4. Buffalo 458; 5. Dallas 424; 6. Detroit 407; 7. Philadelphia 401; 8t. Arizona 386; 8t. New York Giants 386; 10. San Francisco 385. (Least: Jacksonville 259, Seattle 279)

For comparison sake, here is the penalty totals for opponents when playing the Ravens this season:

Penalties Called Against Opponent (Opponent Total/NFL Rank; Leader/Total; Least/Total)
Called Against Ravens Opponent: (56/12th; Buffalo/72; Least: Miami/35); Accepted Penalties: (41/T-18th; Buffalo/64; Least: Miami/32); Penalty Yards by Opponent: (276/29th; Buffalo/546; Least: Miami/215).

Ever wanted to know what kind of penalties are called on the Ravens? Here is your list for both the offense and defense:

Ravens Specific Defensive Penalties (Ravens Total/NFL Rank; Leader/Total)
Pass Interference: (6/2nd; St. Louis/8); Illegal Contact: (3/T-2nd; Green Bay/5); Roughing the Passer: (4/T-1st with Tennessee); Offside: (3/T-22nd; Tennessee/10); Personal Foul: (3/T-14th; Green Bay/7).

Ravens Specific Offensive Penalties (Ravens Total/NFL Rank; Leader/Total):
Holding: (7/T-7th; Arizona/11); Offsides/False Start: (9/T-15th; Buffalo/18); Grounding: (1/T-2nd with 7 teams; San Francisco/2); Delay of Game: (2/T-12th; Cincinnati/6).

On special teams, the Ravens have been called for the following penalties:
Kickoff/Kick Return: Holding 2, Roughing 1. Punt/Punt Return: Holding 1, Illegal Block 2. Placekicking: Holding 1.

To follow Chris Pika (BlogAndTackle) on Twitter, click here or go to: http://www.twitter.com/BlogAndTackle.

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (10/29/09)

Posted on 29 October 2009 by Jack McManus

9:50-

Glenn next talks about the story about Andre Agassi’s new book. He describes his shock in reaction to this news. He has always been a big fan of Agassi and would like to talk with about his book soon.   

9:45-

Glenn gives a report about the Ravens injuries. Tavares Gooden and Ed Reed missed practice yesterday. Gooden had a head injury and Ed Reed was out due to injury. Both players are expected to play on Sunday, but more information should be available today.

9:39-

Sean Salisbury is next up to talk some football. Sean Salisbury isn’t picking up, so we will need to move on.

9:12-

Ryan Fagan, from Sporting News is on to talk with Glenn. Fagan starts off by talking about Cliff Lee’s great performance last night. He states that Lee was in the zone last night, as evidenced by his catch of Johnny Damon’s pop-up. He next talks about how the impact of home-field advantage in the World Series is exaggerated. He says instead winning game one is the most important indicator for who will win the series. He also states that the Yankess need to put last night’s game in the past and forget their struggles against Lee.

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8:55-

Rick calls in. He talks about Drew’s hatred of Philadelphia. He tells Glenn to at least halfway root for the Phillies. He personally will root for the Yankees. He also gives us his rendition of New York, New York.

8:25-

A caller wants to congratulate Cliff Lee on his complete game last night. Glenn talks about pitching is what makes baseball special to watch. Homeruns can be exciting, but they do not provide good baseball. The caller points out how the Orioles would not make a move to acquire a player like Lee. Last night, Lee became the first pitcher in World Series history to not allow an earned run or a walk while striking out at least 10. (Thanks to Chris for this info). 

8:05-

Brian Billick makes his weekly appearance. He talks about his even last night, Billick 101. He explains how he enjoys talking football with the average fan. He agrees with the public’s idea that the Ravens secondary needs improvement. He also talks about the improvement of the Arizona Cardinals and the importance of back-to-back playoff appearances for the long-troubled franchise. Brian next moves on the Packers-Vikings matchup. He believes that the Packers fans will show great respect for Brett Farvewhen he first comes on the field. He also states that the game has a great deal of importance for both teams aside from the attention on Farve. Brian calls the Saints the most complete team in the NFL. Brian next speaks on the lack of parity in the league this year. The difference between the good teams and the bad teams is vast.

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