Posted on 01 May 2012 by Glenn Clark
Posted on 01 May 2012 by Luke Jones
In the latest example that the start of the 2012 NFL season cannot come soon enough, Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s comments regarding two other coaches and organizations have him in hot water with some in the football world.
In an interview with 98 Rock on Tuesday morning, Harbaugh was asked about the perceptions of championships won by the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints amid cheating scandals that resulted in severe disciplinary action for each organization.
“What happens — even the thing in New England — no matter whether those things had any impact on whether they won their championships or not, they got asterisks now,” Harbaugh said in the interview. “It’s been stained.”
Of course, the comments created quite a firestorm via social media, causing major sports media outlets to pick up the story. The reaction prompted Harbaugh to issue a statement this afternoon.
“While on the 98 Rock show this morning to talk about the run to honor O.J. Brigance and raise funds for ALS research, I answered a question about playing within the rules and referred to the perception that the Super Bowl championships won by the Patriots and Saints have a stain,” Harbaugh said. “My reference was to the perception out there that came as the result of the league’s actions.
“I could have been more clear that I was referring to those viewpoints. I totally believe that the Patriot and Saint coaches and players earned those championships. Bill [Belichick] and Sean [Payton] both know that.”
Harbaugh went on to say that he reached out to both Belichick and former Patriots linebacker and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi to clarify his comments. Belichick and Harbaugh share an amicable relationship, as the Patriots coach offered a high recommendation of Harbaugh before the Ravens decided to make him the third coach in the history of the franchise in January 2008.
“I have so much respect for Coach Belichick and the job he does and has accomplished in his Hall of Fame career,” Harbaugh said. “I called him to remind him of my respect for him.”
It’s critical to note that Harbaugh never said the aforementioned championships should be stained — even if he feels that way privately. He commented on the opinion many clearly hold regarding the recent successes of the Patriots and Saints and how their legitimacy came into doubt because of the respective scandals. However, in the modern age of media and the thirst for news about all things related to the NFL, it’s no surprise many are taking these words and running with them.
As we saw with the comments made by Joe Flacco in regards to where he thought he ranked among NFL quarterbacks, we constantly ask sports figures for honesty and originality in what they say, but then we’re unmercifully quick to criticize when we receive just that.
Regardless of your opinion on whether Harbaugh’s comments were inflammatory or not, this is sure to create even more drama in the weeks leading up to an AFC Championship rematch between the Ravens and Patriots on Sunday night, Sept. 23.
With that in mind, I suppose this qualifies as “news” when we’re still three months away from the start of training camp.
Even if it’s really not.
Posted on 14 February 2012 by Luke Jones
When Randy Moss announced the news of his intention to return to the NFL in 2012, I tried to dismiss him as an option for the Ravens as quickly as I could.
I just didn’t want to consider him as a real possibility to come to Baltimore.
The poor attitude, playing for three teams in his final season, and his turning 35 on Monday are all strikes against him. Not being able to help himself, Moss took to his Twitter account on Tuesday to fire back at former Minnesota Vikings teammate Cris Carter, who called the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver’s “quit mechanism” unlike any other superstar he’s been around.
The character blemishes are there, and there’s no way to overlook them. The guy can be a clown, and that’s putting it kindly.
His eye-popping numbers worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame include 153 touchdowns and 14,858 yards in 13 seasons, but you’re not getting the Moss of 1998 or even 2007 when he made a league-record 23 touchdown catches in his first season with the New England Patriots. His 2010 season split between New England, Minnesota, and Tennessee resulted in just 28 catches, 393 yards, and five touchdowns while wearing out his welcome in two places and making little impact at his final destination before announcing his retirement last summer.
But the past images of watching him sprint by a helpless cornerback or leap over a defender to haul in another touchdown are still too bright in my mind to ignore. Call me a sucker, but people said Moss was finished before he escaped football purgatory in Oakland and went on to have the best season of his career.
The possibility of the 6-foot-4 veteran still having something left in the tank cannot be overlooked by a team that was only a few tenths of a second away — in holding onto a catch in the end zone — from a trip to the Super Bowl three weeks ago. Eliminating all other variables, the mere subtraction of the disappointing Lee Evans and his near-$6 million cap number and the addition of Moss at a cheaper rate is enough to make you salivate at the possibilities.
Moss certainly can’t do any worse than four receptions in an injury-plagued season and failing to secure a championship-clinching catch in the final seconds in Foxborough, right?
The first order of business before coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens should even consider welcoming Moss to Baltimore is determining where he stands physically. Can Moss still run with the speed to blow the top off a defense and force safeties to play deeper than they normally would? Would opposing defenses still have to account for him on every play?
If not, you run the risk of dealing with a broken-down former star with an ego still in its prime. In other words, the reward wouldn’t be worth the potential headaches.
But unlike the other volatile veteran receiver who will be on the open market, Terrell Owens, Moss isn’t returning from a serious knee injury. Other than the potentially cruel reality of being 35 years old and the question of how well he kept himself in shape over the last calendar year, there’s no reason to believe Moss isn’t up to the physical task of once again donning the cleats and striking fear in the hearts of opposing secondaries.
If the 40-time is right, you now move to the more complicated piece of the equation. You sit down with the combative receiver, reminding him he’s no longer in a position of power after a year away from the game. You press him to see how serious he is about not just playing again but also being part of a winning organization like he was in New England for three years — quite harmoniously — before an expiring contract flushed the relationship down the drain in year four. And reminding him of that heartbreaking defeat in Super Bowl XLII and how he’s never won a championship probably wouldn’t hurt, either.
You allow Moss to explain exactly what happened in his disastrous 2010 season.
And you listen.
“A team like the Ravens would be perfect,” Steve Wyche of the NFL Network told WNST.net on Tuesday. “I work with [former Patriots fullback] Heath Evans, who played with Randy in New England, and Heath said, ‘If Randy’s in a situation where he’s winning, where everybody on the team has bought in, he’s fantastic.’
“I talked to people at the Patriots when he was there. He was the leader. He was the guy who organized a lot of meetings. He was the guy who broke down the huddle.”
Posted on 30 January 2012 by Glenn Clark
I had handled it much better than I ever did in the past.
Unlike the last three seasons, I wasn’t on hand to see the Baltimore Ravens’ season come to an end last Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. Instead of making the trip to Foxborough, I stayed in studio at 1550 Hart Rd. in Towson for “The Nasty Purple Pregame Show” and “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show.” I watched the game only with my producer Ryan Chell and I IMMEDIATELY hit the airwaves after Billy Cundiff’s kick sailed wide-not allowing me much time to stew over the dramatic end.
After fighting with a caller who labeled quarterback Joe Flacco as “a bum” following the crushing loss to the New England Patriots, I genuinely felt as though I had moved on. It only took about 30 minutes. No eight hour drive home with other miserable Ravens fans for me, just a 25 minute drive home to Monkton where playing with my dog quickly made me feel better about a tough loss.
On Sunday afternoon the WNST crew (Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones and myself) touched down in Indianapolis for week-long coverage of Super Bowl XLVI festivities at Radio Row. We do it every year, no matter when/where the Ravens’ season comes to a close. Immediately upon landing at Indianapolis International Airport, we were greeted by vendors selling Eli Manning and Tom Brady t-shirts. Everywhere we turned in Indy for the first 12 hours was remarkably similar.
New York Giants stuff here. New England Patriots stuff there. Live NFL Network video of Bill Belichick getting off the plane. Quotes filling up my GMail inbox from Tom Brady and Jerod Mayo as transcribed by the National Football League staff here on site. A replay of Super Bowl XLII following Australian Open coverage on ESPN2.
It all hit me like a ton of bricks. This was SO close to being the Ravens. Perhaps a Cundiff kick, perhaps a Lee Evans catch, perhaps a John Harbaugh timeout, perhaps Joe Flacco not throwing an interception to Brandon Spikes.
We could have gotten off the plane in Indy and been greeted by Ray Lewis t-shirts instead of seeing Alex Flanagan try to get Lewis to change his mind about retirement on the sideline during NBC’s coverage of the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. We could have been covering the first media gathering of the week for the AFC champs instead of sitting in the hot tub at the J.W. Marriott or celebrating Forrester’s birthday at Buca di Beppo. (Both of these things were nice…but we’d rather not be there.)
It wasn’t as painful to arrive for Super Bowl coverage the last couple of years as there was really no argument that the Ravens may have been the best team in the AFC. Two years ago they were clobbered by the Colts here at LucasOil Stadium. Last year there was the feeling they let one go against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, but at least the loss didn’t come with a Super Bowl trip on the line.
This time there was a REAL feeling that we should be spending Media Day tomorrow chatting up Terrell Suggs instead of trying to track down Matt Birk for five minutes later in the week when he comes to promote the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
It wasn’t the only wound re-opened however.
As you can read about in Monday’s Indianapolis Star, there’s already a bit of a “friendly” back and forth going on between us and some of the folks in “The Friendly Heart of the Midwest.” While most of our comments have been made in jest, there is no doubt that seeing horseshoes everywhere I look and staring at a sign for the “Jim Irsay Collection” at the Indiana State Museum across the street have left a bad taste in my mouth.
The team my father fell in love with is now the reason why a city hundreds of miles from Charm City is experiencing a financial boon. The likes of Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore and Art Donovan left sweat and blood on the field at Memorial Stadium, the value of which has allowed governor Mitch Daniels to make millions of dollars-which will in no way benefit the city of Baltimore.
We don’t REALLY want the Colts back in Baltimore as I joked with the Indy Star reporter. We want an entire civic injustice reversed. We know it’s impossible.
The wounds are fully re-opened here. We’ll make it through (covering a Super Bowl in Indianapolis is STILL better than having to cover the Baltimore Orioles), but there will be a number of times this week where I’ll look over and say “damn.”
Posted on 20 January 2012 by Ryan Chell
If anyone knows how to stop a high-powered offense in the New England Patriots, you’re going to have to go right to an insightful source to find that answer.
Unfortunately for a tight-knit organization led by Bill Belichick-the master of secrets, there aren’t a lot of those guys who have that kind of information to hand out.
But WNST’s own Thyrl Nelson caught up with a guy who used to line up in the backfield behind the Patriots future Hall-of-Famer in quarterback Tom Brady in running back Laurence Maroney on Thursday.
Maroney, who was a first-round pick of the Patriots in 2006 out of Minnesota, is currently a free agent and is anxiously trying to work his way back onto an NFL team for next year.
Having been a part of Patriot-style offenses in New England and Denver run by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, he knows the team very well.
Nelson asked Maroney how the Ravens should handle the Patriots if he was a consultant, and Maroney had a quick answer.
You have go get Tom Brady out of rhythm by bringing the pressure on the blitz.
“The first thing to do is really blitz and keep Brady uncomfortable,” Maroney told Nelson. “He’s going to sit there and read defenses and get comfortable. He can pick you apart once the momentum’s going and the lineman get going.”
Maroney said it was his role as Patriots back to be the final nail in the coffin for opposing defenses.
“That’s what starts the running game and it just starts to trickle down.”
But at the same time though, Maroney told Raven nation to understand this. John Harbaugh and Chuck Pagano may have the greatest defensive game-plan available to them, but Tom Brady is going to make some plays just because of his game smarts and preparation.
“Brady is one of the smartest…if not the smartest quarterback that I’ve played with,” Maroney said. “He’s just going to sit there if you give him time with the type of receivers and tight ends he has. They’re going to find a way to get open. And he’s going to find a way to get them the ball.”
Obviously as a running back, Maroney pushed across the idea of pacing the game for the Ravens by handing the ball off to Ray Rice in the second half should the Ravens jump ahead.
“Ray Rice is definitely a great running back,” Maroney said, “that’s definitely a proven guy in this league. It’s going to be difficult-especially the wild card game that I was last with them-and he definitely showed when he broke the game out when he ran for 80 yards that he’s a game-changer. If you don’t control that guy, he’s definitely going to do his thing.”
If the Ravens are on their game, Maroney says-you can’t ever count them out.
“You can never overlook the Ravens cause you can tell the history,” Maroney said. “This is a team you can’t count out, especially with their defense. They have one of the best defenses that you can’t overlook them and you have to be ready and prepared for that game.”
And who knows-with Ray Rice scheduled to be a free agent and the uncertainty regarding the future career of backup running back Ricky Williams, could the Ravens maybe be interested in the seldom-used, 26-year first-round pick?
He’ll welcome any opportunity to prove himself yet again to an NFL team.
“I just want a job,” Maroney said. “I just want to get back in the league.”
“I’m only 26 years old. I’m still young-this would have only been my sixth-year in the league. I’ve got the fresh legs. I still have a lot to offer to the league.”
WNST thanks Laurence Maroney for joining Thyrl Nelson this week in preparation for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game! Check the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault for the full conversation! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!
Posted on 20 January 2012 by Ryan Chell
Former Ravens and Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas has been out of football for two seasons now and while nestling himself in his home state of Mississippi, he has taken the transition out of the game very well.
But with a huge game this weekend between the only teams he knew in his NFL career for the AFC Championship and the chance to head to Indianapolis for Super Bowl 46 for Baltimore and New England, he said he wouldn’t mind getting a call and the chance to suit up Sunday.
Thomas joined Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Thursday-as he jokingly said that if the Ravens need a versatile linebacker to cover Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski or someone to put the heat on Tom Brady, his phone is on.
“I think first thing…they should call me and let me play this game to guard Gronkowski,” Thomas laughed.
Thomas, a sixth-round pick of the Ravens in 2000, enjoyed his career in Baltimore right from the start.
Despite not playing much in his first three seasons, Thomas earned a championship ring as a member of the Super Bowl XXV team.
It was then and there that he got to learn from one of the best defensive players in the history of the NFL in Ray Lewis, and he sees a similar work ethic out of #52 in this year’s potential Super Bowl run.
“Baltimore has always had a good defense,” Thomas said. “Ray Lewis has always been the head of the defense with the intensity he brings to the game.”
And given the position Thomas is in being out of the game, he hopes that his former teammate gets one more game to show fans what he can do on the football field while hopefully adding another championship ring to his finger.
“I can’t speak personally for Ray, but the postseason is win or go home,” Thomas told Clark. “To know that you never know if you’ll get back to this place, to have this opportunity-you want to give it everything you have.”
Thomas said he was like a sponge from 2000-2006 when it came to his interaction and time with Lewis, and he flourished because of it.
Seeing full-time playing time on defense in 2003, Thomas became quite the weapon for defensive coordinators Mike Nolan and Rex Ryan. During that four year stretch until his final season in Baltimore, Thomas made plays all over the field recording 282 tackles and 32 sacks.
In 2005, he led the NFL in scoring non-offensive touchdowns.
That high level of play paid off for Thomas when he hit free agency after the 2006 season, as the defensive-minded coach in Bill Belichick basically handed AD a blank check to come to New England after two Pro-Bowl seasons in Baltimore.
Much like his first season as Raven, Thomas found himself on a Super Bowl team with the Patriots in 2007, reaching Super Bowl XLII after going 16-0 in the regular season with Tom Brady in the driver’s seat of a record-setting offense.
He recorded two sacks of Giants quarterback Eli Manning in that game, but unfortunately the story didn’t end on a good note for Thomas and the Patriots as the Giants spoiled the perfect season with a 17-14 victory.
He sees a lot of similarities between that team and the 2012 Patriots, and said the Ravens are going to need to bring 100% effort to topple the AFC’s top-seed.
“I think they’re still explosive,” Thomas noted. “You still have Tom Brady at quarterback and a number of receivers that can beat you.”
The biggest asset the Patriots have going for them is the amount of weapons they have at their disposal.
“The one thing that’s always unique about the Patriots is you never know how they’re going to attack you,” Thomas said. “Every week, they break down their opponent and they change their game plan to the best situation that would attack the defense.”
Ultimately though, Thomas rounded out the conversation by saying he’s rooting for his first love, the Baltimore Ravens.
Thomas had an ugly divorce with Belichick and the Patriots, and he loved the city of Baltimore. It’s an easy decision for him on his rooting interest on Sunday.
“I want Baltimore to win because I love the fans there,” Thomas said. “The fans have always been great to me even when I come back there. I still own a house in the area. I hope Baltimore pulls it out.”
WNST thanks AD for joining “The Reality Check” with Glenn Clark! To hear the entire interview, check the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!
Posted on 20 January 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
Over the course of the last 4 days or so, it seems that we’ve beaten up and dissected every match-up, angle and storyline that could decide Sunday’s outcome between the Ravens and Patriots. To some degree though, the game has already been won or lost, in the draft rooms of the respective wizards at the helms of these two clubs New England Head Coach Bill Belichick and Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome.
Their draft histories are both highly respected and incestuously intertwined. It was, after all, the Ravens (then Browns) front office that cut Belichick loose from his first head coaching post, and Belichick’s first round pick in 2003 that the Ravens acquired to get Kyle Boller. In return the Patriots got a pair of picks from Baltimore, one of which they used to select defensive stalwart Vincent Wilfork and the other which in a roundabout way led them to the pick that they used to acquire Asante Samuel. Add to that the Ravens decision to let go of Adalius Thomas before the 2007 season and Patriots subsequent acquisition of the linebacker and Ozzie and the Ravens had to be feeling as responsible as any party in football for the Patriots run at near perfection in the 2007 season.
Sunday’s match-up, no matter the outcome will absolutely serve as an early referendum on the 2010 drafts of both of these teams.
Despite their well-deserved draft prowess, both Ozzie and Belichick have plenty of picks and possibly entire drafts that they’d rather have back. In the Ravens case 2010 might be that draft.
In 2010 the Ravens traded out of their first round pick (25th overall) to the Broncos and current Patriots offensive coordinator in waiting Josh McDaniels who used the selection on Tim Tebow, the Patriots playoff opponent from last week. In return the Ravens got picks in the second round (43rd overall), third round (70th overall) and fourth round (114th overall) from Denver.
Patriots all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski was selected by New England 42nd overall, just one pick ahead of Baltimore who spent their 43rd pick on Sergio Kindle, a first round talent with the dreaded question marks that tend to scare NFL teams away and one who has failed to pay any dividends for the team in the two seasons since his acquisition.
With the 70th pick, the Ravens took their own tight end Ed Dickson, a full 25 picks before Jimmy Graham went off the board to the Saints at #95. The Ravens also traded out of their own second round pick at 88th overall, still 7 spots ahead of the Graham selection and 5 spots ahead of the Chiefs selection of Tony Moeaki.
Posted on 19 January 2012 by Luke Jones
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Ravens’ vaunted defense preparing to face the most explosive offense still standing in the NFL playoffs, the challenge isn’t a big secret for the offense against the New England Patriots in Sunday’s AFC championship game.
“We are going to have to score points to win this game,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said. “We have one of the top defenses in the league, and we stand by our defense and believe in our defense. They are pretty much the rock of our team. For us, we know we are going to have to help them out a lot.”
Playing a Tom Brady-led offense that’s scored 30 or more points in seven of its last eight contests, the Baltimore defense will be hard-pressed to stop the New England attack, leaving it up to the Ravens offense to produce more points than they have in recent weeks. In contrast to the Patriots’ production, the Ravens have reached the 30-point plateau only once in their last nine games.
On the surface, the Ravens appear to have a favorable matchup against the 31st-ranked defense in the NFL that surrendered 411.1 yards per game in the regular season. The Patriots’ pass defense ranked 31st, giving up an average of 293.9 yards through the air. In fact, the New England defense has come under fire by the national media and prompted many to write off the Patriots as Super Bowl contenders before the postseason began.
But the Patriots’ 45-10 win over Denver in the divisional round showed the unit in a more favorable light — at least against an underwhelming offense.
“I have never bought into the total yardage, as in terms of ranking defenses or offenses for that matter,” offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. “They don’t give up a ton of points. They’ve had some big leads, and so when you have a big lead, you are going to play smart, you are going to give up ground grudgingly, and you may give up some passing yardage. But then you stand your ground when the ball gets to the 20-yard line.
“This is an underrated defense. I am sure they probably feel that way. We look at the tape, and it’s the healthiest it’s been, and it’s a defense that’s playing its best football right now.”
The numbers support Cameron’s argument, as the Patriots ranked 15th in points allowed (21.4 per game) and surprisingly led the conference in takeaways with 34. Coupled with an offense that committed the fewest turnovers (17) in the AFC, the Patriots ranked third in the NFL with a plus-17 turnover ratio.
Though the late-season loss of defensive end Andre Carter (10 sacks in 14 games) put a dent in the New England pass rush, the return of Patrick Chung has stabilized the secondary after the free safety missed nearly two months of action with a foot injury. The Patriots collected 40 sacks in 2011, with defensive end Mark Anderson (10) and linebacker Rob Ninkovich (6 1/2) picking up some of the slack in Carter’s absence.
While the New England pass defense has received the brunt of the criticism, the Patriots’ run defense is not as impressive as its ranking (17th in rushing yards allowed) suggests. Typically enjoying big leads against opponents while on their way to a 13-3 record, opposing offenses were forced to abandon the ground game despite the Patriots allowing 4.6 yards per carry (24th in the NFL) this season.
Running back Ray Rice will be the key as always in establishing the run, but the Ravens will not hesitate to use him aggressively in the passing game. Regardless of whether it’s Rice on the ground or Flacco using tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta in the short passing game, the Ravens need to find positive yardage on first and second down to keep drives alive.
It’s a simple formula for the Ravens as they can guarantee a lower number of points allowed if they can limit Brady’s possessions and take care of the football.
“Third down is going to be really important – for both sides – getting off the field and extending drives,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Time of possession for us is going to be important in this game. It’s going to be a big red zone game on the defensive side, on both sides really.”
When they do manage to find their way inside the red zone, the Ravens cannot settle for field goals against the third-highest scoring offense in the league. Asking their defense to make stops is one thing, but matching early touchdowns with field goals is a sure-fire way to get blown out in Foxborough.
With the aggressive nature of New England’s offense, the Ravens must use every weapon at their disposal. Simply grinding it out with Rice and Ricky Williams won’t guarantee success, but allowing Flacco to throw 50 times increases the likelihood of short possessions and giving the ball back to Brady more often. Balance will be the key while mixing in some vertical shots with the running game and short-to-intermediate passes.
Ultimately, the Ravens quarterback said it best when assessing his often-maligned offense that has won 13 games this season amid all the flak.
“The bottom line is we get the job done,” Flacco said. “We score points when we need to. We are really good in situational football. If we need to be really good in two-minute [situations] – which we don’t have a lot of chances at – we are a really good two-minute team. I think that has been proven over the year. If we need to run the ball, we usually run the ball. If we need to throw the ball, we usually throw the ball. We don’t do a ton of things to be really explosive – in the top of the league statistically – but we have the ability to be a really good offense.”
That confidence and ability will never be more important than Sunday afternoon as the offense tries to hold up its end of the bargain for a defense that will likely need a big hand in sending the Ravens to the Super Bowl.
Posted on 12 January 2012 by Glenn Clark
Ryan Chell & I ranked the best head coaches, quarterbacks and defenses left in the postseason, then ranked the teams left in order of likelihood to win Super Bowl XLVI.
It was a fun day Thursday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. You really should be listening.
Best Head Coaches:
Glenn Clark’s Rankings…
8. Gary Kubiak
7. Jim Harbaugh
6. John Fox
5. John Harbaugh
4. Tom Coughlin
3. Mike McCarthy
2. Sean Payton
1. Bill Belichick
Ryan Chell’s Rankings…
8. Gary Kubiak
7. John Fox
6. Jim Harbaugh
5. John Harbaugh
4. Mike McCarthy
3. Tom Coughlin
2. Sean Payton
1. Bill Belichick
Posted on 10 January 2012 by Peter Dilutis
Everyone in Baltimore takes pride in seeing the Pittsburgh Steelers lose.
We’ve all seen the shirts.
“I root for two teams: The Ravens and whoever is playing the Steelers.”
That’s all well and good. It’s fun to root against those slimy dirtbags from up north. They’ve ended the Ravens’ season two times in the past three years. They deserve our hatred.
While all of Baltimore is basking in the glory of watching Mike Tomlin and Big Ben walk off the field losers to a mediocre Denver Broncos team, I’m here to remind you that the high we’re all on right now may come at a very steep price.
That price could be the Ravens losing their chance at taking their talents to Indianapolis.
The Ravens are 8-0 at M&T Bank Stadium this year. They are 4-4 on the road, with losses to Tennessee, Jacksonville, Seattle, and San Diego.
Could the Ravens go to Foxborough and knock of New England in the AFC Championship? You bet they could.
Is it likely? I say no.
The Ravens did it in 2009 when they went ran all over the Patriots defense. They definitely have it in them to beat the Patriots in New England.
But an average road team going into New England this year is a much tougher proposition than staying at home in Charm City and facing a hobbled Pittsburgh Steelers team who the Ravens have already defeated twice in 2011.