Tag Archive | "dallas cowboys"

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Where does sportsmanship end and gamesmanship begin?

Posted on 18 September 2010 by Domenic Vadala

We all know what happened last night; Alex Rodriguez hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth inning off of Koji Uehara to give New York a 4-3 win over the O’s. The fact is that superstars like ARod make those plays when they need to, so that doesn’t tick me off per se. However what does frost me is the fact that Koji appeared to have ARod struck out on a called strike three, however home plate umpire Ted Barrett inexplicably called ball two. Bad calls happen, although it seems that they generally benefit players of ARod’s stature. My real problem is with what ARod did after that; he looked towards the Yankee dugout with a grin on his face. In other words, he knew darned well that he got a gift.

After hitting what’s being touted as the biggest home run since Bobby Thompson’s shot heard ’round the world, ARod proceeded to round the bases pretty slowly. In all seriousness, I think Cal’s lap around the ballpark after breaking the record in 1996 might have been quicker. Especially against a team that’s playing for nothing but pride, taking your sweet time to round the bases and show them up is a bush league thing to do. And let us not forget that ARod’s already had one run-in with this kind of thing this season, when he ran across the mound in Oakland (drawing the ire of Dallas Braden).

This is all part of a growing trend that I’m seeing in sports and it’s not a good thing. People such as myself might as well be speaking Japanese when we talk about unwritten rules in games. (In fact, it’s all Greek to me!) Nowadays we hear so many players, coaches, fans, and commentators talk about how if you win the game who cares what the unwritten rules are. I see that as misguided. In my opinion this really started in college football when the current BCS system came into play. The UPI rankings are no longer about just winning, but also by what margin you win. If the #1 team wins 14-13 and the #2 team wins 35-3, the #2 team will probably be the new #1. I see this as incredibly misguided and wrong, because it effectively encourages teams to run up the score. In baseball the rule has generally been that if you’re up after the sixth inning by five or more, you don’t steal or try to manufacture runs. Nowadays you see teams like the Boston Red Sox who would argue that you never know when a team’s going to come back, so why shouldn’t they try to score. Bill Belichek has routinely said that it’s not his job to stop his offense, it’s the other team’s defense’s job. It almost seems that winning isn’t good enough anymore, you have to punish the other team for having the nerve to step onto the field with you.

Ultimately, I do put winning above sportsmanship in a sense. However once the game’s won, I see no reason to rub salt in the wound unless it’s done as an act of retribution. As an example, if the Orioles have a sizable lead against the Yankees in tonight’s game (in the wake of ARod’s antics last night), I’d have no problem with throwing down a bunt to move a runner over. I remember in 1987 when the NFL players were on strike, and basically the entire Dallas Cowboy team crossed the picket lines. They beat a Philadelphia Eagle team full of scrubs, and did so by a wide margin. Philadelphia head coach Buddy Ryan felt that the Cowboys unnecessarily piled on the score at the end, so when the two teams met again in Philly (after the strike had ended), Ryan returned the favor. There were only about thirty seconds left and Philly had the ball first and goal at the one (up by two TD’s). Buddy Ryan called timeout to run one more play to rub it in. I was never a Buddy Ryan fan, but I have no problem with someone returning the favor if they were shown up. In other word, if ARod gets plunked tonight, I wouldn’t see an issue with that.

Ultimately, you have to have a respect for your opponents and the game when you play a sport. I don’t see running up the score or showing up your opponent as having respect for the game. Call me old school or a mastedon if you want, but that’s just how I see things.

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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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My Super Bowl Pick .....

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My Super Bowl Pick …..

Posted on 10 September 2010 by Rex Snider

Over the past couple days, I’ve predicted the respective finishes in the AFC/NFC divisions. Today, it’s time to paint my picture of Super Bowl 45. Admittedly, it will be tough to pick against the Ravens making a trip to Dallas, in early February. After all, they’re a consensus favorite among MANY notable sports personalities.

What do predictions yield the Ravens? NOTHING …..

Predictions are quite simply as worthless as the time it takes to express them. But, it’s still fun to forecast the prospective future of the upcoming National Football League season.

As I review my AFC picks, I’m considering the division winners, which include the Dolphins, Ravens, Colts and Chargers. My wildcards are the Patriots and Texans. I foresee the Ravens and Dolphins meeting for the AFC crown and I’ll predict a big hometown win at M&T Bank Stadium on a chilly, overcast January day.

When I look back at my NFC selections, I can choose from the Cowboys, Packers, Saints and 49ers, as division champs. The wildcards are the Falcons and Vikings. While it will be an exciting season in the NFC, I’m picking the Saints to represent their conference, once again. I believe they’ll hand the 49ers a pretty sound beating on the same field where the 2010 season began, last night.

So, my prediction for Super Bowl 45 is …..
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And, my pick?

Ravens 27

Saints 20

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NFC Predictions ....

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NFC Predictions ….

Posted on 09 September 2010 by Rex Snider

Yesterday, I dished out my AFC picks along with bragging about the talent compromising the 2010 Baltimore Ravens. Today, I’m issuing my NFC predictions.

Here ya go ….

NFC EAST
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1) Dallas Cowboys (11-5) – Trust me, I hate to pick the Cowboys to win ANYTHING. Year after year, they’re showered with preseason accolades. Yet, they’ve won a total of ONE postseason game in the last 14 years. I think the Cowboys and Eagles are fairly comparable in the NFC-East. However, based on strength of schedule, the Cowboys are being dealt a “gimme” win against the Cardinals toward season’s end.

I still think they’ll be the same old Cowboys we’ve expected in recent history; they’ll bow out early in the playoffs. And, I’ll guarantee Tony Romo has something to do with it.

2) Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

3) Washington Redskins (7-9)

4) New York Giants (7-9)
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NFC NORTH
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1) Green Bay Packers (12-4) – Honestly, is anyone picking against this Packers offense? While Aaron Rodgers is being touted as the prospective MVP, another breakout star is in the making in Wisconsin. Remember the name JERMICHAEL FINLEY. While he lines up at the tight end position, he possesses phenominal wideout speed and agility.

How good is Finley? Well, he led a formidable Packers corps in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in the second half of the 2009 season. I’ll bet Brett Favre wishes he had such talent in Minnesota.

2) Minnesota Vikings (10-6)

3) Detroit Lions (7-9)

4) Chicago Bears (5-11)
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NFC SOUTH
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1) New Orleans Saints (12-4) – I think they might be better than last year’s SUPER version. Why? Well, I can envision Drew Brees’ crew of receivers developing with experience. Specifically, I look for Robert Meachem to take a step forward and potentially become the Saints top wideout. Combined with a steady Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and the Heisman-less Reggie Bush, I’m predicting very busy Sundays for opposing secondaries.

2) Atlanta Falcons (10-6)

3) Carolina Panthers (9-7)

4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)
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NFC WEST
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1) San Francisco 49ers (10-6) – Who could’ve imagined the 49ers would return to being such a prominent favorite, especially since they haven’t enjoyed a winning season since the Jeff Garcia era, 8 years ago? Of course, Mike Singletary’s team is aided by the departures of Anquan Boldin and Kurt Warner, in Arizona.

The 49ers are not an offensive juggernaut. But, they’re rightfully expected to pummel opposing offensive units. And, the ringleader of the 49er’s attack is the Ray Lewis of the west coast, Patrick Willis. Expect a lot of low scoring victories. Sound familiar Ravens fans?

2) St. Louis Rams (7-9)

3) Arizona Cardinals (6-10)

4) Seattle Seahawks (4-12)

Well, that’s my look at the NFC. Tomorrrow, I’ll break down the playoffs and predict the Super Bowl winner. A reminder …. Brian Billick will be joining me at 2:30pm today. And, you can also find me in Thyrl Nelson’s FANTASY FLAVOR chat tonight @ 8pm !!!!

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Thanks Red Sox “fans”, you made my point for me

Posted on 01 September 2010 by Domenic Vadala

Yesterday I posted an article regarding bandwagon fans in sports on the toes of the Red Sox coming into Baltimore to play the O’s. In last night’s Oriole victory, the biggest number other than the score (the O’s downed Boston 5-2) was 18,247: the attendance. My point with bandwagon fans was that they find a team that’s winning, and they latch onto them. Furthermore, the worst of them will even try to engage in a bit of “revisionist history” and pretend like they were fans of that team all along. Regardless of where you’re from, if you grew up a die-hard fan of a team like the Red Sox, Yankees, Steelers, Cowboys, etc, I have no problem with that. But if you suddenly started rooting for the Red Sox because they won a World Series after 86 years, the Patriots because they won three Super Bowls and have a hot-shot QB, or the Lakers because they’ve won so many titles and have Kobe “I cheated on my hot wife” Bryant, you need to ask yourself why you follow sports or what you want out of being a fan.

In past years, Red Sox nation would take over Oriole Park at this time of year. Heck, I’ve attended two games against the Red Sox this year (May and June), and there were Boston fans all over the place. There were Boston fans in that group of 18,247 last night for sure; when the Red Sox scored you could hear their pesky little voices cheering. However based on how things sounded over television and the number of boo’s that drowned out those evil Let’s Go Red Sox cheers, it appeared to be a Baltimore crowd. One way or the other, 18K+ is more like a normal Oriole game than a game against Boston or NY. Now admittedly, this series is occuring mid-week, so odds are that it might be harder for people (in both fan bases) to get to the yard for the games. However at the very least I would have expected crowds of 30K for a Red Sox game, many of them Boston fans.

So if this were Family Feud, the survey would probably say that bandwagon fans are just as quick to jump off the gravy train as they are to get on. Many Sox fans that come to the yard do come down from New England, especially for weekend series’. However starting six years ago we saw a lot more Boston Red Sox merchandise in sporting goods stores around the area due to the fact that their fan base started to swell. This season hasn’t been kind to Red Sox nation, as is evidenced by the apparent absence of their fans at Oriole Park at Camden Yards last night. There’s no doubt that teams like the Red Sox probably embraced the idea of bandwagon fans. We never heard terms such as Red sox nation thrown around so forcefully until after they won their World Series. Their goal was to get as many people as possible to join Red Sox nation. Part of that message was that if your home team stinks, feel free to come over to our side and we’ll win for you. We win, and by extension you win…how can anyone go wrong?! Sure it’s a good marketing scheme, but only in the short term. The Red Sox couldn’t have possibly been on top of the world forever, right? So fast-forward to a year like 2010, when they have a slew of injuries that’s seemingly broken their season. Where did all the red go in visiting ballparks? I’m sure the Red Sox were probably shocked when they hit the field for BP last night at the yard and they were heckled by Oriole fans.  So hold on, you mean all of those screaming Boston Red Sox “fans” that used to come to see us play here have abandoned us? That’s right guys, their fandom for you was as fickle as it was for whomever they rooted for previously.

So I guess my message is “once a bandwagon-hopper, always a bandwagon-hopper.” How can an organization be so short-sighted that they’d rather cater to bandwagon fans than the people that have been with them forever and presumably will be? Honestly, if I were a lifelong Sox fan, I’d probably be ticked off to see so many new faces, suddenly to see them disappear again. This is not to say that the Red Sox won’t be good again next season and that those bandwagon fans won’t magically reappear. However the fact is that many of their “fans” made a decision not to see them play in person because it’s looking more and more like the Red Sox won’t be in the playoffs this season. Now you can also argue that the Orioles are the real losers in this scenario because they didn’t get the huge gate that they normally get when Boston comes to town. However this should put the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, and all others who welcome new “fans” with open arms to the effect that those supposed “fans” will leave you one day if you stop winning or have a down year. As for me, I’ll stick with the teams I grew up with through thick and thin, which is the definition of a sports fan. I can look myself in the mirror in the morning and know that I’m honest and true to myself and to my teams. Not all sports “fans” can say the same.

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The psychological make-up of a bandwagon fan

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Domenic Vadala

With the Boston Red Sox in town for three games this week, I thought it was a good time to address bandwagon fans. (Although with the Red Sox fading out of playoff contention, the numbers of Boston fans at Camden Yards this week might be lower than normal.) I make a point of attending at least one game against the Yankees, and one against the Red Sox each year. I feel that I’m doing my part to ensure that at least some Oriole fans are still in the stands. No doubt that some of the Yankee and Red Sox fans that show up at Camden Yards actually drive down here from those cities, or have moved to the mid-Atlantic region from those places. However a lot of them are also natives of the region that either abandoned the Orioles years ago, or perhaps never took to then, or the Washington Nationals, in the first place. (I would also say that I don’t put the children of Mass/NY natives in this category. If you have familial ties to those places odds are you grew up rooting for those teams just as a native would have done.)

So where were all of those Red Sox fans prior to 2003-04? Back in the 1980’s we rarely saw a pinstriped fan at Memorial Stadium. The fact is that these two teams are perceived as winners, thus people tend to like them. Any team that ever sustained a stretch of championships or even winning has always had bandwagon fans. In the NFL the San Francisco 49ers were the big “dynasty” back in the 1980’s with Joe Montana. Of late, the bandwagon team has most definitely been the Patriots in the sense that they’ve sustained a lot of winning. However the Steelers have also seen their share of winning, and as we know they also have their share of bandwagoners. Furthermore, I’ve seen a lot of Saints gear start to trickle into society since February.

People are funny when it comes to these kinds of things. If you combine winning with a “story,” you’ve got the perfect potion for a bandwagon fan. The Red Sox hadn’t won in 86 years so once they finally won a world series (and in the manner in which they did so), suddenly the media has a “story,” and we see the ensuing group of bandwagoners. Incidentally, I don’t have a problem if you’re a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankee, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, etc. All of those teams seem to have more national fanbases, so there are plenty of people from other places that probably grew up rooting for those teams. However if the team wins a title and suddenly their fan base swells to huge numbers, there’s something funny going on. A good friend of mine is a Cub fan, and he told me that when/if the Cubbies ever win a title he knows that the same thing will happen as with the Red Sox. People will latch onto the story of the Cubs not winning for so long, and suddenly new people will become Cub fans nationwide. People can root for whomever they want however I will say that as a lifelong sports fan and a fan of struggling teams at that, I take offense to “Johnny-come-late-to the parties.”

Another funny thing about bandwagoners is that they never seem to know their history. I attended a Redskins/Patriots preseason game last year, and I wore a Redskins’ three-time Super Bowl champions hat. At halftime I was standing in line for a hot dog, and a guy wearing a Brady jersey approached me and said how dare you wear a hat like that when the Skins have never gone to the Super Bowl much less won three!  When I explained that they won it in ’82, ’87, and ’91, the guy said that he started following football after the 2001 Super Bowl. Hmmm…didn’t New England win it that year? If you decide to latch onto a team as a bandwagoner, I would at the very least recommend that you learn some of the history behind the team that you’re choosing. If we’re talking about the Dallas Cowboys, don’t stare at me blankly when I mention Leon Lett’s numerous in-game mistakes. If it’s the Steelers, don’t tell me that you rooted for someone else when Bubby Brister was the quarterback. If it’s the Red Sox, don’t talk with a fake Boston accent and then when I ask you how long it had been since you moved out of Boston, tell me that you were born and raised in Northern Virginia and furthermore had never been north of New York! (That’s a true story that actually happened to me at Oriole Park one year.) Sports is about history people; if you’re going to jump on someone’s bandwagon, learn their history.

So when I go off on a tangent like this, people always ask me if I wouldn’t like bandwagoners rooting for Baltimore teams. My answer is always no. Sure it’s great to have a lot of fans and so forth, but I think that Baltimore is such a unique place and it’s teams are so much a part of the city’s identity that potential bandwagoners wouldn’t get it. As an example, could you imagine an O’s game where nobody yells “O!” during the national anthem? If Camden Yards was ever full of out-of-towners who came to see one of their “beloved” Orioles’ games at the legendary Oriole Park, it might happen. Would you want to hear someone from someplace else asking how his beloved Ravens finished in 1988? This is not to say that you have to be here to “get it,” however I wouldn’t want people latching onto my team in order to “be cool.” The O’s and Ravens are “cool,” however the fans here don’t need others to tell us that.

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How Much Is The Fox Worth ?

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How Much Is The Fox Worth ?

Posted on 02 August 2010 by Rex Snider

On Friday morning, I packed up a week’s worth of wares and officially brought my vacation to an end, as I departed Dewey Beach. While driving north, thru Rehoboth, my Blackberry sounded with a message from the trusted WNST Text Service …..

“Ravens CB Domonique Foxworth tears ACL in his knee”

While I certainly expected the obvious medical diagnosis – GONE FOR THE YEAR – I did not expect the onslaught of doom and gloom, and occasional panic, that would ensue throughout the afternoon. As much as many Ravens fans have chosen to feast upon the pre-season hype, a proportionate number also greeted Foxworth’s injury with a feeling of insurmountable loss.

Really?

While I’ll agree he was the best cornerback on the active roster, as Friday’s full camp opened, I’ve never really considered Domonique Foxworth to be among the irreplacable realities of a Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, Michael Oher and Haloti Ngata. Indeed, if one of these players tears his ACL, you can push the PANIC BUTTON.

Let me start by saying I liked Foxworth’s play during the final stages of the 2009 season and he was certainly going to be relied upon for carrying a more significant role as a season opening matchup with the New York Jets neared. But, irreplacable? Sorry, I just don’t see it.

Some optimists might point out his perceived lackluster coverage in the early stages of last season. Indeed, Foxworth appeared to struggle against bigger, physical receivers. Does anyone recall the game in San Diego …..
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However, in true fairness it’s also quite rightful to point out the Ravens’ surprisingly substandard pass rush, last season. In fact, it’s just an absolute truth. Domonique Foxworth had very little support from Terrell Suggs and company, when it came to pressuring the likes of Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Carson Palmer.

And, as we all know, pressuring the quarterback, consistently, can make ROCK STARS out of formidable cornerbacks. Conversely, failing to achieve that same attack can make the same cornerbacks look like they’re not doing their jobs.

Welcome to the NFL.

So, as we look back on 2009, did we really have so much of the upcoming season’s potential and promise vested upon the shoulders of Domonique Foxworth? Sure, the injuries to Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb have compounded and magnified the value regarding a player of Foxworth’s caliber.

But, can he be satisfactorily replaced? While Washington and Webb move closer to regained form, can someone step up and cover?

Is it Cary Williams or Travis Fisher? Will Chris Carr play even BIGGER? Who knows …. but a group of collective players have undoubtedly hungered for THAT CHANCE to prove themselves. And, this is that chance …..

After all, who was talking about the potential impact of Danelle Ellerbe, at the beginning of last season’s camp?

Does the Foxworth injury impact other facets of the Ravens defense? Sure. And, one particular name comes to mind …..
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So long as Terrell Suggs doesn’t spend another season producing like a member of the Orioles, the pass rush is likely to improve. Given the increased vulnerability of the secondary, I’ll imagine Greg Mattison is already formulating a way to make his attack more dynamic.

The reality is the season-ending injury to Domonique Foxworth just sucks. He’s a damn good cornerback and obviously committed to the “team first” philosophy. But, his injury an ultimate loss is a defining factor of everyday life in the National Football League.

He won’t be the last member of the Ravens lost to injury. And, don’t worry about the bad luck abstaining from other franchises. Every NFL team gets a bite of this sandwich. It’s already hit the Steelers (Willie Colon), Cowboys (Dez Bryant) and Broncos (Knowshon Moreno). The Patriots, Colts, Jets and Chargers will suffer their losses, too.

Speaking of the Patriots and Colts, what will they do if faced with the loss of a vital player? We keep saying the Ravens must beat the great teams, if they’re going to rise to the next level. Well, those great teams lose FRANCHISE players, like Tom Brady and Bob Sanders to injury, yet, they still find a way to win.

And, that’s the challenge facing the Ravens.

There are no “silver linings” to the loss of Domonique Foxworth. Yet, his injury could’ve occured at a more inconvenient time. The Ravens have six weeks to address it. Last season, they had less than six days to address the loss of a starting cornerback …..
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Injuries, while detrimental, also create opportunities ….. especially in training camp. I don’t think the value of such a competition can be overlooked. A handful of young, marginal players are going to be afforded the chance to prove they’re more talented than the depth chart suggests. And, some “old dogs” are out to prove they can still hunt.

I suppose Friday’s bad news really serves as a reminder that pre-season predictions aren’t worth a bag of rotten crab shells. Who could’ve guessed Domoniqe Foxworth would tear his ACL or Sergio Kindle would be in a Texas hospital, while recovering from a fractured skull? You can’t …..

Of course, every purple-blooded loyalist couldn’t resist the accolades. The Ravens have been lathered with a layering of “favorite” in the AFC-North. And, while this supposed indestructible Baltimore football machine has spent the past week proving there is no such distinction, a divisional rival has been stealing headlines, for positive reasons, since last Tuesday.

Meet the new AFC-North favorites …. the Cincinnati Bengals.

The good news is their hype is every bit as fragile as the Ravens. They, too, haven’t played a single game, yet. But, that hasn’t stopped the World Wide Leader and others from forecasting a lethal passing attack – especially with the addition of a soon-to-be 37 year old wide receiver.

As a sports community, we’re so damn fickle. On one hand, we wanted nothing to do with Terrell Owens, because he’s known to be a cancerous plague within a locker room – and he’s beyond his most productive years. On the other hand, we fear the addition of the GREAT T.O.’s arrival, in Cincinnati. Remember, he’s the same exact guy nobody wanted in a Ravens uniform.

Yet, we figure up the loss of Domonique Foxworth, coupled with the addition of Owens, in Cincinnati, and the result is DOOM & GLOOM.

The crippled Ravens secondary will never stop these guys …..
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Don’t forget Antonio Bryant, Jermaine Gresham or Jordan Shipley. Heck, don’t forget Cedric Benson – who really bulldozed his way thru the Ravens defensive line, twice, last year.

Yet, it’s Owens that instills this uneasiness in Ravens fans, while also rallying those in media to annoint the Bengals as the team to beat. Don’t buy into it. There is a distinct reason why the Ravens didn’t want him, along with 30 other teams.

In fact, don’t get caught up in any of the extreme impressions, one way or another, caused by injuries, additions or anything else.

The Ravens lost Domonique Foxworth for the season. That’s a fact. If their aspirations and Super Bowl hopes were tied to one player of Foxworth’s caliber, then this 2010 team really isn’t as good as many people might think.

Relax.

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ellerbe

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/14/10)

Posted on 14 January 2010 by Jack McManus

9:33-

Sean Salisbury joins us as he does every Thursday. He starts off by discussing the Cowboys. He is very impressed with Jason Garrett in particular. He talks about how the team has been able to score touchdowns and not settle for field goals. Sean does not see how Wade Phillips can be fired at this point. Sean also talks about the road AFC teams. He states that over-rested teams bother him. He also explains how going on the road takes some pressure off a team. His picks for the weekend: Chargers, Ravens, Saints, Vikings.

9:31-

I spent the past 2 hours adding music to Glenn’s ipod. Therefore, I am sorry for not blogging any of the show.

7:30-

Dannell Ellerbe wakes up early to chat with Drew this morning. He starts off by discussing how far he has come in the past year. Ellerbe was an undrafted free agent and is now playing a major role on a playoff team. He next talks about stopping the Colts prolific passing attack.

ellerbe

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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.

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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.

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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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