Tag Archive | "Drew Brees"

Ravens-Saints: Five predictions for Monday night

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ravens-Saints: Five predictions for Monday night

Posted on 23 November 2014 by Luke Jones

Fresh off their bye week and trying to complete a 2014 sweep of the NFC South, the Ravens return to the site of Super Bowl XLVII to take on the reeling New Orleans Saints Monday night.

Baltimore hopes that a Week 11 bye coupled with the Saints’ two-game losing streak will create enough momentum to snap New Orleans’ 14-game winning streak in prime-time home games. The 4-6 Saints are trying to find some semblance of consistency in a division in which no team has made a strong claim as a viable playoff contender.

The Ravens are 5-1 in games coming off their bye week in the John Harbaugh era and will attempt to win their third road game of the season. While they were able to find success against an underwhelming Tennessee offense in Week 10, the Baltimore secondary will have its hands full against the league’s third-ranked passing attack.

Monday marks the sixth all-time meeting between these teams with the Ravens holding a 4-1 advantage. This is the first contest between these teams at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome since the 2006 season — which resulted in a 35-22 win for Baltimore — but the Ravens are obviously familiar with the surroundings after winning the Super Bowl in New Orleans two years ago.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens try to improve to 7-4 to keep pace in the AFC North …

1. Will Hill will draw the bulk of the assignment against Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, who will catch a touchdown and eclipse 80 receiving yards. Much was made about Cincinnati’s physicality last week in limiting the All-Pro tight end to just three catches for 29 yards, but the Ravens haven’t exactly been imposing in the back end of the defense aside from Terrence Brooks’ big hit on Tennessee’s Delanie Walker two weeks ago. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees will try to mix it up as much as possible against Graham, but Hill is the best fit with his 6-foot-1, 207-pound frame and ability in coverage. The Ravens have held tight ends in check for most of the season, but they haven’t encountered a talent like Graham and he will bounce back from a tough week against the Bengals with a strong game in Week 12.

2. Steve Smith and Marlon Brown will catch touchdowns passes against a banged-up New Orleans secondary. A week off and a meeting with an old foe he tormented year after year as a member of the Carolina Panthers are just what the doctor ordered for the 35-year-old Smith whose production has declined in recent weeks. The Saints are down to their third-string free safety and top cornerback Keenan Lewis has been dealing with a knee issue, which will lead to the veteran wideout finding the end zone for the first time since Week 6. Looking to boost their 19th-ranked red-zone offense, the Ravens will rediscover Brown as a viable option inside the 20 as the 6-foot-5 receiver will rein in a pass in the back of the end zone for his first touchdown of the 2014 season.

3. The Ravens will contain top rusher Mark Ingram, but a returning Pierre Thomas will create problems as a receiver out of the backfield. After a very slow start to his NFL career, Ingram has emerged in 2014 with a 4.5 yards per carry average to take over the feature back role for New Orleans, but the Baltimore defense has allowed only 3.4 yards per carry and won’t have an issue keeping him in check. The return of Thomas — who hasn’t played since Week 7 — will be critical for a passing game that will miss the injured Brandin Cooks, who was becoming the Saints’ second-best receiver behind Graham as a short-to-intermediate target. With the secondary providing plenty of cushion and linebackers paying close attention to wherever Graham is, the Saints will slip Thomas free out of the backfield repeatedly to move the chains.

4. C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith will both collect sacks as the Ravens use inside blitzing to try to get to Drew Brees. Pees knows his defense must create pressure in the pocket against one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but Saints tackles Terron Armstead and Zach Strief have been the strengths of their offensive line, meaning it won’t be a given that Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs will create enough heat. The best way to pressure Brees is up the middle where center Jonathan Goodwin and guards Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs have struggled in pass protection. Smith and Mosley have both been effective as A-gap blitzers, making it a good bet that the Ravens will try to ambush Brees up the middle. The strategy will pay off with each inside linebacker collecting a sack on Monday night.

5. Joe Flacco and Brees will each throw for over 250 yards, but the veteran will be a little better in a 31-23 win for New Orleans. A few weeks ago, it would have been tough to give the Ravens much of a chance in this one following the injury to Jimmy Smith on top of the Saints’ reputation for playing so well at home. But New Orleans is difficult to figure out with two straight losses at home that came after blowing out mighty Green Bay less than a month ago. On the other hand, a solid performance against the Titans isn’t enough to ease concerns that the Ravens secondary will be able to prevent the Saints from passing up and down the field all night. Flacco and the offense will put together one of their better road performances of the year, but it won’t be quite enough to put the Ravens over the top on Monday night.

Comments (0)

Saints rookie receiver Cooks out with broken thumb

Tags: , , , , , ,

Saints rookie receiver Cooks out with broken thumb

Posted on 17 November 2014 by Luke Jones

As if they weren’t encouraged enough by watching the New Orleans Saints drop their second straight home game Sunday, the Ravens learned a day later they won’t have to deal with standout rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks in Week 12.

Cooks suffered a broken thumb that’s expected to sideline him at least for a few weeks, meaning the Saints’ first-round pick and emerging wideout won’t be available when Baltimore travels to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome next Monday night. Of course, New Orleans has a wide array of other weapons in All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receivers Marques Colston and Kenny Stills, but the Saints are coming off their lowest scoring output at home since 2006 and Cooks was emerging as their second-best playmaker behind Graham in recent weeks.

He leads all NFL rookies with 53 receptions for 550 yards and three touchdown catches, ranking second on the team behind Graham in all three categories.

The Saints are also banged up in the secondary after losing safety Rafael Bush to a broken fibula in the fourth quarter of their 27-10 loss to Cincinnati. This comes after New Orleans already lost Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd for the season last month.

Though their Monday night trip won’t be easy with an inexperienced secondary, the Ravens should be feeling much better about their chances with quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints off to an underwhelming 4-6 start and even experiencing inconsistency on the offensive side of the ball at times this season.

Comments (0)

Flacco and the Price of the Tag

Tags: , , , ,

Flacco and the Price of the Tag

Posted on 18 February 2013 by Thyrl Nelson

Joe Flacco and the Ravens have just about 2 weeks to hammer out a deal and avoid the use of the franchise tag and a continuation of the high stakes poker game that’s been going on between them for close to 12 months and counting.


In the lead-up there’s been lots of discussion as to whether the Ravens should assign Flacco the “regular” franchise tag, which comes with a payday of $14.5 million or so, but would also leave him able to negotiate an offer sheet with the highest bidder; or if they should give him the “exclusive rights” franchise tag at a cost of $20 million or so but prohibits the interference of other teams in the parties’ ongoing negotiations.

From a team standpoint, there’s big savings in the non-exclusive version of the franchise tag, but it could leave them vulnerable. While the Ravens would have the opportunity to forego the pair of first round picks another team would have to relinquish in signing Flacco under that tag, and simply match the offer made by the signing club, it would still put them in the awkward position of having another team negotiate the biggest contract in franchise history on behalf of the Ravens…and likely to their detriment.

While “poison pills” haven’t been an issue in free agent negotiations since the Seahawks and Vikings took turns hustling each other a few seasons ago, there are other creative ways that teams could choose to make life uncomfortable for the Ravens in matching an offer sheet. The new NFL CBA mandates that teams spend a greater percentage of their salary caps than ever before. Therefore it’s not unreasonable to think a team with a surplus of cap room might front load a deal with big upfront salary numbers, making the early years of the deal cap heavy and potentially deescalating their cap number over the life of the deal. The Ravens are going to have difficult decisions to make no matter what type of deal they reach with Flacco, but a frontloaded contract might be close to impossible for them to match. Additionally, the likelihood that the Ravens will have to match whatever deal a competitor might offer would likely compel that team to be a bit freer with the money as they’re not likely spending it anyway.

Those possibilities would make it seem likely that the Ravens have little choice but to bite the $20 million bullet and apply the exclusive rights tag to Flacco. That’s where things get interesting.

Keep in mind we’re talking about a quarterback who left (allegedly) $85 million or more on the table and $30-$35 million up front because he wasn’t satisfied that the Ravens were being fair enough a year ago. He did this in a season where he was scheduled to make just $6.75 million. If we concede that “Drew Brees money” was the goal, then Flacco risked everything over $5-$10 million up front and as little as $15 million over the life of a 5-year deal. In a season where he was scheduled to make less than $7 million, that was a $23-$28 million gamble or between 3.5 and 4.5 times what he was scheduled to make.

Fast forward to March 4th; if the Ravens assign Flacco the exclusive tender he’ll get $20 million guaranteed, even if he doesn’t make it to day-1 of mini-camp, as soon as he signs the tender. If he plays out the 2013 season under those terms, healthy or not, the Ravens would have to guarantee him an additional $24 million under any version of the franchise tag, or let him go to free agency. Finishing 2014 it’d be all but impossible for the Ravens to hang on to Flacco’s rights, thereby releasing him to free agency and a likely $40 million more upfront at the age of 30.

Let’s recap:
2012 Flacco takes $6.75 million leaving $30-$35 million upfront on the table to gamble over what amounts to another $5-$10 million up front and an average of $3 million per year over 5-years.

2013 Flacco is guaranteed $20 million just for signing his name, and $44 million if he remains a guy that the Ravens are unwilling to part with after 1 more season. Two non-disastrous seasons would put him in line for $85 million actual dollars paid just 2-years from today.

Brees, by comparison, got $40 million in year 1 of his new deal, will get another $10 million for year 2 of his deal ($50 million combined) and another $10 million for year 3 ($60 million combined).

Comments (1)

All of this talk about “elite” is getting us away from the real issue…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

All of this talk about “elite” is getting us away from the real issue…

Posted on 22 October 2012 by Drew Forrester

Elite.

“Is Flacco elite?”

Elite, elite, elite.

I’m making a decision, right now, on October 22:  I am no longer using that stupid word – elite – to judge a quarterback, particularly the guy in Baltimore.

Mind you, I’m not one that throws that “E word” around much as it is, but it’s always the big argument in football.  Is so-and-so an “elite” quarterback?

It’s 10-minutes of filler for ESPN and all of the other talking heads.  ”Is he elite?”…blah, blah, blah…

So, from this day forward, I’m going to use a new word to discuss and analyze any and all quarterbacks in the NFL.

It will be a non-negotiable word.  One you can’t possibly argue.  And right now, in the league, there are only six of these kind of quarterbacks.

They’re called “championship quarterbacks” and they are, in no order, Brady, Roethlisberger, Brees, Rodgers, Eli Manning and Peyton Manning.

No one else in the league is worthy of inclusion on that list.  And that includes Flacco.  And Matt Ryan.  And Michael Vick.  And Matt Stafford.  And RGIII.

You’re either a championship quarterback or you’re just a quarterback.

In the other words, there’s only one way to be an “elite quarterback”.  You must have a ring.  There are a few very notable exceptions over the last 30 years.  Guys like Dan Marino and Jim Kelly and Warren Moon are Hall-of-Famers and they don’t sport flashy jewelry.  But those are three very rare exceptions to the rule.  And that rule is:  ”If you want to be elite, you better have a ring on your finger.”

At this point, Flacco is a good quarterback.  Is he better than Ryan or Stafford?  Some games, yes.  Some games, no.  But he’s not better than Brees.  Or Brady.  Or Roethlisberger.  Or any of the guys with a ring.

We love to argue about whether or not the quarterback is “elite”.  For whatever reason – mainly because he’s usually the guy who makes the most money – it’s always the quarterback we throw under the super-microscope and try to come up with a word to define him.  These days, that word is “elite”.

But how do we determine what makes a guy “elite”?  Is it winning?  Championships?

We better be careful saying, “you can’t be elite unless you have a ring” because we’d then have a certain linebacker and safety in Baltimore who can’t be considered elite…since both Suggs and Reed are sans jewelry.

So, let’s get rid of that word, elite, when trying to define our quarterback in Baltimore.

You’re either a “championship quarterback” or you’re a quarterback trying to become one.

Let’s just worry about the only thing we should be worried about…and that’s WINNING.  Yes, he’s been the quarterback of the team that has made the playoffs four straight seasons.  Yes, he has a post-season victory in each of those four seasons.  And, honestly, I’m glad Flacco is the quarterback in Baltimore.  I’m in the pro-Flacco camp, if such a group exists.

But let’s just settle this debate about Flacco – and any others in the league who are good but haven’t won anything yet – and call a spade a spade.  He’s not a championship quarterback.  Yet.

When (not if…but when) Flacco does win a title, he’ll be considered “elite”.

For now, he’s not elite.

No disrespect, but that’s just the way it goes when you haven’t held up the trophy.

 

Comments (11)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ray Rice Advances To Final Eight in Madden Cover Voting

Posted on 04 April 2012 by WNST Staff

April 4, 2012 – Fans have come out in force to support their favorite Madden NFL 13 cover athlete candidates, casting 16 million votes to date. This year’s vote tally has already eclipsed last year’s 13 million votes, with three rounds still to go. Voting continues at ESPN.com/MaddenVote through April 25 when the next Madden NFL 13 cover athlete will be announced on ESPN’s SportsNation at 5 p.m. ET.

ROUND 3 BREAKDOWN OF MADDEN NFL 13 COVER VOTE CAMPAIGN 

§  Cam Newton vs. Larry Fitzgerald
§  Patrick Willis vs. Victor Cruz
§  Aaron Rodgers vs. Ray Rice

§  Calvin Johnson vs. Rob Gronkowski

 

 

Second round voting highlights include:

 

§  Upset of the Week

§      No. 6 seed Calvin Johnson (WR, Detroit Lions) over No. 3 seed Arian Foster (RB, Houston Texans)

 

§  Largest Voting Differential

§      No. 1 seed Cam Newton (QB, Carolina Panthers) over No. 8 seed Antonio Gates (WR, San Diego Chargers)

§      No. 2 seed Rob Gronkowski (TE, New England Patriots) over No. 7 seed Jared Allen (DE, Minnesota Vikings)

§  Closest Matchups

§      No. 5 seed Ray Rice (RB, Baltimore Ravens) over No. 4 seed Drew Brees (QB, New Orleans Saints)

§      No. 4 seed Larry Fitzgerald over No. 5 seed LeSean McCoy

 

Round 3 voting is now open and fans can make their selections exclusively atwww.ESPN.com/MaddenVote to determine which of the eight NFL players advance to the next round of the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete voting campaign. Every Wednesday throughout the campaign, fans can tune in to SportsNation at 5 p.m. ET for analysis and commentary on the competition.

Fans can visit the Madden NFL Facebook page (www.facebook.com/EASPORTSMaddenNFL) orSportsNation page (www.facebook.com/SportsNation) to join discussions surrounding the Cover Vote.  Fans are also encouraged to tweet their Cover Vote picks using the hashtag #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter.

To view or download assets* for the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete voting campaign including player screenshots, b-roll, and renders, please visit: http://maddennfl13.newslinevine.com/cover-vote.html 

NOTE – All player assets are taken from Madden NFL 12.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Former Raven, Baltimore Native Foxworth Voted NFLPA President

Posted on 25 March 2012 by WNST Staff

FOXWORTH ELECTED NFLPA PRESIDENT, SMITH RE-ELECTED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Hasselbeck, Light, Moore, Watson join NFLPA Executive Committee during annual meeting

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (March 25, 2011) – Domonique Foxworth was nominated and elected without opposition as President of the NFL Players Association today at the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives Meeting. DeMaurice Smith was reaffirmed unanimously as Executive Director by the board on March 22.

“One of the most important things I learned from Kevin is about responsibility,” Foxworth, a free agent cornerback, said to the board following his election. “Players like to say, ‘The NFLPA is our organization.’ There is a wealth of experience and talent in this room, and I will reach out to each and every one of you about your interests and passions. If we work as hard as we did during the lockout now in peacetime, we will be the strongest organization in the world.”

Foxworth’s unanimous election to the post follows four years of service on the executive committee. In 2007, he was elected by the Broncos as a Player Representative and was named the Broncos’ Walter Payton Man of the Year. In 2008, he ran and was elected as the youngest Vice President of the NFLPA Executive Committee.

Newly elected to serve on the Executive Committee are Matt Hasselbeck (Tennessee Titans), Matt Light (New England Patriots), Brandon Moore (New York Jets) and Ben Watson (Cleveland Browns).

They join current Executive Committee members Charlie Batch (Pittsburgh Steelers), Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Brian Dawkins (Denver Broncos), Scott Fujita (Cleveland Browns), Jeff Saturday (Green Bay Packers) and Brian Waters (New England Patriots) who were re-elected by unanimous affirmation. There are also two chairs for former players on the NFLPA Executive Committee, currently held by Cornelius Bennett and Jim McFarland.

With the 2012 election, Kevin Mawae, Sean Morey, Tony Richardson and Mike Vrabel cycle off the NFLPA Executive Committee.

“We don’t take on roles of leadership in order to pad our stats, build our resumes, or strengthen our positions,” Mawae said as he retired from the post of NFLPA President, a spot he held for four years. “We become leaders so that we can serve others who themselves don’t yet have the wherewithal, the knowledge, or the experience to lead. We don’t coerce, manipulate, or force. We simply serve.”

“It’s been a blessing,” Richardson said. “The biggest thing I’m proud of is taking advantage of every opportunity we were offered, from education to development to benefits, because if I didn’t do it, how could I tell the young guys they should be doing it? Every decision we made was for the betterment of our organization. My only agenda, ever, has been to serve the players.”

“We get a chance to play an amazing game and compete on the highest level, and I feel fortunate to have stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the greatest men in this game,” Morey said. “I appreciate our leadership letting me talk, trusting me, helping me understand the negotiation process and keeping me disciplined and focused.”

Hasselbeck, a Boston College graduate, has been playing in the NFL since 1998 and owns nearly every single-season and career record for quarterbacks with the Seattle Seahawks. The three-time Pro Bowler was first elected to the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives in 2008. Off the field, Hasselbeck is involved with numerous charitable efforts, including raising funds and awareness to help provide clean water to those in need.

Light was first elected as a Player Representative in 2008 and has served continuously since. A graduate of Purdue University, his career in the NFL has consisted of four Pro Bowl selections and three Super Bowl championships. A member of the Patriots’ 50th Anniversary Team, he established the Light Foundation which provides youth with unique outdoor experiences to help them become stronger individuals and better members of their communities.

Moore is an offensive lineman with the New York Jets and graduate of the University of Illinois. He has served as on the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives since 2007 and was a recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2011. The Pro Bowl selection created the Moore Family Foundation to provide disadvantaged youth with positive holiday experiences, school supplies and other important needs.

Watson, a tight end for the Cleveland Browns, was first elected as a Player Representative in 2010. The graduate of the University of Georgia was a first round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. A Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots, Watson created a foundation to support charities that provide educational and enrichment opportunities. He is also a spokesperson for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteers for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

The 2012 NFLPA Board of Player Representatives Meeting continues through March 26.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rice, Suggs In Running For Madden 13 Cover

Posted on 08 March 2012 by WNST Staff

EA SPORTS AND ESPN’S SPORTSNATION KICK OFF MADDEN NFL 13 COVER ATHLETE FAN VOTE

This Year’s Campaign Expands to 64 Players – With Play-In Round Featuring Two Athletes

From Each NFL Team Represented in Head-to-Head Matchups

March 7, 2012 – EA SPORTS™ and ESPN announced today the return of the award-winning Madden NFL Cover Vote campaign, where fans can cast their vote for the next athlete to grace the cover of one of the highest-selling videogame franchises in North America. Last year, nearly 13 million votes were cast through ESPNSportsNation.com and ESPN mobile in both companies’ most successful cross-platform activation. Tenth-seeded Cleveland Browns running back, Peyton Hillis, trucked through the six week competition all the way to the ultimate end zone – the Madden NFL 12 cover.

This year’s competition will incorporate more athletes and more chances to vote as the field has been expanded to 64 NFL players, putting even more control in the hands of the fans. Beginning today through March 21, fans can visit the SportsNation Facebook page to choose among the 64 candidates in a play-in round (each matchup features two players from the same NFL team) to advance to the official 32-player, seeded tournament.  The winners of the play-in round will be unveiled with the official seeded, 32-player bracket on March 21 on ESPN’s “Madden Cover Vote Special” from 5-6p.m. EST.  To ensure their favorite player advances to the next round, fans are encouraged to vote daily and tweet their picks using #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter.  Every Wednesday between March 21 and April 25, fans can tune into SportsNation on ESPN2at 5p.m. EST to check out the latest Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote standings.

In addition to the SportsNation Facebook page, fans will be able to vote in the play-in round via the open Web through widgets embedded on blogs, websites and more.  Each widget features an individual match-up for each of the 32 total teams in the league.  For the cover vote from March 21-April 25, all voting must be cast at ESPN.com/MaddenVote.

The star-studded list of candidates participating in the play-in round features past Super Bowl winners, perennial Pro Bowlers and some of the most popular players in the NFL including Drew Brees, Arian Foster and Rob Gronkowski. The full list of matchups featured in the play-in round are:

AFC

Ravens Terrell Suggs vs. Ray Rice Jets Mark Sanchez vs. Darrelle Revis
Steelers Troy Polamalu vs. Ben Roethlisberger Bills Stevie Johnson vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Browns Joe Thomas vs. Joe Haden Dolphins Reggie Bush vs. Brandon Marshall
Bengals Andy Dalton vs. AJ Green Patriots Wes Welker vs. Rob Gronkowski
Texans Arian Foster vs. Andre Johnson Chargers Phillip Rivers vs. Antonio Gates
Colts Dwight Freeney vs. Robert Mathis Broncos Tim Tebow vs. Von Miller
Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Blaine Gabbert Chiefs Dwayne Bowe vs. Derrick Johnson
Titans Jake Locker vs. Chris Johnson Raiders Sebastian Janikowski vs. Shane Lechler

NFC

Bears Jay Cutler vs. Matt Forte Rams Chris Long vs. Brandon Lloyd
Lions Calvin Johnson vs. Matt Stafford 49ers Vernon Davis vs. Patrick Willis
Vikings Percy Harvin vs. Jared Allen Seahawks Marshawn Lynch vs. Earl Thomas
Packers Aaron Rodgers vs. Clay Matthews Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald vs. Patrick Peterson
Falcons Matt Ryan vs. Julio Jones Eagles Michael Vick vs. LeSean McCoy
Saints Drew Brees vs. Jimmy Graham Giants Victor Cruz vs. Jason Pierre-Paul
Panthers Cam Newton vs. Steve Smith Cowboys Jason Witten vs. DeMarcus Ware
Buccaneers Josh Freeman vs. LeGarrette Blount Redskins Brian Orakpo vs. Ryan Kerrigan

The Madden NFL 13 cover vote marks the third-consecutive year that EA SPORTS has asked fans to help shape the face of the Madden NFL franchise through a cover athlete voting campaign.  It also marks the second year of its collaboration with ESPN’s SportsNation.

Madden NFL 13 is developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon.  For more information about Madden NFL 13, please visit: http://www.ea.com/madden-nfl. To download assets pertaining to the Madden NFL 13 please visit http://maddennfl13.newslinevine.com.

All player participation has been facilitated by National Football League Players Incorporated, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.

EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers experiences that ignite the emotions of sport through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA basketball, NCAA® Football, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.

For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Active, The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd.  Battlefield is a trademark of EA Digital Illusions CE AB.  John Madden, NFL, FIFA, NHL, NBA, NCAA, Tiger Woods, and PGA TOUR are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission.  Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Officially Licensed Product of National Football League Players Incorporated.

About SportsNation

SportsNation is a live sports television show born from the Internet, fueled by fan interaction and focused on fun.  The show, which has the youngest and most male audience on the ESPN network, features discussions of the day’s hottest sports topics but also smaller stories that generate buzz on the Web but are overlooked by other shows.  Feeding off the theory that if two heads are better than one, 200,000 heads are better than two, SportsNation engages hundreds of thousands of sports fans across the country via ESPN.com’s SportsNation page (http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/).

About ESPN Games and EA

ESPN’s long-standing relationship with EA produces deep brand integrations into console gaming titles such as EA SPORTS NCAA Football 12 and Fight Night Champion.  Additionally, the relationship in 2011 produced the biggest ESPN poll vote ever for the Madden NFL 12 cover vote, logging nearly 13 million votes, the most ESPN votes ever for a joint collaboration.  The Emmy award-winning EA Virtual Playbook also most recently extended to boxing and golf in 2011.

###

PLAY-IN ROUND VOTING THRU FACEBOOK & OPEN WEB

Thanks for your interest in SportsNation’s Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote.

EA Sports and ESPN’s SportsNation have chosen two players from each NFL team to be included in a social play-in round for the Madden NFL 13 cover.

Starting March 7th on SportsNation’s Facebook page and on voting matchups called ‘sapplets’ or ‘widgets’ embedded across open web (info below), fans will be able to vote on matchups from each NFL team to send one representative into the final bracket of 32 players at ESPN.com/MaddenVote on March 21st.

If you choose to embed one of the 32 individual voting ‘sapplets’, you can use the next page that includes all 32 embed codes for all 32 NFL teams. They post to your site much like a YouTube clip and can increase time spent on your site as well as traffic by generating debate about matchups.

The social Play-in vote launches on Wednesday, March 7th and closes two week later on Wednesday, March 21st. The Facebook tab and voting ‘sapplets’ will be live during those two weeks.

CHEAT SHEET:

WAY TO EMBED:

  • Go to page 2. Find your team.
  • Copy the embed code.
  • Paste the embed code onto your website where you would embed a YouTube clip.
  • The voting platform is ready and interactive on your page!
  • Please Note: do NOT embed on Tumblr and do NOT change the height & width

Canvas

NEW embed Code

49ers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1dce569c1” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Chiefs Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1e2f12fa0” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Broncos Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1e554e7b8” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Chargers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1e8357b31” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Raiders Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1eef16cb1” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Cardinals Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1f1180d75” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Rams Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1f3a44b7c” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Seahawks Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1fa90e9de” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Dolphins Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1fd45f2ef” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Jets Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c20e43130c” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Bills Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c2117d9a4d” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Patriots Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c21a1d4a02” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Giants Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c21c93fefb” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Redskins Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c21edd2a3b” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Eagles Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c225bd9182” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Cowboys Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c228424971” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Texans Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c22a20240b” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Colts Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c22c505848” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Titans Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c22ea335e8” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Jaguars Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c23073bbef” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Falcons Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c232133f2a” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Panthers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c233b11b9a” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Buccaneers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c235a0c71c” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Saints Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c2378c8dfb” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Browns Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c239565408” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Ravens Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c23b5bf95d” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Bengals Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c23f69ceda” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Steelers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c2419ba2ea” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Vikings Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c244215f0e” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Lions Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c246389df6” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Bears Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c24811d1b2” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Packers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c249f8b23a” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Comments (0)

The Reality Check Starting Nine Athletes From Other Sports

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Reality Check Starting Nine Athletes From Other Sports

Posted on 15 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Our second edition of “The Starting Nine (Ten)” Wednesday centered around the subject “What starting nine would you put together if you could only use athletes from other sports?”

That’s the only set-up I’m giving you. But we want to give you the chance to vote on whose team would win single game. Let us know!

Glenn Clark’s Nine…

Catcher-Martin Brodeur

First Base-LeBron James

Second Base-Ray Rice

Shortstop-Jon “Bones” Jones

Third Base-Tim Howard

Outfield-Novak Djokovic

Outfield-Ed Reed

Outfield-Blake Griffin

Designated Hitter-Bubba Watson

Pitcher-Drew Brees


Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rice, Suggs Make Bloomberg List of Most Powerful Athletes

Posted on 25 January 2012 by WNST Staff

New York, NY, January 25, 2012– The New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees (No. 1), Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (No. 2) and New England Patriots’ Tom Brady (No. 3) top the Bloomberg Businessweek/Horrow Sports Ventures 2012 Power 100 ranking of the most powerful professional athletes in the U.S. To determine who the 100 most powerful athletes are on- and off-the-field going into 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek teamed up with Rick Horrow, host of Bloomberg TV “Sportfolio,” and CEO of Horrow Sports Ventures; CSE, a leading integrated marketing agency that created the Power 100 list for the third consecutive year using proprietary methodology; and the Nielsen/E-Poll N-Score.

As the business of sports continues to grow, endorsement contracts increasingly impact players, teams, and the industry. These contracts take into consideration many of the same factors as the Power 100 ranking – performance, name awareness, appeal, influence, trustworthiness and overall popularity, among other things. Social media, for example, played a role in boosting the rankings of such athletes as LeBron James (No. 4) and Shaquille O’Neal (No.7).  The Power 100 rankings are based 50 percent on these on “off-field” measurements, and 50 percent on “on-field” performance using a variety of industry statistics.

The most notable drops this year include injury-plagued Peyton Manning dropping from No. 1 to No. 51 and golfer Phil Mickelson dropping from No. 4 to No. 18. Due to the individual dominance of its top athletes, tennis commands ten percent of the spots on this year’s list, with the top female athlete on the list being American tennis stalwart Serena Williams (No. 25).

In addition, this year’s Power 100 rankings also emphasize the importance of team sports, with the NFL dominating the list with 26 players ranked in the top 100. The National Basketball Association came in second with the most athletes on the Power 100, with 20, followed by MLB baseball (16), tennis (10), golf (8), NASCAR (6), Olympics (4), soccer (4), hockey (3), boxing/MMA (2), and action sports (1).

“This is the third year of the Power 100, and it continues to be a cutting-edge tool to measure the power and value of athletes,” says Horrow, who will devote an entire “Sportfolio” episode to the special report on January 25.  “CSE’s consistent methodology provides the industry’s only analytics to provide integrated on field and off field attributes.”

Top 20:

1-Drew Brees-Football

2-Aaron Rodgers-Football

3-Tom Brady-Football

4-LeBron James-Basketball

5-Rafael Nadal- Tennis

6-Roger Federer-Tennis

7-Shaquille O’Neal-Basketball

8-Shaun White-Action Sports

9-Novak Djokovic-Tennis

10-Calvin Johnson-Football

11-Luke Donald-Golf

12-Tiger Woods-Golf

13-Kobe Bryant-Basketball

14-Dwight Howard-Basketball

15-Eli Manning-Football

16-Dwyane Wade-Basketball

17-Kevin Durant-Basketball

18-Phil Mickelson-Golf

19-Lee Westwood-Golf

20-Troy Polamalu-Football

All NFL players on list:

Rank

Athlete Sport

Pro Team / Hometown

1

Brees, Drew Football

New Orleans Saints

2

Rodgers, Aaron Football

Green Bay Packers

3

Brady, Tom Football

New England Patriots

10

Johnson, Calvin Football

Detroit Lions

15

Manning, Eli Football

New York Giants

20

Polamalu, Troy Football

Pittsburgh Steelers

23

Foster, Arian Football

Houston Texans

27

Peterson, Adrian Football

Minnesota Vikings

36

Turner, Michael Football

Atlanta Falcons

39

Jones-Drew, Maurice Football

Jacksonville Jaguars

41

Fitzgerald, Larry Football

Arizona Cardinals

43

Stafford, Matthew Football

Detroit Lions

44

Rice, Ray Football

Baltimore Ravens

47

Woodson, Charles Football

Green Bay Packers

50

Ryan, Matt Football

Atlanta Falcons

51

Manning, Peyton Football

Indianapolis Colts

57

Willis, Patrick Football

San Francisco 49ers

59

McCoy, LeSean Football

Philadelphia Eagles

61

Allen, Jared Football

Minnesota Vikings

67

Rivers, Philip Football

San Diego Chargers

72

Matthews, Clay Football

Green Bay Packers

77

Gronkowski, Rob Football

New England Patriots

91

Suggs, Terrell Football

Baltimore Ravens

95

Welker, Wes Football

New England Patriots

97

Anderson, James Football

Carolina Panthers

98

Wallace, Mike Football

Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Comments (0)

Timing of media critique puts even brighter spotlight on Flacco to deliver

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Timing of media critique puts even brighter spotlight on Flacco to deliver

Posted on 12 January 2012 by Luke Jones

The words come with a smile as Joe Flacco fires back at his critics.

They draw laughter from the gathered media in Owings Mills while the Ravens quarterback speaks without a tone of confrontation or disdain.

But, as the saying goes, there’s some truth behind every joke. In Flacco’s case, there’s plenty of truth in the response to criticisms levied upon a man whose 44 regular season wins are the most by a quarterback in his first four seasons in NFL history. Supporters find his statements refreshing while others view them as passive-aggressive, but it’s clear Flacco is drawing a line in the sand with his comments.

“We’ve won a lot of games around here,” Flacco said. “This is the second year in a row we’ve won 12 games. I couldn’t care less. At the end of the day, do you see the criticism sometimes and think, ‘What the hell are they talking about?’ Yeah, but who cares?”

For someone unconcerned with what his doubters have to say, he spends plenty of time addressing their barbs. It vaguely reminds you of a scorned man who claims he no longer cares about the woman who broke his heart but takes every possible chance he can to complain about her.

Flacco deserves to be proud of what he’s accomplished in his young career, becoming the first starting quarterback in league history to take his team to the playoffs in each of his first four years. He’s never missed a start, remaining durable and dependable week in and week out.

A generous portion of the criticism thrown his way, from the national or local media, has been unjust and short-sighted. While Flacco isn’t an elite quarterback in the same category of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, or Aaron Rodgers, he is certainly a good one — a very good one, at times.

“You guys want everybody to be Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady,” Flacco said. “You guys realize, those guys don’t run the ball. If we try to do that, the criticism we’d take around here would be ridiculous. We could win eight games like that and lose one, and you guys would be like, ‘Oh man, what are you guys doing?’

“Hey, this is what you guys said you wanted. ‘And you lose one game? Oh my God.’ You guys have to remember that [if] you want an elite quarterback, you have to stop complaining when we go out and throw the ball 60 times a game, because that’s what elite quarterbacks do.”

Ironically, Flacco attempted 40 more passes than Rodgers this season, but his message is clear in spite of the balanced offensive attack the Ravens have discovered in the second half of the season.

He hasn’t backed down from speaking his mind this season, defending his career-high 52 pass attempts in a turnover-laden loss to Seattle in November and questioning the conservative second-half play-calling in the Christmas Eve win over the Cleveland Browns. But the timing of his most recent comments leading up to Sunday’s divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans is puzzling and will place even more scrutiny on the signal caller at the onset of the most important playoff run of his career to date.

Instead of trying to keep the focus — and intense pressure — on the entire team, Flacco may have unintentionally placed himself on an island, with critics ready to pounce at the first sign of peril.

“[Criticism is] all right there in front of you, so who’s kidding who?” said offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, defending his quarterback while offering the only appropriate response. “Yeah, you get a little tired of it, but the bottom line is, ‘Hey, go shut people up.’” But, we have to let our play speak for itself, and he’s poised to do that. Let’s give the guy some credit for throwing it out there, and now, he gets the chance to go out there and do his thing.”

Yes, Flacco will need to come through in what’s easily the most navigable path the Ravens have been presented in their attempts to get to the Super Bowl over the last four years. The Pittsburgh Steelers are no longer standing in the way — in large part due to Flacco’s work in disposing of them twice in the regular season — and the Ravens have already received a much-needed week off before hosting their first playoff game of the John Harbaugh era.

Though he will face a Houston defense ranked second overall in yards allowed, Flacco has already proven capable of making plays against the unit, throwing for over 300 yards in a Week 6 victory over the Texans in Baltimore.

Continue >>>

Comments (3)