Tag Archive | "green bay packers"

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Blog & Tackle: Penalties by the numbers

Posted on 02 November 2009 by Chris Pika

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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marshall

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (10/30/09)

Posted on 30 October 2009 by Jack McManus

9:49-

Andy Behrens is on to give his weekly fantasy advice. Make sure you check out Andy’s blog to get his in-depth fantasy analysis and positional rankings.

9:32-

Yet another caller is on and guarantees a Ravens’ win as well. He will sing with Drew on Monday if the team loses. He also signs “Score, Ravens, Score” for us.

9:26-

Another caller states that the Broncos game is a “must win.” This is because of the “can’t win” games on the schedule. He explains that there is no way the Ravens will defeat the Colts this season.

9:23-

A fan calls in to talk about the Orioles’ decision to decline the option on Melvin Mora. He believes the team made the correct decision in this case. He also expresses his concern regarding the Ravens game this weekend. He does not see how the secondary can contain the Broncos’ passing game.

9:10-

Drew guarantees a Ravens win on Sunday. If they lose he will sing the Broncos’ fight song on Monday morning.

8:53-

Broncos sideline reporter Alan Roach is next up to talk about the Ravens-Broncos game. He explains that the Broncos are winning using a simple style of football. Kyle Orton has thrown only one interception this season and it occurred on a Hail Mary pass. The Broncos also have used all of their offseason acquisition, including Mike Nolan to improved the defense. He next talks about how Josh McDaniels has had the perfect start for a rookie head coach. It began with the last second win over the Bengals in Week 1.  Roach next brings up Brandon Marshall who is a big, strong, and physical wide receiver and could present a huge matchup problem for the Ravens secondary.

marshall

8:38-

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com is on with Drew. He begins by discussing the rumors about the sale of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It appears that these are just that, rumors. He next talks about the Vikings-Packers game. He states that Brett Favre must keep his emotions in check if the Vikings want to win the game. Florio moves on to how the AFC has many teams with middle-of-the-road records this season. He explains that this is normally the case in the NFC, but not this year. He states that the Ravens have the best chance to break out from this group of teams. Florio next describes Vince Young’s situation. Young has gone down a very odd path. His career was derailed one afternoon and he is finally being given the chance.  

favre 

8:12-

It’s time for Cheap Shots from the Bleachers. Glenn starts off by bring up how Hereford High School was cost the Boys’ Cross Country County Championship because of the stitching on one of the runner’s undergarments. The runner finished in fourth place and his disqualification dropped the Bulls into second behind Towson (my school by the way). Glenn states that the officials should tell the runners that they have uniform violations before the race begins. He goes on to say that regardless of the rule, a student should not have to run the race and then be disqualified. Drew also had planned to take a cheap shot about the same event. He adds on that some schools were told that runners had uniform violations. He explains that common sense would make sure that a team is not penalized if it was not checked prior to the race while other teams were.

7:33-

A caller brings up the idea of Peter Angelos moving the Orioles to another city. He agrees with Drew that if the city was promised a new team in a few years (like the Browns) it would be fine. The caller puts some blame on the politicians of the city for not putting pressure on Angelos to field a quality team.

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lee

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

Posted on 29 October 2009 by Jack McManus

9:50-

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

9:45-

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

9:39-

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

9:12-

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

lee 

8:55-

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

8:25-

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

8:05-

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

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DMase

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The Omnipresent Derrick Mason

Posted on 05 October 2009 by Derek Arnold

Remember last December when the NFL Network crew screwed up and put Derrick Mason’s headshot on Roy Williams of the Cowboys’ name? (here is our post showing it in case you forgot)

Well, it seems that D-Mase was so caught up in all the hype surrounding the Favre vs. Packers matchup tonight, that he just couldn’t stay away, as he is moonlighting this season as not Roy Williams, but as former Raven Derrick Martin.

DMase

Hopefully Mason can get some inside information on the Packers and Vikings, two teams on the Ravens’ schedule later this season.

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Ravens, Rants and Rankings – week 3

Posted on 02 October 2009 by kevinpb

Ravens 34 – Browns 3. Three games, three wins. This just in, the Ravens are a very good football team. All things being equal with injuries, the Baltimore Ravens will be a factor in the AFC with regard to which team goes to the Super Bowl. These aren’t your Daddy’s Ravens. They are still solid on defense, and are diverse and exciting on offense.
The Browns had no chance on Sunday at the Purple Palace. The Browns are a bad football team.

In week 3, the Ravens offense was as imaginative as effective. Again the Ravens relied on the “no-huddle” offense early in the game to create tempo and keep Cleveland off balance. They also unveiled a new package, based on the principals of the “read option” that was used so effectively by Vince Young at Texas. Five to ten times Flacco set up in the shotgun and read the defense before handing off to the back. McGahee scored both his touchdowns off this set, and early in the second corner they ran the option to Mark Clayton out of this set. Joe Flacco was 25-35 for 342 yards and 1 touchdown. Three games into the season and Flacco has 2 – 300 yard games. The offensive line was dominant, opening gaping holes and keeping Flacco upright.

Defensively, the line dominated the run, and provided steady yet unspectacular pressure all day. The secondary had a much better day, admittedly, against a far inferior quarterback. The defensive backfield was much more aggressive and attacked the ball when it was put in the air. One thing that I have noticed is that Brendan Ayanbadejo is playing a lot of inside linebacker, especially in obvious passing situations. I guess the coaches are not sold on Tavares Gooden’s coverage skills.

Special teams wise, they were better. Koch was solid with the limited punting he did and Hauschka was perfect in PAT’s and field goals. Our return game is still not good, it seems we are out of sync and always just a second late getting the hole. We covered better, but Harbaugh and Rossberg still like to tempt fate by kicking the ball directly to the dangerous return men. I will give them credit though, just before halftime after we scored, instead of kicking to Cribbs, like they did to Sproles last week, they kicked it high and short and made someone else field the ball. At least they learned their lesson.

I have to give credit to Cam Cameron, he was so far ahead of the defensive coaches for the Cleveland Browns with play calling. When the Browns loaded the box, he threw the ball down the field, when they backed off he pounded the ball with the run. It was a complete mismatch on the field and in the coaching booth.

Next week we go to Foxboro. I am really looking forward to this game. I don’t think it will be easy, but there is no team in football the Ravens can’t beat. They are going to have to stop the run, force Brady to throw a lot and then pressure and make him uncomfortable. Next week would be a good week to go back to the all out pressure defense that was our staple for many years. If Wes Welker does not play, the Ravens will play over the top of Randy Moss so he doesn’t beat us deep, they will stop the run and Flacco and company will put up enough points to get out of Boston with a win.
RANTS

How bad are the Cleveland Browns – Pretty bad, but I have to question what they were trying to accomplish last Sunday in Baltimore. Loosing 27-0 late in the 3rd quarter or early in the 4th, with 4th and short on or about the Ravens 15 yard line, they decide to kick a field goal. I don’t understand the decision. For a team that has had trouble putting it in the endzone, and with the game already decided, why not pull out all stops to get a touchdown? Strange decision. Also, earlier in the 3rd quarter, James Harrison of the Browns rips off a 17 yard run for a first down. The Browns line up and run a quarterback sneak on first down. Who the hell called that masterpiece?

Man-Genius? I think not. Eric Mangini played coy all summer without naming a quarterback. Then he named Brady Quinn opening day starter. After only 2 ½ games, Mangini pulled Quinn, who was not performing, for Derek Anderson. Anderson comes in cold without proper practice with the Browns first team, against the aggressive Ravens defense. He throws three interceptions. Now Mangini has benched his chosen starter for the 2nd stringer who tanked against the Ravens. Beautiful coaching decision. The game was over at half time and no way Derek Anderson was going to change the outcome. If Mangini became convinced a change was needed, then he should have let Quinn finish the Ravens game, and prepared Anderson to start the next week. Now he has no quarterback. In a matter of three years, the Cleveland Browns have gone from having a Pro Bowl quarterback and a promising No. 1 draft choice at that position to no quarterback at all.

Shaun Hill, Vernon Davis, Jared Gaither, Domique Foxworth, D’Quell Jackson, Eric Barton, LaMont Jordan, EJ Henderson, Darius Heyward-Bey, Stephen Heyer, Shawn Merriman, Jeremy Navarre, Kris Jenkins, Joey Haynos, Dan Gronkowski, Erin Henderson, Eric Hicks, Moise Foiku, Kevin Barnes, Andrew Crummey, Madieu Williams, Josh Wilson, Randy Starks, Dave Philistin, Adam Podlesh, Isaiah Gardner, William Kershaw, Dre Moore, Edwin Williams and Jaimie Thomas. What do they all have in common? They are former University of Maryland football players that are currently with an NFL team. That is a lot of talent being sent to the NFL from a Division 1A program that routinely continues to underachieve. I wonder what the problem could be? Oh yes, your Maryland Terrapins were embarrassed again this week by that national power Rutgers.

Political Correctness makes me sick – The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim clinched a spot in the baseball playoffs by winning the American League West Division. Their clinching celebration included honoring a fallen teammate, Nick Adenhart. The celebration included an homage to his likeness on the centerfield wall and dousing his jersey with beer and champagne. The symbolization was clear, they were celebrating like he was still with them. There have been rumblings that this type of celebration was not appropriate because Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver. Please. Way to go Angels, I think your celebration was pretty cool.

This Weiters kid can play – For all of you Baltimore Oriole fans out there who were uneasy about the play of Matt Weiters; or more appropriately, were concerned that he wasn’t going to be as good as advertised, fear not the kid can play. Long past the time most Orioles are on the shelf for the year due to injury, and the others have packed it in, Weiters continues impress. His defense has continuously improved and he is really stinging the ball even when he makes an out. The homerun he hit in Toronto was a monstrous shot. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

“I can coach!” – Charles G Driesell. In the case of Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno, I don’t think that is the case any longer. I watched Joe Paterno on the sidelines the other night when Iowa beat Penn State. He looked completely mystified on the sideline. Bobby Bowden’s post game press conference after Florida State’s loss to South Florida is priceless. You really ought to try and find it and watch it. I am paraphrasing his statements, but they were something like, daggommit, they were good. They were a lot better then we thought they were. Don’t get me wrong, both Bowden and Paterno are Hall of Fame coaches, and while their respective programs are in decent shape nationally, they are no where near the viable force they once were on the national scene. It is clear that both coaches are pretty much figureheads for the corporations that are Penn State and Florida State football. Both programs are run behind the scenes by assistant coaches and are pretty much on cruise control. For either program to return to national prominence, a change needs to be made.

Do yourself a favor and check out the Showtime series, “Full Color Football: History of the AFL”. This series airs on every Wednesday at 8pm prior to Inside the NFL. It is a great documentary regarding the start up AFL and the years prior to the creation of the Super Bowl and all the way up through the AFL-NFL merger. If you are a football fan, you will love a look back at this league. It is really well done. Next week the episode will center on something that is near and dear to all Baltimoreans hearts, Super Bowl III. You can probably catch all the previous episodes on Comcast “On Demand” if you are so inclined.

Baby Steps – It’s good to see Steelers wide receiver, Limas Sweed progressing as a receiver in the NFL. Last week when he dropped a sure touchdown pass, he didn’t fall down and fake and injury. Baby steps, “Lame Ass”, baby steps.

RANKINGS

1. New York Giants – Defense wins championships, and this defense is pretty good. They are running the ball well and Eli is meshing with his new receivers.
2. New Orleans Saints – beat a decent Buffalo team at Buffalo and did it by playing great defense and running the ball.
3. Baltimore Ravens – rolled against a really bad team. They did what they were supposed to do. Let’s see what happens next week.
4. New York Jets – Titans had them beat except for the muffed punt at the end.
5. Indianapolis Colts – demolished the Cardinals. Very efficient game, hitting on all cylinders right now.
6. Minnesota Vikings – great throw by Favre, even better catch by Greg Lewis. A miracle away from being 2-1.
7. Philadelphia Eagles – Wow, what a difference in Kevin Kolb from the Ravens game last year and the way he is playing now. Team hasn’t missed a beat.
8. Chicago Bears – went into Seattle, a very tough place to play, and got the job done. When “Good Jay” shows up they are a tough out.
9. Denver Broncos – I still don’t think they are as good as this ranking but they deserve to be here.
10. New England Patriots – I still think they are a little off kilter, but getting back to basics last week with the running game was a good first step. Let’s hope they don’t find their stride for at least one more week
11. Atlanta Falcons –no shame in losing at Foxboro, but their second half against the Patriots was nothing to write home about.
12. Green Bay Packers – gearing up for the Monday night showdown with ole what’s his name.
13. San Diego Chargers – still 2-1, but getting healthier. Would love to see them go into Pittsburgh and get the W.
14. San Franscisco 49ers – a good solid football team who got beat last Sunday on a hail mary. Frank Gore being hurt does not help them going forward.
15. Cincinnati Bengals – got to give this team some love, after that deflection loss the first weekend I thought they were dead.
16. Dallas Cowboys – I have no read on this team. They are 2-1, but I still think they are the odd team out in the NFC East.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – 1-2 what a great break for the Ravens, but they will stabilize and make a charge before the year is done.
18. Tennessee Titans – notoriously slow starting team the last few years, puts an awful lot of pressure on the team to play perfect and stay perfect at the end.
19. Seattle Seahawks – this team is very talented, they just caught a bad break when Hasselback broke his rib.
20. Arizona Cardinals – should be lower, but I know they can play better. All of a sudden Warner looks old.
21. Houston Texans – there is potential here. The defense must get better.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars – does the nick name Jaguars work in Southern California?
23. Buffalo Bills – didn’t show up at home against the Saints. The TO explosion meter is ticking.
24. Miami Dolphins – brutal early schedule has not done them any favors. Pennington is hurt, time to audition for next year.
25. Detroit Lions – making strides as a team. I think they are getting better as a team
26. Oakland Raiders – the worst quarterback in the NFL.
27. Carolina Panthers – John Fox has had a nice run. I am afraid it is coming to an end.
28. Washington Redskins – should be embarrassed at how they are playing. To much talent to stink this bad. No accountability at all. Danny boy is getting nevous.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – quarterback change already. Young coach is not ready for the adversity they are facing. This is going to get bad real fast.
30. Saint Louis Rams – Kyle Boller with 2 touchdown passes. Let’s go Kyle.
31. Kansas City Chiefs- all that money they gave to Cassell isn’t looking like such a good idea right now.
32. Cleveland Browns – I think they ought to hire Tony Grossi to coach the team.

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Ravens vs. Patriots – It’s Not Just Another Game …..

Posted on 01 October 2009 by Rex Snider

I think the next four days will serve as that proverbial “snowball rolling downhill” as the excitement builds for Sunday’s showdown, in Foxboro.

It’s being billed with various descriptions in newspapers, website/message boards and blogs …..

“Flacco vs. Brady”

“Harbaugh vs. Belichick”

“The NEW Guard vs. The OLD Guard”

“Big Randy vs. A Bunch Of Smaller Guys …..” (Yep, I actually saw this !!!!)

If you think of a witty moniker for this game, there’s a real good chance someone else has already thought of it, and posted it – ON THESE MESSAGE BOARDS. Indeed, the week leading up to a big game is every bit as contentious as the 60 minutes spent on the field.

But, all the hoopla just fuels the collective fires burning within rabid fans of both teams.

In reality, we know what this is really about …..

It’s just another football game. It’s the Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots – a couple non-divisional opponents meeting for a regular season contest. Both teams have games the following week – and they’re equally as important. Or, are they?

In looking at both teams, if I’m going to consider any comparisons, I’m likely to point out that both organizations obsess on the TEAM concept. This town and anyone who follows the Ravens are familiar with John Harbaugh’s devotion to team unity.

And, Bill Belichick has amassed a collection of Lombardi trophies and gaudy rings by beating opponents with larger collections of “stars” on the game’s biggest stage. We can name dozens of reclamation projects utilized and optimized by Belichick, right?

Well, it’s also legitimate to admit Tom Brady has been the consistent factor on the team, as well.

The Patriots have dominated the last decade on a “next man up” philosophy. Obviously, the Ravens have that same mindset – and we’ve observed textbook examples, with Justin Bannan, Chris Chester and others. In fact, both Tom Brady and Joe Flacco were cast into their current roles through unexpected circumstances and at unplanned times.

And, the world knows neither guy let the opportunity or job title slip away …..

But, Sunday’s game is not about the legend of Tom Brady, or the emergence of Joe Flacco. Although, that’s what the cookie-cutter networks will say in their coverage. Pimping the quarterbacks has always been that “sexy selling point” with national, mainstream analysis.

I’m not suggesting Brady or Flacco will be mere bystanders to Sunday’s eventual outcome. Both guys are leaders and they’ll intimately impact what happens – as every quarterback does. But, will they have any greater effect than other Week #4 matchups, like Roethlisberger vs. Rivers, Sanchez vs. Brees or the most overblown duel, Brett Favre vs. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers & ENTIRE STATE OF WISCONSIN.

Good grief, I’ll be glad when that game is over. But, you know what I mean – the nationally syndicated media will market the quarterbacks. However, we know it’s much more complex than that.

This Ravens/Patriots game is bound to be determined by more relevant matchups and scenarios …..

• Can the Ravens Defense pressure the Patriots into hurried execution and a repeat of the unpleasant circumstances similar to that day at the Meadowlands, a couple weeks ago?

• Will the Patriots Defense finally do something the Chiefs, Chargers and Browns failed to accomplish – STOP the Ravens passing attack, which really enables the running game? They’ll have the home crowd to their advantage.

• Aside from the presence of Randy Moss, can the Patriots present difficult matchups for the Ravens secondary? Be cautious of the Patriots’ Tight Ends; they’re big and offer another option for Brady.

• Do “Blueprints For Success” exist for both teams? Specifically, did Philip Rivers reveal the Ravens vulnerabilities? And, did Rex Ryan’s Jets-D lay a similar plan for his former pupils?

• Has Prescott Burgess been spending hours under a bright light, in Coach Belichick’s office? Get the Velveeta ready …..

• Perhaps, it will come down to Steve Hauschka vs. Stephen Gostkowski. Just remember, the Ravens’ new kicker hasn’t really stepped into a “do or die” situation, yet. It’s coming …..

Let’s face it, an array of possibilities exist, as Sunday fast approaches. In reality, it’s just 1 of 16 games. But, it holds some significant potential …..

In a similar standard to the San Diego game, this contest could serve as a tie-breaker for postseason homefield, and it could also lead to an extended lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will really face a tough challenge, against the Chargers, in another game without Troy Polamalu.

To be fair, this game has important intangible factors, as well. The Patriots have a collection of Super Bowl Championships, over the past ten years. Beating them has gotta be significant for a team’s confidence. They’re also one of those upper echelon teams and the Ravens need to beat such opponents, if they wanna go to Miami, in February.

In fact, it’s absolutely fitting to suggest the New England Patriots demand that same reverence as the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. And, do these 4 teams share a common relation with the Ravens?

You bet.

The Steelers, Colts, Patriots and Giants are jointly responsible for winning the past 6 Super Bowls. In the span of the last 24 months, the Ravens have played this collection of teams 10 times.

The Ravens are 1-9 against them. Did you get that? I said ONE WIN & NINE LOSSES.

This has to change. Forget about beating the bad teams. And, forget about beating the good teams. The Ravens absolutely MUST beat the GREAT TEAMS.

The ESPN Power Rankings, Sporting News Ratings and other in-season accolades are nice. But, there are no real awards for such distinctions. The prize is coveted by every NFL team, and it’s a Super Bowl Championship.

The teams responsible for the last half-dozen trips to Disney World have dominated the Ravens. The tables must turn. Maybe, Ric Flair was right – “to be the man, you gotta beat the man.”

Indeed, this is not just another game …..

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (9/24/09)

Posted on 24 September 2009 by Jack McManus

9:34-

Sean Salisbury is now on the show. He believes that the New York Giants will be a contender throughout the season. He goes on to talk about Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez’s impact on the Jets. He calls Ryan one of his favorite coaches in the league and Sanchez a special talent. He next talks about how Matthew Stafford’s arm strength is one of the most impressive in the league. Sean also talks about Josh McDaniels has set the tone in his first few weeks in Denver. He has demanded the respect from his players. Also, despite the Packers loss to the Bengals this past week, Sean believes the team can still win the division. He explains that the NFC North has quickly become a much stronger division. Finally, Sean describes how even though it is only week 3, the Tennessee Titans face a must win game. He thinks the team is overrated and will miss the playoffs. Make sure you check out Sean on Facebook and twitter.

9:05-

Pro golfer and member of the Champions Tour, Chip Beck is the next guest. Beck states that he is beginning to hit the ball well, and if he can sink his putts at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship he will be on track. Beck calls the Champions Tour the “greatest mulligan in life.” Beck talks about the time in his career when he was driving poorly. He explains that this hurt his confidence and led to much of his struggles. Beck remembers that day he shot a 59 in Las Vegas. He describes the importance of the day to him.

8:29-

Charley Casserly is next up. He is currently an analyst for CBS Sports. He talks about the situations of some NFC teams. He talks about how the Packers have struggled this far, and need to turn it around. He also believes that the Bears’ win over the Steelers was very important. Casserly moves onto the improvement of the Cincinnati Bengals. He explains that the defense is healthy and improved this year. The wide receiving core is also more dangerous. Casserly states that Mike Singletary has done an excellent job coaching his team and getting them ready for the season.

8:18-

Brian Billick makes his weekly appearance. Brian will be calling the Washington-Detroit game this week. This game reminds him of the Ravens’ loss to the Miami Dolphins when the Dolphins were winless a couple years ago. Brian names the Ravens’ victory over the Chargers as the biggest win of the week. He thinks the team is a legitimate contender. He also talks about how the New York Jets must maintain their momentum and focus as much for the rest of their schedule as they did for the Patriots game.

7:50-

A caller questions the status of LJ Smith. Glenn states that Smith will most likely return to the field on Sunday. The next topic is the increase in offense throughout the NFL. Drew mentions that the number of shutdown cornerbacks in the league has greatly declined.

7:15-

Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain makes an appearance this morning. McClain talks about the loss of Prescott Burgess. He feels that the team’s linebacking core is like a family. However, he knows that football is also a business, and the players have to take events as they happen. McClain emphasizes Ray Lewis’ role as a mentor. He believes that Lewis is the best player and person to learn from in the NFL. He goes on to stress that the team is not over-looking the Browns this weekend, especially since they are a division rival.

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Ravens, Rants and Rankings – week 2

Posted on 22 September 2009 by kevinpb

 Ravens, Rants and Rankings – week 2

Ravens

 

Ravens 31 – Chargers 28.  We have witnessed a lot of defining moments in the career of Ray Lewis; his Super Bowl performance, his open field stick of Eddie George that knocked him out of the game, his interception and return for a touchdown in the playoffs against Tennessee, and now this destruction of the San Diego Chargers last play from scrimmage as they are driving for the go ahead score.  If you have the chance to see a replay of the game, check out Ray moving before the snap closing into the gap, really a thing of beauty. 

 

At this time, I would like to thank Norv (why does everybody think I am a good coach) Turner for choosing to run the ball on 4th and 2 at the 11 yard line.  The Chargers were gashing the Ravens like Freddy Kruger with the pass, and on the most important play of the game they go away from what they had success with all day.  I don’t have a problem getting the ball to Sproles, but get the ball to him in space and let him make a play for you.

 

Again special teams hurt the Ravens chance of putting the game away earlier.  After scoring to take a 21-13 lead with 2 minutes to go in the first half, they allow Darren Sproles to return the ball back over the 50 yard line.  Luckily, the defense was able to deny the touchdown, but giving up 3 points there changes it from a 2 score game to a 1 score game.  If you hold them without points there, you open the second half with the ball, then you have a chance to put them in a 15 point hole.  You don’t even kick the ball to Sproles in that situation.  The special teams have to get better.  Koch and Hauschka were very solid.

 

Defensively, the team showed a lot of heart, and you still can’t run on this offense, but the inability to get to the quarterback and our lack of ability to play physical and tackle at the corner position needs to be corrected.  With regards to Foxworth and Washington, I really did not see a lot wrong with their ability to stay with the receivers.  In most cases they were running stride for stride with them; but I didn’t get a sense that they wanted to compete.  By that I didn’t get the sense they wanted to make a play, when the ball was up in the air it seems that they were content to let the receivers make a play and then tackle them.  Fabian Washington can’t tackle at all.  I never want to see anyone get hurt, but we benefited by Frank Walker having to replace Washington at the end of the game.  I cannot believe I am praising Frank Walker…Geesh! 

 

The offense did not put up 500 yards like last week but was very effective.  They took advantage of the Chargers lack of depth on the front line and effectively pounded the ball with the run.  Willis McGahee was the more effective back on this day.  He ran decisively and with power.  Ray Rice did not have as good a game as the week before, he was bottled up as a runner bobbled the throw back pass late in the game which could have went for a big play.  Joe Flacco played a terrific game and the threat of him throwing the ball down the field keeps that 8th man out of the box and makes the running game that much more effective.  We didn’t throw the ball as much as the previous week but that was by design considering the bad shape the Chargers interior line was in.  You have to love the way Cam Cameron takes advantage of the defense’s weaknesses.

 

In any case we are 2-0 and it is Cleveland week.  This is a game at home that we should win.  Just don’t kick the ball to Josh Cribbs.

 

Rants

 

When an onside kick is not an onside kick – I have watched football for a lot of years but I was watching the Notre Dame – Michigan State game over the weekend and I saw something I have never seen and I am still not sure about the call that was made.  After scoring a touchdown, Michigan State kicked an onside kick from the 30 yard line.  The ball bound untouched just passed the 40 (the required 10 yards) and the next bounce it bounded backwards to the 38 yard line.  Michigan State fell on the ball and was awarded possession.  I guess that once the ball goes 10 yards it can go anywhere and it is still a live ball.  Interesting.

 

I am becoming a Boise State fan – Every year Boise State is a factor on the National Stage.  Chris Peterson, the head coach, is 37-4 in 4 years.  They consistently handle the teams in their conference and make a habit of beating “higher quality” programs.  They play an exciting brand of offensive football that puts a lot of points on the board.  I also find it interesting that ESPN routinely shows 3 or 4 of their football games on Friday nights throughout the college season.  This in effect makes them the only show in town as a kick off for each football weekend.  How long will it be before some big time school comes calling to hire Coach Peterson?

 

Tim Tebow is a terrific college football player.  He very well may end up being the most decorated college football player in history.  I love his passion and I love to watch him play, but he will never make it as a starting quarterback in the NFL.  The Jacksonville Jaguars have stated that they want to draft Tebow and feature him as their centerpiece on the team and in their marketing ventures.  That is a bold declaration and a terrific gamble for a player that most experts are still on the fence about being an impact player at the quarterback position in the NFL.

 

You went to St. Joe’s don’t embarrass me – Delonte West, who had the best game I ever saw a major college basketball player have, going 10 for 10 from the field and 6 for 6 from the foul line as St Joe’s beat Xavier in 2004, was arrested in PG County over the weekend.  He was arrested for speeding on a motorcycle when he cut off a police cruiser.  He was stopped and had a guitar case strapped to his back packed with 2 loaded hand guns and a shot gun.  Where was the guitar?  If you are speeding on a motorcycle carrying weapons in a guitar case, why would you even attempt to pass a police cruiser much less cut him off?  It was reported he was cooperative with the police…I guess so.

When the police asked him what he was doing, Delonte reportedly said that he was speeding because he was late to meet Lonnie Baxter down by the White House.

 

How long before the Terps basketball season starts? – That powerhouse Middle Tennessee State got Maryland again this year, beating the Terps 32-31 .  How long can this farce of a football team continue to represent a Major Division 1A University?  I was reading the reports of the game and press conference, and I cannot believe the things the head coach believes and is saying.  He stated after this loss, “we are going to do things the right way.” Gee Ralph, wasn’t that the idea from the get go?  You are an eyelash away from being 0-3 and you are now just going about doing things the right way.  Give me a break.  The good news is fans, that while Friedgen’s time may be limited (they have anointed James Franklin as his successor) the succeeding coach is already waist deep in the abyss known as Maryland football.  I don’t see that as a recipe for success.  Can Gary Williams coach football??

 

 

 

 

 

A real nice gesture – Vince Young, who has taken his share of criticism over the last 2 years, took time out of his week to show up at Steve McNair’s house to escort his sons to a father/son event at their school.  That is a pretty impressive and compassionate act.  Way to go Vince Young.

 

Who’s Number 2 – I don’t think there is any question that the Florida Gators are the best team in college football, but who is the next best team?  Is it Texas, a healthy Oklahoma, or Alabama?  It appears to me that the only team fast enough to play with the Gators is the University of Miami.  I am still not convinced that they have enough talent, but if they get through the next 2 weeks (against Va. Tech and Oklahoma), they can easily run the table in a weak ACC.  Are the college football fans ready for the 4th reincarnation of the Hurricanes?

 

No. 19 Forever – On Mike and Mike National Morning show on Tues. Sept 22, 2009.  There was a very open debate comparing Peyton Manning and John Unitas.  I think Peyton Manning is a wonderful quarterback, but he is able to do what he does, because of Johnny Unitas. While I think that comparisons like this are pretty ridiculous because of the different eras, there were certain aspects that came to light because of this debate.  First of all, I give credit to Peyton Manning for the class he showed in paying the proper reverence to John Unitas.  Secondly, the prevailing opinion of all the talking heads was that the records of the Baltimore Colts need to be separated from those of the Indianapolis Colts.  I know that such a distinction would have the overwhelming support of the people of Baltimore.  Maybe this debate will help further this cause.

 

Rankings

 

  1. New York Giants – There is a lot to like about this team.  Not the least of which is to go into Dallas and beat America’s team on their opening night.
  2. New York Jets – If you are going to talk the talk, you got to walk the walk.  This is not a bad football team.
  3. Baltimore Ravens – You got to give them their due, they were not perfect, but they got the job done.  Big time win for the 1st place Ravens.
  4. New Orleans Saints – easily the most impressive team of the early season, my only concern is that their 2 wins are against Detroit and a “McNabb-less” Eagles.
  5. Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons went into Carolina and beat a talented team that was utterly embarrassed the weak before.
  6. Indianapolis Colts – still a very dangerous team, get dominated by the Dolphins and they still find a way to win.  They had the ball less then 15 minutes for the entire game.
  7. San Francisco 49ers – This team is really starting to remind me of the old Ravens.  Run, run and run again, then play defense.  Tough minded football team.
  8. Minnesota Vikings – they may be better then this ranking, but they have only beat the Lions and Browns.
  9. Pittsburgh Steelers – how many times have I waited for Jeff Reed to miss kicks against the Ravens.  Let’s see how they like to do the chasing.
  10. Philadelphia Eagles – tough loss to a real hot team without their quarterback.  I can’t penalize them to much for that.
  11. Chicago Bears – Monsters of the midway? No, but pretty effective football team which now has a good quarterback.
  12. San Diego Chargers – Threw at will on the Ravens, God bless Norv Turner.
  13. Tennessee Titans – I think they are a good football team, but they are in a big hole.  They cannot win a shoot out with Kerry Collins.
  14. New England Patriots– there are problems here.  The defense is too inexperienced, but there is also tremendous offensive talent.  They will get better as the year goes on.
  15. Arizona Cardinals– I am going to give them a mulligan for the first week, because I think the 49ers might be pretty decent.  Warner looked great against Jacksonville.
  16. Dallas Cowboys – Played Giants tough and won the first week, but there is something not quite right here.
  17. Green Bay Packers – loosing to Cincinnati at Lambeau is troubling.  Keep an eye on this team.
  18. Denver Broncos – Defense playing well, but Kyle Orton is still the quarterback.
  19. Seattle Seahawks – Still like this team, but only when Matt Hasselback is calling signals.
  20. Houston Texans – I can’t get their first week stinko out of my head.  Beat a real sound football team in the Titans.
  21. Jacksonville Jaguars – I am afraid this team is on a slippery slope.  This is not a good way to build the fan base. 
  22. Buffalo Bills – Played New England tough and soundly beat the Buccaneers.  They will get better if the offensive line doesn’t get Trent Edwards killed first.
  23. Miami Dolphins – this is not a bad team, but they have a brutal schedule, starting off 0-2 will come back to haunt them.
  24. Washington Redskins – we are one more loss away from sheer chaos among Redskins fans.  The Rams game was an ultimate embarrassment.
  25. Cincinnati Bengals – dug themselves out of a huge hole with the win at Green Bay.  They have potential, but they are still the Bengals.
  26. Oakland Raiders – this team is one player away from being a respectable team, unfortunately that player is quarterback.
  27. Detroit Lions – they are going to win 3-5 games this year.  There is definitely good talent here, just not enough of it.
  28. Carolina Panthers – played respectably against the Falcons.  Still have a long way to go.
  29. Kansas City Chiefs – played better on the road against the Ravens with Brody Croyle at the helm, then at home against the Raiders with Matt Cassell at the helm…hmmm.
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – think they miss John Gruden yet?
  31. Cleveland Browns – Defense is not very good and offense is worse.  Will play next week like it is a playoff game, but will it be enough.
  32. St Louis Rams – the Kyle Boller watch has begun, and I am rooting for him.

 

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Blog & Tackle: NFL Week 1 review

Posted on 14 September 2009 by Chris Pika

An interesting Week 1 in the NFL had its share of big moments, surprises and injury news. Let’s take a spin around the league’s opening Sunday.

Atlanta 19, Miami 7: Not the start Miami was hoping for, by far. Several experts picked the Fins in an upset, but the Falcons took advantage of four Miami turnovers for nine points. Atlanta TE Tony Gonzalez can still catch the ball and find the end zone, and Miami should have kept running the ball at the Falcons, but decided to use the Wildcat too many times. Atlanta might have a kicking problem on its hands as Jason Elam struggled, despite a 50-yard field goal. This one should have been a blowout.

Ravens 38, Kansas City 24: A tougher game than many expected was put away by a late touchdown by Baltimore’s Willis McGahee at home. The Ravens posted a club-record 501 total yards, and they needed almost all of it with two touchdowns in the final three minutes of play. Joe Flacco’s 43 pass attempts weren’t expected as Kansas City prepared for a running attack. Ravens TE Todd Heap came back to form in a big way with 74 receiving yards and a touchdown.

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Philadelphia 38, Carolina 10: Story of two quarterbacks dominates Eagles’ victory. Philly QB Donovan McNabb breaks a rib and his status is undetermined for Week 2 against New Orleans. By the way, Michael Vick is not eligible until Week 3. Jake Delhomme struggled mightily as he was responsible for five of Carolina’s seven turnovers (Eagles scored 24 points off those seven miscues), but coach John Fox is sticking with him – for now. Carolina will have to do better than 2.4 yards per play to win games.

Denver 12, Cincinnati 7: CBS announcer Gus Johnson was in NCAA Tournament form as the easily excited play-by-play man cranked into full gear on Brandon Stokley’s 87-yard touchdown off a tipped pass late in the game. Stokley then stalled at the goal line to kill the clock and the Bengals. Chad Ochocinco had just one catch for eight yards – not much to Tweet about for the Cincy WR. Denver QB Kyle Orton was a winner in his debut and the folks in the Broncos front office have to be glad he’s the QB, instead of Jay Cutler today.

Minnesota 34, Cleveland 20: Vikings QB Brett Favre’s debut with Minnesota was the focus of the national media, but RB Adrian Peterson was the real show for the Vikes with 180 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries. Favre was 14-21 for just 110 yards passing. Again, his greatest contribution will be to safely hand the ball off to Peterson. A lot good Browns coach Eric Mangini did with his starting QB antics – Brady Quinn threw for 205 yards, including a late TD, and was sacked five times by the Minny D.

New York Jets 24, Houston 7: Rex Ryan had a very successful debut as the Jets’ head coach, thanks to – no surprise – the defense. The Jets pounded the Texans running game, and Texans QB Matt Schaub was harassed all day. The Jets got 272 pass yards from Mark Sanchez and 107 rush yards and two scores from Thomas Jones. Not sure what this victory means to New York, but Rex has the Jets buying into his way of football.

Indianapolis 14, Jacksonville 12: The Jags missed a chance to get a division upset in Week 1 as the Colts’ defense clamped down late in the fourth quarter. Jax QB David Garrard completed half his 28 passes for 122 yards, and RB Maurice Jones-Drew had only 97 rush yards and one TD. Colts QB Peyton Manning showed that even with the offseason coaching changes, he still runs the Indy defense with 301 pass yards, 162 to WR Reggie Wayne on 10 catches.

New Orleans 45, Detroit 27: The good news for Mt. St. Joe’s Jim Schwartz in his NFL head coaching debut? The Lions scored more points than they did in ANY 2008 game. The bad news? The Saints got a club record-tying six TD passes from QB Drew Brees in a blowout that extended Detroit’s futility streak to 18 straight games. Brees distributed the ball around as TE Jeremy Shockey scored twice – his first scores since being traded to New Orleans last season. Lions rookie QB Matthew Stafford will want to forget his first NFL game – three interceptions. He and Lions will have better days – but not soon.

Dallas 34, Tampa Bay 21: Cowboys QB Tony Romo successfully shook off the supposed hex by former girlfriend Jessica Simpson to throw three touchdown passes as part of a 353-yard passing day. Bucs QB Byron Leftwich probably thinks the blonde bombshell put the hex on the wrong guy, as he was battered by the Dallas defense once Tampa Bay had stop running the ball. Tampa Bay could be in for a long year as division rivals Atlanta and New Orleans have as much, if not more firepower, than the Cowboys.

San Francisco 20, Arizona 16: One of the few mild surprises of Week 1, as the defending NFC champs were beaten at home by a rapidly improving 49ers squad. 49ers QB Shaun Hill threw for 209 yards and a score, while fantasy darling Kurt Warner was picked off twice and subject to a heavy pass rush from San Francisco. Arizona was led in receiving by a running back, Tim Hightower, who caught 12 balls for 121 yards – that’s not the formula that helped the Cards go so far in 2008.

New York Giants 23, Washington 17: The Giants defensive line, sparked by the return of DE Osi Umenyiora, made life very difficult for the Skins as Washington was held to only 51 rush yards. Even without former WR Plaxico Burress, the G-Men are going to be a serious contender in the NFC because of their defense. QB Eli Manning completed 20 of 29 passes for 256 yards. Skins QB Jason Campbell was stripped of the ball by Umenyiora for a score, and DE Albert Haynesworth collected a check, but not many Giants runners in his debut after the monster contract handed out to him by Dan Snyder in the offseason.

Seattle 28, St. Louis 0: Good to see old friend Jim Mora get a victory in his opening game as Seahawk coach, thanks in part to instant replay that showed 12 men on the field for the Rams when St. Louis returned a blocked field goal to apparently tie the game 7-7 late in the first half. The penalty on the Rams gave the Seahawks new life, and Seattle converted for a late TD for a 14-0 halftime advantage. St. Louis folded their tents in the second half as Seattle got three TD passes from QB Matt Hasselbeck.

Green Bay 21, Chicago 15: This wasn’t the script Bears fans had in mind for the season opener against hated rival Green Bay. Jay Cutler threw four interceptions, and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw one TD pass, but it was a game-winning 50-yard toss with just over a minute to play. Chicago killed a lot of clock in the fourth quarter to kick a field goal that seemed to put them in charge, but Cutler’s fourth pick in the dying seconds sealed the Green Bay victory. The Bears’ loss could be costly in other ways as LB Brian Urlacher might be finished for the season with a wrist injury.

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Ravens 2009 Preview – Weeks 10-13

Posted on 10 September 2009 by Derek Arnold

Today is the day. The official start of the 2009 NFL season. Hopefully by tomorrow, when we preview the final 4 weeks of the Ravens’ season, they will already hold a 0.5 game lead over that team with the pee-and-poop uniforms, thanks to the Tennessee Titans getting all stompy on them again tonight. Not to get ahead of ourselves though – today’s preview sees what, at least at this point in time, could be the Ravens toughest 4-game stretch of ’09.

See Weeks 1-4 here, and Weeks 5-9 here.

Of course, all of these predictions are based on rosters, teams, etc., as they stand today. Injuries, suspensions, and whatever else could easily drastically change my feeling about any or all of the games. This is for fun more than anything else, so don’t go calling your bookie on my recommendations.

Week 10 – @ Cleveland (MNF)

BrownsRavens

So Browns players let the cat out of the bag, revealing that Brady Quinn will be the opening day starter at QB, thus foiling Eric Mangini’s plan to…hell, I don’t know what that guy is up to (maybe THAT’S his plan! mu-hoo-hahahaha) Seriously, the Browns are going to be a wreck. The Ravens finish off the Ohio sweep in Week 10 at the Mistake by the Lake.

Chance of victory: 75%

Week 11 – vs. Indianapolis

ColtsRavens

The last time the Ravens beat the Colts? Brace yourselves…

December 2, 2001.

That’s right, Peyton and Co. have now owned the Ravens for nearly a decade, winning the last 6 meetings between the 2 teams (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 (Playoffs), 2007, 2008). The last 2 meetings haven’t even been close, with the horseshoes trouncing the purple and black by scores of 44-20 and 31-3.

Enough of that bleak stuff though. The law of averages says the Ravens HAVE to win one some time, right? I have the feeling that this is finally the year. Greg Mattison will play a more fundamentally sound defensive scheme against Manning, and not let him feast on our blitzes like he did against Rex Ryan.

At least, that’s what I’ll be telling myself.

Chance of victory: 55%

Week 12 – vs. Pittsburgh

SquealersRavens

Of course, we all remember (and those towel-waving idiots are quick to remind us) that the Steelers swept the Ravens 3 games to 0 in 2008. What you need to remind yourself and your nearest wannabe-Yinzer, though, is that last year marked the first time Pittsburgh had won at M&T Bank Stadium since 2002, and the first time Baby Ben had ever done so. The fact that it took an improbable goal line reception, and an act of extremely questionable officiating, to bring the victory to fruition should bring us all back from the ledge in realizing that the Steelers, by no means, have the Ravens’ number, at least not here in B’More.

The fact remains, though, that neither John Harbaugh nor Joe Flacco have ever beaten the Steelers. And, until they do so, all bragging rights will reside solely in Western Pennsyltucky.

Chance of victory: 70%

Week 9 – @ Green Bay (MNF)

PackRavens

In another scheduling oddity, the Ravens play their second Monday Night Football game in 4 weeks (of course, both on the road). This time, taking on the Pack on what should by then be at least a slushy, if not quite a frozen, tundra up at Lambeau. Many are taking Green Bay as a dark horse (NICKELBACK!!!) candidate in the NFC this year, and Aaron Rodgers is flying off fantasy football draft boards just below the Bradys and (Peyton) Mannings of the world. Not that fantasy status means anything, I’m just sayin’…their offense is expected to do big things. Even after getting an extra day to heal up after the certain slugfest in Week 12, winning in December in Lambeau will be no small feat.

Chance of victory: 45%

Tomorrow: Weeks 14-17


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