Tag Archive | "heinz field"

Torrey Smith

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Our Ravens-Steelers Pats on The Ass

Posted on 07 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan & I select five different players to receive pats.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 23-20 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field…

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Ben Grubbs

4. Bernard Pollard

pollard

3. Cary Williams

2. John Harbaugh

1. Joe Flacco (Pat on Both Cheeks)

flacco

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My Ravens v. Steelers “Top 10 Most Memorable”

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My Ravens v. Steelers “Top 10 Most Memorable”

Posted on 06 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

I’m simply calling this my “Top 10 Most Memorable.” Not my “Top Ten Most Memorable Games” or my “Top Ten Most Memorable Moments”, just my “Top 10 Most Memorable” in the history of the Baltimore Ravens/Pittsburgh Steelers Rivalry…

10. Jamal2K (December 28, 2003-Ravens 13, Steelers 10 OT)

jamal

The game didn’t really end up meaning anything for either team, as the Ravens clinched the division earlier in the day with a Cincinnati Bengals loss. That said, the atmosphere remained electric for the Sunday Night Football matchup as Brian Billick stuck with his starters. RB Jamal Lewis fell short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record (live shots of Dickerson from ESPN during the broadcast actually added to the excitement), but he DID surpass the 2,000 yard mark and the Ravens claimed victory of their AFC North foe.

9. Ravens won’t defend (January 20, 2002 Steelers 27, Ravens 10)

2022

Despite an up and down 2001 season, there was still a feeling that once the Baltimore Ravens reached the playoffs, they’d somehow figure out a way to defend their Super Bowl XXXV crown. Kordell Stewart and Amos Zereoue did little against the Ravens defense, but three Elvis Grbac picks ensured the Ravens’ title hopes would be dashed at Heinz Field.

8. Flacco’s coming out party (September 29, 2008 Steelers 23, Ravens 20 OT)

After a surprising quick start to the 2008 season with first year head coach John Harbaugh and rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens entered their Monday Night Football showdown in the Steel City undefeated. They took a quick lead in the game, but some mistakes allowed the Steelers back into the game. The game would ultimately be won by the Steelers in overtime, but Ravens fans who made the trip felt good about the hopes for the coach and QB moving forward in the series.

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Ravens rule out Evans, Ellerbe; Steelers’ Harrison likely to play

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Ravens rule out Evans, Ellerbe; Steelers’ Harrison likely to play

Posted on 04 November 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After many questions on the injury report for both the Ravens and the Steelers, Friday brought some clarity to the anticipated rematch between the hated rivals set to take place on Sunday night.

After practicing on a limited basis all week, Ben Grubbs was listed as questionable in what appears to be his best chance to return since the left guard last played in the regular-season opener against Pittsburgh. The Ravens would certainly like to see Grubbs’ return to reunite their starting offensive line for the first time since Sept. 11.

“I would like to say I’m a game-time decision, but it’s up to the coaches — whatever they decide,” Grubbs said. “I know that they want me out there and I want to be out there and the team wants me out there, but the last thing I want to do is hurt the team. [Andre Gurode] has been doing a great job, and we’ve been winning with him. I guess we’ll know come Sunday at 8:30.”

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After practicing for the first time all week on Friday, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was listed as probable after working a limited basis. Ngata has been dealing with a thigh injury sustained in the Ravens’ 30-27 win over Arizona last week.

While there’s little doubt on the Pro Bowl defensive lineman’s status for the battle of Heinz Field, coach John Harbaugh still expressed concern in his comments to the media following Friday’s practice.

“I’ll feel good about it on Sunday if he’s playing,” Harbaugh said. “That’s when you’ll feel good about it. He did more today; it’s nothing real serious or anything like that. But, he’s fighting through it. It’s just kind of a mid-season type deal.”

Not surprisingly, the Ravens ruled out wide receiver Lee Evans and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe after neither practiced all week. Return specialist David Reed, running back Anthony Allen, and cornerback Chykie Brown are all listed as questionable.

Plenty of mystery has surrounded three of Pittsburgh’s starting linebackers this week, but the Steelers officially ruled out LaMarr Woodley with a hamstring injury. However, despite saying on his Twitter page he would not play earlier in the week, former AP Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison is listed as probable. He has not played since fracturing the orbital bone surrounding his right eye on Oct. 2.

Linebacker James Farrior and veteran receiver Hines Ward are both listed as questionable for Sunday night.

BALTIMORE
OUT – LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh), WR Lee Evans (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE – RB Anthony Allen (thigh), CB Chykie Brown (knee), G Ben Grubbs (toe), WR/RS David Reed (knee)
PROBABLE – C Matt Birk (neck), CB Danny Gorrer (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata (thigh)

PITTSBURGH
OUT – G Doug Legursky (toe), WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee), LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE – LB James Farrior (calf), P Daniel Sepulveda (R knee), WR Hines Ward (ankle)
PROBABLE – LB James Harrison (eye), T Jonathan Scott (ankle)

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Grubbs hoping to make long-awaited return against Steelers

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Grubbs hoping to make long-awaited return against Steelers

Posted on 04 November 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — One of the biggest stories from the Ravens’ convincing 35-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers to open the season was the dominating play of the offensive line.

Despite all five starters playing together for the first time — left tackle Bryant McKinnie and center Matt Birk didn’t play in the preseason — the Ravens gashed the Steelers defense to the tune of 170 rushing yards and protected quarterback Joe Flacco to the tune of a three-touchdown day. It also happened to be the only game Ben Grubbs has played all season.

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After being sidelined for six games with a right toe injury, the starting left guard practiced all week and appears to be very close to returning to the lineup. The Ravens have listed Grubbs as questionable but hope his return comes in Pittsburgh Sunday night.

“I made it through three practices and I’m still walking, so that’s a blessing,” Grubbs said.

However, Grubbs returning against the Steelers is not a sure thing with the fifth-year lineman only practicing on a limited basis. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron labeled him a “game-time decision” earlier in the week, and the Ravens appear to be holding true to that designation.

“It hasn’t been a full practice, so I think it’s a process,” coach John Harbaugh said. “It’s a plus that he has been able to practice a little more this week than he has in the past. We haven’t had him out here full-speed really yet. I am hoping. We have our fingers crossed — we have for a few weeks. It is better than it has been.”

Grubbs hadn’t tried to practice since the week following the bye when he experienced a setback after being stepped on during a mid-week workout. Veteran Andre Gurode has started the last five games in Grubbs’ absence at a position he had never previously played in his NFL career.

The Ravens’ first-round pick in 2007 isn’t counting his chickens before they’re hatched, but returning against those same Steelers he played in Week 1 would be an interesting coincidence. It would also provide a much-needed shot in the arm for an offensive line that’s struggled over the last few weeks.

“It would be a great comeback,” Grubbs said. “It was the last game [I played]. Really, this is my second week for me. My first week we played Pittsburgh; second week we’re playing Pittsburgh. It would be a huge game for me, but at the same time, I also want to make sure that my health is the main priority. If I can’t go, I can’t go, but whenever I go out there, I want to help the team.”

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Hate to say it, but I will: Ravens can’t beat Big Ben in Pittsburgh

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Hate to say it, but I will: Ravens can’t beat Big Ben in Pittsburgh

Posted on 03 November 2011 by Drew Forrester

I’ll go ahead and be the bad guy.

The Ravens aren’t winning Sunday night in Pittsburgh.

They’d win if someone other than Ben Roethlisberger were playing quarterback for the Steelers.

But he’s playing.

And the Ravens can’t beat him at Heinz Field.

Last October when Charlie Batch was at the helm while Ben was suspended, I ran my mouth all week prior to the game and GUARANTEED that Baltimore wouldn’t lose to Batch in Pittsburgh. And they didn’t.

That was then. That was Batch. This is now. And he’s Roethlisberger. There’s a huge difference.

Sorry…I feel like I should probably “homer-up” and pick the Ravens to win just because it would anger me so much to see Pittsburgh win (again) up there.

But that’s not how I do things.

I call it like I see it. Or, at the very least, how I think I’m going to see it.

And I see Pittsburgh winning 20-16.

Roethlisberger will be the difference, as he almost always is when these teams meet in Pittsburgh.

I sure as hell hope I’m wrong.

But I can’t see the Ravens beating Big Ben up there on Sunday night.

Sorry…

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Two days later — Nothing matters now except beating Pittsburgh this Sunday

Posted on 01 November 2011 by Drew Forrester

That the Ravens struggled to beat the lowly Arizona Cardinals was a surprise to most of us, but in the aftermath of Sunday’s 30-27 thriller, the best thing to do is simply put it behind you and focus on something else much more important.

Joe Flacco beating Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh this Sunday.

That’s how it’s going to be viewed and, honestly, that’s the territory you’re in if you’re Flacco and you play in the AFC North and your first three seasons have been filled with losses at Heinz Field that have either ended your season or temporarily halted your drive to the playoffs.

Five Heinz Field visits for Flacco and four losses, with the only win coming against Charlie (Brown) Batch last October when Big Ben was suspended.

It should be noted, of course, that John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ray Rice also have the same record (1-4) as Flacco in those five trips to Pittsurgh since 2008.

It is, after all, a team game, and the Steelers have routinely had the Ravens’ number at Heinz Field in the John Harbaugh era.

But these days, the NFL game is mainly about your quarterback – as the Colts are proving week in and week out – and this Sunday’s affair will be won by one of the two guys behind center.

Which one?

I’m guessing Roethlisberger, simply because he’s done it time and time against the Ravens, but I sure as hell hope I’m wrong.

Roethlisberger is, of course, what we all want Joe Flacco to be.  He’s a gamer, a winner and a guy who doesn’t always look the part, but somehow usually winds up on top when the final whistle blows.  Yes, sort of like Flacco’s performance against the Cardinals on Sunday.  He wasn’t any good in the first half, but Flacco put the offense on his back in the final 30 minutes and made the throws that mattered in rallying his team from a 24-6 halftime deficit.  It was very Ben-esque.

That’s actually become a major part of the problem here in Baltimore as the fans go through their week-to-week evaluation of Flacco.  They want him to be something he’s not.  They’re asking for Joe to be Brady or Manning or Roethlisberger or Brees when, honestly, he’s not even Matt Schaub yet.  He can’t run from the numbers he’s posted this season to date – 8 TD’s, 6 INT’s and 7 fumbles.  Those look like something Bruce Gradkowski might post.  At the 7-game mark, those aren’t good for a starting quarterback who has taken every snap thus far. But he’s performed *well enough* in 4 of the team’s 5 wins to date and it’s safe to say that without him, Baltimore wouldn’t be 5-2.

But the seven games played are history and what’s next is what’s important now.

Beating Pittsburgh on Sunday in their building.

Last January as I walked across the bridge leaving Heinz Field and headed for the bus and a sorrow-filled 4 hour ride back to Baltimore, I went as far as to say that everything the Ravens would do in preparation for this 2011 season should be done with one thing in mind:  ”Does it help us beat the Steelers?”  Every player signing, every cut, every draft pick, every trade…every single player that puts purple on in 2011 should wear that jersey only after the front office has answered “yes!” to the question, “Does this guy help us beat Pittsburgh?”

If the Ravens go there and lay an egg on Sunday, it’s not the end of the world and AFC supremacy is still very much up for anyone to take.  For those of you keeping score at home, there was a playoff team LAST season that only scored one touchdown in 4 of their 16 regular season games.  Talk about an up-and-down offense.  In 25% of their games a season ago, that team only managed to reach the end zone one time.  Know who it was?  The team that won the Super Bowl.  Included in those four one-TD games was a 7-3 loss at Detroit in December, for those of you who don’t remember how the Packers 2010 season went on a week-to-week basis.  So if the Ravens don’t win on Sunday, it’s not like the season ends.

But if they do go to Pittsburgh and lose — and Roethlisberger once again outduels Flacco at Heinz Field — it will simply be a case of the same old-same old.  And it will serve as a stark reminder to the Ravens that the AFC North still goes through the Steel City, no matter what the opening day score in Baltimore might have suggested, and it’s largely controlled by the play of Roethlisberger, aka “The Ravens Killer”.

If the Ravens can’t win on Sunday in Pittsburgh, they’re just another team who can’t win a big game at Heinz Field.

And at some point soon, the Ravens and Flacco are going to have to shed that label if they want to be great.

The Steelers figured that in order to be great THIS season, they couldn’t let Tom Brady come in to their building and beat them this past Sunday.  New England lost.

If the Ravens truly have a great team — and Lord knows none of us REALLY knows which Ravens team will show up this Sunday – they’ll go in there and figure out a way to steal a win.  It might be 13-10 with Flacco managing an efficient passing game and Ray Rice churning out 94 yards on the ground.  Or it could be 27-21 with Flacco forced to take the offense downfield in an impressive 2-minute drive to end the game, similar to the manner in which he operated under pressure last October when his final minute TD throw to T.J. Houshmandzadeh gave the Ravens a win over Batch and Company.

A win is a win.

The Ravens need one this Sunday.

And so does Joe Flacco.

If he’s honestly going to work his way up the ladder of NFL quarterbacks and dance near that “elite” level, Joe has to handle the pressure of Sunday’s game and leave Heinz Field a winner.

It’s a quarterbacks league.

Your guy wins it for you.  Or the other guy wins it for them.

This one is on Flacco.  That’s a lot of pressure to put on the quarterback, but it’s the same pressure applied to Roethlisberger last Sunday when he welcomed Tom Brady into his stadium and walked away a winner 60 minutes later.

Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh will come down to Joe Flacco’s ability to rise to the occasion.

How will he handle it?

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The 15-7-0 Might Be Tricky, But It’s Always A Treat

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The 15-7-0 Might Be Tricky, But It’s Always A Treat

Posted on 31 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. With the entire country winning, Andrew Luck looked like a Heisman Trophy winner and future #1 pick Saturday night in Los Angeles.

It’s a shame the USC Trojans gave the ball away just outside the endzone in overtime number three against Stanford. Not only because I picked the Cardinal to lose last Thursday when I played John Allen (of Charm City Devils fame) in “Everybody Beats Glenn”, but also because it was a hell of a game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx7vpD_D4g0[/youtube]

I’ll go ahead and move Luck ahead of Boise State QB Kellen Moore on my Heisman Watch list. Yeah, I guess I’m a sellout. But it’s hard not to like what you see with this kid. Alabama RB Trent Richardson is third on my list; which now ends at three because one of those guys will be your winner.

Going back to Saturday night, Andrew Luck also did this…

luck

2. Marvin Lewis is (very deservingly) the winningest coach in Cincinnati Bengals history.

I get more and more concerned about the Ravens’ pending matchups with the Bengals every time I watch them…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0an-M9us5Y[/youtube]

They did all of that without Cedric Benson and they were playing the Seahawks IN Seattle.

By the way, did you know Adam “Pacman” Jones was still in the NFL? Me neither.

3. I’ll assume Frank Gore is particularly happy to no longer be thought of as “the best player on a bad team.”

Also part of the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Cleveland Browns? Joe Staley playing the role of “Offensive Lineman” in “Offensive Lineman makes catch, runs with football”….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDTJcYX4hQA[/youtube]

Just beautiful. By the way, I guess the Niners have to be number two in my new NFL power rankings, right? How’s that possible?

4. Penn State controls their own destiny to reach the Big Ten Championship Game, but their schedule leads you to believe Ohio State is still very much in the mix.

Joe Paterno passed Eddie Robinson as the all-time winningest coach in Division I history as Penn State beat Illinois. It was the only time the word “pass” was used in Happy Valley Saturday. I don’t care for much of anything about the Nittany Lions, but I respect their students for packing in behind the goalposts to try to make the Illini’s tying field goal try harder…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-4XhbiILGI[/youtube]

Things get VERY difficult for PSU now, as they host Nebraska in State College next week before finishing conference play with trips to Columbus and Madison. Speaking of which…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwuXzK5Mehs[/youtube]

Wisconsin fans were once again hoping a penalty flag could save them, but Braxton Miller did NOT cross the line of scrimmage before throwing the game winner to Devin Smith. Russell Wilson’s Heisman hopes are totally up in smoke, and the Badgers are now a long shot (at best) for the Rose Bowl, while the Buckeyes are still very much in the picture.

5. Nebraska is firmly back in the race for the Other spot in the Big Ten title game, and Michigan is by no means out of the picture.

Michigan State had no magic left after an incredible two weeks-or more realistically had no answer for some dude named Rex Burkhead, who reportedly plays for the Cornhuskers…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiYLzEwG16Y[/youtube]

Elsewhere in the world of bizarre football names, the Wolverines stomped Purdue thanks to a running back whose name is (seriously) Fitzgerald Toussaint. Shouldn’t he be playing for Dartmouth?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXTWG9xmjgs[/youtube]

Not part of the Big Ten title picture? Iowa. They lost to Minnesota. Yes. That Minnesota.

6. Stephen Tulloch may have shut down the internet after sacking Tim Tebow in the Detroit Lions’ win over the Denver Broncos.

We’ll start with the highlights…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc7Zp6FdEVU[/youtube]

And now for those that missed it in the video…

tulloch

I like Tim Tebow. I also like this. It is what it is.

7. I guess we can assume the Philadelphia Eagles are just fine at this point.

The Eagles DESTROYED the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Sadly the highlight of the game was a Laurent Robinson catch that didn’t count at all…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FwDZz-a6r8[/youtube]

The SNF broadcast was obsessed with Philly O-Line coach Howard Mudd. I actually have no issue with that. Howard Mudd is awesome. Otherwise they’d have been obsessed with Rob Ryan, and I’m about done with that.

Also of note, Jason Kelce snapped the ball off his own ass at one point…

kelce

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The #Occupy15-7-0 Campaign Hasn’t Really Caught On Yet

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The #Occupy15-7-0 Campaign Hasn’t Really Caught On Yet

Posted on 17 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. After beating Old Dominion in miraculous fashion, I understand why Towson Coach Rob Ambrose’s first comment was “Oh my God!”

If you’re not aware, the Tigers topped ODU after trailing by 11 points late in the fourth quarter. They recovered an onside kick and then completed the miracle when QB Grant Enders found WR Tom Ryan for a 63 yard TD on 4th and 29.

Impossible?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z93IQd7oaw4&feature=related[/youtube]

This season his been crazy for Towson football. I’m more and more surprised they didn’t win in College Park.

2. The Green Bay Packers are so good that even when they’re not very good they win.

Seriously, the defending Super Bowl champs (and last remaining undefeated team) did absolutely NOTHING in the second half. No matter, they had already ensured themselves a blowout victory.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1hNThbRuqQ[/youtube]

Yes, that WAS AJ Hawk flipping off his own sideline. I don’t get it either.

hawk

3. I’ll assume Michael Turner’s big performance Sunday came because he heard I had picked the Atlanta Falcons to win the Super Bowl before the season.

But it’s not as though I feel any more comfortable about my chances of being right.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd1WLndlnrA[/youtube]

I liked Cam Newton’s Deion Sanders dance. I would assume Panthers fans would prefer that he win games. He will.

4. I’m keeping Kellen Moore and Trent Richardson just ahead of Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson in my Heisman Trophy watch. (Landry Jones is now 5th for me if you’re scoring at home).

I’m sure this keeps you up at night. Russell Wilson had the best highlight of the weekend in Wisconsin’s blowout win over Indiana…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzTmnQNUWfs[/youtube]

Trent Richardson had both the best game of his career and perhaps the best juke of all time in Alabama’s win over Ole Miss…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HaGJaJOjQw[/youtube]

But I put Kellen Moore at the top of the list a few weeks ago and he hasn’t done anything to make me change my mind. Certainly not in Boise State’s blowout win over Colorado State…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obt4pqafnLA[/youtube]

Luck was great again in Stanford’s big win over Washington State, but he might have been upstaged by teammate Ty Montgomery…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb2LUWV6S48[/youtube]

Landry Jones should probably not be making his first appearance in my Top 5. Hey, it’s my list jerks. He was really good in Oklahoma’s win over Kansas…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wefV1zoReY8[/youtube]

5. So let me get this straight. Ryan Tannehill was a great receiver, now he’s a great quarterback and he might go on to be an orthopedic surgeon? I wish I had one skill.

Tannehill threw four TD’s to Ryan Swope alone in Texas A&M’s big win over Baylor Saturday…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcH0_drbtu8[/youtube]

In the loss, Bears QB Robert Griffin III…I don’t know how to describe this. I’m just glad Gus Johnson called it…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sztf9JpzDEM[/youtube]

Elsewhere in the Big 12, Oklahoma State and Texas traded kickoff return TD’s. And otherwise the Cowboys kicked the Longhorns’ asses…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiTrot49na4[/youtube]

6. The New York Giants got a nice win over the Buffalo Bills. How the hell did they lose to the Seattle Seahawks last week?

It wasn’t a good 4th quarter for Drayton Florence…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbZd7OAxyZ0[/youtube]

But really, they lost to the Seahawks last week. How in the hell is that possible?

7. Attention Tom Brady: We get it. You’re good at quarterbacking.

He came up with a big time throw to Aaron Hernandez to help the New England Patriots beat the Dallas Cowboys…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c11qzU8HVAQ[/youtube]

By law, we’ll all be talking about Tony Romo on Monday instead of anything that happened in the game. Right up until we remember Tim Tebow is playing again next weekend.

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“The Reality Check” Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 12 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32.  Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 32)

Enjoy Sage Rosenfels, Fins fans.

31.  Indianapolis Colts (LW: 30)

They’ll get a win at some point…I think.

30.  St. Louis Rams (LW: 27)

I had a feeling they were going to lose during their bye week.

29. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 24)

I hope the Cards had a Plan B.

28.  Minnesota Vikings (LW: 31)

Getting a win will delay calls for Christian Ponder to start for at least another few days.

27.  Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 29)

I get the feeling they’ll win another game before moving to Los Angeles.

26.  Denver Broncos (LW: 25)

If I was betting, I’d bet against Tim Tebow becoming a great NFL quarterback. I’m not a betting man.

25.  Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 26)

They’re playing cornhole now in Todd Haley’s locker room. Hey-it worked in Owings Mills.

24.  Philadelphia Eagles (LW:18)

Andy Reid would be 34th.

23.  Carolina Panthers (LW: 23)

Close doesn’t count in football. But it’s still better than getting blown out.

22.  Cleveland Browns (LW: 21)

I see them being somewhere in this range all season.

21.  Seattle Seahawks (LW: 28)

Yeah, I still don’t understand how they went to New Jersey and won either.

20.  Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 22)

I really feel like AJ Green is the difference in keeping them relevant until (nearly) the end of the season.

19.  Dallas Cowboys (LW: 19)

I think I heard criticism of Tony Romo during his bye.

18.  Chicago Bears (LW: 13)

Lovie Smith should be proud. All of the time he spent practicing false starts with his team has paid off.

17.  New York Jets (LW: 16)

They looked better against the Pats. They still don’t look very good.

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10 Ravens-Steelers Halftime Observations

Posted on 11 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

Here are ten observations about the first half of today’s Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game at M&T Bank Stadium. A reminder that Ryan Chell and I will be back on the air for the “Nasty Purple Postgame Show” following the conclusion of today’s game on AM1570 and WNST.net.

-Looks like David Reed was being honest when he told me players had been given the green light to bring kicks out of the end zone just as long as they were moving forward. There were a couple of touchbacks, but Lardarius Webb and Antonio Brown were certainly willing to bring the ball out even from fairly deep to significantly deep.

-So much for not being able to run on the Steelers defense, huh? Still no luck running up the middle, but running to the outside worked well.

-The first drive from Joe Flacco and Ray Rice was something to behold. I don’t know how much of that had to do with this being the first game of the season, but it was fun. It goes without saying that we’d like to see a few more quick hitters this year.

-Any more questions about why the Ravens were willing to let go of Todd Heap this offseason? The team continues to have high hopes for Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, who each made plays.

-For the most part, the Offensive Line has held up despite everything. The holding call on Bryant McKinnie was questionable (although I thought he was beat on the play) and Cam Cameron/Todd Washington/presumably Andy Moeller did a nice job in scheming and organizing help.

-It would be nice to see more from the receivers in general. Flacco was a bit early on the first play where he targeted Lee Evans (the second was a bit of a prayer along the sideline) and Torrey Smith has yet to be targeted. In general, this team will need to hit the receivers more for the offense to be dynamic. Some of this remains on Flacco, who continues to be quick to look for Rice and his tight ends.

-The run defense has certainly been an issue. The Steelers’ TD drive was built on nice runs by Rashard Mendenhall (and Isaac Redman). There were far too many second and short scenarios for Ben Roethlisberger and company during the drive.

-Cary Williams got lost in the back of the end zone on the Emmanuel Sanders touchdown, but otherwise had a very good first half. The reason everyone thinks he’s playing well is because for the most part he’s played well. He deserves credit. It wasn’t good to see Jimmy Smith pull up, but fortunately it doesn’t appear significant.

-Ed Reed made a very nice play on Hines Ward before the half, but you know he’ll be thinking about the dropped interception for awhile. When he’s giving his Hall of Fame speech in Canton years from now he’ll have probably forgotten about it however.

-Hard not to think about last year’s AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field with the Ravens ahead 21-7. Hopefully no one went into the locker room running their mouth the way a certain TJ Houshmandzadeh did in January.

We’ll be taking your calls (410-481-1570) after the game. Look forward to talking to you then. Hopefully things are still good then.

-G

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