Tag Archive | "Matt Ryan"


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The 15-7-0 Is Feeling Rather Presidential This Week

Posted on 28 November 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. The Towson University football team didn’t play a game this weekend, but somehow it will likely go down as the greatest of their lives.

The scene at the Towson Center Saturday afternoon rivals some of the most incredible I’ve seen in Charm City sports history, but sports had very little to do with it.

The most special moment of the visit from President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama (Michelle’s brother Craig Robinson is the head coach of the Oregon State team that crushed the Tigers Saturday afternoon) came at halftime.

Athletic Director Mike Waddell introduced Head Coach Rob Ambrose & the CAA Champion football team, who were enjoying a week off as they prepared for their FCS playoff showdown with Lehigh next Saturday at Unitas Stadium. The President walked out to greet the team, then posed for a picture to the absolute delight of the young men.

It was the type of moment that induces chills. Wow.

2. I’m really jealous of the Cincinnati Bengals for having AJ Green on their roster.

Oh, and Jermaine Gresham too.

They duo (and Cincy QB Andy Dalton) were vital in the Bengals’ come from behind win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday in a game that judging by the attendance no one in the Queen City knew was happening…

Can’t help but notice a few empty seats in the background there, gang. This is a team fighting for AT LEAST an AFC Wild Card spot, not completely out of the AFC North race. This is the best you can do? Maybe “Los Angeles Bengals” has a nice ring?

Since we’re here, here’s a picture of Colt McCoy Tebowing…

3. Rob Gronkowski is not the only reason the Patriots are good, but something tells me there’s a correlation between 11 TD catches and a 6’6″ frame.

To be fair, the way New England was playing Sunday it’s possible a 4’6″ receiver could have caught a TD from Tom Brady Sunday at The Linc…

Vince Young threw for 400 yards in the defeat, basically because he had no choice but to throw the football every time the Philadelphia Eagles had the ball.

That SHOULD put the final nail in Philly’s “Dream Team” coffin. Andy Reid’s has been sitting open for awhile now outside the City of Brotherly Love. Will it be nailed down as well? We’ll see.

4. Robert Griffin III’s injury might be just enough to default the Heisman Trophy back to Andrew Luck somehow.

The other candidate in the mix (and perhaps the frontrunner) is Alabama RB Trent Richardson, but we’ll get back to him.

After an incredible performance a week earlier against Oklahoma, the Baylor QB might have been one more spectacular performance away from locking up the chance to hear his name called in New York in two weeks. Unfortunately, RG3 was taken out of the game in the second half (probably for a concussion) and had to watch the second of the Bears’ win over Texas Tech from the Cowboys Stadium sideline…

So…Stanford QB Andrew Luck (the preordained winner of the Heisman before the season) was back in the picture with the chance to lock the thing up. Luck was good but not great in the Cardinal’s win over Notre Dame and left the thing up for grabs again.

As I searched YouTube for a recap video of Luck’s final game at Stanford Stadium I believe a Fighting Irish fan summed it up well by channeling M*A*S*H…

I don’t even know what that means!

The (regular) season is over for Richardson so he won’t have another chance to make a statement. Luck’s Cardinal don’t get another chance either since Oregon won the Pac-12 North. Baylor will play host to Texas next week in Waco, but Griffin’s status is up in the air due to his injury.

If none play again, I think I’d vote Luck. Someone will yell at me for that. Go ahead.

5. Houston is a Conference USA Championship Game win over Southern Miss away from playing in a BCS Bowl.

Fourth on the list (of three) candidates to win the Heisman is Cougars QB Case Keenum, who shredded Tulsa Friday in a manner similar to the way he’s shredded everyone else he’s played this season.

If the Cougars top the Golden Eagles in next week’s C-USA title game, they’ll become the first ever team from the conference to make a BCS bowl. Teams from the WAC and Mountain West have played BCS buster, but never C-USA.

Someone will call the occasion “historic”. Those people won’t really know what the word historic means.

6. Another reason why I like Tim Tebow? Sabermetricians would hate him.

He effing did it again, huh?

You know what’s the ONLY THING IN THE WORLD that could make us not spend the entire week talking about the Denver Broncos’ QB? How about a picture of San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak peeing on the sidelines at Qualcomm Stadium?

Thanks CBS!

7. Mark Sanchez also really pissed off a lot of haters Sunday.

The New York Jets’ QB threw for four TD’s, including a game winner to Santonio Holmes in their win over the Buffalo Bills…

We’ll of course remember the game as the time Bills WR Stevie Johnson insisted on making a complete ass out of himself…


Dan Marino was asked about what he thought of Sanchez Sunday, but he was too busy checking out Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge’s boobs to respond…

And here’s my cue to post another VS picture of Aldridge…

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With All of the Losses, Even the 15-7-0 Is Now in the BCS Title Picture

Posted on 21 November 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. I have no concrete proof that Towson University is building a statue for Rob Ambrose, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t.

A lot of people are surprised by the Tigers’ success, but not me. I’m so effing stunned I’m still not a hundred percent certain it actually happened…

There’s no way anyone…in the world…could have ever seen a CAA Championship coming this season. This team still has more work to do though. They won’t feel incapable of beating anyone they play in the NCAA playoffs, starting with Lehigh December 3rd at Unitas Stadium.

Seriously…this is Towson we’re talking about. This can’t be real.

2. I thought I was happier to see the Washington Redskins lose when they play miserably, but I think I was even happier to see their fans suffer heartbreak Sunday.

I will admit that I thought those a-holes in DC were done after Tony Romo hit Jason Witten from 59 yards away…

…but somehow Mike Shanahan’s team stayed in the thing long enough to have a kick to win in overtime. Graham Gano of course missed the kick and DeAngelo Hall channeled DeAngelo Hall to help the Cowboys survive.

I celebrate your misery, clowns. May you never win another game…unless for some reason you play the Steelers. Even then, I dunno.

3. Tony Sparano is giving Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross something very similar to what Lou Brown gave Rachel Phelps.

Does anyone remember earlier this year when the Buffalo Bills were good? No? I swear I thought they were…

Stephen Ross started interviewing coaches before bothering to fire Sparano. Sparano used that to fire up his team, convincing them to win in order to piss off the ownership there that wanted to get new players and coaches. Suddenly Matt Moore and Reggie Bush are playing like real National Football League players and there’s a problem on South Beach…at least for now.

It’s very similar to what Lou Brown did back when he was managing the Cleveland Indians…

Did we ever find out if Brown won American League Manager of the Year that year? He was a hell of a skip.

(Side note. Every time the Orioles tried to hire a General Manager this offseason I assume the calls went awfully similar to that time when Charlie Donovan called Brown at Tire World to offer him the gig with the Tribe.

“How would you like to be the Birds’ GM?”
“Gee. I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? This is your chance to be a Major League Baseball General Manager!”
“Let me get back to you, will you Peter? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.”)

4. Andrew Luck has an impressive lateral motion towards the Heisman Trophy.

Do you get the feeling the Stanford quarterback is saying to himself, “Well, if no one else wants it…”?

I’d show you something from the Cardinal’s win Saturday night over rival California, but there wouldn’t be anything that would convince you Luck has locked up the award.

Instead, here’s Lee Corso dropping the “f-bomb” on ESPN’s College Gameday Saturday morning from the University of Houston. There’s no real reason to share the video, other than the fact that it includes the f-bomb.

5. If ANYONE has put their name back in the Heisman mix, that person is Baylor QB Robert Griffin III.

The Bears’ QB almost singlehandedly made sure next weekend’s “Bedlam” game was uninteresting to the rest of the country by throwing (and running) all over Oklahoma Saturday night…

It’s probably too little, too late as far as the Heisman is concerned-but it is certainly a reminder that RG3 has been one of the most entertaining players in the country all season. This TD pass to Kendall Wright however is probably not one he should take credit for…

Also humorous? Erin Andrews took the worst of a Gatorade shower intended for Griffin…

AND…in the hysteria on field after the win in Waco, America fell in love with a gal rushing the field on crutches…

6. At times, Matthew Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks in the world.

But if he did this more often the Detroit Lions wouldn’t have to make dramatic second half comebacks week in and week out like they did Sunday against the Carolina Panthers…

This game also involved Lions TE Tony Scheffler invoking an AT&T Flash Mob commercial in a TD dance…

And a note to Fantasy Football owners: Lions RB Kevin Smith ran for over 100 yards in this game. The physics of that alone are stunning, really.

I’m well aware it’s a different guy, but can we talk about this picture for a second? I say this as a HUGE Silent Bob fan. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Are those shorts? Is it some sort of jean skirt? Is it a denim quilt? Holy hell.

7. No one knows how to pronounce his name, but Chris Ogbonnaya had himself a fine day Sunday.

Well, I feel like a bit of a silly goose for taking fantasy advice and playing the Jacksonville Jaguars defense against the Cleveland Browns Sunday.

The only meaningful highlight in this one came from Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who invoked Cleveland “hero” LeBron James by tossing powder in the air after scoring a TD…

And in an unrelated story, here’s a 6 year old kid crying about the New York Jets after their loss to the Denver Broncos the other night. He has an awful mother…

El oh el.

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The 15-7-0 Might Not Be Statue-Worthy As Of Now, But Give It Time

Posted on 24 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. If there are any tickets left for Towson-Delaware next Saturday at Unitas Stadium, get them now.

There was no 4th & 29 miracle this time around, just a good old fashioned butt kicking of William & Mary for Terrence West and the Tigers…

And now Towson has an undefeated record in the CAA (they’re tied with Maine for first place) and returns home to face the Blue Hens Saturday night.

I might go as Rob Ambrose for Halloween this year. He’s created more magic than Harry Potter.

2. I don’t think much of the “Tebow Time” monicker, but I’m happy for the kid.

I mean, I get it. Tim Tebow leads comebacks in consecutive games, so the late moments of games involving Tebow will now be known as “Tebow Time”…

I’m trying to figure out 67 more ways to put the word “Tebow” in this entry.

Yes, the Denver Broncos were TERRIBLE for most of their win over the lifeless Miami Dolphins. Who cares? Tebow was a winner, so America has a week to repeat his name over and over and over and over and over and over.

Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow.


Demaryius Thomas was so excited about Tebow’s performance he decided to plant one on his quarterback…


That’s just plain beautiful.

3. Christian Ponder had a nice day and all, but Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson play for the Green Bay Packers. Who did you think was going to win?

At least things were interesting enough that you get the feeling the Packers MIGHT somehow be vulnerable. Maybe.

Brian Robison did something to TJ Lang during the game that made everyone in America uncomfortable…

Oh. Oh…

4. It absolutely takes more time, but the end of the Wisconsin-Michigan State game was a reminder of how crucial it is to review every scoring play.

We should start by saying “thank God the replay officials in East Lansing got this one right”…

Doug Flutie and Gerard Phelan still have the greatest “Hail Mary” of all time (and I’ll assume Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrook are still second on the list), but this was pretty awesome.

We can also all agree that if Russell Wilson and the Badgers had seen the ball again they would have won, right?

I’m certainly convinced of it.

5. Every establishment in Lubbock will now have a picture of Seth Doege with the words “his money is no good here” below it.

I’m not sure if you stayed up late enough (the game ended at about 1:30am) to watch all of Texas Tech-Oklahoma, but it turned out to be a really good game…

Apparently the Red Raiders didn’t get the memo that no one EVER beats the Sooners in Norman.

While OU is likely done (as far as the BCS Championship picture is concerned), their “Bedlam” date with Oklahoma State still looms large in the title picture after the Cowboys got another brilliant performance from QB Brandon Weeden in a win over Missouri.

By the way, Brandon Weeden is my age. Does that mean I still have a future in football?

6. There are four playoff spots to be had between the NFC North and NFC South. Because of this, the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons picked up HUGE wins.

The Bears went to London and beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who never really looked in sync. This is why I never want to see the Ravens play across the pond…

The game involved a Matt Forte run that was so brutal it made two Bucs players run into each other…


The Detroit Lions have now lost back to back home games after falling to the Falcons Sunday at Ford Field…

The Lions have serious rushing issues, but still have Calvin Johnson. That should mean they’ll be okay. Miraculously for the Falcons, Matt Ryan survived a brutal hit in this one and came back to finish the game. That should mean they’ll be okay as well.

Also in this game, Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez passed Marvin Harrison for the 2nd most receptions in history, only behind Jerry Rice.

That’s actually really amazing.

7. Rex Ryan may be a lunatic, but on Sunday he was at least a victorious lunatic.

I like to think I appreciate a level of refreshing honesty from a head coach, but for some reason Rex just tends to come off as more of a horses’s ass than anything…

Plaxico Burress is 6’5″. It must be nice for the New York Jets to have a capable receiver that size. There isn’t one of those in Baltimore, and the Ravens still have to face the San Diego Chargers later in the season themselves.

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The Ledge: Lions, Sparano, BCS Contenders & NBA Fans

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The Ledge: Lions, Sparano, BCS Contenders & NBA Fans

Posted on 24 October 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

When great expectations collide with poor performances fans tend to find themselves at the ledge. It’s that fan purgatory where blood pressure always seems to be rising and the sky always seems to be falling. Let’s take a look outside to see who’s on the ledge this week:




The Detroit Lions – Losers now of two straight, the Lions could surely use some good publicity to take some of the spotlight away from coach Jim Schwartz’ loss of decorum during his post game exchange with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh immediately following the Lions first loss of the season. Getting into a pre-game dust up with the Falcons probably isn’t going to do it, nor is Ndamukong Suh going to do much for his quickly devolving reputation for antics by standing over Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan while heaping on celebratory trash talk and reveling in Ryan’s apparent injury.


Beating the reeling Falcons away from the safety of the Georgia Dome would have been a nice feather in the Lions’ cap, but yesterday’s loss to those Falcons 23-16 may instead serve as a real stumbling block to the Lions potential playoff fortunes. Having seen the Packers run their record to 7-0 with a win on Sunday, the Lions can now look to the NFC wildcard as their most likely passage into the playoffs. As the also-rans of the AFC South look to be fighting for the very same, the Lions may have lost an important tiebreaker on Sunday.


Either way their running game is in apparent shambles, the failed Ronnie Brown trade looks to hurt a lot and the oft injured Matthew Stafford may have gone down to injury on the last play of Sunday’s game to boot.


Prognosis: Hang tight Lions fans. Next up: @ Denver, Bye, @ Chicago & vs. Carolina before a Thanksgiving Day showdown with Green Bay. There’s plenty of time to right the ship.



Tony Sparano – Sunday’s game at Miami against the Broncos might have felt like the whole world (or at least the whole stadium) vs. Tony Sparano. And for a while it looked as though Sparano might have won.


The coach surely began the season on the hot seat, and if Jim Harbaugh had been compelled to take his talents to South Beach there may have been no seat at all for Sparano. There clearly has been no quarterback for Sparano and the Dolphins since making due with Chad Pennington to moderate success in 2008.


Sunday though was strange. Tim Tebow, making his debut for the Broncos this season, enjoyed a great deal of crowd favor from those who showed up to celebrate Tebow’s 2008 Florida Gators National Championship team, and most Dolphins fans it seems have succumbed to the “suck for Luck” philosophy that wins at this point will only inhibit their chances at the top pick in next year’s draft.


As Tebow was crossing the goal with the game tying 2-point conversion, fans of both teams (plentiful in Miami on Sunday) seemed united in their hopes that Sparano and his Dolphins would find a way to lose…and they did. Everyone but Sparano left happy (or at least appeased).


Prognosis: Prepare to be pushed Tony Sparano. Your boy Bill Parcells bailed on you already, and the only purpose you’re serving at present is to be the means to a 0-16 season that will deliver Andrew Luck and likely the next head coach as well. No need for the Dolphins to rush that move though, they can save money now and keep the new guy from being associated with this ongoing mess.



NBA Fans – The NBA lockout got shock value attention courtesy of Bryant Gumbel last week, they got impartial mediation courtesy of the federal government and they got the best wishes of seemingly every fan still clinging to hopes of an NBA season at all this year. The end result, talks broke off at an apparent impasse with not only no apparent resolution in sight, but it seems there aren’t even any official plans to continue the talks as yet. The players are into the “making plans” phase of taking their talents to wherever paychecks are imminent and many owners seem contented to let the whole season go un-played, and David Stern will probably cancel Christmas this week.


Prognosis: Hang tight; college basketball is just around the corner. Accept the fact that there probably won’t be an NBA season and get over it. That way if there is one you’ll be imminently happy but you won’t waste any time, energy or emotion sweating it out in the meanwhile.



Clemson, Stanford & Boise State – It’s that time of year again too. The national championship picture is down to 7 teams after undefeated Oklahoma and Wisconsin fell last weekend. For those 7 teams, their chance at a national title just became a lot more real, and suddenly a lot more important too.


In fairness, it’s probably only 5 of the 7 legitimate title contenders that are seeing the championship picture with more clarity this week, as it’s been all but ordained that the winner of the SEC’s loaded western division would roll though the conference title game and into the BCS National Championship game as a result. For weeks we’ve been touting the LSU and Alabama winner as one half of the title picture at least, that part hasn’t changed.


What has changed is the likelihood that the Big-12 winner would get the other side of that bracket as that may be suddenly not be so likely. The Big-12 still has 2 undefeated teams in Oklahoma State (3rd in the BCS) and Kansas State (8th in the BCS) but both still have to play each other and a still strong Oklahoma team now relegated to the role of spoiler. Oklahoma State also still has Baylor with Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III and the Texas Tech team that just beat Oklahoma on their schedule and Kansas State has Texas and Texas A&M still remaining too.


Mathematically there could still be 5 undefeated powers left at season’s end (but likely won’t be). Where the ones who don’t reside in the SEC shake out should be quite interesting and is still very much up in the air right now.


Prognosis: If you’re a fan of any one of the three listed in the title, you might as well jump as no matter which team you side with, the odds are stacked against you. Beware though that if you do, you’ll surely miss out on an exciting and controversial finish to the college football season.

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The 15-7-0 Wants To Kick Floyd Mayweather’s Ass Too…

Posted on 19 September 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.

You might be able to guess what it is.

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

15 Positive Observations…

1. Navy won’t want to hear it, but they SHOULD take a moral victory from their loss to South Carolina

I get it. No one likes moral victories. But the Midshipmen went to Columbia, faced a completely legit Top 10 Gamecocks team and had them on their heels throughout.

Unfortunately for the Mids, they didn’t have Marcus Lattimore. He’s apparently pretty good…

2. Tom Brady and Drew Brees are good at football. Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about them?

I feel like everyone’s always talking about stars like Bruce Gradkowski and Alex Smith. Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about the little guys in New England and New Orleans?

I of course picked San Diego to beat the Patriots. But really, what the eff do I know about football anyway?

If you enjoy watching fat men run (and who doesn’t?), have another look at Vince Wilfork’s interception…

3. Since appearing on WNST, Baltimore native Jim Schwartz has seen his Detroit Lions outscore their opponents 48-3

Of course that’s because the Mt. St. Joe grad joined Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” Friday before the Lions put the 45 point pounding on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Also this weekend Justin Verlander won his 24th game and the Detroit Tigers clinched the AL Central. In Charm City this weekend we watched the Ravens lose to the Titans and we have no freaking clue what the Orioles might have done.

Am I really feeling jealousy towards the Motor City?

4. I’m gonna go ahead and stop picking against Boise State now

In three games this season, I’ve picked Boise State to lose twice. I thought a SEC power like Georgia would teach them a lesson in Atlanta. I thought an upstart like Toledo would pull the stunner at home after nearly toppling Ohio State.

Look, we call my picks segment “Everybody Beats Glenn” for a reason.

5. Jesse Holley is the greatest* Wide Receiver to ever win a TV reality show

If you don’t know the story, Jesse Holley won Michael Irvin’s SpikeTV reality show “4th & Long” to get a spot in Dallas Cowboys Training Camp. He went from that to the practice squad, from the practice squad to the active roster, from the active roster to making his first NFL catch, from making his first NFL catch to coming within a foot of beating the 49ers…

…from coming within a foot of beating the 49ers to holding a celebration that I believe is still going on at this moment.

Oh yeah, Tony Romo played this game with a fractured rib. We’re not going to talk about that though because it doesn’t involve him humping Jessica Simpson. (But it should!)

6. The Buffalo Bills are all that’s right with America…or something like that

I have no idea if the Bills are any good, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is fun to watch and I can support the idea of the Oakland Raiders losing.

The Bills have more wins thus far this season than Lee Evans does. Chew on that.

7. Oklahoma was about as much better than Florida State as everyone thought they were

Why don’t my teams ever make plays like the one Sooners QB Landry Jones and WR Kenny Stills made the other night?

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“The Reality Check” Week 1 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 08 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Power Rankings…

32. Oakland Raiders

I’m well aware they went 6-0 against the AFC West last year. They had Nnamdi Asomugha and Zach Miller then. I’m thinking like The Who now. I “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” The Raiders stink.

31. San Francisco 49ers

I don’t think an organization can have a “lose on purpose” philosophy. I think it’s impossible to convince a group of men to not try to win. But if a team was shaping up to get Andrew Luck, it would be the Niners.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

If I’m Jack Del Rio, I’m asking for the Jags to just go ahead and fire me now. The move is puzzling, but the bigger puzzle is “what will the name of the team be when they move to Los Angeles”?

29. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers actually went out and got a couple of players this offseason. Winning games will be predicated on Cam Newton progressing. It’s no guarantee, but they might have a chance.

28. Washington Redskins

If they didn’t have to play a quarterback they’d be higher in my rankings. Since I hate the Skins I smile a bit every time I hear the name Rex Grossman.

27. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincy’s defense is too good to be the worst team in the NFL, but Andy Dalton looks to be one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL at the moment.

26. Cleveland Browns

I’m not buying into Colt McCoy helping the Browns take the “next step.” I don’t think they’re very good and I don’t think it’s changing soon.

25. Tennessee Titans

If Matt Hasselbeck played all 16 games, the Titans would win 8. He won’t and they won’t.

24. Buffalo Bills

I don’t like much about the Bills, but I’ll give Ryan Fitzpatrick the benefit of the doubt. He was pretty good last year, perhaps he’ll be fairly decent again this season.

23. Seattle Seahawks

Once again, it’s a shame teams aren’t allowed to play without quarterbacks. They’d likely win more games with David Garrard than with Tavaris Jackson.

22. Minnesota Vikings

I’m gonna go ahead and guess that Donovan McNabb doesn’t play 16 games this season. I know I’m really going out on a limb.

21. Miami Dolphins

I like Daniel Thomas. I like Brandon Marshall. I like the Phins’ defense. I just don’t understand why I don’t like the Dolphins more.

20. Denver Broncos

I don’t like Kyle Orton nearly as much as some others do. But there’s probably more to like about the Broncos than I’m willing to give them credit for.

19. Dallas Cowboys

I can’t figure out if the Cowboys need to rebuild or simply retool. They clearly didn’t do enough this offseason either way. A healthy Tony Romo helps, but does it really make them a contender in the NFC East?

18. Arizona Cardinals

I immediately regret putting the Cards ahead of the Cowboys on this list, but if Kevin Kolb is any good at all the Cardinals have a great chance at winning the NFC West. There’s talent on both sides of the ball.

17. St. Louis Rams

Love Sam Bradford. Love Steven Jackson. Question marks just about everywhere else. Still think they win the division.

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Indy Calling: Workouts Continue As Draft Season Moves Toward Combine

Posted on 16 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

If the NFL Draft is the “Super Bowl” of NFL Draft season, I believe next week’s trip to Indianapolis, Indiana for the NFL Scouting Combine would qualify as the end of the regular season.

After next week, the Draft season “playoffs” begin as players hold Pro Timing Days on college campuses and private workouts at National Football League facilities.

Before I continue, I remind you of the East West Shrine Game players, the NFLPA Game players, the Senior Bowl prospects and the rest of the Draft prospects we have already profiled.

QB-Ricky Dobbs (Navy), Pat Devlin (Delaware), Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Josh Portis (California-Pennsylvania), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Christian Ponder (Florida State)
-Anthony Sherman (UConn)
-Evan Royster (Penn State), Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), Damien Berry (Miami), Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma State), Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska), Alex Green (Hawaii)
-Lester Jean (Florida Atlantic), Terrence Toliver (LSU), Leonard Hankerson (Miami), Austin Pettis (Boise State), Denarius Moore (Tennessee), Owen Spencer (North Carolina State), Jock Sanders (West Virginia), Titus Young (Boise State), Vincent Brown (San Diego State), Ryan Whalen (Stanford)
TE-Will Yeatman (Maryland)
-Matthew O’Donnell (Queens University Canada), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Nate Solder (Colorado)
CZane Taylor (Utah)
-Justin Trattou (Florida), Allen Bailey (Miami), Eddie Jones (Texas), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)
-Mark Herzlich (Boston College), Casey Matthews (Oregon), Adrian Moten (Maryland)
-Jermale Hines (Ohio State), Jaiquawn Jarrett (Temple), Maurice Rolle (Louisiana-Lafayette)
CB-Anthony Gaitor (Florida International)

The Baltimore Ravens made some personnel changes this week, adding CB Marcus Paschal and WR Brandon Jones. Both of those players are little more than guys who are getting Training Camp tryouts.

The team placed the franchise tag on DT Haloti Ngata ensuring his return for at least the 2011 season (if there is one). They also worked out free agent DC Reynaldo Hill.

Despite all of that, my team needs remain the same…

1. Defensive End
2. Offensive Tackle
3. Wide Receiver
4. Cornerback
5. Fullback
6. Inside Linebacker
7. Safety
8. Center
9. Running Back
10. Quarterback

Here are ten more prospects to keep an eye on as we move towards the Combine.

Thanks to CBSSports.com/NFLDraftScout.com, NFLDraftBible.com, WNST.net (The AP), ESPN.com, Wikipedia, YouTube and various official athletic websites for helping to put together the profiles.

CB Aaron Williams (Texas)

Our buddy Scott Wright from DraftCountdown.com had the Ravens selecting the 6’1″ junior Longhorns DB at 26th a week ago. (He’s since switched to Colorado CB Jimmy Smith.)

I’m not sure I agreed with the mock, but I definitely wouldn’t be up in arms if Williams was the pick.

Williams has one unique advantage as a 6’1″ corner-the advantage of being two or three inches taller than any corner on the Ravens’ roster (not named Cary Williams).

Williams is best known for the sack that ended the career of then Oklahoma (and now St. Louis Rams) QB Sam Bradford. Unfortunately his senior season might have been most remembered for a TD he gave up to Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon. Blackmon burned a few folks during the 2010 season to be fair.

But Williams was very good for the better part of his three seasons in Austin. He finished his career with 89 tackles, five forced fumbles and four interceptions-including one he returned for a TD.

There’s a good chance he’s on the board at 26. He definitely won’t reach to the team’s pick in the second round. They could possibly trade back and get him-but with question marks surrounding CB’s Chris Carr, Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington in free agency-GM Ozzie Newsome and company might not be able to take that chance.

WR Torrey Smith (Maryland)

I know what you’re thinking.

“How could I possibly not know everything there is to know about Torrey Smith? I listen to him every Tuesday at 12:30 with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” on AM1570 WNST!”

While I INDEED suggest checking out the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net to hear more from the former Terrapins star, I figured I might pass along a little more information as well.

Smith may ultimately go down as a player who would have been better off sticking around for one more year to make himself a first round pick, but there’s also a chance he’ll be a player whose Draft season alone makes him a first round pick.

Smith will run one of the more important 40 yard dashes at LucasOil Stadium next week, where is expected to post a sub-4.40 time. The only thing working against him will be the fact that fellow former Terps WR Darrius Heyward-Bey lit the Combine on fire two years ago but has disappointed since being selected in the Top 10 by the Oakland Raiders.

Smith wouldn’t address a size need for the Ravens (he’s 6’1″), but he would certainly address a speed need-which Donte’ Stallworth was unable to do during his season in Charm City.

Smith saved his best for last in College Park, grabbing 67 catches for 1,055 yards and 12 TD’s. The only disappointment for Smith in 2010 was his return game, as he tallied just 585 return yards after combining for 2,498 yards and 3 return TD’s between his freshman and sophomore seasons.

While Lardarius Webb and David Reed each came on at the end of the season in their respective return roles, it’s safe to say neither have particularly locked their roles down.

Smith could offer a lot to the Ravens. 26th might be a stretch as of now, but as he rises in Draft season it could very well be the exact spot where he ends up. Before they pull the plug, they’ll probably want to encourage Smith to improve some of the company he keeps…

OT Anthony Costanzo (Boston College)

At this point, it seems unlikely that the Eagles’ 6’7″, 308 pound monster will be around when the Ravens are on the clock at 26.

But with the Jared Gaither situation still very much up in the air and question marks surrounding Michael Oher’s long-term stability at LT; it might be a good decision for Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz and company to make a move for a player of Costanzo’s stature.

Costanzo had a remarkable career in Chestnut Hill, having been a starter for four seasons. He was the first true freshman to start on the O-Line for BC in ten years during the 2007 season-which we remember as the year Matt Ryan was a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.

Costanzo had a big week in Mobile, showing off his quick feet and long arms. More impressive (according to Rob Rang of CBSSports.com) was his frame, as he displayed a muscular torso despite his mammoth size.

He’s not quite (Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl OT) Joe Thomas as a prospect-but he’s really good. There’s a chance he could become Joe Thomas at the next level.

DE Brooks Reed (Arizona)


There has been plenty of attention given during Draft season to Wildcats DE Ricky Elmore, but Reed is certainly deserving of note himself.

Reed boasts an impressive 6’3″, 262 pound frame and tallied 17 sacks during his career in Tucson. There has been discussion of whether or not he can be and end at the next level or if he’s going to end up being a stand-up guy.

With the Ravens very obviously needing End help, he would have much more potential value to Chuck Pagano’s defense as an end than an OLB. The question is whether or not he can provide a consistent rush from the end position, and we don’t quite know the answer to that.

Reed has plenty of athleticism, having played RB as well as DE in high school. It doesn’t guarantee he’ll be a great athlete at the NFL level, but it certainly speaks to his versatility.

WR Randall Cobb (Kentucky)

It is REALLY hard to figure out how valuable the former Wildcats star will be at the next level.

During three seasons in Lexington, Cobb played quarterback, running back, receiver and returner. Between the four positions, he was responsible for 42 total touchdowns over those three seasons.

As a more natural receiver in 2010, Cobb was very impressive. He grabbed 84 catches for 1,017 yards and seven TD’s. But it’s hard to figure out if Cobb can make a seamless transition to being a natural receiver at the NFL level.

With a 5’11” frame, Cobb is going to have to be FAST to really be a dynamic threat in the NFL. At a Pro Timing Day last season, he ran just a 4.55 in the 40 yard dash. Scouts will need to see a time better than that in Indiana next week.

Cobb’s 40 time could be the difference in going as high as the first round or as low as the fourth round. It seems as though 26th would be a stretch for a team like the Ravens, as Cobb probably has to be viewed as a “project” for folks like Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta.

But if Cobb ends up slipping, a project might not be a bad addition to the team’s receiving corps; as long as they further address the need to compliment Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason with a true top target.

OT Joseph Barksdale (LSU)


After moving from Right to Left Tackle between his junior and senior seasons, Barksdale has seen his draft stock continue to rise.

The 6’6″, 318 pound big man made the move to the left side for the 2010 season after Ciron Black graduated. The move appears to have paid off, as Barksdale is currently projected amongst the top 10 tackles available in the Draft. He’s not in the Thursday or Friday night conversation as of right now, but he could be moving in that direction as Draft season continues.

Barksdale claimed second team All-SEC honors during his senior campaign in Baton Rouge, helping the Tigers finish 4th in the conference in rushing. He tallied 49 knockdowns at the most important position on the line.

Head Coach John Harbaugh has said he wants OL Marshal Yanda to return to RG (if he returns to the team as a free agent). To do that, the team has to get a player to complement Oher and solidify the tackle position. As the Draft progresses to Friday night/Saturday, Barksdale will be a more attractive option for new O-Line coach Andy Moeller.

RB Shane Vereen (California)

The Ravens will be looking for a back to compliment Ray Rice should Willis McGahee (as many of us are expecting) be let go. Vereen might very well be a solid option.

Vereen isn’t a big back, but his 5’10” (205 pound) frame was big enough to allow him to carry the ball 15 or more times in nine of the Golden Bears’ 12 games in 2010. Vereen finished the year with a 5.1 yard per carry average, adding 13 TD’s.

Vereen finished his three year career in Berkeley having rushed 556 times for 2,834 yards and 29 TD’s. He added 874 receiving yards and six receiving TD’s over the three seasons. His numbers (and build) are similar to fellow former Bears back Marshawn Lynch.

Vereen could play his way up the board during Draft season, but without having participated in a College All-Star Game as an early entry his only Draft season statement thus far was an appearance on ESPN2’s All-Star Football Challenge. He’s probably a late Friday night pick right now, which could be the perfect spot for the Ravens to plug him into Cam Cameron’s offense.

DE Cliff Matthews (South Carolina)

Much like Arizona’s Reed, the Ravens are going to have to determine if Matthews can be a true rush end at the NFL level.

He certainly did a solid job in the role during his four years in Columbia, tallying 13 sacks between his junior and senior seasons. Matthews finished his Gamecocks career with 142 total tackles from the edge.

The Ravens haven’t found a true rush end since the demise (and ultimate departure) of Trevor Pryce. They rotated Ngata, Paul Kruger and even Cory Redding on the edge last season, with none of them settling into the role.

Matthews would certainly bring an impressive frame (6’4″, 268 pounds) to anchor the line, as well as a fairly high motor (expected to run the 40 in the 4.7’s range). He often went against premiere O-Linemen in the SEC (including Barksdale above) and had success.

Early in Draft season, Matthews is a Saturday pick-probably in the 4th-5th round range. It would make sense for the team to draft an end earlier in the weekend, but Matthews could certainly end up being an additional insurance policy.

CB Jalil Brown (Colorado)

While more attention is given to his Buffaloes teammate Smith, Brown certainly has the tools to play at the next level.

Brown (6’0″) isn’t quite as tall as Smith (6’2″), but his size does separate him from other corners in the draft-as well as the corners on the Ravens’ roster. Only Cary Williams (6’1″) from last year’s roster is taller than Brown, although Paschal is also 6’0″. The Ravens’ top corners under contract (Domonique Foxworth and Lardarius Webb) are 5’11” and 5’10” respectively.

Brown had a solid career in Boulder, finishing with six interceptions over his final three seasons. His performance was good enough to pick up All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors. There may be some concern for NFL scouts due to a shoulder surgery between his junior and senior seasons-but it did not appear to affect him during his senior campaign.

Brown’s 40 time in Indianapolis will go a long way in determining where he will be picked. If he stays in the range of 4.5, he’ll probably be an early Saturday pick. If he cuts under 4.5, he’ll have a chance to be picked Friday night. If he ends up posting a number over 4.5, he’ll be in danger of sliding to late Saturday.

The former Buffs corner has a unique connection to the Ravens. He set an Arizona High School record by once running for 412 yards in a game at South Mountain High School. The player who previously held the record? Ravens LB Terrell Suggs.

S Rahim Moore (UCLA)

With Ed Reed’s future almost always in jeopardy and Dawan Landry a free agent, the safety position will have to be addressed by the Ravens in the offseason.

Moore exploded on the Pac 10 scene in 2009, recording 10 interceptions for the Bruins. He tallied just one interception as a junior however before leaving Los Angeles early for the Draft.

While his interception numbers were down in 2010, his tackle numbers increased greatly. He tallied 77 tackles, up from 45 as a sophomore.

Moore has an impressive build (6’1″, 197 pounds) and can work his way up the Draft board by going under 4.5 when he runs the 40 yard dash at the Combine.

He looks like a Friday night pick as of right now. The Ravens could do well to pick him in the second round.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Monday 3-Pointer

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Monday 3-Pointer

Posted on 07 February 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

In honor of officially turning the page from football season into basketball, here is a veritable 3-pointer of topical suggestions for Monday’s water cooler.

Point #1 – Just as quickly as I talk about turning the page on football season, my first point is of course related to the Ravens. Am I the only one totally confused by the Ravens apparent interest in retaining Jared Gaither?


When it comes to Gaither and this season in particular there seem to be two different schools of thought or observation. The first is puzzling to me, but seems to have a healthy consensus supporting it. That’s the notion that Gaither, spurned by his relegation to right tackle this season, opted to teach the Ravens a lesson in the form of a mysterious back injury that cost him and the team his entire season. For the record, I am not in this camp, as I simply can’t believe that on the precipice of free agency and an apparent big payday Gaither would feign an injury, much less an undetectable back ailment thereby likely costing himself millions of dollars in the process.


The second school of thought, and the one to which I subscribe is that Gaither simply has an undetectable back injury that came at the worst possible time for both him and the team. In either case, signing him sounds like a hopeful decision at best. You’re either getting a guy of questionable character, now apparently ready to play ball although nothing about his future at right tackle will have seemingly changed. Or you get a guy with a mysterious back injury that has already cost him one full season and could certainly threaten to jeopardize his availability going forward.


Hopefully the Ravens will be talking with Gaither about a one-year, incentive laden, right guy right price, go out and prove yourself type of contract. Something tells me that if Gaither were looking to play under those terms it might as well be at left tackle where he stands to get paid, and therefore not in Baltimore.


Point #2 – A lot has been made throughout the season and in the immediate aftermath of the inability of Joe Flacco to call audibles and diagnose defenses or the unwillingness of the coaching staff to allow him to do so, and the subsequent speculation as to why. From my naïve point of view, I’ll go with the latter and here’s why:


In the true self hating fashion of a die hard Ravens fan, I have used the NFL Rewind service to re-watch a lot of Ravens games from what was in totality a pretty exciting season. While I won’t patronize you by saying that I was cutting up tapes, as I only watched the television broadcasts over again, and without claiming to have a coach’s eye, a couple of things seem to stand out. The biggest for me is that the Ravens do little to disguise what they’re’ doing before they do it.


A few years ago, I and other members of the WNST staff had the privilege of sitting with then Ravens Linebackers Coach Mike Pettine, in Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan’s office and watch some game film and talk some football with him. At one point in the conversation he mentioned the Chargers (who coincidentally had Cam Cameron as an offensive coordinator at the time) as a team that would just line up and beat other teams. He said that there was little deception in their game; that they simply had great players who lined up and imposed their will on other teams without much deception. He pointed to them as the exception to the norm.


While many want Joe Flacco to go to the line and carry out the elaborate chicken dances of guys like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and others, that doesn’t seem at all to be the biggest missing element. Let’s concede that often what we see from those QBs in their pre-snap dances is not an audible at all. More often than not, a quarterback walks to the line, points out the middle linebacker (or the guy he thinks will be acting as the MLB on that play) and thereby tries to help identify for the offense where the pressure is coming from, who to pick up with blocks and where to break off certain pass routes. Only if he thinks the defense is ready for the play that they went to the line with will the QB actually change the play. Let’s also concede that without doing the chicken dance, the Ravens do check out of plays, it may only be 2 or 3 times per game, and their keys seem to be much more subtle than most teams’, but the Ravens do call audibles. They just don’t call many.


The place where I have a hard time indicting the quarterback, but may point to the coaching staff with a philosophical deficiency is in trying to steal pre-snap clues from the defense with hard counts, and by calling out what they see coming before it comes. Lord knows the Ravens offense typically gets to the line of scrimmage with plenty of time to burn on the play clock, if they did a better job of making the defense impatient and keeping them off balance, it would force them to tip their hands before they’d like, and give the offense a better idea of what they were seeing before it came at them.


The reason that I’d call this a philosophical problem and not a shortcoming of any single player is simple, the defense played the same way. Go back and watch the Bills game, or the Texans. How many throws did quarterbacks make against the Ravens this year on a one step drop from the shotgun? That’s not a read that the QB is making after the snap, the Ravens gave up their defense too early…consistently. Go back and watch the last 3 games of the season, or the 2 post-season games, you don’t need much of an educated eye to see who’s rushing and who’s dropping back into coverage. The reason Matt Ryan looked like an audible machine in that Thursday night match-up was because the Ravens were telling him what to call, and where the holes would be. We as fans make a lot of whether the team sends 3, 4, 5 or 6 rushers, but keeping an offense off balance is often about disguising who’s coming and who’s not more than how many you send on a given play.


Sometimes an audible (or what appears to be an audible) isn’t a change of the play at all. Sometimes it’s just a hard count that makes a blitzer show his hand, followed by a knowing look between a QB and receiver, back, lineman or whomever that simply says “you saw that too right?” and “you know what that means”. That’s a battle that the Ravens seemed to lose this year consistently on both sides of the ball.


Point #3 Maybe the way that the Super Bowl turned out is fitting in a lot of ways. The Packers, true to form, overcame a plethora of injuries to and found a way to win. Having seen 17 players succumb to the IR over the course of the season, and having lost stars in Donald Driver and Charles Woodson in the finale, the Packers should serve as an inspiration to all NFL teams that it takes a lot more than star power to win it all in the NFL. A strong nucleus of stars and the right system and attitude will take you as far as you deserve to go, and the Packers served reminder of that to everyone.


What’s more, as we head into an off-season of collective bargaining turmoil and tumult, the ultra-small market Packers should serve as a reminder to everyone that the NFL is still the only league where teams based in cities like Green Bay can play on par with teams from New York and Chicago (and Los Angeles if they had a team). That’s one of the big reasons why the NFL remains king of American sports, and hopefully won’t do anything to screw that up.


And 1 Why the apathy toward Terps’ basketball? I hope that folks were just waiting until the completion of football season to get emotionally invested. If that’s the case, welcome aboard, it’s about to get interesting. For those who dipped their proverbial toes in the water for the Duke game and cashed out just as quickly, give them a chance, there’s big upside with this bunch and they’re a lot of fun to watch, and there are still 53 days until the Orioles opener…and counting.

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Ryan vs. Rodgers Preview

Posted on 15 January 2011 by Michael Schwartz

Packers vs. Falcons Preview

The Green Bay Packers are holding their heads high since they just beat the high flying Eagles offense. They contained Michael Vick who is arguably the MVP of the NFL. They contained Desean Jackson and they will have to contain another big receiver in Roddy White. White is one of the best receivers in the NFL and is a Pro Bowler this year. He has come up big in numerous situations and he is Matt Ryan’s favorite target. Matt Ryan has had his best year since coming into the league in 2008. Ryan gets help since the Falcons are a good running team. Michael Turner had another good year in which he had over 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns. This helps them since the play action works and teams have to account for anything with their offense. The Falcons are going against the fifth ranked defense in the NFL, led by veteran Charles Woodson. He is one of the best corners in the NFL, and he is great at shutting down big name receivers. He’s good at this because the Packers get a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Led by Clay Matthews who had over 10 sacks this year is great at getting to the quarterback and making him get out of the pocket. B.J Raji is great at stuffing the run and causing double or even triple teams. This helps Matthews in a lot of ways since he is usually one on one on the outside. The Falcons offense is good against good defenses. They scored 26 points against the Ravens and that is because the Ravens couldn’t get to Ryan. If the Packers don’t get to Ryan, he will pick them apart and the Falcons will win this game.

The Green Bay Packers offense is going against an average Falcons defense. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have a good game last week against the Eagles, but he will likely bounce back strong. If the Packers get their run game going this week, like they did last week, then the Falcons are in loads of trouble. The Packers offense is very good at passing the ball, and that is because they have good receivers in Greg Jennings and James Jones. These two receivers have been catching passes all over defenses this year and this won’t change in this game. These two receivers do a great job at getting open quick so Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have to hang onto the ball for a long time. This Falcons defense will need to get pressure and that will be on the back of John Abraham. He is their best pass rusher and is considered to be one of the better ones in the NFC. He is great in one on one situations, so the Packers will likely double team him with a tackle and a running back or a tackle and tight end. The Packers need to keep Rodgers clean if they want to win this game. He is good at escaping pressure, but if he has time in the pocket he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The Falcons pass rush is a key in this game, if they want to move on to the NFC Championship.

The Falcons offense has been very good this year, led by Matt Ryan at quarterback. They can pass the ball and they have the weapons to do it. Roddy White and veteran Tony Gonzalez are very good at getting open for Matt Ryan. Gonzalez is one of the best tight ends of all time and he has showed that with another great season in Atlanta. The Packers are a fast defense and can stop him by putting a quick linebacker on him, such as A.J Hawk. Hawk is a good linebacker with good speed and he can likely contain Gonzalez. Roddy White is tough to contain but veteran Charles Woodson has been covering guys like him for years. If the Packers can get a pass rush then the Falcons don’t stand a chance. The Packers don’t let teams run on them, so the Falcons will likely be one dimensional. The Falcons are a good running team but the Packers don’t let teams run, so the Falcons will need Matt Ryan to have another great game if they want to win.

Prediction: 27-20 Packers

I think that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense will dominate the Falcons defense, and their defense will do just enough to stop the Falcons. This will be a close game from the get go, but in the end, I think that Aaron Rodgers is the better quarterback and is considered one of the NFL’s elite. Matt Ryan is a great young quarterback, but has only been in two playoff games. Ryan will lead his team down the field, like he has all year, but throw an interception or do something that will cost them the game.

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Ravens play a prime part in very “hairy” NFL weekend …..

Posted on 10 January 2011 by Rex Snider

If you look back on the totality of this past weekend’s games, I think it’s pretty easy to detect the obvious: every round of the NFL playoffs will present some unpredictable circumstances, as well as some very quirky results …..

Many of us thought 3 of 4 visiting teams would win their respective matchups. But, did we think the New Orleans Saints, as the most resounding favorite (-10.5 points) in NFL history, would be the sole “road loser?”

If I presented the following circumstances: the Indianapolis Colts are losing by one point, they’re driving inside the Jets 30 yard line with less than one minute remaining …. would you predict a Manning win or loss?

If you knew 2 running backs would rush for 100+ yards, and the weekend’s matchups featured names like Ray Rice, Joseph Addai, LaSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles and LaDanian Tomlinson, would you ever imagine that Marshawn Lynch and James Starks would be those guys?

A pretty telling factor …. Michael Vick’s last win was the week before Christmas, when he was being mentioned in the same breath with Tom Brady, for NFL MVP honors.

Does the respective, opposing defense matter? Well …. the Philadelphia Eagles averaged 28 points, per game, during the regular season and the Seattle Seahawks averaged just 19 points, per contest. Which team is still alive?

After a steady December of witnessing snowy, icy games across the midwest and northeast, the first two weeks of January have not been impacted by inclement weather, at all.

Did you ever imagine Joe Flacco and Dan Marino would be mentioned in the same sentence? That’s right, they’re the only quarterbacks to win 36 games in their first 3 seasons. With a win in Pittsburgh, Flacco will stand alone on this record.

Ten years ago, Brandon Stokley caught a touchdown pass in the Ravens Super Bowl victory. Did any of us think he would catch another touchdown, a decade later? He did it Saturday – in Seattle’s win.
Speaking of touchdown receptions …. Anquan Boldin went more than a month (5 weeks) without one. The troubling streak ended yesterday – let’s hope he can have two consecutive games with TD catches for the first time since October 17th and 24th.

With this weekend’s wins by the Ravens and Jets, both AFC wildcard teams advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs, in consecutive seasons, for the first time (2010 & 2011).

Yesterday’s win also yielded John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco as the only HEAD COACH and QUARTERBACK to win playoff games in their first 3 NFL seasons.

On Saturday, the Seattle Seahawks won their 8th game of the season. Their opponent, the New Orleans Saints, won their 8th game of the season, a mere 44 days earlier …. on Thanksgiving Day !!!!

Speaking of those Seahawks, it will be impossible for them to finish with a winning record, UNLESS they win the Super Bowl. That’s correct, if they lose the Super Bowl, they’ll finish the season 10-10 overall.

And finally …..

On a weekend when Matt Ryan debuts as one of Gillette’s new “clean shaven” models, Joe Flacco grew a beard. Who says Joe doesn’t want to be different?

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