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Posted on 22 November 2013 by Drew Forrester
By this time next Friday, the shape of the Ravens and their playoff run will be in full bloom.
If they win both, that gives them a great chance to sneak in somehow, pending a successful December and/or some assistance from others in the AFC.
Given that both games — Sunday vs. the Jets and Thursday night vs. the Steelers — are in Baltimore, you have to like the chances of John Harbaugh’s team over the next six days.
So do the Jets.
And, yes, the Ravens are a 4-6 team, I know that…and their record indicates “we stink”, too.
But when two stinky teams meet up, the team stinking at home usually wins. See this year’s Bills/Ravens and Browns/Ravens games, for example. Or that Ravens/Steelers game in Pittsburgh back in October.
The Ravens aren’t losing at home on Sunday to a woeful offensive bunch like the New York Jets.
I realize the New York defense is pretty good, which could pose problems for a Baltimore offense that struggles to put together four good quarters of activity on the same Sunday, but unless that Jets defensive unit can shut out the Ravens, I can’t see any way possible Rex Ryan leaves Baltimore with a smile on his face late Sunday night.
The Jets won’t reach the end zone on Sunday. Ravens win in a semi-laugher, 23-9.
Peter Angelos donated $2.5 million to Franklin Square Hospital earlier this week.
His name is attached to several buildings in Baltimore now, a noble gesture from any citizen, no matter how much money you have in the bank.
I’ve said this for a long time now and it will always be worth repeating a few times a year.
Peter Angelos has, in my opinion, not been a very good owner of the Orioles since 1993. Even today, mostly removed from the day-to-day doings of the organization, his stewardship can be questioned if only by virtue of some of the people employed by him in the team’s front office. That said, Angelos has done a lot of good for the “non-baseball” community over the last twenty years with donations and financial assistance provided to numerous organizations that make Baltimore a better place. It’s a shame his good deeds haven’t been publicized the right way by “his people”.
We all might understand Peter Angelos better if, in fact, he was willing to admit he’s a lot more like the rest of Baltimore than he’s evidently willing to admit.
Posted on 12 March 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
When great expectations are met with poor performances, fans and athletes can find themselves at the ledge. That place where the temperature is always rising and the sky is always falling. The good news is things aren’t often as bad as they might seem to be. Here’s a look at who’s on the ledge this week.
The Carolina Tarheels
The Tarheels have been an oddity all season, clearly as talented as any team in the country, but prone also to a frightening level of indifference and lack of basketball IQ far too often. Carolina has the look of a team that spent the off-season soaking up the headlines, accolades and expectations that everyone seemed to be casting in their direction, They also look like a team that believes far too often that they can simply roll out the balls and win with their talent, and on most nights they can. Lately though, the Heels looked to be dialing up for a stretch run and scaring the field at large in the process. The absence of Jon Henson over the weekend though has given the Tarheels and their fans new reasons to be concerned. After losing Henson in a walk over Maryland on Friday, the Heels struggled with NC State and then fell to Florida State in the ACC Final. This time last week it looked like no one could beat the Tarheels without substantial help from the Heels themselves, now it appears they’ve come back to the pack, and maybe too late to develop a real heart as a team. Things are touch and go for Carolina right now as they hope to get Henson and their swagger back soon.
The Minnesota Timberwolves
Long the laughing stock of the league, the T’Wolves looked to be on the rise this season. Despite what many consider organizational ineptitude throughout the Minnesota franchise there are few credible arguments against Kevin Love being anything but the league’s best power forward, and the emergence of Ricky Rubio after arriving at last had Minnesota thinking of playoffs and turning the proverbial page. Now that Rubio is lost for the season and possibly longer with an apparently torn ACL, it seems the season for Minnesota is lost as well, along with their chances at dumping some guard talent at the deadline to reinforce their roster. Perhaps one more lottery bound season will add just the right piece to complete the puzzle in Minnesota but until then the apparent derailing of an unusually promising season in Minnesota has to be tough to take.
Posted on 03 January 2012 by Drew Forrester
In what seems like an annual occurrence in these parts, we’re all once again reminded that the folks running the football team at The Castle know more than all of us…combined.
Not sure what I’m talking about, huh?
Two words for ya: Rex. Ryan.
Four years ago – right around this time, in fact – people in Baltimore were clamoring for Rex to be named the Ravens top man. Players wanted it. Rex campaigned for it, on my show, in fact. The national media assumed Ryan would be the perfect fit for a Ravens club that was in dire need of having its swagger restored.
Fortunately, those in charge at 1 Winning Drive were smarter than everyone else.
All you have to do is look at what’s happened in New York this season to know how smart the Ravens were back in 2008.
They had a chance to hire Ryan, but decided instead to go with John Harbaugh.
Four playoff appearances later, we should all just say “Thank You…and go on our way” (that’s from A Few Good Men, in case you didn’t know).
The predictable meltdown at the Jets headquarters in the wake of their humbling 8-8 campaign rests squarely on the shoulders of their head coach, who – and I can’t believe I’m quoting our resident nutjob from Indianapolis, Merton – is clearly “all bluster and no muster”.
Did you see how the Jets handled losing on Sunday in Miami? Players sulked on the bench, players bad-mouthed teammates to the media, players refused to meet with the press, players gave people the finger and stormed out of the locker room.
What a classy group.
All led by their head coach, of course, who champions that kind of behavior as some sort of merit badge for grit and toughness.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, the Ravens can put their feet up for a few days and rest before feasting on one of the playoff appetizers at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15.
If you’re not keeping count, I’ll do it for you: Four years — and four post-season appearances from the Ravens under the guidance of John Harbaugh. And while we’re at it, let’s tighten the knee pads a little bit and remind everyone that only ONE team in the entire NFL has made the playoffs four straight seasons. Yep, the Ravens. And John Harbaugh. And Cam Cameron. And Joe Flacco.
It should come as no surprise that the players in New York followed Rex’s lead and basically behaved like 5th graders at recess. That’s how Rex thinks “men” should be treated. Hell, that’s hell Rex himself behaves half the time. It’s a frat house in New York. All they’re missing at the Jets practice facility are bongs and Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” and most of the players would think they were back in college.
Meanwhile in Baltimore, the players are held ultra-accountable by everyone from the owner on down. The last guy to REALLY step out of line in the Harbaugh era was Chris McAlister. Remember him? He lasted exactly five games with John before the new coach sniffed him out as a malcontent back in 2008 and shipped him off to an early retirement.
Rex Ryan is getting precisely what he deserves right now. Chaos.
John Harbaugh is getting precisely what he deserves, too. A chance to go to the Super Bowl for the 4th straight season.
And football fans in Baltimore should once again thank the Ravens for knowing more about hiring people than all of us.
Posted on 02 January 2012 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…
Perhaps Flynn’s success had much more to do with the Green Bay Packers’ scheme & wide receivers and even the Detroit Lions’ less than exceptional defense than the former LSU quarterback himself. But as he enters free agency, Flynn may have just made himself a viable option for teams that won’t enter 2012 with Andrew Luck on their roster.
Of course, 80 of his 480 yards and one of his five touchdowns came on this play to Ryan Grant. I’m pretty sure Ryan Chell could have made this throw…
The Packers can sit back and wait to find out who they’ll play in the divisional round while the Lions get to visit the Superdome next weekend. But I’d say it’s pretty much a toss-up as to who has the more difficult road ahead.
In an unrelated story, the Packers went with Pat Lee as their kick returner for the New Year’s Day game. He did something stupid…
And one more-here’s Packers LB Brad Jones handling a fan who ran out onto Lambeau Field…
Much like the Fins a week earlier, the Buffalo Bills worked Charm City into a lather with hopes of ruining the Pats’ run to the Number 1 seed. Also much like the Fins, the Bills for some reason must have thought New England would quit when they fell behind early. But after spotting the Bills 21 points, the Patriots would go on to score the next 49.
But they can’t possibly win the AFC of course because their defense isn’t good enough.
You’ll see a lot of funny things in 2012. I’ll go ahead and guess that there won’t be many funnier than this Drayton Florence flop…
Also of note in this game was Bills WR Stevie Johnson, who exposed a “Happy New Year” message on an undershirt after scoring a touchdown…
It’s a shame Tom Brady didn’t have a “Happy 28 Point Beatdown” undershirt to respond with. For a semi-decent receiver, Johnson is about a full-fledged clown.
Before departing his Offensive Coordinator gig at Auburn, Malzahn pulled out a bunch of tricks (including a Statue of Liberty Play of all things) to help beat Virginia in the Georgia Dome…
Elsewhere on New Year’s Eve Levi LaVallee and Robbie Maddison were doing extreme sport jumping of some sort on ESPN that may or may not have been amazing. None of us really know and none of us really bothered to watch. But technically it happened!
How did I spend my NYE you ask? At a place I can’t name because they aren’t a sponsor. They ARE however the home of Sweet Potato Tots and the “Billy Goat’s Gruff”…
It was a 14 out of 10.
I’d show you video of the play, but it’s not available on YouTube. Instead, those of you who REALLY wanna see it can check it out here and the rest of you can look at this picture of Elsa Hosk. We’ll all meet back at the local saloon.
The San Francisco 49ers clinched the #2 seed in the NFC thanks to their win over the St. Louis Rams. In Baltimore, we just want to say Thank You again. We can’t really say it enough.
The Rams will fire Steve Spagnuolo according to reports. Also according to reports, it will be cold this week.
The Houston Texans didn’t need to beat the Tennessee Titans Sunday for any tangible reason. They didn’t, thanks to Kubiak’s decision to go for 2 late (a decision that backfired after a Joel Dreessen false start and a snap sailed over the head of QB Jake Delhomme-who replaced a banged up T.J. Yates). Let’s take a look at the video board…
Earlier in the game, Bryan Braman made an awesome play…
The Texans host the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the postseason. If they win, the Texans visit M&T Bank Stadium in the divisional round. I would think most of us would be pretty happy with that matchup, especially considering the Steelers could be another option.
Here’s video of the Aggies’ win over Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. You voted it “the video I’m least likely to watch this week” in an informal poll I just took…
Here was Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald’s reaction when he found out I was going to show the highlights of the game…
Of course, that’s the only if Michael Vick stays healthy…and we all know that’s a significant “if.”
The highlight of the day in Philly happened well before Philly kicked the tar out of the Washington Redskins. It happened when Skins OC Kyle Shanahan tried to pump his team up before the game. It was HILARIOUS…
Kyle Shanahan makes Cam Cameron look popular.