Tag Archive | "Peyton Manning"

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Flacco bashing by vocal minority of Ravens fans comes into perspective

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Luke Jones

In the final days of the Ravens’ 2011 season, it was difficult to say which was more exhausting: the vocal minority of fans bashing quarterback Joe Flacco or the increased amount of complaining about those select few.

(And to be clear, this commentary doesn’t mean Flacco is infallible and exempt from criticism, either. We’re talking about those who have made irrational suggestions such as benching the Baltimore starter and inserting the rookie Tyrod Taylor.)

But it’s certainly come into perspective this week if you’ve paid any attention to the New England area and the fallout of the Patriots’ 21-17 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.

It started with this scathing piece from Boston Globe writer Eric Wilbur in which all-world quarterback Tom Brady was labeled an “embarrassment” after the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl for the second time in five years. And the vocal simpletons (see the comments section) have followed suit, declaring Brady as washed up and even going as far as suggesting the Patriots trade him for whatever value they can get and begin the next era of New England football.

Yes, a small portion of New England fans are suggesting they run one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history out of town. The same man who led the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles in four years and threw for 39 touchdown passes and over 5,000 yards this season on his way to leading the Patriots to a 14-4 record and an AFC championship despite a woeful defense.

It certainly puts the extreme Flacco criticism into context, doesn’t it?

More than anything, the venomous thoughts toward a future Hall of Fame quarterback only prove this type of vocal minority of extreme detractors exist in every sports city in America. A certain segment of fans will never be satisfied no matter how successful their teams might be, as is evident in Boston where seven championships from the four major sports have been won over the last 11 years.

We all know someone (multiple people?) who refuses to be happy with his or her life no matter how many blessings they might have when they stop to think.

Why would the population of sports fans be any different?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to place my order for a Ryan Mallett Patriots jersey.

Retire, Ricky, retire

Though running back Ricky Williams’ retirement announcement was mildly surprising after proclaiming his enthusiasm for the 2012 season in the days following the AFC championship game, the Ravens shouldn’t — and won’t — be worked up by the veteran backup’s departure.

There are always at least five or six running backs of Williams’ ability at this stage of his career available in the free-agent market. Williams will be 35 years old by the start of the 2012 season, and there’s no guarantee he would have been able to duplicate his steady average of 4.1 yards per carry that he owned this past season. Anthony Allen will likely see an increased role, or at least an increased opportunity, to earn that role in training camp.

Whether it’s signing a veteran in the open market or looking to April’s draft, the Ravens will improve their depth at the running back position behind Ray Rice. Owner Steve Bisciotti has already said Rice will not be going anywhere despite the Pro Bowl back being set to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

It’s hard to imagine Williams’ retirement having any impact whatsoever on contract negotiations with Rice’s representation, and the Ravens will simply use the franchise tag on their feature back should they be unable to reach a long-term agreement by March 5.

However, Williams calling it a career does open the door for a farfetched but intriguing scenario to potentially play out with Rice. Let’s assume the two sides are unable to reach a long-term deal, Rice plays with the franchise tag in 2012, and the Ravens look to bolster their depth at running back in the middle rounds of the draft.

What would the Ravens do if they found a diamond in the rough with that draft pick, much in the same way they saw such potential in Rice after selecting him in the second round of the 2008 draft? Knowing the limited shelf life for running backs in the NFL, would they consider allowing Rice to walk the following season if this unnamed running back appeared capable of handling the starting job?

Again, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that happening, but Williams’ decision to walk away from the game forces the Ravens to explore other options at the position, and you never know what they might discover in the process.

Caldwell effect

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Ravens Among Super Bowl XLVII Favorites

Posted on 06 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV). Included below are 2013 Super Bowl odds, updated odds on where Peyton Manning ends up, and a quote from Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager, Kevin Bradley on why next season’s SB odds where so tough to make.

2013 SUPER BOWL XLVII ODDS

 

Green Bay Packers                    6/1

 

New England Patriots                 7/1

 

New Orleans Saints                   8/1

 

Philadelphia Eagles                    12/1

 

Pittsburgh Steelers                    12/1

 

Houston Texans                         12/1

 

Baltimore Ravens                       14/1

 

New York Giants                        15/1

 

San Diego Chargers                   16/1

 

New York Jets                           16/1

 

San Francisco 49ers                  18/1

 

Dallas Cowboys                         18/1

 

Detroit Lions                              18/1

 

Atlanta Falcons                         22/1

 

Chicago Bears                           30/1

 

Arizona Cardinals                       30/1

 

Miami Dolphins                          35/1

 

Cincinnati Bengals                     40/1

 

Indianapolis Colts                       50/1

 

Tennessee Titans                       40/1

 

Oakland Raiders                        50/1

 

Carolina Panthers                      50/1

 

Denver Broncos                         50/1

 

Kansas City Chiefs                    50/1

 

Seattle Seahawks                      60/1

 

Buffalo Bills                               60/1

 

Washington Redskins                60/1

 

Minnesota Vikings                     75/1

 

St. Louis Rams                          75/1

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers             75/1

 

Cleveland Browns                       100/1

 

Jacksonville Jaguars                   100/1

 

What team will Peyton Manning be a member of for game 1 of the 2013 Regular Season?

 

Arizona Cardinals                       2/1

 

Washington Redskins                5/2

 

Miami Dolphins                          3/1

 

New York Jets                           7/2

 

Indianapolis Colts                       7/1

 

“With Peyton Manning’s situation it has made setting next year’s Super Bowl Odds very difficult and a reason you will see teams like Arizona and Miami at lower odds than what they would be in case Manning signs there.  As for the Colts, even though there is a slim chance he stays they are at 50-1 but if he does leave will shoot up to around 100-1 and if stays would drop down to around 15-1, just goes to show the importance of a guy like Peyton.”

 

-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager

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Krav

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Live from Indy: Kravitz tells WNST that Manning is done with Colts

Posted on 30 January 2012 by WNSTV

As much “fun” as we’ve been having with the locals, who continue to shove horseshoes and Peyton Manning down our throats here in Indianapolis, we caught up with the Hoosier authority on all things Colts, Jim Irsay, Super Bowl and Andrew Luck.

Here’s Indy Star sports columnist Bob Kravitz, famed for his Manning story last week, joining Drew and Glenn at Radio Row in Indianapolis:

And here’s Kravitz’s take on Hoosier Pride and the zipline in downtown Indy:

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Rice, Suggs Make Bloomberg List of Most Powerful Athletes

Posted on 25 January 2012 by WNST Staff

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

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

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

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

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

Top 20:

1-Drew Brees-Football

2-Aaron Rodgers-Football

3-Tom Brady-Football

4-LeBron James-Basketball

5-Rafael Nadal- Tennis

6-Roger Federer-Tennis

7-Shaquille O’Neal-Basketball

8-Shaun White-Action Sports

9-Novak Djokovic-Tennis

10-Calvin Johnson-Football

11-Luke Donald-Golf

12-Tiger Woods-Golf

13-Kobe Bryant-Basketball

14-Dwight Howard-Basketball

15-Eli Manning-Football

16-Dwyane Wade-Basketball

17-Kevin Durant-Basketball

18-Phil Mickelson-Golf

19-Lee Westwood-Golf

20-Troy Polamalu-Football

All NFL players on list:

Rank

Athlete Sport

Pro Team / Hometown

1

Brees, Drew Football

New Orleans Saints

2

Rodgers, Aaron Football

Green Bay Packers

3

Brady, Tom Football

New England Patriots

10

Johnson, Calvin Football

Detroit Lions

15

Manning, Eli Football

New York Giants

20

Polamalu, Troy Football

Pittsburgh Steelers

23

Foster, Arian Football

Houston Texans

27

Peterson, Adrian Football

Minnesota Vikings

36

Turner, Michael Football

Atlanta Falcons

39

Jones-Drew, Maurice Football

Jacksonville Jaguars

41

Fitzgerald, Larry Football

Arizona Cardinals

43

Stafford, Matthew Football

Detroit Lions

44

Rice, Ray Football

Baltimore Ravens

47

Woodson, Charles Football

Green Bay Packers

50

Ryan, Matt Football

Atlanta Falcons

51

Manning, Peyton Football

Indianapolis Colts

57

Willis, Patrick Football

San Francisco 49ers

59

McCoy, LeSean Football

Philadelphia Eagles

61

Allen, Jared Football

Minnesota Vikings

67

Rivers, Philip Football

San Diego Chargers

72

Matthews, Clay Football

Green Bay Packers

77

Gronkowski, Rob Football

New England Patriots

91

Suggs, Terrell Football

Baltimore Ravens

95

Welker, Wes Football

New England Patriots

97

Anderson, James Football

Carolina Panthers

98

Wallace, Mike Football

Pittsburgh Steelers

 

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bengrubbs

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Lewis, two offensive lineman on Wednesday’s injury report

Posted on 07 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Wednesday’s injury report provided early confirmation for speculation that linebacker Ray Lewis will miss his fourth straight game on Sunday.

The 12-time Pro Bowl defender continues to battle a turf toe injury and missed Wednesday’s practice as the Ravens began preparations for the Indianapolis Colts. Reports indicate Lewis may try to make his return against the San Diego Chargers next week.

Cornerback Chris Carr (back), center Matt Birk (shoulder), and guard Ben Grubbs (toe) were also listed as non-participants during Wednesday’s practice. Birk and Grubbs were present but were not working during the portion of practice open to the media.

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Birk sustained a right shoulder sprain during the second quarter of the Ravens’ 24-10 win over Cleveland but returned shortly after being evaluated in the locker room. Grubbs had not missed a practice since making his return against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 6 after missing six games with a toe injury sustained in the season opener.

For Indianapolis, quarterback Peyton Manning has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game as he continues to recover from neck surgery.

However, tight end Dallas Clark practiced fully and appears set to make his return from a leg injury that’s kept him sidelined since early November.

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: C Matt Birk (shoulder), CB Chris Carr (back), G Ben Grubbs (toe), LB Ray Lewis (foot)
FULL PARTICIPATION: RB Anthony Allen (thigh)

INDIANAPOLIS
OUT: QB Peyton Manning (neck)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Pat Angerer (knee), LB AJ Edds (ankle), DE Dwight Freeney (NIR), WR Anthony Gonzalez (groin), LB Ernie Sims (toe)
FULL PARTICIPATION: TE Dallas Clark (fibula), TE Brody Eldridge (hand), TE Ryan Mahaffey (concussion)

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History on Ravens’ minds as hapless, Manning-less Indianapolis comes to town

Posted on 07 December 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — We’ve only reached the middle of the week, but let’s call a spade a spade.

There’s very little to be excited about as the Ravens prepare to host the winless Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium. Players and coaches have already paid the Colts more compliments than they deserve considering their last win came months before the 134-day lockout that threatened to interrupt the season.

Yes, the Colts’ 21-point fourth quarter against New England on Sunday raised a few eyebrows at the Ravens’ facility in Owings Mills, but it came after Indianapolis was trailing 31-3 entering the fourth quarter. However, coach John Harbaugh is paying the Colts plenty of respect despite the absence of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning under center all season.

“I thought they looked pretty good [on Sunday],” Harbaugh said. “Obviously, they got in the no-huddle [and] the quarterback sparked them. They’ve got playmakers everywhere on offense.”

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Yes, the same Dan Orlovsky who helped guide the Detroit Lions to an 0-16 record in 2008 will be under center as Indianapolis tries to win its first game of the year.

For a matchup typically full of palpable electricity with the cerebral duel between Manning and linebacker Ray Lewis — who is expected to miss his fourth straight game on Sunday — this contest feels too hollow.

So, what is there to focus on from a storyline standpoint? The infamous departure of the Indianapolis franchise from Baltimore in the middle of the night in March 1984? Does animosity still linger?

“I haven’t been here that long,” coach John Harbaugh said. “You guys have been here the whole time, so that’s what you guys write about every year. So, I don’t know.”

In reality, asking players to comment about the history of circumstances that took place before many of them were born isn’t going to spark compelling discussion. Even the lack of buzz from the fan base this week suggests the recent animosity toward Indianapolis has far more to do with what’s transpired on the field over the last decade than the fallout from the franchise’s heartless exit.

The Ravens haven’t defeated Indianapolis since Dec. 2, 2001, with Lewis the only remaining member from that team being Lewis. For longtime veterans such as linebacker Terrell Suggs and safety Ed Reed, Sunday marks an opportunity to do something they haven’t been able to do before in their long careers.

“Indy is definitely always a team that plays us tough,” safety Ed Reed said. “We’ve never beaten them.”

The memories of two playoff defeats, including the Ravens’ last playoff game in Baltimore in January 2007, should provide just enough to sharpen the focus for a team needing to win its four remaining games on the schedule to secure home-field advantage and a first-round bye.

Perhaps an even bigger incentive for motivation on Sunday is the memory of what happened to the Ravens in 2007 when they traveled to Miami to take on the 0-13 Dolphins. Though they were struggling at 4-9 in an injury-plagued season in which former coach Brian Billick was dismissed at year’s end, Suggs remembers the embarrassment of losing to those Dolphins and doesn’t want history to repeat itself against Indianapolis.

“A little slant route got us,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said in reference to former Dolphins receiver Greg Camarillo’s 64-yard touchdown to beat the Ravens in overtime in December 2007. “This is the NFL, and they are professionals, and we expect them to line up and come up in here and play. Yeah, definitely. They are just as big a threat to us [as] if we were playing anybody else.”

To compare them to Pittsburgh or New England is clearly a stretch, but caution exists when facing a team that has nothing to lose. The Colts are trying to avoid the stigma of losing every single game of a season and the permanent place in the record books next to the 2008 Lions and the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Their eight-game winning streak against the Ravens over the last decade just adds to the motivation for the Ravens. Unlike the Colts, who are trying to avoid history, the Ravens look to make history — in a positive way, that is.

“They have had our number,” Suggs said. “Like I said, we know what we are playing for; we know what they are playing for. They are trying to get their first win. We are trying to pile these wins up and go on a playoff run. That’s what is most important to us. Here they come. Let’s do it.”

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Terrapins QB O’Brien Named to Manning Award Watch List

Posted on 15 August 2011 by WNST Staff

Sophomore QB now a candidate for three national awards

NEW ORLEANS – Maryland’s Danny O’Brien was named to the watch list Monday for the Manning Award which honors the top quarterback in the country.

For O’Brien, the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and a 2011 consensus preseason first team all-league pick, it marks his third appearance on a national award watch list (also Davey O’Brien and Maxwell).

The sophomore from Kernersville, N.C., saw action in all 13 games last season, posting a 7-3 mark as a starter. He ranked fifth in the FBS among freshmen in passing efficiency (134.5 rating) and threw for 2,438 yards, the sixth-best effort for a first-year player in ACC history.

O’Brien is one of 31 players on the Manning Award preseason list and the only one from the ACC.

The list of 10 finalists will be released on Monday, Nov. 28. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

– Terps –

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Biting the leg .....

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Biting the leg …..

Posted on 18 March 2011 by Rex Snider

As the father of a teenager, I find myself in the position of imparting sage advice quite often. I urge my daughter to prioritize, while remembering that unconditional love only comes from family. I stress commitment, and not necessarily to friends.

I struggle when it comes to her relationship with the opposite sex. In short, I freakin’ HATE BOYS. There is nothing more dangerous than a male teenager, and I’m convinced of it.

How do I know? I was one …..

In giving that parental guidance, I have seized several opportunities to remind my daughter that life will present her with impulsive opportunities to display emotional frustrations for the world to see. And, with the advent of social media, she has more such opportunities than ever.

My advice has been simple and twofold:

A) Just remember you can’t take it back. Writing or saying something, publicly, is a horse that never finds its way back into the barn.

B) Be careful not to bite a leg that’s connected to an ass you might need to kiss someday.

My daughter is 15 years old and she is going to make some big mistakes in the immediate future of her life. Some of her misgivings will be directly tied to ignoring her father’s words and some will be totally independent.

But, nearly all of her mistakes will be avoidable with some common sense and rational thinking. We can expect such breakdowns with teenagers, but it’s harder to rationalize such errors when grown men do it.

And, this is where today’s blog is headed …..

Over the last few days, we’re beginning to see NFL players taking verbal swipes at Roger Goodell. A legitimate, articulable dissent is understandable. But, salacious and demeaning assertions are simply a stupid means to venting frustrations.

Such ramblings will grab fairly anonymous individuals some immediate relevance and a blurb or two on Sportscenter. But, they’ll eventually regret saying such things, regardless of whether they ever admit it.

A couple days ago, San Diego Chargers linebacker, Kevin Burnett, seized his appearance during a radio interview to label Goodell as a “blatant liar” while also questioning the commissioner’s commitment to the NFL’s future. Of course, the rant propelled Burnett into that immediate relevance I just referenced.

Yesterday, Seattle Seahawks Guard, Chester Pitts, told reporters that he urged fellow players to take a letter received from Goodell and “set it on fire.” I suppose he’s running out of money to burn?

A year from now, this labor strife will be an afterthought, at most. We’ll be talking about the upcoming NFL Draft, NCAA Tournament and a new Major League Baseball season.

Outside of San Diego and Seattle, NOBODY will really utter the names of Kevin Burnett and Chester Pitts. But, you can rest assured Roger Goodell will remember them and their juvenile comments.

Don’t misunderstand my message …..

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Cinderella visits Daytona Beach .....

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Cinderella visits Daytona Beach …..

Posted on 21 February 2011 by Rex Snider

I always look forward to this day.  I wake up on the morning following the Daytona 500, with an excitement that rarely greets any new day in my sports universe …..

I know the course of this particular Monday will serve as an opportunity for the “barstool experts” to provide uninformed opinions of the outcome of yesterday’s 53rd running of the Daytona 500.

The comments and proclamations are as predictable as the likelihood for frost on our windshields over the next couple weeks.  Over the next couple days, you’re gonna hear the following …..

“They always wreck at the end of the Daytona 500”

“I don’t understand the cars bumping into each other”

“I don’t see the excitement in cars going in circles”

Now, before you take anyone with the above opinions seriously, just consider how many NASCAR races they watch, each season.  The likely answer is ONE.  And, since it just occurred, these same “experts” won’t likely lend any insight for the remainder of 2011.

The primary reason you’ll hear objections and criticisms of yesterday’s race is really bound in IGNORANCE.  An overwhelming amount of sports fans who render opinions of auto racing try to employ the simplicity of a “bigger, faster, stronger” rationale.

To be blunt, motorsports – especially at the NASCAR level – is much more intricate than a reliance on human strength and endurance.  NASCAR competition is an intersection of horsepower, athleticism and aerodynamics.

It’s “man meets machine …. and science.”

For some people, working a machine into the mix really eliminates their interest from a sports perspective.  I get such opinions and I respect them, too.

But, it’s the opinions of people who don’t really understand auto racing that amuse me.  That’s the “special sauce” in sports talk circles, right?  The uninformed can be more entertaining than those who actually have a clue about a topic.

Why do they seem to have a big crash at or near the end of the Daytona 500?

Well, ask yourself this question ….

Why did Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner turn the ball over in crucial situations during the final moments of the last three Super Bowls?

ANSWER:  they were desperately trying to rally and win the biggest game of the season.

The Daytona 500 is the biggest race of a NASCAR season. 

It’s the one event that can solidify and validate a career.  In fact, failing to win a Daytona 500 during an otherwise stellar career can serve as a void or blemish.  Just ask Mark Martin …..

In yesterday’s event, Tony Stewart was the culprit in causing a crash that trashed a handful of prominent cars, in the final moments.  He appeared to be driving more aggressively than normal.  But, he’s never won the Daytona 500 and he was jockeying for the final push, while trying to stay in the draft.

It is what it is …..

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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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