Tag Archive | "Robert Griffin III"

Ravens not looking to “replace” Lewis — because they can’t

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Ravens not looking to “replace” Lewis — because they can’t

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Luke Jones

As the Ravens begin preparations to play in Super Bowl XLVII, the finality has set in about inside linebacker Ray Lewis playing his final game on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

The 37-year-old will offer his final pre-game speech prior to the game and, presumably, dance for the final time in front of the entire world as the Ravens seek their second NFL championship and first since Jan. 28, 2001. However, questions and concerns continue to exist about the daunting task of replacing Lewis’ impeccable leadership.

In addition to being regarded as one of the best defensive players in NFL history, Lewis is considered one of the greatest and most emotional leaders the sport has ever seen. Regardless of what happens against the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, how do the Ravens fill that enormous void?

“He’s a guy who is ‘The Raven,’” safety Bernard Pollard said. “We respect him. When he speaks, everybody stops, everybody hears him. He’s kept this team together. He’s kept this organization together in so many ways, and we are all in this together. We want to go win this thing.”

The reality is that the Ravens won’t do anything differently to replace Lewis, in terms of his play on the field or his leadership. The talk in recent drafts of needing to find an “heir apparent” such as Dont’a Hightower or Vontaze Burfict or Manti Te’o has always been amusing in the sense that you never knowingly find a Hall of Fame player. Yes, someone will assume his position next season, but the Ravens will use the same approach they use for any other position on the field in looking for the right player at the right price or value, whether it comes via free agency or the draft.

Even more interesting is the discussion over how Lewis’ leadership will be replaced in the locker room. Candidates certainly exist such as quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice, or even linebacker Terrell Suggs, but the Ravens cannot and will not alter their approach or ask any one individual to change who they are.

Lewis’ absence will be felt throughout the organization, and no one will replace the immense impact he provides in the same way. The post-Lewis era needs to be cultivated organically in the sense that the Ravens have other players they feel can be leaders — even if that leadership won’t include the same demonstrative theatrics or impassioned speeches.

The reality is the Ravens already have other leaders in their locker room, including players who have been drafted over the years and even free-agent signings. Flacco and Rice are leaders in a different sense than Lewis despite only completing their fifth season. General manager Ozzie Newsome has also combed the market in recent seasons for free agents who have provided leadership qualities in different areas such as center Matt Birk, defensive end Cory Redding (now with the Indianapolis Colts), and Pollard.

The Ravens will never look or feel the same way following Super Bowl XLVII, but that doesn’t mean the organization is obsessing over what to do in a life without Lewis. The transformation must happen naturally, just like it did with Lewis over the years after he was initially a 21-year-old rookie who entered a locker room that included veteran leaders such as Rob Burnett, Pepper Johnson, Eric Turner, and Vinny Testaverde in the spring of 1996. He didn’t become the leader that he is now overnight, and Lewis would be the first to tell you that.

“Everybody knows what kind of a player he is and what he has meant to this team and this organization,” said Birk, who could also be playing his final NFL game in New Orleans. “There is probably not another leader like him. There’s no one like him, someone that means as much as he does to this team. Everything that he has been through, being here from Day One and the way he plays and the emotion and the passion that he plays with.”

There’s simply no replacing Lewis, and the Ravens will continue to do things the way they always have and they’ll be just fine in the long run — even if it will never look the exact same way.

Caldwell staying as coordinator

The announcement by coach John Harbaugh at the end of Monday’s press conference that he would be retaining his entire coaching staff and, more notably, Jim Caldwell as offensive coordinator was hardly surprising as the Ravens won the AFC Championship.

The dramatic improvement of the Baltimore offense and quarterback Joe Flacco in the postseason made it easy to decide that Caldwell would be Harbaugh’s guy for the 2013 season.

The Ravens haven’t made any dramatic changes to what they do offensively, but Caldwell has offered a new voice, a calming presence, and an open line of communication with fellow assistants and offensive players. The former Indianapolis coach has taken very little credit, citing the execution and hard work of players and the tireless efforts of the rest of the offensive coaching staff as the explanation for the offense’s improved consistency.

Unlike former coordinator Cam Cameron who had a reputation for wanting things done his way and for not being receptive to suggestions from others, Caldwell has welcomed feedback from his players and other assistants, in part because of his lack of experience having never been an offensive coordinator prior to being elevated on Dec. 10.

He has identified the need to highlight Flacco’s strengths by being aggressive in the vertical passing game and moving the pocket to neutralize potent pass rushes. The Ravens have also used the middle of the field more effectively in the passing game, which was first evident when they scored 33 points against the New York Giants in Week 16.

If for no other reason, Caldwell deserved to remain as offensive coordinator because of the outstanding play of Flacco, who was the best quarterback in the AFC in the postseason and is on the cusp of joining a select group of NFL quarterbacks if the Ravens can topple San Francisco. It remains to be seen what type of stamp Caldwell will put on the offense with a full offseason of work, but his efforts are a significant reason why the Ravens are making plans for a trip to New Orleans.

McPhee finally making impact

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Ravens-Redskins: Five predictions for Sunday

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Ravens-Redskins: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 08 December 2012 by Luke Jones

The Ravens missed their opportunity to clinch a playoff spot upon losing to Pittsburgh last week, but they’ll have another chance Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

Only they’ll need help this time around as Pittsburgh or Cincinnati needs to lose in addition to a Ravens win at FedEx Field to punch Baltimore’s ticket to the postseason for the fifth straight year. The Ravens can also clinch the AFC North title with a win coupled with losses by both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens attempt to improve to 4-1 all-time against the Redskins and remain in good position to earn the No. 2 seed in the conference …

1. Redskins running back Alfred Morris will run for 100 yards with Baltimore’s injuries at the linebacker position. The rookie running back has thrived in the shadow of his quarterback and has rushed for 1,106 yards this season to lead the top run offense in the NFL. The Baltimore run defense is suspect even at full strength and with inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe out and Terrell Suggs’ status in question after he suffered a torn right biceps last week, Morris may find plenty of room on the edges. Albert McClellan normally plays well against the run at the strongside linebacker spot, but he’ll be forced to slide inside in place of Ellerbe, potentially leaving rookie Courtney Upshaw and pass-rush specialist Paul Kruger to man the outside linebacker spots more extensively if Suggs potentially limited or inactive. This doesn’t bode well against Washington’s tendency to use the pistol formation and the option attack.

2. Tight end Dennis Pitta has 70 receiving yards as the Ravens expose the Washington defense over the middle of the field. The Redskins are weak at the safety spot and will be without normal No. 3 corner Cedric Griffin, meaning they will be vulnerable in the middle intermediate portion of the field. This is where Pitta and possession receiver Anquan Boldin normally thrive, and the Ravens would like to get their tight end more involved after a very quiet performance against Pittsburgh. Inside linebacker London Fletcher has also been slowed by an ankle injury, which could be another problem for the Redskins if the Ravens use three-wide sets and can match Pitta against the veteran linebacker. New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett had five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown against Washington last week, and similar numbers for Pitta wouldn’t be surprising.

3. Robert Griffin III throws for 200 yards and a touchdown in another strong performance from the Redskins’ rookie quarterback. Without knowing how productive Suggs will be or whether the five-time Pro Bowl selection will even be on the field, it’s difficult to expect much from the Ravens’ pass rush, which may not be the end of the world with Griffin’s ability to leave the pocket and scramble. The question will be whether the Baltimore secondary can cover Pierre Garcon and other Redskins wide receivers efficiently enough to force the rookie quarterback to become anxious in the pocket. Cary Williams, Corey Graham, and Chykie Brown need to prevent the big play, but Griffin will still have sufficient time to make plays with short and intermediate passes like Charlie Batch did for Pittsburgh last week. Safety Ed Reed is normally licking his chops against a rookie signal caller, but Griffin has only thrown four interceptions all year. Washington’s success with the running game will once again alleviate pressure on the Redskins quarterback, who will have another strong afternoon.

4. Unlike his last road game in San Diego, quarterback Joe Flacco won’t wait until the fourth quarter in offering his most consistent performance of the season away from M&T Bank Stadium. I’ve waited all year for the fifth-year quarterback to have a dominating performance on the road, and he certainly provided a terrific fourth quarter and overtime in San Diego two weeks ago. However, the Ravens need Flacco to play well throughout the game on Sunday to give them their best chance to win against a Redskins team that should be able to score points. Washington has the 31st-ranked pass defense in the NFL and is undermanned in the back end on top of that. There are no excuses for Flacco this week as the Ravens have little margin for error the rest of the way if they want to earn a first-round bye for the second straight season. Whether it’s the law of averages or simply buying stock in the quarterback to bounce back from a clunker as he often has in the past, I expect Flacco to take advantage of a favorable matchup to throw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. If he doesn’t, the Ravens will likely find themselves with a 9-4 record and a quarterback facing even louder questions and doubts next week.

5. The Ravens haven’t lost consecutive games since Oct. 2009 and will find a way to prevail in a 27-24 victory over Washington. I’m not sure how the Baltimore defense is going to slow down Griffin and the Washington running game, but the Ravens offense has no excuse to be anything but productive against the Redskins defense. Many media and fans will call for Ray Rice to receive 25 carries and for the Ravens to grind it out on the ground, but Washington is strong against the run and weak in the secondary. It will be a close game in Landover, but it’s never a good idea to doubt coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens when they feel like their backs are against the wall. The Steelers loss puts them in that position as they’re now tied with New England and Denver for the second-best record in the AFC. Meanwhile, Washington has won three straight and needs to keep winning to have any real shot at the postseason. With both teams feeling they need a win, I’ll go with experience and the Ravens finding a way to secure a victory.

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Ravens hoping to avoid being held up by “pistol” attack

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Ravens hoping to avoid being held up by “pistol” attack

Posted on 06 December 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A pair of rookies in Washington has given NFL defenses fits all season long as the Ravens will become the latest team to encounter Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris on Sunday afternoon.

As if their talents alone weren’t challenging enough, the use of the pistol formation and the option attack have made it even more difficult to contain Washington’s top-ranked rushing attack. The alignment involves Griffin lining up in an abbreviated shotgun look — four yards behind the center — with Morris lining up behind him. This allows the quarterback to get a better look at the defensive alignment and often dupes defensive fronts into focusing on motion in the backfield instead of playing assignments and maintaining gap control.

On what do you key to slow the unique offensive scheme? Is it the zone stretch plays or occasional inside handoffs to Morris, who enters Week 14 tied for third in the NFL with 1,106 rushing yards? Is the focus on Griffin’s speed and athleticism that have led to 714 rushing yards and six touchdowns? Or on his impressive passing skills in play-action that have led to the league’s third-best quarterback rating at 104.4?

What’s the most crucial factor?

“Discipline,” linebacker Jameel McClain said. “Discipline, because you must count on the next man. You must because everybody is going to have a certain assignment and if one person falls off his assignment, everything collapses. It’s definitely the understanding that we are all on a chain.”

Facing an offense with so many moving parts and possibilities — including fullback Darrel Young and tight end Logan Paulsen who will occasionally flank Griffin in the pistol — it’s important for each defender to focus less on the movement in the backfield and more on his specific job on a given play. Unlike most passing-challenged quarterbacks who run the option in college, however, Griffin’s rare blend of physical tools makes stopping the novelty offense much more of a headache.

The Ravens can only hope practice squad quarterback Dennis Dixon can provide the type of look needed to prepare the defense for Griffin’s play-making ability.

“Have your eyes on what your responsibility is,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “If it’s a dive, if it’s the quarterback, if it’s the pitch in the option, whatever it is, having your eyes on what you have. You have a responsibility, you have a technique, and you have to perform that thing.”

The Redskins have relied on the running game for most of the season — with Griffin’s legs heavily involved as well — but the return of top wide receiver Pierre Garcon has allowed the Washington passing attack to take off in recent weeks.

In his last three games, Griffin has tossed nine touchdown passes compared to one interception, including back-to-back four-touchdown games against Philadelphia and Dallas. Meanwhile, Garcon — limited all season with a foot injury — has caught 12 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games.

Garcon’s return from injury has transformed an ordinary group of wide receivers that includes Santana Moss and Josh Morgan into a dangerous unit Baltimore defensive backs must stay with in coverage despite the temptation of keeping their eyes in the backfield at the Redskins’ rushing attack.

All other factors aside, Washington’s offensive success begins and ends with Griffin, the No. 2 overall pick of April’s draft. A threat to run or pass while rolling out or standing in the pocket, there’s no simple way to stop him as few defenses have been successful in slowing him down despite the Redskins’ underwhelming 6-6 record.

“He’s the perfect quarterback for that [offense],” said McClain, who hasn’t played against an option attack since his days at Syracuse facing Pat White and West Virginia. “He has the arm to get all of the passes done out of that, and he definitely goes through with all the actions. Everybody knows he has the speed, so it’s going to be a great challenge for us.”

Sunday might be the rare instance in which the Ravens’ inconsistent pass rush — which could be without linebacker Terrell Suggs — might be a blessing in disguise with Griffin a threat to leave the pocket at any moment.

Pees’ defense will still try to make Griffin uncomfortable when he drops back, but out-of-control spins and moves in which pass rushers crash inside will defer to proper positioning at the line of scrimmage to collapse the pocket while keeping the rookie quarterback surrounded. Unlike the manner in which teams dealt with athletic quarterback Michael Vick early in his career, however, teams have a greater fear of this rookie quarterback burning them with his throwing arm if they simply allow him to stand tall in the pocket.

A defense can play its assignment, but there’s only so much you can do after that from a schematic standpoint against a rare talent like his.

“You need to still rush the passer,” Pees said. “You can’t go in there thinking this guy is going to scramble. You have to come in with the right leverage, the right spot. He may still get out of it because he is such a great athlete. I can’t coach [against] athleticism — you really can’t.”

If all else breaks down for the Baltimore defense in trying to attack the many layers of Washington’s pistol formation, the Ravens won’t hesitate in simplifying their approach against Griffin and the entire offense.

“We’ve got to hit him,” safety Bernard Pollard said. “Every chance we get. Just hit him, hit whoever has the ball.”

 

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As one streak ends, Ravens try to continue another against Washington

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As one streak ends, Ravens try to continue another against Washington

Posted on 05 December 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are not an organization accustomed to losing, a notion that’s become even more emphatic in the John Harbaugh era.

Losing at home is even rarer as Baltimore dropped its first game at M&T Bank Stadium in nearly two years last Sunday, snapping a 15-game home winning streak. To make matters worse, the defeat came at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers and prevented the Ravens from clinching their fifth consecutive trip to the playoffs.

Many players and coaches will tell you it’s business as usual following a loss and that the team remains unfazed, but quarterback Joe Flacco spoke the truth on Wednesday when asked if it was the status quo after the 23-20 loss to Pittsburgh and one of his most disappointing performances of the season.

“That’s probably a little bit of a lie,” said Flacco, cracking a smile. “There’s always a little bit of extra urgency after a loss, for whatever reason. I don’t know if it’s a bad thing or a good thing. But we are always calm, cool, and collected and confident around here.”

As the Ravens now leave behind their impressive home winning streak, they’ll try to hold onto another stretch in which they’ve won 15 consecutive games immediately following a loss. Baltimore hasn’t lost consecutive games since a three-game losing streak in Oct. 2009.

When asked what his team has done differently after a defeat to avoid any type of losing streak in the last three season, Harbaugh offered an interesting reply in suggesting how things change in those weeks of work following a loss at the team’s Owings Mills facility.

“Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t,” the head coach said. “We pay attention after every game. We really try to go to work and adhere to the process and work as hard as we can to build on all the good things and correct every negative thing.”

Of course, a team that’s lost only 11 regular-season games in its last three season doesn’t have much room for losing streaks, but the Ravens find an intriguing task in keeping that streak alive in Landover on Sunday against the red-hot Washington Redskins. Riding a three-game winning streak to improve its record to 6-6, Washington suddenly finds itself just a game behind the division-leading Giants and has a postseason berth on its mind.

Unlike the Ravens, who can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a loss by either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati, the Redskins must treat the final four games of the regular season like postseason contests as one loss could potentially spell the end for hopes of extending their season.

“It’s going to be two teams that are going out there and fighting,” running back Ray Rice said. “We are fighting for a playoff berth. They are fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. You are talking about two different teams that have a lot at stake with this game.”

The Ravens have not only been successful in their last 15 games immediately following a loss, but they’ve often won in convincing fashion, outscoring opponents in those games by a 441-229 margin to remove any lingering stench from the previous week. In a season in which little has come easy, a win of any margin would be good enough for them in knowing they’d remain in position for the No. 2 seed in the AFC in the process.

An offense looking to rebound from a flat performance against the Steelers and to finally find consistency on the road — albeit only 35 miles away from their home stadium — and a defense trying to regroup and solve the read option and tricky pistol formation used by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III will have plenty of work to keep them occupied against a dangerous opponent.

And the Ravens know those tasks should be enough to put the Pittsburgh loss out of their minds. They don’t really have a choice.

“It’s never a good feeling when you lose, but it’s the way you take a loss,” Rice said. “I’ve always taken the approach — me being a leader on the team — what are you going to do to get better or worse from it? We’ve just been that kind of team to find a way; we’ve always found a way to bounce back after a loss. [There is] no way to accept losing.”

Knowing their chances for the No. 1 seed were all but erased with last Sunday’s loss, the Ravens know their margin for error remains small if they want to earn a first-round bye and a home game in the divisional round. They’ve heard the doubts — both nationally and locally — about whether they belong in the same breath as other teams with similar records this season.

Perhaps the Ravens and their fans alike have taken winning for granted, but they hope Sunday doesn’t mark the end of another streak after their impeccable home mark was snapped.

Bouncing back is just the way the Ravens handle their business under Harbaugh, even with a challenge in front of them that appears more difficult now than it did even a few weeks ago. That resiliency is why they always find themselves in the same position in December.

“We’ve always been in it and right in the thick of things and really fighting for a spot,” Flacco said. “It’s no different this year. I’m sure that we do take it for granted a little bit, but that’s not a bad thing.”

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The 15-7-0 is worth falling 24 miles for

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The 15-7-0 is worth falling 24 miles for

Posted on 15 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football ELITE, 7 about football “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

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

“The ELITE 15″…

1. Sometimes a single player can be a real program changer. For Maryland, Stefon Diggs might well be that player.

He at least does a hell of a Jacoby Jones impression…

Maryland improved to 4-2 (2-0 ACC) with a 27-20 win over Virginia despite Perry Hills being their leading rusher with SEVEN FLIPPING YARDS.

Also, Pe’Shon Howard looked pretty good in the new Terps’ hoops uniforms…

2. I hate saying it, but it’s awfully fun to watch Robert Griffin III play football.

It’s sorta not fair. The Minnesota Vikings were playing real football while the Skins’ QB was playing Madden from the year Michael Vick was on the cover…

Ugh. Now we have to hear DC fans running their mouths all week. Well, maybe all of them except this guy.

Also-I hope the Vikings enjoyed their taste of people thinking they were good for a week. The Cardinals waive hello, but we’ll get back to them.

3. ALERT! ALERT! Shonn Greene still plays in the NFL.

161 yards and 3TD’s for the New York Jets RB in a blowout loss over the Indianapolis Colts. But no, I’m GLAD I picked up Vick Ballard before getting trounced in Fantasy Football.

Also, tt was so totally worth putting Tim Tebow in for punt protection so you could one day be able to do this in a blowout win!

And…

4. The reports of LSU’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

I mean, just ask these guys!

Steve Spurrier isn’t really sure if he’s mad about his Gamecocks’ performance…

The East-West SEC showdown actually split a few households…

So now we wait for LSU-Alabama III…or IV…or who the eff knows why don’t we just play this game a hundred times to determine a national champ every year?

5. For Orioles fans who haven’t been paying as much attention to college football this season, Kansas State QB Collin Klein is in the “name to know” category.

It wasn’t an overwhelming performance for the Heisman Trophy candidate in Kansas State’s narrow win over Iowa State, but his three rushing TD’s looked better in a week where Geno Smith didn’t particularly shine…

K-State and WVU tangle next week. It had a chance to mean even more, but it still looks like kind of a big deal.

6. The Atlanta Falcons only needed 40 seconds on the clock to come back and beat the Raiders.

Matt Ryan was FAR from brilliant, but Matt Bryant bailed him out at the end to keep the Falcons perfect.

Do you feel like LOL-ing today? Here’s Carson Palmer trying to make a tackle…

Also part of the reason the Falcons are the only undefeated team left in the NFL? Harry Douglas’ concentration…

7. You like that Russell Wilson gets to actually enjoy a last second miracle win this time.

Because this time it really WAS a catch!

Let’s enjoy this grab from Doug Baldwin…

Wes Welker would tell you what he thought of the game, but it would probably come out sounding like “BROWNAHHHHH”…

I think it’s appropriate to wrap up this one with the most Tom Brady thing EVER…

Oh I almost forgot. Richard Sherman Tweeted something funny postgame…

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The 15-7-0 thinks Bah-sten is full of loo-sahs!

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The 15-7-0 thinks Bah-sten is full of loo-sahs!

Posted on 24 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football ELITE, 7 about football “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

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

“The ELITE 15″…

1. I know Maryland lost to West Virginia and all, but it’s hard for me to imagine saying the name Stefon Diggs without including him in the elite category.

It doesn’t excuse the stupidity of Randy Edsall’s clock management at the end of the first half OR the continued issues this Maryland team is having with turning the ball over, but I think most of us would agree that simply not losing by 70 is half an accomplishment for this particular Maryland team.

Losing by 10 is almost…frankly…amazing for this group.

What’s ABSOLUTELY amazing is watching what happens when the football is in the hands of Terps freshman WR Stefon Diggs. For example, he had three catches Saturday. Here are two of them…


If this was basketball, we’d be chanting “one more year!” every time he touched the ball.

By the way, Geno Smith looks like the early season Heisman Trophy frontrunner. That is of course thanks almost entirely to the fact that he gets to throw the ball to Tavon Austin.

2. In a game featuring Robert Griffin III and Andy Dalton, perhaps we should have expected Mohamed Sanu was going to make the best play of the game from under center?

Redskins defender: “Oh I see, they put a receiver in the Wildcat because they want to catch us off guard with a run on the first play. Well, they’re not going to surprise me, or my name isn’t……WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!!!!!!!”

This ended up being a really good game. The Redskins had the ball late, but a personal foul called against their bench forced Robert Griffin III to simply heave the ball towards the endzone as the game was ending. I wonder what Skins OC Kyle Shanahan thought about the call?

Oh then.

3. The Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons are currently the best teams in the AFC and NFC, respectively.

So here’s Matt Schaub getting hit by Broncos LB Joe Mays…

And here’s what he looked like after LOSING PART OF HIS EARLOBE ON THE HIT…

But otherwise, the Texans defense is ridiculous and Peyton Manning and the Broncos are 1-2. It’s not good news for my Peyton Manning-lead fantasy teams.

Also, the Falcons are totally over that whole “4th and 1 hangover” thing we thought might be an issue. And I guess because he’s worried about being the next Vernon Davis or Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez adjusted his TD celebration…

Nice form.

4. Florida State cleared a MAJOR hurdle in the road towards being a legitimate national championship contender.

You want to see a run? Here’s James Wilder Jr. absolutely OWNING Clemson…

It was a more impressive effort for the Seminoles than THIS…

Or this from former Nole Lee Corso…

But not more impressive than this from their own cheerleaders…

5. Usually Towson’s win would be the only time I’d mention CAA football in the 15-7-0. That all changes when someone throws for over 700 yards.

The name is Taylor Heinicke. Here’s what he did for Old Dominion against New Hampshire.

SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY YARDS? THAT’S TWO SEASONS FOR TIM TEBOW IN ONE DAY!!!!

Also, I had a great time watching (at least the first half) of the Tigers stomping the Red Flash…

The good news for the Tigers? Ummm….at least they get LSU next Saturday coming off a less than impressive performance against Auburn? Say it with me…”Just don’t give up 100!”

6. Dear Oakland Raiders…thank you. Love, Baltimore.

The story of this one was the frightening injury suffered by former Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey on a hit from Ryan Mundy…

Ugh. Just…ugh. It wasn’t the only big hit of the day though. Welcome, Matt Giordano…

And also, Emmanuel Sanders thought your computer needed a new wallpaper…

7. The Arizona Cardinals are 3-0 and alone in first place in the NFC West. Nothing to see here.

The Cards had never started a season 3-0 since moving to Arizona, so why WOULDN’T it happen in the year where they picked John Skelton to play QB over Kevin Kolb and then were forced to default back to Kevin Kolb. Makes perfect sense.

For the Eagles, at least Michael Vick had that big scoring play before the half?

And in case you forgot, Larry Fitzgerald would like to remind you that he’s quite good…

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