Tag Archive | "titans"

Playoffs?!?!?!?!?

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Playoffs?!?!?!?!?

Posted on 11 December 2013 by Thyrl Nelson

There are 3 weeks remaining in the season for the Ravens, and all other teams for that matter. The good news is that the Ravens are very much in control of their own playoff destiny; if they win their remaining 3 games nothing can keep them from the playoffs. There is however, still little reason to believe that the Ravens will win all 3 games. The other good news is that they probably won’t have to. The bad news then, is that there are a myriad of possibilities on how the season plays out and what it might mean from a Ravens perspective.

 

Here is a comprehensive breakdown of all scenarios and possible tie-break situations the Ravens might face as the season winds down:

 

Ravens

Record 7-6     Conference Record 6-4     Division Record 3-2

Remaining Games: @DET, vs NE, @CIN

 

Bengals

Record 9-4     Conference Record 7-3     Division Record 2-2

Remaining Games: @PIT, vs MIN, vs BAL

This one is pretty straightforward, if the Ravens are going to catch the Bengals they have to beat the Bengals…they’ll also need Cincinnati to lose at least one other game. Any tie between the Ravens and Bengals would go to the Ravens because it will require the Ravens to beat the Bengals for the second time this season, thereby giving Baltimore the head-to-head tiebreaker.

 

Steelers

Record 5-8     Conference Record 4-6     Division Record 2-2

Remaining Games: vs. CIN, @GB, vs CLE

At 8-8 Ravens would lose the tiebreaker, either by division record if they failed to beat CIN (they’d be 3-3 to PIT’s 4-2) or by common opponents The Ravens beat HOU lost to DEN, the Steelers lost to OAK & TEN, meaning the Ravens would be 7-7 vs common opponents and the Steelers would be 8-6.

At 7-9 the Ravens would win the tiebreaker if they beat the Bengals and the Steelers lost to either the Bengals or Browns with a 4-2 division record to Pittsburgh’s 3-3. The Steelers would win the tie breaker by common opponents if the teams wound up with the same divisional record.

 

Dolphins

Record 7-6     Conference Record 6-3

Remaining Games: vs NE, @BUF, vs NYJ

The Ravens have the tiebreaker vs the Dolphins by virtue of their head-to-head victory over Miami. That could change though if the tie is between more than just 2 teams.

 

Jets

Record 6-7     Conference Record 3-7

Remaining Games: @CAR, vs CLE, @MIA

The Ravens have the tiebreaker vs the Jets by virtue of their head-to-head victory over New York. That could change though if the tie is between more than just 2 teams.

 

Titans

Record 5-8     Conference Record 4-6

Remaining Games: vs AZ, @JAX, vs HOU

At 8-8 Ravens would win tie-breaker by conference record if they win 1 more AFC game. If Ravens lose to CIN & NE but beat DET the tie-breaker becomes strength of victory (common opponents are PIT, HOU, NYJ & DEN both teams would be 3-2).

Right now the Titans 5 victories are over teams with 26 combined wins and they’d have to win their final 3 games accounting for 14 more wins so far for a total of 40 opponents’ wins. The teams that the Titans have beaten and would have to beat have 21 combined games remaining.

The Ravens 7 wins are over teams with a combined 36 wins and 1 tie and would have to win one of their last 3 games over a team with 7, 9 or 10 wins. That plus the 26 games that those opponents have remaining would seem to position the Ravens in control of the tiebreaker over Tennessee at 8-8.

At 7-9 the Ravens would win the tiebreaker by conference record with a Titans loss to Jacksonville or by common opponents with a loss to Houston. If the Titans lost to Arizona instead the tiebreaker would instead go to strength of victory where the Ravens wield a heavy advantage.

*At 7-9 there would also seem to be a likelihood that more than 2 teams would be vying for the spot.

 

Chargers

Record 6-7     Conference Record 3-6

Remaining Games: @DEN, vs OAK, vs KC

At 9-7 the Ravens would win the tiebreaker over San Diego by conference record 7-5 or 8-4 to the Chargers 6-6.

At 8-8 the Ravens would win the tiebreaker over San Diego by conference record 7-5 or 6-6 to the Chargers 5-7.

At 7-9 The Ravens win the tiebreaker over San Diego 6-6 to the Chargers 4-8.

 

3-Way Ties

*Multi-team ties require divisional ties to be broken first. Refer to above for Ravens Steelers tie break scenarios.

 

Ravens, Dolphins & Titans

At 8-8 if Ravens beat DET, lose to CIN & NE tiebreaker goes to MIA by conference record.

If Ravens lose to Detroit beat CIN or NE, TEN eliminated by conference record, then Ravens win head-to-head vs Dolphins.

At 7-9 Tennessee is eliminated on conference record unless their loss is to AZ. If TEN loses to AZ and all teams are 7-9 with 6-6 conference records and strength of victory would decide the tie. Here’s a strength of victory refresher:

-The Titans 5 victories are over teams with 26 combined wins. They’d have to beat Jacksonville and Houston with a combined 6 wins so far.

-The Ravens 7 wins are over teams with a combined 36 wins and 1 tie.

-The Dolphins 7 wins are over opponents with 41 wins so far.

The 3 weeks remaining in the season and the successes and failures of the teams beaten by the Ravens, Dolphins & Titans in those 3 weeks could change a lot, but for now advantage Dolphins.

 

Ravens, Dolphins & Chargers

Chargers eliminated by conference record. If Ravens and Dolphins are tied in conference records then Ravens win head-to-head vs Dolphins, if conference records are not equal winner is determined by conference record.

Ravens, Titans & Chargers

Chargers eliminated by conference record, revert to Ravens Titans tiebreakers above.

Ravens, Jets & Titans

Jets eliminated by conference record, revert to Ravens & Titans tiebreakers above.

Ravens, Jets & Chargers

Ravens win by virtue of conference record.

4-Way Ties

Ravens, Jets, Titans & Chargers

Jets and Chargers eliminated on conference record. Refer to Ravens & Titans tiebreakers for the rest.

Ravens, Dolphins, Titans & Chargers

Chargers eliminated by conference record. Refer to Ravens, Titans & Dolphins 3-way tiebreaker for the rest.

 

 

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Contender or pretender: Sizing up the AFC wild-card race

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Contender or pretender: Sizing up the AFC wild-card race

Posted on 03 December 2013 by Luke Jones

For the Ravens and a number of other AFC teams who’ve plodded along with a .500 record or slightly worse through the first three quarters of the 2013 season, the final sprint is here in determining who will grab the coveted second wild-card spot as Kansas City is all but guaranteed the No. 5 seed.

Of course, coach John Harbaugh and his team still hold hope that their Week 17 meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals will provide an opportunity to play for the AFC North title, but the Ravens will need their division counterpart to slip up to reduce the deficit to just one game entering that final contest at Paul Brown Stadium on Dec. 29. In the meantime, the Ravens simply must focus on winning games and securing their current grip on the No. 6 seed in the AFC as their 6-6 record equals the Dolphins — and an Oct. 6 victory over Miami gives them the tie-breaking nod.

Following this Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings that concludes the current three-game homestand, the Ravens have the most difficult path of any of the wild-card contenders over the final three weeks in playing three teams projected to land in the postseason. Baltimore figures to need to win three of its final four games in the final month for a good chance to maintain its grip on the No. 6 seed, meaning the Ravens will likely need to win two of three against Detroit, New England, and Cincinnati and only the Patriots game will be played at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 16.

The Ravens’ 6-4 conference record stacks up well with the rest of the field, but the outcome of their two remaining AFC games will loom large should they find themselves in a number of tie-breaking situations.

Here’s a look at the rest of the field as I determine who the contenders and the pretenders are:

MIAMI (6-6) – CONTENDER
Conference record: 5-3
Remaining schedule: at Pittsburgh, New England, at Buffalo, New York Jets
Skinny: It would have been unsurprising to see the Dolphins fold in November with the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation hanging over their heads, but Miami has rebounded from an embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay to win two of its last three. The Dolphins are in the best position to challenge the Ravens mathematically, but their next two games will make or break them as they go to Heinz Field before playing the Patriots at home. Just one win over the Steelers or New England would put incredible heat on the Ravens over the final two weeks against difficult opponents. Of course, the Dolphins’ Week 5 loss to Baltimore continues to doom them if those two teams finish tied for the No. 6 spot with no one else in the mix.

TENNESSEE (5-7) – PRETENDER
Conference record: 4-5
Remaining schedule: at Denver, Arizona, at Jacksonville, Houston
Skinny: Their current record and remaining schedule still suggest the Titans have a slim chance, but the season-ending injury to quarterback Jake Locker last month and two losses to a vulnerable Indianapolis team in their last three games have all but sealed their fate. Backup Ryan Fitzpatrick had been playing well before an awful performance this past Sunday, but the next two games figure to be the final nails in the coffin to the Titans’ playoff hopes. Tennessee started fast this season, but only two wins since the start of October clearly scream pretender in an already-mediocre field.

PITTSBURGH (5-7) – CONTENDER
Conference record: 4-5
Remaining schedule: Miami, Cincinnati, at Green Bay, Cleveland
Skinny: Many eulogized the Steelers’ season following the Thanksgiving night result, but Pittsburgh could still be the biggest threat in the wild-card race with three remaining home games. A normally-intimidating trip to Lambeau Field in Week 16 to take on the Packers could also be easier should Aaron Rodgers be shut down for the rest of the season as some are speculating. A Steelers win over the Bengals in Week 15 would help the Ravens in their quest for the division title, but Baltimore’s season split with Pittsburgh creates a more complicated tiebreaker that could come down to division record or even record in common games. Perhaps more than anything else, Ravens fans begrudgingly know it’s never a good idea to count out Ben Roethlisberger, meaning the Steelers still have a shot.

SAN DIEGO (5-7) – PRETENDER
Conference record: 3-6
Remaining schedule: New York Giants, at Denver, Oakland, Kansas City
Skinny: The Chargers’ home loss to Cincinnati on Sunday not only failed to do the Ravens any favors in the AFC North race but landed Mike McCoy’s team in the pretender category. San Diego has arguably looked better than any of the other wild-card contenders — the Ravens included — when playing at its best, but inconsistency has once again plagued the Chargers as it seems to annually. They have three remaining home games, but the Chargers have already lost three games at Qualcomm Stadium and are just as likely to lay an egg against the Giants or the Raiders than to pull off an upset over the Broncos or the Chiefs. Their abysmal conference record won’t do them any favors in a tie-breaking scenario, so San Diego’s only real hope is to run the table.

NEW YORK (5-7) – PRETENDER
Conference record: 2-7
Remaining schedule: Oakland, at Carolina, Cleveland, at Miami
Skinny: Only two weeks ago we were talking about the Jets holding the No. 6 spot in the conference, but they’ve crashed and burned since then with a road loss to the Ravens and an embarrassing home defeat to Miami by 20 points this past Sunday. Their quarterback situation is the worst of any of the teams still vying for a wild-card spot as Geno Smith hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since before Halloween. The Jets’ remaining schedule isn’t awful, but they appear far more likely to lose their four remaining games than to go on a run necessary to land the No. 6 seed. New York was still better than many expected this year, but a dysfunctional offense has finally sunk the Jets after some impressive wins earlier in the season.

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Despite crowded wild-card picture, Ravens’ task clear over final month

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Despite crowded wild-card picture, Ravens’ task clear over final month

Posted on 02 December 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens entered the weekend with the rare chance to not only rest but take a long look at the rest of a crowded AFC playoff picture.

Moving into the No. 6 spot in the conference by way of their 22-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Thursday night, the Ravens could give thanks at the end of the holiday weekend for still holding the final wild-card position due to their tie-breaking win over the 6-6 Miami Dolphins earlier in the season. But four teams linger with 5-7 records, and different factors are working for and against them in the chase to play football in January.

There’s plenty of watching and wondering what will happen over the season’s final four weeks.

“Everybody is playing everybody right now,” coach John Harbaugh said. “With so many teams involved, it’s going to be the way it’s going to be. One team wins, another teams loses. A lot of times, it helps us either way, and it hurts us both ways — it doesn’t really matter.”

The Dolphins have only one game remaining against teams that are .500 or better (New England).

Pittsburgh plays three of its final four games at Heinz Field and only one of those four contests comes against an opponent with a winning record (Cincinnati).

Despite a crippling quarterback situation, the New York Jets play only one team with a winning record and it’s an NFC opponent (Carolina).

After a disappointing home loss to the Bengals that did no favors to the Ravens’ AFC North title hopes, the Chargers still play three of the final four games at home.

And even 5-7 Tennessee has games remaining against Jacksonville and Houston, two of the worst teams in the NFL.

It’s a lot to process as we start tracking conference marks, records against common opponents, and strength of victory, but Harbaugh and the Ravens choose to focus only on what they can control with so many scenarios still alive with four games to go. The hope of a division title will depend on the Bengals slipping at least once or twice leading into the Week 17 meeting between the teams in Cincinnati, but advancing to the postseason for a sixth consecutive season is a clear path if the Ravens can avoid treacherous detours along the way.

“What matters is us; we just have to win,” Harbaugh said. “If we win games, things are going to work out for us. If we don’t, things are going to be tough. That’s what we have to take care of; we have to take care of ourselves.”

Though facing the best running back on the planet in Adrian Peterson doesn’t sound like a layup, the Ravens will face their last opponent with a record below .500 Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings come to town to conclude a three-game homestand. After that, the road becomes bumpier than at any other point this season with a Monday night road game at NFC North-leading Detroit, a Sunday night home finale against AFC East-leading New England, and a regular-season finale in Cincinnati.

The Ravens hold the one-game edge over all No. 6 seed contenders after Miami, but they’ll still need to win three of their final four to get to the 9-7 mark, a standard that would very likely put them in the postseason. An 8-8 record could still conceivably land the No. 6 seed in the AFC, but such a path will depend on tie-breakers and considerable help from other results.

The good news is Baltimore appears to be getting hot at the right time. After winning two straight for only the second time all season, the Ravens are back at .500 and are on the verge of getting tight end Dennis Pitta back to provide a boost to a below-average offense. Experience is certainly on their side as they can simply point to last year to remember it’s all about clicking when the stakes are at their highest.

However, these Ravens are also 1-5 on the road and figure to need to win at least one of their final two road games. Only one of Baltimore’s six wins — their Nov. 10 home win over the Bengals — has come against teams currently holding a winning record and only one other victory — an Oct. 6 win at Miami — came against a team at the .500 mark.

The Ravens believe they’re getting better and are peaking at the right time. They’ll have every opportunity to show that in the month of December.

Their playoff lives will depend on it.

“We are in position to control our own destiny,” Harbaugh said. “That is what you try to accomplish going into December, so we’ve accomplished that. Now it’s up to us to make the most of it and to go ahead and control our destiny, win the games we have to win, starting with this one – and this is the only one that matters right now – and take it from there.”

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Deserving or not, Ravens remain firmly in AFC playoff hunt

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Deserving or not, Ravens remain firmly in AFC playoff hunt

Posted on 18 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

They don’t deserve to be in the postseason and certainly don’t look like a playoff team.

The eyeball test warrants a failing grade.

Too little consistency and too many bad losses will cost them at the end of the season.

They’re simply not good enough.

The following statements have been used over and over in describing the Ravens as they’ve lost four of their last five games to fall to 4-6 on the season and 2 1/2 games behind division-leading Cincinnati in the AFC North.

And those same descriptions can and have been used to describe the seven other teams currently jockeying for the final wild-card spot in the AFC playoff picture. In fact, “plodding” might be a better term to use in describing the race for the No. 6 seed in the conference.

Unless commissioner Roger Goodell elects to eliminate the final spot, a team with an underwhelming résumé through Week 11 will find itself playing in January as the final seed in the single-elimination tournament. The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins hold the slight edge at the moment over the rest of the pack at 5-5, but their flaws are as apparent as any of the six 4-6 teams chasing them.

“What it goes to show you is how close it is, and what a razor-thin margin it is in the National Football League,” coach John Harbaugh said in describing the current playoff picture. “That’s what makes the National Football League great. We would all rather be sitting here talking about being atop the division and chasing a home-field advantage or something like that. And that’s something that we were shooting for. We wanted to be in that position. We haven’t done the things we needed to do to be in that position.”

The frustration is understandable after a 4-6 start, but deeming the Ravens undeserving of the playoffs and writing them off are subjective statements that would be true in most seasons but are made in isolation from the rest of the field through Week 11. While I’m unwilling to say they’re definitively better than any of the other seven teams fighting for the final spot, you won’t convince me that any of those competitors are superior to the Ravens, either.

The truth is the AFC is mired in mediocrity once you look beyond Denver, New England, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Kansas City, making it difficult to predict which team — if any — will make a strong run over the final six weeks to sneak in. At this point, 10-6 would virtually guarantee the final playoff spot, but 9-7 has a good shot of being the season-ending target.

As mediocre as the entire field of 5-5 and 4-6 teams has looked, even an 8-8 record — or, gasp, 7-9? — with a favorable tie-breaker arsenal could conceivably be awarded with the No. 6 seed. Whether you elect to embrace that possibility with any level of enthusiasm is your choice.

With a head-to-head tie-breaking win over Miami and a meeting with the Jets this Sunday, the Ravens have an opportunity to gain the upper hand against the two teams they’re currently chasing in the wild-card race. That doesn’t mean they have the advantage over the rest of the field, but their chances appear no worse than any other team — even if you must hold your nose while saying that.

“We are right there. We can do it, and we’re good enough to do it,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got every tool we need; all we have to do is go get it done. But that’s on us. We believe we have what it takes, but it’s up to us to prove it, and we’ve got to go prove it by winning these games.”

Whether the Ravens can do it remains to be seen, but three straight games at home starting Sunday provides a crucial opportunity to stack wins and ease the pain from their current 1-5 record on the road.

Here’s a look at the rest of the race for the AFC’s No. 6 seed in the current order in which teams stand based on tie-breaking procedures, which I’ll forgo including beyond conference records for now:

6. NEW YORK (5-5)
Conference record: 2-5
Remaining schedule: at Baltimore, Miami, Oakland, at Carolina, Cleveland, at Miami
Case for: Only one game remaining against a team with a winning record, league’s top-ranked run defense
Case against: Struggling rookie quarterback Geno Smith, minus-85 point differential (worst among the eight contenders for No. 6 seed)

7. MIAMI (5-5)
Conference record: 4-3
Remaining schedule: Carolina, at New York Jets, at Pittsburgh, New England, at Buffalo, New York Jets
Case for: One of the NFL’s better pass rushes, potential of young quarterback Ryan Tannehill
Case against: 31st in total offense, fallout from the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga

8. OAKLAND (4-6)
Conference record: 4-3
Remaining schedule: Tennessee, at Dallas, at New York Jets, Kansas City, at San Diego, Denver
Case for: Fourth-ranked run offense, sixth-ranked run defense
Case against: Unrest at quarterback position, 25th-ranked pass defense

9. TENNESSEE (4-6)
Conference record: 3-4
Remaining schedule: at Oakland, at Indianapolis, at Denver, Arizona, at Jacksonville, Houston
Case for: Seventh-ranked pass defense, fifth in conference in takeaways
Case against: Season-ending injury to quarterback Jake Locker, four remaining road games

10. PITTSBURGH (4-6)
Conference record: 3-4
Remaining schedule: at Cleveland, at Baltimore, Miami, Cincinnati, at Green Bay, Cleveland
Case for: One game remaining against teams currently above .500, veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
Case against: 30th-ranked rush offense, 26th in run defense

11. BALTIMORE (4-6)
Conference record: 4-4
Remaining schedule: New York Jets, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, at Detroit, New England, at Cincinnati
Case for: Expected return of Dennis Pitta, four remaining home games
Case against: 31st in yards per carry and 30th in total offense, three games remaining against teams currently above .500

12. CLEVELAND (4-6)
Conference record: 3-4
Remaining schedule: Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, at New England, Chicago, at New York Jets, at Pittsburgh
Case for: Fifth in total defense, play-making ability of wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron
Case against: 26th-ranked rush offense, 10th in AFC in takeaways

13. SAN DIEGO (4-6)
Conference record: 2-5
Remaining schedule: at Kansas City, Cincinnati, New York Giants, at Denver, Oakland, Kansas City
Case for: Fourth-ranked passing offense, plus-4 point differential (best among the eight No.6 seed contenders)
Case against: 27th in pass defense, four games remaining against teams currently above .500

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You would never trade the 15-7-0 for a sixth round pick

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You would never trade the 15-7-0 for a sixth round pick

Posted on 09 September 2013 by Glenn Clark

Do you remember how this goes?

15 positive observations from the weekend of football, seven not so positive observations and we acknowledge a “zero” from outside the world of football. A reminder, there’s never any Ravens game analysis here. It’s a trip through the weekend of football via videos, GIFs, memes, pictures, links, Tweets and shtick.

It’s been awhile. Be gentle. You know I would be.

15 Positive Observations…

1. Dear Tennessee Titans. Remember that thing Brian Billick said in the locker room that one time? Can we forget about all of that? We love you. A lot. Like MORE than we love red velvet funnel cake. No. Really.

This particular level of beautiful idiocy is even more delicious because former Terps LB Moise Fokou was the one to come up with the ball. I cried. I hugged a stranger.

Look, the Steelers were awful (which is delicious), but Troy Polamalu still did something AMAZING.

But hey Steel City, at least you didn’t do this.

2. Joe Flacco is so jealous of the guys CJ Brown is able to throw the football to.

Dave Stinebaugh is capable. Deon Long is good. Stefon Diggs is absurd.

3. I don’t really want to get too emotional this early in the season, but if you don’t want to give Ken Niumatalolo a “bro-hug” you’re a terrible American.

Navy is amazing. Just days after Coach Ken Niumatalolo’s mother passed away, they go to Bloomington and beat the Hoosiers for the second straight year. They’re just absolutely amazing. It was their 20th win over a BCS program since 2003. You might ask yourself, is that good? Well…yes.

Much love to you Coach Niumatalolo. And with the return of Navy football, the return of the amazing Navy football pregame videos.

4. The Saints’ decision to have a head coach be the head coach this season has gotten them off to a better start.

Pretty neat moment at the start of the game in The Big Easy, as Sean Payton and former Saint Steve Gleason lead the team out together.

This was one of the better games of the day, and came down to Saints rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro making a damn fine play to end the game. I hope his family treated him to an eclair as a reward. (Raise your hand if you got it.)

5. High five to the guy who randomly picked Shane Vereen because “what the hell he’s still sitting there” late in his fantasy football draft.

Vereen came into the game because Stevan Ridley had a fumbling problem. But it’s understandable when you’re getting by tough opponents like “Air” and “Ground”…

For some inexplicable reason, Tom Brady decided to do his best Mark Sanchez impression.

Bills fans of course handled the arrival of the Pats with class and dignity and…yeah.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Former Ravens safety Pollard joining Titans

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Luke Jones

The morning after it was learned that longtime Ravens safety Ed Reed would be joining the Houston Texans, it appears his former partner in the defensive backfield will be moving into the AFC South as well.

Former Baltimore strong safety Bernard Pollard will join the Tennessee Titans on a one-year deal, as first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson. The reporter tweeted that Pollard informed her of the move Thursday morning, and Pollard’s agent Tory Dandy confirmed the news via Twitter.

The 28-year-old was released and designated as a post-June 1st release last week, meaning his $2 million base salary remains on the salary cap until that date. This allows general manager Ozzie Newsome to push $1.5 million in dead money to next year’s cap that otherwise would have been applied to the 2013 cap. Only this year’s prorated signing bonus amount of $750,000 will count against the cap.

In other words, the Ravens will receive an additional $2 million in cap space in June, which could provide flexibility in signing a veteran to address a need such as how they added guard Bobbie Williams last summer.

Pollard will join his fourth team in eight NFL seasons, leaving some to believe his strong-willed personality and outspoken nature led to his release, but coach John Harbaugh said in Phoenix that his release was solely a cap-related move. Veteran safety James Ihedigbo is projected to fill one of the two safety spots vacated by Pollard and Reed, but the Ravens are expected to address the position in April’s draft.

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Navy improves to 2-0 with win over Detroit

Posted on 15 February 2013 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. —  Junior long pole Pat Kiernan (Ridgewood, N.J.) and senior goalkeeper Nolan Hickey (Garden City, N.Y.) anchored a stout defensive effort that surrendered just three goals in the first three quarters of play, as Navy scored an 11-7 victory over Detroit Friday evening at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  It’s the first time Navy has gotten off to a 2-0 start since 2009 when the Mids beat VMI (13-5) and Ohio State (8-6).

“We had a big defensive effort tonight and Nolan made some big saves for us,” said second-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “I felt like our defense could match up pretty well against their attack and we did a nice job of containing them.”

Detroit took a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game when senior defenseman Jamie Hebden intercepted a Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) pass and ran the length of the field before finding junior attackman Shayne Adams for the first of his game-high four goals.

Navy finally tied it up just before the quarter break when Jones picked off Detroit goalkeeper Chris Kelly right in front of Detroit’s goal and Kelly then grabbed hold of Navy junior attackman Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.).  The official whistled Kelly for the hold and Jones quickly took the ball and fed Hull on the crease with 1:20 to go in the quarter.

The Mids scored the first two goals of the second quarter, including a beauty by sophomore midfielder Gabe Voumard(Cape May, N.J.), who fired off a shot running left to right from 12 yards out to give the Mids a 3-1 advantage.

Detroit cut the lead to one, 3-2, when redshirt freshman Damien Hicks won the faceoff following Voumard’s goal and took it straight to the goal.

Navy, however, put together a run scoring three goals in two minutes and 27 seconds, including a perfectly-executed play with junior attackman Austin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) playing behind the goal and finding Hull who cut up the middle and was left untouched.  The run was capped by junior Sean Price’s (Millersville, Md.) second goal of the year, giving the Mids a 6-2 lead at intermission.

The Mids scored just 37 seconds into the second half when Hull punched in his third goal of the game on a shot that Kelly never saw.  With nearly no angle, Hull fired the shot from the left side, leaving Kelly stunned.

Freshman Patrick Keena (Vienna, Va.) gave Navy an 8-2 lead when he took a pass from junior middie Erik Hoffstadt(Dover, Del.) and sent his side-winder in on an extra-man play.

After being held scoreless for nearly 19 minutes, Detroit finally got on the scoreboard as Alex Maini’s cross-the-field pass was deflected by Hickey into the stick of Adams who was standing at the crease and scored his second of the evening.

The Mids scored three of the next four goals, including a man-down goal by Kiernan to give Navy 11-1 advantage with 8:16 to go in the game.  It’s the second straight game Navy has scored a man-down goal and marked the first time since 2006 that Navy has scored two man-down goals in a season.

The Titans, however, mounted a run of their own scoring three goals over the next three minutes, including back-to-back strikes by Maini and sophomore midfielder Mike Birney less than a minute apart.  The rally would fall short as neither team scored over the final 4:30.

Hull paced Navy with his 10th-career hat trick, while his three-assist effort on the night pushed his career total to 43 and now stands tied for 20th all-time on the Mids assists list.  Eight different players accounted for the remaining eight goals, including Kiernan who is the nation’s seventh-leading active scoring defenseman with 12-career points on nine goals and three assists.  It was Kiernan’s first goal of the 2013 campaign.  Additionally, Kiernan, who was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week this past Monday, turned in a career-high 11 ground balls and forced two turnovers.

“Pat Kiernan is special,” added Sowell.  “He’s a tremendous defender and has a nose for the ball.  Not only can he pick up the ball, he manages to battle sometimes with three or four guys draped all over him.”

Hickey, meanwhile, made a career-high seven saves for the Midshipmen, including three doorstop saves in the second quarter.

“Nolan played unbelievable tonight,” said Kiernan.  “He was able to make some big saves and we just built off of that.”

Navy’s faceoff game continues to be sufficient as senior Evan McGoogan (Cranberry Township, Pa.) had one of his best games in a Navy uniform, winning 10 of the 15 draws he took, while rookie Sean Reilly (Doylestown, Pa.), who was 13 for 18 last weekend against VMI, won two of his five faceoffs against the Titans.

“Evan pretty much did everything from the x tonight and made it easier for the wings for sure,” said Kiernan.  “He played a great game.”

Adams led the way for Detroit with five points on four goals and one assist, while Kelly turned in 11 saves and gave up all 11 goals.

“Wins are hard to come by in this sport, so I think we are going to enjoy our second win of the season and then get back to work on Sunday.”

The Midshipmen will be back in action on Tuesday afternoon when they travel to Connecticut to battle 16th-ranked Fairfield.  Game time is set for 3:00 pm.  The game will not be available on radio, however, an audio broadcast will be carried live on Navy All-Access with Pete Medhurst and Joe Miller calling the action.

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was as if there were some in the sports broadcasting universe that wanted to remind me that the Baltimore Orioles have been struggling mightily as of late.

Sure, they’re just one game out of first place at the time I type this, but the Birds sadly appear to be in a downward spiral that unfortunately most of us expected.

I’ve been a regular “Baltimore expert” for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio since the channel’s inception, and I rotate having conversations with hosts about the O’s and the Baltimore Ravens. When I received a call last week asking me to appear on the channel, I assumed the conversation would go in the direction of the O’s, as I’ve made about four Orioles-related guest spots already this season.

But when the producer asked me if I’d be interested in talking some Ravens football, I was admittedly caught off guard. “It’s still baseball season” I thought. Just one night later I received a call from another producer on the channel, also asking me to make an appearance to discuss the Purple & Black.

So on both Friday & Saturday night of this past weekend I found myself talking Ravens football across the country on SXM. It was perhaps the single greatest reminder that in Charm City, a “June Swoon” is a great reminder that Training Camp isn’t particularly far away.

As the 2011 football season ended, there were two main narratives surrounding the defending AFC North Champs. One was surrounding the pending free agency of RB Ray Rice. The other surrounded the future of QB Joe Flacco, who was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The Ravens’ season ended 132 days ago in Foxborough (at least as of the time I wrote this) and yet seemingly little progress has been made regarding either situation.

It leads to the question (at least for me), “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?”

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said in a recent appearance on “The Reality Check” (an excellent afternoon radio program on AM1570 WNST.net) that Rice’s agent Todd France was dead set on getting a deal similar to contracts given to Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (seven years, $100 million with $36 million guaranteed) or Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson (four years, $53 million with $30 million guaranteed). The Ravens are believed to be more interested in a deal similar to those recently given to Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (five years, $45 million with $20.76 million guaranteed) or Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (five years, $43.5 million with $20.75 guaranteed).

On top of that, a source with knowledge of talks revealed to me in recent weeks the Rice camp has a desire to see the running back’s deal exceed the overall value of Flacco’s.

A Carroll County Times report this weekend indicated the Ravens “aren’t anywhere close” to getting a deal done with Flacco. Flacco’s negotiating ability has been limited by the fact that contracts signed by quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning this offseason have been less than overwhelming financially. Manning landed a five year, $96 million deal, but if he’s healthy the Denver Broncos believe him capable of being Peyton Manning. The highlights of other QB contracts this offseason have been San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith (three years, worth up to $33 million with with $16.5 million guaranteed) and Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Flynn (three years, $26 million with $10 million guaranteed).

Neither deal is helpful to Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, although despite all of the goofy conversation nationally about Flacco’s standing against other National Football League quarterbacks, there simply could not be any argument either of those two quarterbacks have accomplished as much as Flacco. Humorously, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s deal is up a season after Flacco’s. There had been rumors the Chicago Bears were interested in getting a new deal done with QB Jay Cutler, a decision that could have been helpful in figuring out the parameters of a Flacco contract.

Remember when I asked “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?” Yeah, I’m aware that I’ve essentially answered my own question.

In both of my chats on SiriusXM this weekend I was asked what expected would ultimately happen with these situations. It was remarkably difficult to answer.

(Continued on Page 2)

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Terps Host Bellarmine Saturday In Home Finale

Posted on 27 April 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, MD. - The No. 9 Maryland men’s lacrosse team closes out its regular season home slate by hosting Bellarmine on Saturday, April 28, at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Faceoff is scheduled for noon.

• The game will mark the final regular season game for seven Terrapin seniors: Joe Cummings, MJ Leonard, David Miller, Pat Morrison, Tim Shaeffer, Michael Shakespeare and Drew Snider. The 2012 senior class has compiled a 43-20 (.683) record during its time in College Park, helped bring the Terps the 2011 ACC Championship and were key to Maryland’s run to the 2011 NCAA championship game. They have also helped Maryland to three NCAA tournament bids with a fourth a near certainty when the 2012 field is announced on May 6.

• Maryland (8-4, 1-2 ACC) is coming off of a 12-8 victory at Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday, April 25. Senior Joe Cummings became just the 38th player in the 87-year history of the Maryland men’s lacrosse program to reach 100 career points with four points on three goals and an assist vs. the Mount. Owen Blye led the Terps with five points on two goals and three assists.

• The Knights are 4-7 on the year and are coming off of a 9-8 victory over Detroit Mercy on April 21. Bellarmine opened the season winning three of its first five games, but then went on a five-game losing skid before beating the Titans. This season the Knights are led by senior midfielder Colton Clark, who has 30 points on 18 goals and 12 assists. Junior attackman Michael Ward is the team leader in goals with 22. Junior Dylan Ward has started all 11 of Bellarmine’s 11 games in cage and has a .515 save percentage and a 10.25 goals-against average.

The Count Down
10 … Since 2002 Maryland has won 89 of the 97 games in which the Terps have scored 10 or more goals for a .918 winning percentage.
9 … Maryland is 107-24 in games since 2002 when it allows nine goals or less, for an .817 winning percentage.
8 … Owen Blye needs eight points to reach 75 for his career.
7 … Seven Terps will be playing in their final regular season game at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
6 … Joe Cummings has had six games this season with at least three points.
5 … Niko Amato is fifth in the lastest NCAA rankings with a 6.94 goals-against average.
4 … This will be the Terps’ fourth meeting all-time with Bellarmine.
3 … Three Terps have totaled 20 or more points so far this season.
2 … Goran Murray is just the second close defender to be named the ACC Freshman of the Year in the last 12 years.
1 … Head coach John Tillman is 1-0 all-time vs. Bellarmine.

Coaching Match-Up
• John Tillman is in his fifth season as a head coach, and second with the Terps, with a 40-28 career record for a 58.8 winning percentage. Tillman is 20-9 (.690) as Maryland’s head coach. He had a 20-19 record in three seasons as the head coach at Harvard.

• Bellarmine’s Kevin Burns is in his first season as a head coach and has a 4-7 (.364) record at Bellarmine.

• This will be Tillman’s second game vs. the Knights as a head coach. He is 1-0 vs. Bellarmine, winning 12-8 in College Park in his first season as Maryland’s head coach.


Series History vs. Bellarmine
• There’s not much of a series history, but Maryland holds an 3-0 advantage in it.

• Last season the Terps hosted Bellarmine in a Monday matinee and Maryland, behind hat tricks by seniors Travis Reed and Ryan Young, raced out to an 11-3 lead through three quarters and won the game 12-8. Niko Amato played the first three quarters and made eight saves, while allowing just three goals.

• Maryland played its 2010 season opener at Bellarmine as the Knights dedicated the plaza area of its stadium to Jack McGetrick, the former head coach who founded the Knights’ lacrosse program. McGetrick passed away from prostate cancer in October of 2010. The Terps went on to win their 17th straight season opener, 11-6, behind four different Maryland players each scoring a pair of goals. Grant Catalino led the way with six points on two goals and four assists. Brian Phipps made 12 saves to lead the Terrapin defense.

• The first meeting between the two clubs came in the 2007 season opener with the Terps taking an 11-6 victory at Maryland’s Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex. The game was the Terrapin debut for some highly touted freshmen and they did not disappoint. Long pole Brian Farrell scored twice in his college debut to go along with four groundballs. Goalie Brian Phipps was pressed into duty from the start due to injuries to Harry Alford and Jason Carter, but he responded with nine saves and three groundballs to pick up his first career victory. Overall, 11 different Terps registered points in the game, led by attackmen Michael Phipps and Max Ritz, who had three apiece.


Bernhardt, Murray Earn Annual ACC Awards
• Junior long pole Jesse Bernhardt and freshman defender Goran Murray were among the five student-athletes recognized as recipients of the annual ACC men’s lacrosse individual awards, the conference announced Tuesday.

• Bernhardt, a native of Longwood, Fla., shares the inaugural ACC Defensive Player of the Year award with Duke’s CJ Costabile. Bernhardt, who is also a 2012 Tewaaraton Trophy nominee, leads the Terps with 22 caused turnovers and leads the conference with 2.0 caused turnovers per game. He is also averaging 3.3 groundballs per game and is the captain of a Maryland defense that currently ranks seventh in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 7.45 goals per game.

• Murray, a native of Merion Station, Pa., becomes the seventh Terp to be named the ACC Freshman of the Year. He is the first since 2007 when Brian Phipps earned the honor and the first Maryland defender since Michael Howley won the honor. Murray was a long-pole midfielder coming into preseason practice, but was converted to close defense and has become Maryland’s shutdown defender. Murray has started all 11 games for the Terps and became the first freshman close defender to start a season opener since 2008. He currently ranks sixth in the conference with 1.1 caused turnovers per game.

• Virginia senior Steele Stanwick earned ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors, while Duke’s John Danowski was named the ACC Coach of the Year.


League-Best Four Terps Named To All-ACC Team
• Maryland placed a league-high four players on the 2012 All-ACC Men’s Lacrosse Team, which was announced today by the Atlantic Coast Conference. Senior attackman Joe Cummings and sophomore goalie Niko Amato made the team for the second-straight season, while junior long pole Jesse Bernhardt and junior midfielder John Haus are first-time selections.

• All four ACC men’s programs are represented on the annual All-ACC team, which was determined by a vote of the four head coaches. Maryland’s four honorees were the most by any school. Duke and Virginia each had three selections, while North Carolina had one player make the team.

Going Purple
• Once again this season, the Terps will be wearing purple “MY” stickers, to show their support for the fight against pancreatic cancer, which touched everyone in the Maryland lacrosse family last season with the passing of Maria Young on April 17.

• This past fall the Terps, Maryland alums and family and friends came together for the inaugural Forever Young Walk/Run for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness. More on Ms. Young and her amazing story can be found here: Forever Young.

• If you’re interested in more information about the Lustgarten Foundation, including how to make a donation, click here to visit the foundation’s website. You can also get more information on pancreatic cancer at CurePC.org.

In case you’re wondering here are some facts about pancreatic cancer from the American Cancer Society:
· More than 43,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer present each year
· There are more than 36,000 deaths from pancreatic cancer each year
· The lifetime risk of having pancreatic cancer is about 1 in 71.
· The risk is about the same for both men and women.


Going Gray
• Maryland players will also be wearing gray stickers with the number 42 in honor of Zack Wholley’s father, John, who passed away from brain cancer on August 28, 2011.

• If you’re interested in more information, please visit the National Brain Tumor Society website.

In case you’re wondering here are some facts about brain and spinal cord tumors from the American Cancer Society:
· About 22,910 malignant tumors of the brain or spinal cord (12,630 in males and 10,280 in females) will be diagnosed. These numbers would likely be much higher if benign tumors were also included.
· About 13,700 people (7,720 males and 5,980 females) will die from these tumors.
· Overall, the chance that a person will develop a malignant tumor of the brain or spinal cord in his or her lifetime is about one in 150 for a man and one in 185 for a woman.


Get To 10 And Win
• One axiom of lacrosse is that if you score 10 goals or more your chances of winning are pretty good. Well, a look at the results since 2002 shows that when Maryland scores 10 or more goals there’s not just a pretty good chance the Terrapins will win; it’s an almost certainty. Since 2002 Maryland has won 89 of the 97 games in which the Terps have scored 10 or more goals for a .918 winning percentage.

• Maryland scored 10, but fell at North Carolina, 11-10, on March 24, 2012. The Terps scored 11 vs. Johns Hopkins on April 16, 2011, but the Blue Jays won the game in overtime, 12-11. On April 3 of last season the Terps lost to No. 1 Virginia by a final of 11-10, giving Maryland its only loss when scoring 10 or more goals in 2010. In 2009 the Terps lost to Georgetown, 13-10 on Feb. 21 and lost again when scoring 10 in the ACC Semifinals in a 16-10 defeat at North Carolina. Prior to that, Maryland had not lost when scoring 10 or more goals since dropping an 11-10 decision to Virginia in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament in Durham, N.C. The Terrapins got to 10 goals in the 100th game against Johns Hopkins, but the Blue Jays took the game 14-10. Virginia is the only team to beat the Terps twice when allowing 10 or more goals. The Wahoos did it first in 2002 with another 11-10 decision.

Holding Opponents To Single-Digits
• The Terps have been extremely impressive (winning 91.6 percent of its games since 2002) when it scores 10 or more goals, they have been nearly as impressive when holding opponents to less than 10 goals during that span.

• Since 2002 Maryland is 107-24 in games, for a .817 winning percentage, when it has held opponents under 10 goals. The Terps have played 172 total games since 2002. Maryland has held opponents to nine goals or less 75.6 percent of the time.


Shooting Tells The Story
• The difference between winning and losing for Maryland this season is simple – when the Terps shoot well they win. As it turns out 30% is the magic number for the Terps this season. Maryland is 8-4 on the year and has shot 30% or better in seven of its eight victories.

Hartford: 12 goals, 40 shots = 30%
at Georgetown: 16 goals, 41 shots = 39.0%
Duke: 10 goals, 28 shots = 35.7%
at UMBC: 7 goals, 30 shots = 23.3%
Marist: 17 goals, 43 shots = 39.5%
Villanova: 11 goals, 31 shots = 35.5%
at North Carolina: 10 goals, 35 shots = 28.6%
Virginia: 8 goals, 32 shots = 25%
Navy: 13 goals, 52 shots = 25%
at Johns Hopkins: 9 goals, 28 shots = 32.1%
vs. Duke: 5 goals, 31 shots = 16.1%
at Mount St. Mary’s: 12 goals, 29 shots = 41.4%

• Since 2005 the Terps are a remarkable 52-3 (.945) when shooting 30% or better in a game. The first game Maryland lost during that stretch was a 13-10 decision to Georgetown in 2009 (the Terps shot 10 of 30 for 33.3% vs. the Hoyas). The second loss came in 2010 in the controversial 11-10 loss to No. 1 Virginia on April 3. The Terps shot 10 of 33 for 30.3%. The most recent came on April 16, 2011 in a 12-11 overtime loss to No. 3 Johns Hopkins.


Elite Company
• With four points in the Terps’ 12-8 win at Mount St. Mary’s on April 25, senior attackman Joe Cummings became a member of an elite club at Maryland – The 100-Point Club. Cummings became just the 38th player in the program’s 87-year history to reach the 100 point plateau.

• Since men’s lacrosse became a fully-recognized championship sport by the NCAA in 1971 only 25 Maryland players have reached 100 career points. (Players who played their entire careers in the championship era).

• Cummings also joined another elite club with his 11th career hat trick at The Mount, becoming one of just 20 Terrapins players to have scored at least 75 career goals. He currently stands in 19th on the career goals list at Maryland with 77.


Fast Starts
• Since 2002 only nine players (for a total of 15 times) have totaled 30 points or more in the first 12 games of a season. Only one of those is on the 2012 team.

• Joe Cummings has been a consistent threat during his tenure as a Terp, but since moving to his natural position of attack this season he has been an even more potent point producer. Through nine games Cummings has 34 points on 22 goals and 12 assists. Last year as a midfielder he had 26 points on 24 goals and two assists through 12 games.


Youth Is Served
• Maryland started two sophomores (Michael Ehrhardt and Brian Cooper) and a freshman (Goran Murray) at close defense in the 2012 season-opening win over Hartford. The last time Maryland’s defense had two sophomore and one freshman starting was 2005 when sophomores Steve Whittenberg and Ray Megill started alongside freshman Joe Cinosky. The first game that group started together was April 23, 2005 at Fairfield (a 9-6 Terrapin win).

• Goran Murray became the first Maryland freshman to start at close defense in a season opener since 2008 when Max Schmidt started in an 11-6 win at Georgetown.


Face-Off Firsts
• Junior Curtis Holmes’ 19-of-20 (.950) performance facing-off vs. Hartford in the 2012 season opener is just the fifth time since 2000 that a Maryland face-off man has won at least 90% of his draws with at least 10 attempts.

• Holmes joins Andy Claxton and Brian Haggerty as the only Terps with multiple games of 19 or more face-off wins. Claxton did it three times (27 at Towson in 1991, 21 vs. Duke in 1991 and 19 at Brown in 1991), while Haggerty did it twice (20 vs. Butler in 1998 and 19 vs. Virginia in 1998). Holmes had 20 wins vs. Georgetown last season to go along with his 19 vs. the Hawks, which makes him the only Terp to win 19 or more face-offs in different seasons.

• The last 90% performance was in 2008 when Bryn Holmes, Curtis’ older brother, won 9-of-10 face-offs at Mount St. Mary’s.

• The last time a Terp faced-off with a winning percentage above 90% was on March 21, 2006 when David Tamberrino won 12-of-13 in a 14-2 win over Dartmouth.

Best Face-Off Performances Since 2000
Curtis Holmes - 19/20 (.950) vs. Hartford 2/18/12
Brian Carroll - 12/13 (.923) at Delaware 3/17/01
Davin Tamberrino – 12/13 (.923) vs. Dartmouth 3/21/06
Jeremy Pastula - 11/12 (.917) at Towson 3/8/03
Bryn Holmes - 9/10 (.900) at Mount St. Mary’s 2/26/08
Bryn Holmes - 12/14 (.857) vs. Presbyterian 2/13/09
Brian Carroll - 11/13 (.846) vs. Mount St. Mary’s 2/26/02
Bryn Holmes - 11/13 (.846) vs. Air Force 2/14/09
Ryan Moran - 10/12 (.833) vs. Bucknell 3/11/03
Will Dalton - 18/22 (.818) vs. Vermont 2/20/07
Curtis Holmes - 17/21 (.810) vs. Detroit Mercy 2/19/11


The 700 Club
• Maryland’s 15-6 victory over Penn on April 14, 2009 was the program’s 700th victory in 84 seasons of varsity men’s lacrosse. The Terps join Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, Navy and Army as the only programs with 700 or more Division I wins.

• Two things that make Maryland’s accomplishment all the more impressive is that the Terps reached the 700-win plateau in just their 84th season. Only Syracuse reached win No. 700 in as few seasons, but it took the Orange 53 more games than Maryland. In fact, Maryland needed only 940 games to reach 700 wins and only Johns Hopkins needed fewer games (932) to hit the historic number, but the Blue Jays did so in their 105th season.

Terps’ 87th Season Of Lacrosse
• The Terps boast an all-time record of 736-251-4 (.745), dating back to the first varsity team in 1924 (a team was not fielded in 1944 and 1945 due to World War II). Maryland has finished every one of its previous 85 seasons with a .500 or better record, including last season when the Terps went 10-6. The program reached the 700-win milestone with a 15-6 victory over Penn on April 14, 2009 at Ludwig Field.

• During the decade of the 2000s, Maryland went 111-49 for a .694 win percentage, making it the winningest decade in Terrapin lacrosse history. In the decade of the 1990s, Maryland posted a 95-47 record. The .669 winning percentage matched Maryland’s win percentage of the 1980s when the Terps went 83-41 and also compiled a .669 win percentage. So far, Maryland is 25-9 in the 2010′s for a .735 winning percentage.


The Terps On ESPNU
• Maryland has had 42 games on ESPNU since 2006. Maryland is 23-19 (.548) all-time in games broadcast on ESPNU.

• The Terps will have at least four games (at UNC, vs. Virginia, at Johns Hopkins, at ACC tournament) Maryland will play on ESPNU in 2012.


The Stretch: Carolina, Virginia, Navy, Hopkins
• Since 1978 Maryland’s schedule has been highlighted by a four-game stretch in the middle of its season: North Carolina, Virginia, Navy and Johns Hopkins. In the 35-year span only four times has the stretch been interrupted with another game added in between one of these traditional four (1981, 1997, 2001, 2003).

• Overall, Maryland is 64-76 (.457) since 1978 vs. those four teams during that time.

• The Terps have swept the four games only once – in 1987. Only twice (1981 & 1988) has Maryland lost all four games. Six times (1978, 1979, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2001) the Terps have won three of the four games. Johns Hopkins broke up the Terps’ bid for a perfect stretch four times, while Carolina and Virginia broke it up one time each.


First-Time Opponents
• Maryland has played 78 different opponents in its 87 seasons. The 2012 season added Hartford (a 12-6 win on 2/18) and will add Marist (3/10) to that list. In the Terps’ 78 first-time meetings Maryland is 74-4 (.949) in those games. Adelphi (12-13, 1982), Army (0-3, 1923), Syracuse (3-10, 1927) and Yale (3-5, 1925) are the only schools to beat the Terps the first time the schools met on a lacrosse field.


Maryland In Season Openers
• Maryland has a 83-3-1 (.960) lifetime record in season openers dating back to the 1924 season. The Terps have won their last 19 openers and 26 of the last 27, with the only loss coming to Duke in 1993, when they fell to Duke 9-5 on March 6.

• After losing their 1925 opener to Yale, 5-3, the Terps went on to win 40 consecutive season openers from 1926 through 1967. The streak was broken when Maryland tied Princeton, 6-6, in the 1968 opener. Following the deadlock, Maryland went on to win its next 14 openers, giving the Terps a 54-0-1 record over a 57-year span (Maryland did not field a team in 1944 and 1945 due to World War II.)

19 Straight in Season Openers
• After beating Hartford to open the 2012 season the Terps have an 19-game winning streak in season openers. Five of those wins came against Villanova (1994-98) and the last nine over Denver, Mount St. Mary’s, Air Force, Hobart, Duke, Georgetown (four times), Bellarmine (twice), Presbyterian, Detroit Mercy and Hartford. Over the 19-year stretch, Maryland outscored its foes 267-99 (an average score of 14.1-5.2) in those games.

• The Terps have not allowed more than seven goals to any opponent in a season opener over the last 18 years. Maryland has not allowed an opponent to score 10 or more goals in a season opener since Syracuse beat the Terps, 16-13 on March 9, 1983.

Consecutive 10-Win Seasons
• The 11-9 victory over Duke on April 24, 2011 was the 10th of the year for Maryland, giving it nine straight seasons with double-digit wins. (Special thanks to Patrick Stevens of the D1Scourse.com).

• How does that stack up against the rest of the college lacrosse programs? Take a look at programs with at least five-straight 10-win seasons:
Maryland (9): 2011 (13-5), 2010 (12-4), 2009 (10-7), 2008 (10-6), 2007 (10-6), 2006 (12-5), 2005 (11-6), 2004 (13-3), 2003 (12-4)
Virginia (8): 2012 (10-3), 2011 (13-5), 2010 (16-2), 2009 (14-2), 2008 (14-4), 2007 (12-4), 2006 (17-0), 2005 (11-4)
Cornell (7): 2011 (12-3), 2010 (12-6), 2009 (11-3), 2008 (11-4), 2007 (15-1), 2006 (11-3), 2005 (11-3)
Notre Dame (7): 2012 (10-1), 2011 (11-3), 2010 (10-7), 2009 (15-1), 2008 (14-3), 2007 (11-4), 2006 (10-5)
Duke (6): 2012 (13-3), 2011 (14-6), 2010 (16-4), 2009 (15-4), 2008 (18-2), 2007 ( 17-3)
Siena (5): 2011 (13-5), 2010 (12-5), 2009 (12-6), 2008 (10-6), 2007 (10-6)


A Family Affair
• Many school’s refer to their sports programs as families, but the Maryland men’s lacrosse program is truely a family affair. Since 2002, the Terps have had 13 sets of brothers, including three on this season’s roster, don the red and black together for at least one season.

Harry & Thomas Alford: 2004-05-06-07
Jake & Jesse Bernhardt: 2010-11-12
Justin & Owen Blye: 2009-10-11
Brian & Kevin Cooper: 2011-12
Billy & Bobby Gribbin: 2012
Brendan & Ian Healy: 2003-04-05
Bryn & Curtis Holmes: 2010
Bryn & Travis Holmes: 2007
Dan & Mike LaMonica: 2002
Chris & Willy Passavia: 2002-03
Brian & Michael Phipps: 2007
Max & Xander Ritz: 2005-06
Mark & Michael White: 2008-09-10-11

Three Taken In MLL Draft
• Three University of Maryland men’s lacrosse seniors were selected in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Collegiate Draft. Midfielder Jake Bernhardt was the highest pick, being selected with the 12th overall selection by the Hamilton Nationals. Midfielder/attackman Joe Cummings was the next Terp taken, going 17th overall to the Rochester Rattlers (his rights have since been traded to the Chesapeake Bayhawks). Midfielder Drew Snider went 45th overall by the Bayhawks.


2012 Team Captains
• Five players have been named team captains for the 2012 season. The quintet, which was selected by a combination of team vote and coaches’ input, consists of seniors Jake Bernhardt, Joe Cummings and Drew Snider and juniors Jesse Bernhardt and Owen Blye. Blye and Jesse Bernhardt are the first pair of juniors to be named team captains since Bob Ott and Randy Ratliff were among four captains in 1978.

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Your Monday Reality Check-My Favorite Game Ever Happened Ten Years Ago

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Your Monday Reality Check-My Favorite Game Ever Happened Ten Years Ago

Posted on 26 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

You’re going to have to indulge me on this one. I have no one to yell at and no incredible statement to make about a current sporting event.

Instead, if this column was called “Your Saturday Reality Check”, I would have gotten this perfectly to the date.

Ten years ago-Sunday, March 24, 2002-the University of Maryland met the University of Connecticut in the East Region Final (or the Elite 8 if you well) of the NCAA Tournament. The game was at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

For full disclosure, I wasn’t there. It was my freshman year at the University of Maryland, but I didn’t make the trip. I didn’t make the trip to the Georgia Dome for the Final Four either, which is one of the greatest regrets of my still very young life. I actually think our own Luke Jones was at the game, but I’m just rambling now.

You certainly remember the shots that defined the game. The Terrapins trailed the Huskies 77-74 with just under four minutes to play as Caron Butler simply wouldn’t let UConn go away quietly. Juan Dixon calmly sank a three pointer from near the top of the key to even the game back up. Then in the final minute, a previously scoreless Steve Blake altered a play call in the huddle and used a ball fake to create an open three for himself to put the Terps up 86-80, effectively the final nail in the coffin of a 90-82 victory.

What I remember was how the game felt like the most intense college basketball game I had ever witnessed. While Gary Williams likely ruined an expensive suit due to sweat that afternoon, Glenn Clark also ruined a number of t-shirts and a pair of pajama pants. This was a game where neither team ever appeared to have the upper hand. Lonny Baxter was absolutely dominant in the paint against future NBA standout Emeka Okafor, but Butler’s 32 points kept the Huskies at Maryland’s heels all afternoon.

We’re planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the University of Maryland’s only basketball championship throughout the week on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. I’ve admitted regularly that I openly wept at Cole Field House that early April night (the anniversary of the championship is this Sunday for those scoring at home) in College Park. I had two goals for my life from about the time I was eight years old. One was to become a professional broadcaster, the other was to attend the University of Maryland.

Being a “Terp” was in my blood. My grandmother (a journalism teacher in Baltimore County and later professor at Morgan State University) is a University of Maryland alum. While I was too young for the Bob Wade era of Maryland basketball to mean much to me, the early years of the Gary Williams era (which were not always pretty) shaped who I wanted to be when I stepped on a basketball court at Chapel Hill Elementary School or Perry Hall Middle School. I pretended to be Evers Burns. I pretended to be Kevin McLinton. I ABSOLUTELY pretended to be Walt “The Wizard” Williams, Joe Smith, Keith Booth and Sarunas Jasikevicius.

I really had no idea I’d ever witness my heroes playing in a Final Four or for a national championship. I had felt the 1999 team (lead by Steve Francis) had a legitimate chance, but Erick Barkley and St. John’s extinguished those hopes in the Sweet 16. Just weeks before Maryland’s initial Final Four run in 2001 there were calls for the head of Gary Williams after an embarrassing streak of five losses in six games (including a “rock bottom” defeat at the hands of Florida State on Valentine’s Day).

But there was something about the 2001-2002 Terps that made you believe the entire time that team was capable of finally breaking through. The heartbreak of blowing a big loss to Duke in the Final Four the year earlier seemed to fuel them to an ACC regular season championship and back to that afternoon at the Carrier Dome. The confidence of an incredible group of upperclassmen was never lacking at any point during the season.

Maryland’s run to the National Championship was unprecedented. After an opening round win over Siena, the Terps faced a modern day “Murderer’s Row” of basketball programs as they ran through Wisconsin, Kentucky, UConn and then Kansas and Indiana. Maryland faced the highest seed they could possibly face in every round as a 1 seed (16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1) as well. Yet somehow they never really seemed to be in danger of losing.

In the Final Four a huge second half lead was cut into by the Jayhawks, but it never appeared particularly nerve-racking. The Hoosiers briefly held a second half lead in the National Championship game, but a quick baseline jumper from Dixon turned the game back toward the favor of Maryland.

The only game that involved great drama was the UConn game. It was the type of drama that sees eight ties and seven lead changes in the final 13 minutes. It was the type of drama that almost could never be fairly described in words. (ESPN’s Dick Vitale described it as a “Maalox Masher” immediately after the game. He’s certainly a wordsmith if nothing else.)

It was the type of drama that made you think “whoever wins this game is winning a national championship” in the second half. At least it made me feel that way…and I was right.

To this day, this is still my absolute favorite game I’ve ever watched. More so than the Tennessee Titans/Baltimore Ravens AFC Divisional Playoff in 2001, more so than the Mike Mussina/Randy Johnson showdown at Camden Yards in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS, even more so than the Andre Agassi/James Blake thriller at the 2005 U.S. Open. If your heart can take it, it’s worth reliving below.

I’m not sure mine can, but I’m still grateful for these memories some ten years later.

Carry on.

-G

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