Tag Archive | "Tom Brady"

Tags: , , , , , ,

Ravens with chance for revenge in Foxborough in AFC Championship rematch

Posted on 13 January 2013 by Luke Jones

A year after the images of Lee Evans’ drop in the end zone and Billy Cundiff’s 32-yard miss were forever burned into the retinas of Baltimore football fans, the Ravens will have their chance at revenge.

As a result of New England’s 41-28 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday evening, the Ravens will once again travel to Foxborough in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship. Last January, a superb day by quarterback Joe Flacco wasn’t enough to overcome the last-second shortcomings of Evans and Cundiff as the Ravens fell 23-20 and the Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XLVI where they lost to the New York Giants.

Flacco and the Ravens are riding high after their improbable 38-35 double-overtime victory over the No. 1 seed Denver Broncos on Saturday night. It was the Ravens’ first win over Peyton Manning since the 2001 season as the legendary career of 37-year-old linebacker Ray Lewis was extended by at least one more week.

Baltimore and New England met in Week 3 of the regular season as the Ravens erased an early 13-0 deficit to prevail on a Justin Tucker field goal in a 31-30 final at M&T Bank Stadium. Replacement officials ruled the rookie’s 27-yard kick sailed just inside the right upright, but New England coach Bill Belichick and many Patriots players believed the kick to be no good.

It was the Ravens’ first win over New England in Baltimore as the Patriots hold the 6-1 advantage in the all-time regular-season series.

Sunday will mark the third time in four seasons the Ravens and Patriots have met in the postseason, with all three games taking place at Gillette Stadium. Baltimore won the first playoff meeting between the teams in a surprising 33-14 beatdown in the wild-card round on Jan. 10, 2010 and the Patriots, of course, prevailed in last January’s conference championship.

Sunday’s game will be televised on CBS at 6:30 p.m.

Comments Off on Ravens with chance for revenge in Foxborough in AFC Championship rematch

Tags: , , , ,

Ravens win and Flacco sticks a sock in the mouth of his detractors (shhhhhhh…)

Posted on 12 January 2013 by Drew Forrester

That should, finally, shut up everyone in town when it comes to Joe Flacco.

Thank.  God.

After a season of being raked over the coals – make that five seasons – by fans in Baltimore, the quarterback went into Denver and engineered an epic Ravens post-season victory on Saturday afternoon.  He only beat one of the game’s greatest field generals, in his arena, on the biggest stage possible.  The coup de grace, of course, was the 70 yard strike to Jacoby Jones with 0:31 left in the game that sent the contest to overtime.  A week ago in Baltimore, Joe out-dueled the NFL’s new Fair Haired Boy, Andrew Luck, and today he knocked off the guy that Luck replaced on the league’s Love Chart.

Read it – and weep if you’re a #5 hater:  Joe Flacco went to Denver and beat Peyton Manning.

I assume we’ll no longer be hearing from Flacco detractors, which is truly -golden-silence-to-my-ears.

And I’m also guessing that seals the deal on a new Flacco contract sometime over the next six weeks or so.

With the Ravens making their third AFC title game appearance in Flacco’s five-year career next Sunday, even his most ardent haters have to finally wave the white towel and hop on the bandwagon.

Let’s see now…in his first season with the team, the-then rookie went into Nashville and eliminated the top seed Titans.

In the 2009 season, it was a trip to Foxboro and a playoff win over Tom Brady.

There was a post-season road demolishing of Kansas City in 2010.

And then, today, it was Flacco beating Peyton Manning in his own building.  Another first seed eliminated.  Five seasons in the league and a playoff road win in four of them.

Other than a Super Bowl trip, what more could you possibly ask for from your quarterback, his coach, and the team?

There must be nothing more satisfying for Flacco than to shut up the experts in town who kept saying he couldn’t play a lick or that he wasn’t worth “the big money” he was expected to get at the end of this season.  But, he hasn’t talked much about it, because Joe knows the truth.  Words don’t mean jack.  Winning games is all that matters — and that’s basically all he’s done since showing up in Baltimore back in 2008.

Flacco is keenly aware that plenty of people around town have questioned him over the years.  And, as a competitor, there’s no doubt he’s taking particular joy from proving himself RIGHT and proving everyone else WRONG.

With one more win, the Ravens will head to the Super Bowl in New Orleans and Joe Flacco will be their quarterback.  That’s all that’s left on his “Next To Do” list.  Once he gets there, the goal changes, naturally, but for now — coming up — he’s one win away from playing in the biggest game the league can offer.

I’m just so happy that we won’t have to hear from the anti-Flacco crowd anymore…finally, finally, finally – their ship has sailed.

 

Comments (17)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Reality Check NFL Playoff Power Rankings

Posted on 09 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

Ryan Chell & I ranked the best head coaches, quarterbacks and defenses left in the postseason, then ranked the teams left in order of likelihood to win Super Bowl XLVI.

It was a fun day Tuesday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. You really should be listening.

Head Coaches:

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

8. Gary Kubiak

7. Pete Carroll

6. Mike Smith

5. Jim Harbaugh

4. John Harbaugh

3. John Fox

2. Mike McCarthy

1. Bill Belichick

Ryan Chell’s Rankings…

8. Gary Kubiak

7. Pete Carroll

6. Mike Smith

5. Jim Harbaugh

4. John Fox

3. John Harbaugh

2. Mike McCarthy

1. Bill Belichick

(Quarterbacks on Page 2…)

Comments (2)

Tags: , ,

Can we please stop stating the word Elite in regards to quarterbacks, including Joe Flacco

Posted on 08 November 2012 by BaltimoreSportsNut

I am tired of hearing people state Joe Flacco is not elite or wow Andrew Luck is already an elite quarterback….STOP!!!

This is an easy discussion, as long as you define elite properly. When it comes to quarterbacks in the NFL, I define elite by one thing, Super Bowl Championships. Thus currently you have Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger as elite quarterbacks. Yes, I am saying Joe Flacco, Phillip Rivers, Andrew Luck, Michael Vick, and the all mighty Tim Tebow are not elite quarterbacks, with the latter being a joke of a quarterback anyway.

Ok, so you could come at me with so Trent Dilfer and Doug Williams are elite quarterbacks? Yes they are, they were able to lead their teams to a Super Bowl victory, I am not saying they are Hall of Famers by any stretch of the word as a Hall of Fame quarterback is another level of classification.

On the other side, I have been fronted with many arguements that “so you are telling me that Dan Marino is not an elite quarterback?” Yes that is exactly what I am telling you, he could not win a Super Bowl, now again he is by far a Hall of Fame quarterback, which in my opinion is the only classification a quarterback really wants.

I am sure a lot of you disagree with me, which is the beauty of sports, let’s hear it!

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

All of this talk about “elite” is getting us away from the real issue…

Posted on 22 October 2012 by Drew Forrester

Elite.

“Is Flacco elite?”

Elite, elite, elite.

I’m making a decision, right now, on October 22:  I am no longer using that stupid word – elite – to judge a quarterback, particularly the guy in Baltimore.

Mind you, I’m not one that throws that “E word” around much as it is, but it’s always the big argument in football.  Is so-and-so an “elite” quarterback?

It’s 10-minutes of filler for ESPN and all of the other talking heads.  “Is he elite?”…blah, blah, blah…

So, from this day forward, I’m going to use a new word to discuss and analyze any and all quarterbacks in the NFL.

It will be a non-negotiable word.  One you can’t possibly argue.  And right now, in the league, there are only six of these kind of quarterbacks.

They’re called “championship quarterbacks” and they are, in no order, Brady, Roethlisberger, Brees, Rodgers, Eli Manning and Peyton Manning.

No one else in the league is worthy of inclusion on that list.  And that includes Flacco.  And Matt Ryan.  And Michael Vick.  And Matt Stafford.  And RGIII.

You’re either a championship quarterback or you’re just a quarterback.

In the other words, there’s only one way to be an “elite quarterback”.  You must have a ring.  There are a few very notable exceptions over the last 30 years.  Guys like Dan Marino and Jim Kelly and Warren Moon are Hall-of-Famers and they don’t sport flashy jewelry.  But those are three very rare exceptions to the rule.  And that rule is:  “If you want to be elite, you better have a ring on your finger.”

At this point, Flacco is a good quarterback.  Is he better than Ryan or Stafford?  Some games, yes.  Some games, no.  But he’s not better than Brees.  Or Brady.  Or Roethlisberger.  Or any of the guys with a ring.

We love to argue about whether or not the quarterback is “elite”.  For whatever reason – mainly because he’s usually the guy who makes the most money – it’s always the quarterback we throw under the super-microscope and try to come up with a word to define him.  These days, that word is “elite”.

But how do we determine what makes a guy “elite”?  Is it winning?  Championships?

We better be careful saying, “you can’t be elite unless you have a ring” because we’d then have a certain linebacker and safety in Baltimore who can’t be considered elite…since both Suggs and Reed are sans jewelry.

So, let’s get rid of that word, elite, when trying to define our quarterback in Baltimore.

You’re either a “championship quarterback” or you’re a quarterback trying to become one.

Let’s just worry about the only thing we should be worried about…and that’s WINNING.  Yes, he’s been the quarterback of the team that has made the playoffs four straight seasons.  Yes, he has a post-season victory in each of those four seasons.  And, honestly, I’m glad Flacco is the quarterback in Baltimore.  I’m in the pro-Flacco camp, if such a group exists.

But let’s just settle this debate about Flacco – and any others in the league who are good but haven’t won anything yet – and call a spade a spade.  He’s not a championship quarterback.  Yet.

When (not if…but when) Flacco does win a title, he’ll be considered “elite”.

For now, he’s not elite.

No disrespect, but that’s just the way it goes when you haven’t held up the trophy.

 

Comments (11)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Five Plays That Determined The Game – Ravens/Patriots

Posted on 25 September 2012 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 31-30 win over the New England Patriots Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Justin Tucker 27 yard FG try GOOD (4th quarter)

4. Julian Edelman -13 yard run on 2nd & 6 (2nd quarter)

3. Torrey Smith 25 yard TD catch from Joe Flacco (2nd quarter)

2. Devin McCourty 27 yard pass interference called on attempted Joe Flacco pass to Jacoby Jones (4th quarter)

1. Haloti Ngata and Dannell Ellerbe sack Tom Brady for 7 yard loss on 2nd & 9 (4th quarter)

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Patriots should blame themselves for late meltdown in Baltimore

Posted on 24 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

I’ll tell the Patriots and their fans the same thing I told the Ravens and their faithful followers who bellyached in the wake of last week’s loss at Philadelphia:  Please don’t cry about the officials.

New England lost Sunday night’s game in Baltimore because they had two chances to put away the game and they failed.

It’s that simple.

The Patriots had a 2-point lead when they got the ball back with four minutes remaining.  All Tom Brady and Company had to do was pick up a few first downs and the game was in the bag.  But they couldn’t do it.

Baltimore’s offense took the field with two minutes left on their own 21 yard line.  The Patriots defense merely needed a hold — anything to keep the Ravens from a field goal — and they were winners.  They couldn’t do that, either.

Two chances to win.  Two failures.

The same thing happened to the Ravens last week in Philly.

Afterwards, Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis took on the refs when, honestly, they should have been chastising themselves for failing to come through with the game on the line.

New England faces the same type of self-examination in the aftermath of a 4th quarter collapse at M&T Bank Stadium.  Their offense failed — and so did their defense — when the chips were down.

Now…were the officials horrendous on Sunday night in Baltimore?

Absolutely.  There were bad calls and missed calls throughout the sixty minutes.

But the officials weren’t covering Torrey Smith on Sunday night.  Someone from the Patriots was…or, perhaps I should say, someone from the Patriots was “supposed to be” covering him.

The national focus will no doubt center on the officials Monday and Tuesday.  As it should, frankly.  While New England did itself in with poor execution over the last four minutes of the game, that doesn’t take away from how bush-league the officials were on Sunday night.

I’ve been saying this since well BEFORE the season started, but it bears repeating with each passing weekend.  The league has disgraced itself with this collection of nitwits who are reffing the games.  It’s getting ridiculously close to resembling professional wrestling, minus the steel chairs.  I called the outcome of this one as soon as the Patriots got the ball back with four minutes to play.  “The Ravens will get a stop here…get the ball back…and then the refs will help move them down the field and Tucker will kick the game-winner at the buzzer.”  Neither Nestor or Luke – seated to my left and right – disagreed with my assessment, both knowing it was probably going to turn out that way.

Bill Belichick refused to engage the media afterwards when it came to the question of officiating.  He kept mumbling something about “you need to talk to them, not me” and deflected every question with a sour-puss expression that most coaches would have on their face if their team squandered a 9-point lead in the fourth quarter.

When asked “real” football questions, Belichick didn’t really answer those, either.

Someone asked him if the final field goal was, in fact, good.  He mumbled something about not seeing it.

Then he was asked if the kick should have been reviewed.  Again, he didn’t really give a legitimate reply.

After the game-ending kick, Belichick raced to midfield to confront the officials who were high-tailing it out of the place.  He appeared to make contact with one of the refs, but when asked afterwards what he was trying to discuss with them, the coach just sort of brushed aside the question and kept on staring straight ahead until another question was asked.

It was a strange scene in the Patriots press conference, because none of the Boston media had the gumption to ask the coach what he thought of his secondary, which allowed the Ravens to move freely down the field in the final two minutes to set up Justin Tucker’s game winning 27 yard field goal.

Instead, everyone waited for the coach to crack and berate the officials, but he wouldn’t do it.

Maybe that’s because he knew the truth.

The truth:  The referees were awful.  Again.  But they didn’t cost New England the game.  Just like the Ravens last week in Philly, the Patriots have no one to blame but themselves.  When pressed, their offense couldn’t put the game away.  And their defense folded like a cheap suit on the final drive.

The better team might not have won on Sunday night.

But the better team had chances to sew up the game and they didn’t.

In that case, the Patriots deserved to lose.

 

 

 

 

Comments (8)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Jones Brothers Take Center Stage as the Ravens Take on the Patriots

Posted on 22 September 2012 by jeffreygilley

When the Baltimore Ravens line up against the New England Patriots Sunday night, the Ravens will be looking for revenge.  The Patriots ended the Ravens season in the AFC Championship but the Ravens had many chances to win the game.  Joe Flacco outplayed Brady and the defense bailed him out of the rare mistakes and reads he did not make.

Although the Ravens will be looking for revenge, this game does not hold any real significance come Monday morning.  Sure, both of these teams are considered Super Bowl contenders but the season is still young.  This game does however, have the potential to determine the playoff standings come the end of the regular season.

Throughout the first two weeks of the 2012 season, the Ravens and Patriots have not lived up to expectations.  Both had a disappointing week two loss and have not been particularly good in their areas of usual strength.  The Patriots added new weapons in the offseason such as Brandon Lloyd.  Although Brady has new pieces to work with, the offense has showcased the explosive potential they are capable of.  The Ravens on the other hand have struggled defensively.  The defense gave up 371 passing yards to Michael Vick and struggled defending the Bengals rushing attack in week one.

Many are picking the Ravens to win this game, and I hope they are right but I dont see the Ravens winning this game.  Tom Brady doesn’t lose back to back games and the Patriots have improved defensively.  The loss of Aaron Hernandez will prove to be significant though.  Hernandez can play every skill position on offense and with his absence, the Patriots and Tom Brady are going to have to be more creative.  I expect the Patriots to spread the Ravens out and force the Ravens to play in space.

If the Ravens want to win this game, they will have to stop Rob Gronkowski.  They have the cornerback depth to deal with the Patriots receivers but their linebacking core is a different story.  Many of the Ravens outside linebackers are young and inexperienced.  Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan will have to play well in run and pass defense.

Although the Ravens outside linebackers are young, I think Courtney UpShaw has a chance to have a breakout game.  He wont play as much seeing as Paul Kruger is healthy but he has a chance to make a big impact on this game.  The Patriots will be so focused on stopping Haloti Ngata that Upshaw, when playing on third downs, will not be facing many double teams.  Look for UpShaw to have a good game.

Last time the Patriots played in Baltimore, they were undefeated but the Ravens almost pulled off the upset of the century.  All of the recent games between the Patriots and Ravens have been very close and this game will be no different.  In my opinion, the Patriots will win this game by a field goal but I really hope I am wrong.  Having Arthur and Chandler Jones playing for opposing teams will make this game much more interesting.

Comments Off on Jones Brothers Take Center Stage as the Ravens Take on the Patriots

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Ravens-Patriots: Five predictions for Sunday night

Posted on 22 September 2012 by Luke Jones

Here’s what will happen when the Ravens welcome the New England Patriots to M&T Bank Stadium for their seventh ever meeting in the regular season and a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game …

1. Torrey Smith breaks out from his quiet start with 85 receiving yards and his first touchdown of the season. After being targeted only eight times in the first two games, Smith will play a major part in opening up space for short and intermediate routes against New England’s Cover 2 defense. Quarterback Joe Flacco will look to connect with the second-year wideout on a deep ball early as he did in Week 1, but this will lead to room for Smith to show off his more diverse route-running ability. If the Ravens are truly committed to becoming more of a passing team, Smith needs to be more involved and it starts against the Patriots secondary after a difficult week against Philadelphia’s defensive backfield.

2. The Ravens make a concerted effort to get Ray Rice involved early, but the Patriots hold him to under 100 total yards. With critics still questioning offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s play-calling in short-yardage situations, it’s difficult envisioning the Ravens not feeding the ball to Rice early and often — on the ground or through the air — and New England will be expecting it. The Patriots are strong up the middle with defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and were able to contain Rice last January by holding him to 67 yards on 21 carries and just one catch for 11 yards. New England shut down Tennessee’s Chris Johnson in Week 1 and they won’t allow Rice to be the one to beat them Sunday night.

3. New England won’t have tight end Aaron Hernandez, but Rob Gronkowski picks up the slack with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. The Ravens were woeful last week in attempting to cover Philadelphia tight end Brent Celek as linebackers lost him in coverage and defensive backs were too late in reacting to passing plays in front of them. That doesn’t bode well with arguably the best tight end in the NFL coming to town, and Gronkowski caught five passes for 87 yards in the AFC Championship last year despite injuring his ankle late in the third quarter. Even with strong safety Bernard Pollard healthy enough to play, the Ravens won’t be able to slow the 6-foot-6, 265-pound monster.

4. The no-huddle offense plays a major role for the Patriots as the Ravens can’t cycle personnel on and off the field and Tom Brady picks apart the pass defense. The New England offensive line has been suspect this season, so the Baltimore defense must take advantage in making Brady uncomfortable in the pocket. If the Patriots protect him, they’ll use more of their no-huddle attack, which prevents defensive coordinator Dean Pees from cycling in personnel to keep the front seven fresh — especially with Pernell McPhee and Paul Kruger dealing with nagging injuries — in hopes of creating a consistent pass rush. The short and intermediate passes to Gronkowski and wide receiver Wes Welker – mixed with a few longer balls to newcomer Brandon Lloyd – will wear down the Ravens in the second half. Even without Hernandez, there are just too many weapons for which to account without a consistent rush from the front four.

5. In a game that has more scoring than last January’s meeting in Foxborough, the more experienced New England offense is the difference in a 27-24 victory for the Patriots. Both offenses are going to score points in this one, but it’s still difficult to put faith in the Ravens winning a high-scoring game where they potentially have to match an opponent score for score. Flacco and the Baltimore offense gets back on track after their poor second half in Philadelphia, but the Patriots have an improved defense with the additions of pass-rusher Chandler Jones and strongside linebacker Dont’a Hightower. Making too much out of New England’s surprising loss to defensive-minded Arizona is unwise as the Patriots still possess a very dangerous offense that’s difficult to stop. The Ravens defense lacks the horses to slow them enough, and the improved offense won’t be able to keep up as the game is decided by a late touchdown. New England improves to 7-0 in the all-time regular-season series against Baltimore and the Ravens’ 11-game home winning streak in the regular season is snapped.

Comments Off on Ravens-Patriots: Five predictions for Sunday night

Tags: , , , , ,

“I don’t care what you say…the Ravens aren’t losing at home to the Patriots.” (Yes, they are)

Posted on 21 September 2012 by Drew Forrester

Talk about a chance to kill two birds with one stone.

The Ravens not only get an opportunity to atone for last week’s final five minutes of embarrassment in Philadelphia, but they can re-establish themselves as a legitimate contender in the AFC this Sunday night when the Patriots come strolling in for a national TV affair with John Harbaugh’s team.

The Ravens need a win.  I guess it would be better if the Browns were Sunday’s opponent, but that’s not the way the schedule makers saw week #3 playing out.  So here come the Patriots, armed with wonder-boy at quarterback, a beefed up pass-catching corps and, apparently, an improved defense.

The Ravens, as you know, are seeking to rebound from a horrible loss to the Eagles, where the defense caved in with under five minutes remaining and the offense couldn’t go fifty yards with two time-outs in their pocket in the game’s last 120 seconds.

It should be a helluva game.

And, as is always the case when the Ravens face a top opponent in Baltimore on national TV, Ray Lewis and the gang will be fired-freakin’-up.

I know you’re waiting – impatiently, by now – to see two things:  1) My pick for the game  2) Bill’s comment and attempted personal destruction of me and my character in the “comments section” below.

I’ll give you #1 right now.  I’m sure you’ll see #2 shortly.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Ravens aren’t winning Sunday night.

Everything sort-of points to Baltimore winning, actually.  They’re playing at home, where they haven’t lost since December of 2010, twelve games ago.  In other words, no matter who comes to town, the Ravens don’t lose at M&T Bank Stadium.  It would also make sense to assume the Ravens’ offense can’t sputter and spit like a ’73 Vega on Sunday night.  After all, they had a week to get a tune-up after last Sunday’s sub-par second half.  By now, Cam, Joe and the rest of the offense have it all figured out, right?

Yes, it makes sense to figure the Ravens are going to win.  As I noted above, they’ll be fired up beyond belief.  But “fired up” doesn’t really matter once the third quarter rolls around.  If Tiger Woods showed up to play me one-on-one at Mountain Branch, I’d be fired up for that.  I might make a birdie or two out of the gate.  But when the dust settled and we were shaking hands on the 18th green, he’d have a 63 on his scorecard and I’d have my tail between my legs.

Remember this before I tell you what’s going to happen on Sunday:  NO ONE, including you, knows what will transpire on Sunday night.  If you knew what was going to happen on Sunday night, you’d bet $100,000 on it and be a rich man.  So would I.

But I *think* the Ravens are losing on Sunday night for one simple reason — the Baltimore defense isn’t all that good and the great #12 and his merry cast of characters will expose that fact on Sunday.

Without the ability to chase the quarterback around, the Ravens can’t beat the Patriots.  In two games thus far, Baltimore’s pass rush has been relatively non-existent.  In pass coverage, the purple linebacking group can’t do squat.  And as long as Brady doesn’t do something dumb like try and pick on Lardarius Webb, he should have a field day exposing the dynamic duo of Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith on “the other side”.  I think New England will run the ball 24 times just to say they did it.  But they’ll throw it 40 times because they can.

I’m going to assume the Baltimore offense will bounce back on Sunday and have a decent night against the Patriots.  I know the final two minutes was ugly last week in Philly, but that was then, this is now.  At home, Joe Flacco and Company will bounce back.

But the Ravens defense won’t be able to handle New England’s offense for 60 minutes.

Sorry…

New England wins 24-20.

I sure hope I’m wrong.

Comments (17)