Thursday, December 30, 2010
I know I don't cover hockey all that often, but with the Winter Classic around the corner, I figured it was time for some Caps love. Should we be hitting the NHL up more often? I await your feedback.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Basically, Flacco is set to earn $200,000 for every playoff victory this year. Since the odds are that the Ravens will go into the playoffs as a Wild Card team, that would mean a Super Bowl victory is worth a cool $800,000. And you know what that means...
Don't skimp on ordering the breadsticks and wings, Joe!
On the local front, the Ravens beat Cleveland 20-10 to go to 11-4 and clinch a playoff spot (with the potential for a division championship and 1st round bye still there. Playoff scenarios are explained HERE). To sum it up, barring some rather unexpected outcomes, the Ravens are travelling to Indianapolis the week after next.
In the game Ed Reed had 2 picks (but to be fair, both passes were air mailed by Colt McCoy to the point that Reed looked more like baseball's Adam Jones than football's Adam Jones). He also caught fire. LITERALLY. But in his biggest accomplishment of the year, he seemingly has inspired one of the league's elite players to try to make as many stupid decisions with the football as Reed does.
In case you missed the Saints-Falcons game last night, I am referring to Drew Brees and his need to "make something happen with the ball", or "Hot Potato Lateral Time" as I am thinking of calling it (I am at work and cannot come up w/a better name right now since I have to keep switching back to my "job" every few minutes). At a minimum, Brees must have attended some of Reed's camps for kids in the greater LA area (where Reed is from and where he spends his off season). In particular, to these two plays. Personally, I disagree that the first play was "good" (more on that in a moment). I have railed on and on about Joe Flacco needing to know when to take a sack and when to throw it away, but it really is a league wide problem (making Tom Brady's current streak of 319 passes w/out an interception - the new NFL record - all the more impressive), and Brees is no exception.
Both times the Saints are in their own territory, around the 30 yard line, and both times they are protecting a lead. The first one (the one the video editor calls "good") wound up getting the ball back to the line of scrimmage, but it was still a dangerous play. 1st of all, Pierre Thomas has missed the majority of the season with an ankle sprain (one of the main reasons I am not in the playoffs in my OTHER league. That and the Frank Gore injury), so his timing w/Brees is not where it needs to be. And that leads to my 2nd of all, that Thomas almost lost control of the ball and the play was lucky to end up not being a turnover, let alone netting no loss of yardage. The second play was even dumber. At this point it is the 4th quarter and the Saints have a 3 point lead. Also, it is 1st down. Take the 8 yard loss and go from there. There is absolutely no excusing that play, and if it had been any QB not named Brady, Manning, Brees, Rivers, or Favre the guy would have been crucified by the media for that. Instead we hear that Brees' 19 (that made 20) interceptions were not "Brees-like numbers", and except for one statement that you can't "throw the ball blind", it was all praise on the defense. And while the defense DID make a good play, it was the result of Brees trying to do too much.
So you see, Ravens fans? We're not the only ones suffering from star players with brain cramps. All we can hope for is that Ed Reed gets some mental Midol in his system, and soon. And next Sunday, as you recover from New Year's festivities and you turn on the Ravens-Bengals game, say a little prayer for the Cleveland Browns that they might pull a repeat of last year.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
- That was the first complete game I have seen all season
- Greg Mattison has a pulse
- If the MVP award truly went to the best player in the league, Haloti Ngata would have to be in the conversation
Friday, December 17, 2010
Sources are reporting that in the wake of OC James Franklin accepting the head coaching job at Vanderbilt, Maryland AD Kevin Anderson is going to ask Friedgen to take a buyout and retire instead of coming back as basically a lame duck coach in 2011 (the last year of a contract that the school does not intend on extending). It seems that Friedgen pushing for a contract extension has rubbed Anderson the wrong way, and now that he has been relieved of the burden of a "coach in waiting" (something he came out as being very much against when he first took the job), he is going to make this team his own.
Rumors swirl that the leading candidates if Friedgen is in fact forced out (shades of Davey Johnson in 1997?) are Tyrone Willingham (formerly of Notre Dame and Washington), Mike Locksley (currently head coach of New Mexico), and (to me the most intriguing candidate) former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.
The Terps have a bowl game in less than 2 weeks so this is not exactly coming at an opportune time, and this could get really messy. Stay tuned for further developments.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
- (OT) 3
Monday, December 06, 2010
- The offense took it's foot off of the gas and off of the opponent's throats.
- It is time for Dawan Landry to ride the pine.
- Play calling has never been more suspect than in the last 40 seconds of the game.
- Draw play. Rotate Ray Rice back into the backfield and let him take the handoff, or even a direct snap with Flacco faking a bad snap. Have him come off the edge for an end around. With the receivers 4 wide the Steelers can't crash the box to take away the run. 37 seconds is more than enough time to get to the line, spike the ball, and take one more shot at either the end zone or a deeper side route to stop the clock and get Cundiff on the field for a much more manageable field goal try. You CAN run the ball from the spread offense. In fact, if used judiciously it is highly effective. And if the Steelers show blitz or somehow leave a receiver open / uncovered / soft covered (DB at least 6-8 yards off of the line of scrimmage)...
- Hot read. Slant. Quick hit in space and see what they can get after the catch. They only need 2 yards, so it should be a lot of gravy on the run. And if that doesn't happen...
- Go route. Donte Stallworth is one of the fastest players in the game. Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason had been absuing Bryant McFadden pretty much all game. Have at least one of them run a straight 9 route, or even a hitch and go. Since the defenders are expecting it to be a short distance play this could catch them flat footed. And if you have another receiver (or two, if you are feeling bold) flood the area recently emptied by the 9 route runner there should be ample space to complete a 2 or more yard pass. But go deep. Go bold. You need points, and this keeps the game from going into OT when your defense has been getting gassed for the last 2 quarters.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
“Your guy over there, 92, I think he is red-flagged,” Suggs said. “The referees are kind of looking for him. Even if he breathes on a quarterback wrong, he might get a flag.”
Harrison was fined for the fourth time this season yesterday when he was fined $25,000 for a hit put on Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Harrison has been fined $125,000 so far this season.
“I think they are looking at him more closely than they are everybody else in the league,” Suggs said. “In the referee world, they kind of red-flagged him.”
“The league has their favorites,” Suggs said. “One being in Indy and one being with that other team up north. Besides those two, everybody is fair game. Some quarterbacks are getting the calls right away. Some quarterbacks they don’t care.
"Like I always said, Carson Palmer got hit in his knee in 2005 but there was no rule made. Then Tom Brady got hit in his knee and all of a sudden there is a rule and possible suspensions, excessive fines — it’s just getting ridiculous.