Tag Archives: Football

Playoffs!!

With a win over the Raiders, the Ravens reach the playoffs as a 6 seed (again), and will match up against the Patriots next weekend (Sunday, 1PM).

They played a Raiders team that at times looked better than their record, but in the end, the Ravens defense simply shut them down, and the running game overwhelmed them.  The McGahee stiffarm was second only to the Ray Lewis hit of Sproles as moments of awesome this year.

So now the 9-7 record no longer matters, and it’s one game at a time.  I don’t like the New England matchup (I would have been much happier to see them play the Bengals), but I think if the Ravens show up, they can beat anyone.  Remember, this team beat the Chargers, and lost to Indy and the Vikings by a combined 4 points.

To win next weekend, they need to dominate offensively by running the ball, winning the battle of field position, and keeping the Pats offense off the field.  Hurt or not, they are good.  The Ravens also have to play with discipline, no stupid penalties.  Only a near perfect effort will win; if they play like they did against the Steelers two weeks ago, it won’t just be a 3 point loss.

Given the way things are going, I think they’ll be up, and they’ll be on.  Which means a close tough game they can win.


One down, 5 to go

Ravens 20, Steelers 17, in overtime. A classic game. Contrary to what some folks think, I think the Ravens played pretty well. D was solid, but not perfect; but this is the Steelers running game, which, last I checked, is pretty good.

Offense is clearly hampered by Flacco’s ankle, even if he won’t admit it. Lots more variety this week, against a heck of a defense. I was pretty happy to see more of the three headed running attack, and the passing game got spread around a bit. Rice is still the man.

Sure, you can be critical that they almost lost to a third string QB, but he is an NFL QB, and he’s surrounded by an outstanding team. He did a really nice job.

Based on what I see in the playoff picture, it’s going to take 11-5 to get the wildcard (Jacksonville is going to fall apart, but the Titans are coming). That means the Ravens will have to run the table. I think this team can beat Green Bay; remember they lost to the Vikings by just 2 points. It’s going to come down to the rematch of last night’s game, I think.


Just not good enough

It was fantastic to see the Ravens hold the Colts to 17 points, so half of the team we needed to see showed up. Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t get in the end zone. When you can’t score on the Colts when you have the ball 1st and goal from the 1, you don’t deserve to go to the playoffs. The offense actually looked OK, doing a pretty nice job controlling the ball and the tempo of the game, but they need to score touchdowns, not field goals. Just one could have done it.

As has been the case all year, it comes down to a handful of plays, any one of which (a missed short FG, getting stopped at the 1, throwing the INT) goes the other way, maybe it’s a win.

I think it will take 11-5 to get into the playoffs, and the Ravens still have the Steelers twice (although they just lost to KC), and the Packers in Green Bay. I don’t see this team making it through those three games without a loss, and while I’m confident about the Raiders and the Lions, you can’t write the Bears off, either. If the team that showed up today shows up for every remaining game, and they score a touchdown instead of a couple of those field goals, then all of these games are winnable individually, but I don’t know that any team could go into this stretch and win them all.

Oh, and Ed Reed needs to stop lateraling. Seriously.


Ugly wins still count as wins

Lucky for the Ravens, it didn’t matter much which team showed up to play last night. 16-0 over a terrible team is still a win, even if it wasn’t a stellar performance.

The D looked better, but it’s the Browns. The offense looked terrible. I hope it’s a strategy to either try some new things out that didn’t work, or keep some things off film for the next few games. I guess we’ll see. Give some credit to the Browns defense, they played pretty well.

Hauschka is gone – I don’t know if that’s the right move or not, but we do now know that letting Stover go was a mistake. This team is 6-3 if Stover’s on the team, and that one win might be the one they need in January.

If the team that showed up to play last night shows up on Sunday, it’s going to be a rough day. But if the team that beat the Broncos shows, we could have some optimism for another week.

I think they will need to finish 11-5 to make it into the playoffs (I’m afraid 10-6 might not cut it, although they do have a tiebreaker over the Chargers and Broncos), and that’s going to take a win over Indy, a win over Green Bay, and splitting the series with the Steelers.


An asskicking

That’s really the only way to describe the Ravens’ loss to the Bengals. Cinci dominated the first half, and while it looked like the Ravens showed up to play defense in the second half, they forgot to bring the offense with them.

After dominating last week, the inconsistent Ravens are back. Unless there’s a big change, this team isn’t going to the playoffs, as I don’t see how they can play the Steelers (twice), Indy, and the Packers in Green Bay and come away with just two more losses.

Oh, by the way, the officating continues to get worse. It honestly looks like there are no penalties unless a Raven did it. I saw easily 5 holds and not one was called, but everything the Ravens do gets a flag. It didn’t matter, but it’s still frustrating.


Tuesday evening QB

Ravens stomp the Broncos 30-7. So now they’re 4-3, heading to Cinci.

If these guys show up like they did on Sunday, they might finish the year out with 7 more wins.

Ellerby is playing like a beast, and Ray Rice is the real deal. They’ve got few significant injuries, which is also good at this point in the season. Every aspect of the team was on last week, they’ll need to do that again to beat the Bengals… I think if they can hold the Bengals to 17 points again, we’ll see a win.


Late Football Review

Better late than never, my take on a devastating Ravens loss, 33-31.

You can’ t blame the kicker when you give up 33 points.

Awesome comeback from 17 points down with 10 minutes to go, this team has heart, it’s got fire, and they will win some of these. Harbs needs to take the D to the woodshed, though. The talent is there, they’ve got to man up. The bye week has to focus on resting up, although there arent’ many injuries, and getting the playmakers on this defense fired up to make some plays. To get in the playoffs, 10-6 is going to be a minimum, and it might take 11-5.

Oh, and don’t trust me to pick games. At all. 6-8 against the spread, and 7-7 just picking winners last week.


Inequality doesn’t equal ‘bad’

As you can see with the NFL, which has higher income inequality than the US population.

They seem to do just fine. Imagine what the inequality would be if there were no cap.


Whatever you do, bet the opposite

I simply can not be trusted to pick football games.  7-7 picking winners, and 5-9 against the spread last week.  So I’m 17-11 and 9-19

I suck.

So I’ll do it again.

Texans (+5) @ Bengals

I think the Bengals have played well in some cases and poorly in some cases.  I think the Texans are a good upset pick.

Lions (+13) @ Packers

Packers win, but closer than 13 points

Ravens (-3) @ Vikings

The Vikings could very easily be 3-2, and the Ravens are going to be motivated after stinking it up last week.

Giants (+3) @ Saints

I think this will be a great game, but I give the edge to the Giants to stay undefeated.

Browns @ Steelers (-14)

Browns come off a huge win against the Bills to return to getting blown out.  They scored 6 against the Bills, 6 against the Broncos, and 3 against the Ravens.  Yeah, I’ll give up the points.

Panthers @ Bucs (+3)

Bucs win this one at home.

Chiefs (+7) @ Redskins

Chiefs pick up their first (maybe only) win of the year.

Rams (+10) @ Jaguars

The off beat pick of the week.  Rams win.

Cardinals (+3) @ Seahawks

I think the Cardinals are due to show up for a game.

Eagles @ Raiders (+15)

Eagles beat the Raiders, but not by 15

Titans @ Patriots (-10)

Gosh, I want the Titans to win one; they are a better team than their record indicates… but I don’t see this team going to New England and beating the Pats at home.  I’ll take the Pats and give up the points.

Bills @ Jets (-10)

The Bills couldn’t score more than 3 against the Browns. I’m pretty sure the Jets can beat that team.

Bears @ Falcons (-3)

After the big win last week, I think the Falcons keep the momentum going.

Broncos @ Chargers (-4)

Broncos can’t keep it up.


No waiting

Ravens go down 17-14 to the Bengals.

Plain and simple, they got beat. 1 offensive TD. Dominated on both sides of the ball. Only the ability of the defense to come up with big stops kept this from being much worse.

Yes, the officiating was terrible, both calls that were made and some non calls; and how do you spot the ball 5 yards off after watching a replay (which resulted after a bad call on the field). Overall, the officiating has to improve, for the sake of the game.

But the Ravens need to take it out of their hands.

Hopefully, this was the letdown game I expect once a year to the Bengals or the Browns, and they’ll turn it around. But the Vikings are next, in Minnesota. It becomes almost a must win, and that’s not a team you want as a must win game.


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