Archive for the 'AFC Championship' Category

09
Jan
14

The Ravens Circle the Wagons and drink the Koolaide

Who could dream this up.

Who could dream this up.

Apparently, Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti has a home in Jupiter, Fla. where General Manager Ozzie Newsome, Coach Harbaugh  Dick Cass will soon get together for a few days to plot the coordinates for the teams’ now up-coming season with the play-offs on mute on the flat screen of course. The question is will the brain trust’s trip to Jupiter put them woefully out of touch as it did this year. Ten days and counting to ponder Baltimore miserable end to a sputtering season leaves much to wonder about the decision making. Everything from the pre-season roster juggling to game time decisions did as much as anything to put the Ravens out of the playoffs as the players performance.   And the one glaring clarion cry that the Ravens leadership may have dipped too much into the purple Koolaide was the trade of Anquan Boldin for a six round draft pick to Harbaugh’s brother’s team the 49ers, now a serious contender as any for a Super Bowl slot..  The jettison of Boldin is the single worst decision in Baltimore Sports history and one wonders if the same thought process is alive and well with this team.  You got to wonder how such a decision comes to pass. How Bisciotti who portrays himself as the average fan with a little bit more background, could ever let such a deal go down boggles the mind. And Yesterday’s state of the union conference did nothing to quell this sense of unease despite a steller  PR show featuring Harbaugh playing devil’s advocate with himself.In fact media and the fans, who venture onto the Ravens site, got a window into the all too familiar corporate culture that allowed American Automobile Industry to laugh at the Japanese back in the 1970s, when Detroit was about to get their butts handed to them.

Although no one in the press corps, a soft bunch as one could get, addressed Boldin debacle, (Preston never asked a question despite the taunts) Newsome spoke on it when he reminded everyone that he’s willing to let a good player walk. He was referring to Terrell Suggs presumed inflated contract considering his disappearing act in the last half of the season.

“We let a good football player go last year,” Newsome said. “I’m not adverse when it comes to letting guys walk out the door.”

This statement may reveal a GM completely lost in his ways that he’s using it as a point of pride when in fact it’s a flaw. But that’s not all, woven throughout the hour presser, he and Harbaugh referred to this mystical receiver that they’ve recently drawn a composite. Get this: He gets Yac and is a third and long guy.

Again, I go back to owner and wonder what he could be thinking, especially after being convinced that Boldin is 32 and washed up and too costly for a two million increase.

He offered a glimpse into the decision making process: “I think your heart wants to react quickly. If you are a wise business man , you take time to listen to a lot of people and contemplate a lot of different things.”

What does Bisciotti has to make of all that talk and contemplation now that Boldin’s two games away from back to back Super Bowl appearances. His stock and shape looks a hell a lot better than the big money stars he left behind here in Baltimore. Suggs, Ngata or Yanda.

As far as what Bisciotti had to say, he talked more like a corporate executive should, spinning positive no matter what. He said, he was comfortable with where we were headed, that basically be glad we’re not the Falcons, but slightly disturbing was his assessment of the team: “A half short of getting into the playoffs.” You mean the Cincinnati game where the Bungles did everything they could to give their game away. Actually the most reliable barometer of the Ravens was the at home against New England where the Ravens were out-classed on every facet.

I guess what would have been useful is some kind of indication that the Ravens were going to not go down the road making the same derailing decisions, that they have broken free of the insipid mindset that propelled this team to the edge of disaster. All we know is they are off to Jupiter.

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02
Feb
13

Why The Ravens will Win the Super Bowl — Winning Ugly

Of course this is purple glasses homer talk, but I see the Ravens winning this game and rather decisively. Truthfully,  each team I believe has an equal chance. At this point the odds makers, and experts have no inkling and can’t represent reality. (They have been wrong about the Ravens all through the post-season) But the real reason for me putting my name down behind the Ravens is all the hype they’re given Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers Pistol Offense. They act like  San Fran has dominated every team in the post season, befuddling offenses. But truthfully San Fran barely made their way past Seattle and Atlanta. Against Falcons, Matt Ryan and his two picks and fumble did as much for San Francisco as Kaepernick’s  gutsy throws.

The same can be said about the Ravens – Denver game when The Bronco chose to run the ball in the last two minutes.  Guaranteeing the Baltimore to get the ball back no doubt played in the Ravens hands. But the Ravens aren’t trying befuddle anyone. They are winning by any means necessary either by winning ugly or just wearing down a team like they did to New England.

As far as The Ravens not seeing anything like Kaepernick, I say balderdash. The Ravens did a fine job forcing R.G. III to beat them in the air (which ummm, yikes, he did),but the defense was pretty gimpy at that point and now safely in hindsight, Baltimore pretty much should have won that game.

Now Suggs and Nagta has had two weeks rest and Krugger is grinding at a high level. The Ravens have also have experience with Roethlisberger, who may not be as fleet footed as Kaepernick but is every bit as tough to bring down , devastated defenses with his last second passes.  But the Ravens have gotten past all those days at least for this year.(Insert Suggs hanging off of Big Ben as the Beast hits Ward to win game Ugggg).

But let’s talk Right here, right now. The amazing thing about the Ravens is they can beat you in so many ways. The offense is so stacked that it could actually be a problem for the coaches in that they call the wrong plays. Anquan Boldin, as pointed out by  Kris Jones, in Russell Street Reporter has emerged as must cover threat allowing the Ravens to break out their other receivers. Tory Smith, Jones and less not forget Ray Rice in the backfield or hey diddle diddle up the middle.And if that’s not enough add this year’s breakout Raven, running back  Pierce. He should be mended enough after two weeks rest that he will be sorting up the D-line with his power runs.  But like a soothsayer, I envision the games before they are played. I’m not saying I have any mojo, but sometimes I swear these vision come true. It’s more like finally my fantasy play a boyhood quirk that has never left gets actualized is more like it. But for the first time I’m going to put it on the line. I foresee, a big game for Suggs as he for the first time this year, emerges as 95 percent himself and causes mayhem in the backfield. I also see Ed Reed doing the hometown hero thing,  tipping a brazened pass in the middle, to himself and taking it to the house and of course he won’t be able to resist holding the ball out like he used to do in the early years. (We love Ed Reed. Gonna miss him). I also see Flacco just tearing up the field. If he gets that smile on his face watch out. (BTW to all those folks who say Flacco doesn’t have emotion, they must have missed that smile. You ever see a quarterback grin so freely in the heat of battle?)

The real threat to the Ravens is the distraction. Can the Ravens maintain their focus, can they somehow pace themselves through that excruciating long Sunday and not wear down emotionally. Because if they can time their intensity I think  San Francisco isn’t gonna see this one coming freight train before its too late. I predict the Ravens win by two scores.

21
Jan
12

Baltimore Vs. The World and why I love The Ravens Chance on Sunday

Ravens play with a chip on shoulder better than any team in the NFL.

Baltimore Vs. The World.Written to the tune of “Seven Nations’ Army.”

It’s the Baltimore Ravens versus the World and I wouldn’t have it any
other way. Although I admit, it was hard to stomach the spleening
spewing from our supposed fans all over the radio waves this week and
I did grimace as one pundit after another lined up behind the hype
that is The New England Patriots. The most gave us our Defense are a
bunch of hall of famers that might be an Irritant for Brady as he
marches his way into another yawn Superbowl. Our offense was spinning
it’s wheels about our Hapless Quarterback who better just hope he can
do a Trent Dilfer imitation and maybe he can repeat another Superbowl
appearance. Funny how bigger the game the more people duck under the
myths rather than reality. They must have forgotten the colossal
beatdown The Ravens put on the vaunted Steelers during the opening
Season. It wasn’t just the defense, Joe Flacco orcrastrated those
drives like a mystro. He wasn’t lighting it up in the air like the
glory boys. He made his strikes and then gave ‘em a dose of Rice. It
was greatest beatdown that I’ve ever personally witnessed and that
includes The Colts – The Baltimore Colts.

Funny the same resignation to impeding doom that splattered the
airwaves this week, was the same defeatism ick that was oozing was the
Ravens had to go up to Pittsburgh this season and get what we all knew
even back then would be a vital win. All focused on Joe how he never
beat Rothersburgher in his house, never mind much stench went to rest
of the team to that embarrassment the Ravens put on in the Playoff
defeat last year that ushered the Steeler to their umptinth Superbowl
Appearance.  Somehow there’s no mention, no memory how Flacco this
year lead The Ravens down field to steel a win in the last eight
seconds. And let’s look at how he did that. He threw twice of a
wobbling, insecure Rookie Speedster,  Torrey Smith. The first throw
was on the money and Smith dropped in the Endzone. But Joe went back
to him flying down the other sidelines the next play and Smith’s
career was no doubt saved that glorious catch. Nobody talks about
that. Just like nobody talks about Joe engineering the Ravens greatest
comeback in team history against the Arizona Cardinals when we were
down 24 points. Of course everyone not only discounts that win, but
indicts the Ravens as pretenders for even having to resort such
theatrics. Yeah sure and The Washington Redskins took it to The New
York Giants this season, you know the same team that is all but
crowned as this year’s Superbowl Champions.  Funny in football the
same critical eye isn’t applied to ever team. Even now the Steelers
are now defined as a weaker version of itself, although that may have
been due to the demonization that they received in Baltimore.
When it comes to New England Patriots, their laurels stand as thick
fog blocking the pundits. Brady, who has he really beaten? Was the to
toughest team he played was in fact the Denver Broncos, a media
fascination that at 8 and 8 lost three games as they stumbled into the
playoffs.

No problem. Baltimore Ravens thrives in this kind of gloom lighting.
We’re a dark team. I remember a quote from Josh McDaniels the Denver
Coach (who spooky-enough is cued up to take over the Pats Offense
Coordinator position) after getting their puts kicked after they
amassed a seven game wining streak. He said, “Our team just doesn’t
have that kind of anger.”

So I love the roll the Ravens have been handed. It’s a point of view
that I share in my life as I struggle against my personal BS to reach
my potential, the silliness that doubles as the thinking of the day
and unfortunately determines our fortunes. That’s why I wear the
Ravens colors.  No one wears a chip on their shoulders better than the
Baltimore Ravens.
New England is no better than t hey were back in the War of 1812 when
they sided with Mother England and bitched about our privateers and
cheered when the Brits were making their way to Baltimore to burn it
to the ground. We had something to say about that (See National
Anthem). If we bring the game that we open the season with once again,
lowly Baltimore will shock the world.

—end—