March 1, 2013 Leave a Comment
A last dance can be very emotional, yet very funny. A last dance can be very meaningful, yet so silly. Here are some of the most emotional, funny, stupid and down right dirty last dances of all time.
January 23, 2012 4 Comments
First off, all Patriot fans can thank Billy Cundiff for giving his best Doug Brien impression and losing the game for the Ravens.
The Ravens should have won this game, but Billy Cundiff decided he wanted to start his offseason early. I can only imagine what the locker room was like after the game for the Ravens.
Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Terrell Suggs must have wanted to KILL someone (again, in Ray lewis’ case) and I do not blame them.
Tom Brady had a very sub-par day going 22/36 for 259 yards and 2 INT.
It didn’t matter in the end because the Patriots defense stepped up and the Ravens let themselves down.
Vince Wilfork was a force to be reckoned with. He had 6 tackles and a sack. That is a GREAT day considering he is the nose tackle and his role is to clog up blockers for the linebackers.
The rest of the Patriots’ defense stepped up big time in crucial situations as well. For example, after a Patriot special team blunder by Danny Woodhead, the Ravens were in great position to score a touchdown and really put the pressure on the Patriots offense.
Instead, the Ravens ended up settling for a field goal and a 20-16 lead. You CAN NOT SETTLE against the Patriots, you have to take advantage of the few mistakes they make.
The Ravens saved their worst for last unfortunately.
After the Patriots took the lead 23-20, the Ravens had an impressive looking drive to either tie or win the game.
This could have been a redefining moment for Joe Flacco, going on the road and leading a game-winning drive against the Patriots and sending his team to the Super Bowl in the process.
Don’t get me wrong; Flacco played very well in this game, but his perception amongst his Ravens fan base is poor to say the least.
The killer was Flacco throwing a perfect pass to Lee Evans who seemed to catch it in the end zone only to have it knocked away in a split second. It was a bad drop, especially from a veteran. That catch sends you to the Super Bowl.
YOU HOLD ONTO THAT BALL.
Despite Evans’ butterfingers, the Ravens were well into Cundiff’s range and the game seem destined for overtime.
Until Billy Cundiff forgot how to kick the ball.
Two unexplainable miscues screwed the Ravens and sent them home. Another year Suggs and Reed go without a ring (or least an appearance).
The Patriots do deserve credit though. They did not give up and did not let turnovers rattle them which is a testament to a true championship team.
The Patriots were able to keep Ray Rice in check the whole game. Rice only gained 67 yards rushing and considering how badly this defense played during the year, that is amazing.
On the offensive side of the ball, BenJarvis Green-Ellis also chipped in with a productive performance, logging 15 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown. Green-Ellis was a good change of pace to Brady’s quick passing game which the Ravens were prepared to stop.
The Patriots played well enough to win, but not by much.
I honestly feel bad for the Ravens.
Flacco played well, the defense did everything it could to contain Tom Brady and his passing attack, and they forced turnovers.
In the end, it just was not enough and if I was a Ravens fan, I wouldn’t be getting over this photo anytime soon.
January 16, 2012 Leave a Comment
The top 2 seeds in the AFC meet for the chance to go to the Super Bowl.
I am very excited to see this matchup so I will breakdown this game by position.
Quarterback: Advantage Patriots
This is not even close. Tom Brady is the best ever (in my opinion) so stacking him up against Joe Flacco is unfair to say the least.
Take it from a Jet fan, Tom Brady rarely loses in the playoffs at home. Brady is one of the clutchest quarterbacks ever and it will take a great effort to stop him and come away with a victory.
Brady has been awesome all year and has carried the Patriots to where they are now. Look for Brady to throw a lot of short passes to offset the Ravens pressure and if the Ravens dare sit back and play coverage look for Brady to absolutely pick them apart.
Flacco has one advantage, he will not be asked to do as much as Brady (for good reason). Flacco just needs to be efficient and manage the game. Do not turn the ball over to the Patriots in your own territory because if that happens look for the Patriots to destroy the Ravens.
Running Backs: Advantage Ravens
Clearly, this is the only offensive category where the Ravens are better than the Patriots.
It is also the only way the Ravens can win this game.
Ray Rice MUST get over 25 carries for the Ravens to win, Houston did an excellent job on containing Rice and Belichek will find a way to contain him.
Despite that, Rice must be force-fed the ball, your best defense against Brady is to keep him on the sidelines. The Ravens need to go back to the formula that got them a victory against the Patriots a couple of years back when Ray Rice ran through the Patriots defense at will.
On the other hand, Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead will be factors just to keep the Ravens off-balanced on defense. Look for screens to Woodhead to expose the Ravens blitz and Green-Ellis on short-yardage situations to get it done.
Wide Receivers: Advantage Patriots
Wes Welker is a beast we all know that but what we don’t know is how he will be used in this matchup. Brady is great at seeing the defense and taking what they give him.
The Patriots have great route-runners at the wide receiver position and there could be an Ochocinco sighting .
In fact, I believe Ochocinco will have over 60 yards receiving and a touchdown. He is the only player at this position that I believe can consistently beat man coverage down the field. Especially with all the attention Welker and Gronk will be getting, I just think it is Ocho’s time.
On the other side of the ball, the Ravens have solid options on the outside also. With a terrible secondary, this receiving core of Boldin and Torrey Smith can have a big game.
Boldin needs to make catches over the middle and move the chains, while Smith goes over the top for the big plays. Smith is critical for this team’s success, if he can “take the top off the defense” it will open up the running game for Rice.
Boldin and Smith will have their chances to make big plays.
The question is will they be able to capitalize on their opportunities?
Tight Ends: Advantage Patriots
Again this one is not even close.
Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are matchup nightmares and production machines. The Ravens will have trouble matching up with these guys, especially since their linebackers are better suited against the run game than the pass.
You can not cover both of them.
Gronk will demand double coverage in the middle so Hernandez will see single coverage and unless Ed Reed plays, I like his chances.
David Pitta and Ed Dickson for the Ravens are decent tight ends. Both are good blockers with decent hands.
Pitta and Dickson along with Boldin, must make catches to move the chains, thereby backing the Patriots off the run game. The Patriot linebackers are also vulnerable to the pass so unlike the Texans game, Flacco must find his tight ends in this game to have success.
Offensive Line: Advantage Patriots
The only reason I give the Patriots offensive line an edge is because of the signal caller behind them. Brady is very tough to sack because of his awareness in the pocket and his quick reads.
Also, the Ravens offensive line looked terrible against the Texans. Granted, the Patriots have a much softer defense, but their scheme will make up for their lack of talent. I have serious questions about the Ravens being able to protect Joe Flacco, especially if the run game has a slow start.
Defensive Line: Advantage Baltimore
The Ravens have an outstanding front with Ngata and Suggs. Both players will need to be disruptive in order to have a chance against Brady.
One stat that blew my mind from last weeks game against the Texans is that the Texans did not allow one sack. With all the pressure and talent on the defensive front the Ravens could not mount a pass rush to sack rookie quarterback TJ Yates?
You can not beat the Patriots if you do not hit Tom Brady; he is just too damn good. Despite last week’s performance, this defensive front is great and I can see them getting pressure on Brady.
One player on the Patriots defensive front needs to have a GREAT game.
He is the anchor to the patriots 3-4 scheme, and he is their best defender against the run. He will need to be at his best to stop the Ravens rushing attack.
Which means clogging up the line for Jerod Mayo to make tackles as well as creating havoc in the Ravens backfield.
If you hear Jerod Mayo’s name a lot in this game, that means Wilfork is doing his job.
Linebackers: Advantage Ravens
Ray Lewis is still a beast and he is still one of the best linebackers in the
NFL. Expect a lot of pressure from Ray up the middle to disrupt Brady. The one thing about Brady is that if you get pressure on him up the middle you can create mistakes.
Ray Lewis needs to play a fast and smart game because Brady will be doing everything he can to counter what Lewis is doing and should be a great chess match between two Hall of Famers.
From the Patriots perspective, they need to use their linebacker blitzes to confuse Flacco. The one advantage the Patriots defense has is Flacco’s inexperience.
Although Flacco is in his 4th year, he still can be confused with defensive looks he has not seen before. Who better to devise those schemes than Mr. Bill Belichek?
But that is IF the Patriots can stop Ray Rice.
Rob Ninkovich,Jermaine Cunningham and Jerod Mayo need have an excellent day stopping the run. If they can do that, look for exotic linebacker blitzes to confuse and force Flacco into making a mistake.
Secondary: Advantage Ravens
That is IF Ed Reed plays.
Without Reed over the top, Brady will pick apart the secondary and have a
field day against the Ravens in the passing game. I believe Ed Reed is the X-Factor in this game. His presence alone will force adjustments Tom Brady will have to make.
Everyone will focus on Ray Lewis vs Tom Brady, but believe me it is Ed Reed vs Tom Brady. Especially since the Patriots have become such a passing team, Reed’s importance can not be overlooked.
The Patriots will have to contain Torrey Smith and keep Boldin away from the middle of the field. If they can shut down Smith over the top and squeeze down on the Ravens passing attack like the Texans did, then the Patriots will have great success.
Kyle Arrington needs to have a great game. He led the Patriots with 7 interceptions this season and needs to be able to shut down Torrey Smith.
Special Teams: Even
I do not see an advantage from the special teams aspect of the game. Both kickers, Gostowski and Cundiff, are great long distance kickers and very accurate.
Also both punters Zoltan Mesko (AWESOME first name) and Sam Koch are great punters and have consistently switched field positions for their teams all season long.
In the return game, I do not see an edge for either team. Both teams do not have “specialists” on their teams that have had consistent success returning punts or kicks.
In the end, I see the Patriots winning this game. Although the Jet fan in me wants to see Brady get blindsided by Terrell Suggs or Ray Lewis endless amount of times, I just do not see that happening. The Ravens offense is just too inconsistent. Patriots win, 28-10.
January 15, 2012 1 Comment
The Ravens forced 4 turnovers and behind a solid defenisve showing defeated the Houston Texans.
Before I give credit to the Ravens, I have to give an enourmous amount of credit to the Texans. The Texans sacked Flacco 5 times and Arian Foster was an absolute beast today.
The Texans could just not overcome the turnovers they committed and that was their undoing in this game. Off 4 turnovers the Ravens scored 17 points and that was the difference in the game.
I was so impressed with J.J Watt and the rest of the Texans defense. I actually feel bad for the Texans defense. They were all over the place and completely shut down Ray Rice today.
However, the Ravens defense was also excellent today. They forced rookie quarterback TJ Yates into bad decisions, picking him off three times and containing Andre Johnson.
Despite not being able to consistently stop Foster, the Ravens defense completely stopped Yates and the passing attack.
With the a softer defense coming up next in New England, I look for the Ravens to do everything necessary to get Ray Rice going. Rice is their best asset on offense and their best chance of defeating the Patriots.
Rice was limited to 21 carries and 60 yards rushing today, only a 2.9 yards per rush, that will not get it done against New England.
Flacco was under pressure all day, he threw for 176 yards with 2 touchdowns but at times looked very bad today.
Cornerback Lardarius Webb was fantastic today with 4 tackles, 4 passes defensed and two interceptions.
Finally, the health of Ed Reed is critical for the Ravens defense. He is the X-Factor for this Ravens defense against the Patriots. I look forward to this matchup between Reed and Brady, two of the best at their position of all-time.