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Tag:Ryan Wilson
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:26 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 7:46 pm
 

Why didn't Ravens use last timeout for Cundiff?

John Harbaugh will have to answer questions all offseason about why he didn't use that last timeout in Foxboro. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

One of the Ravens' biggest questions heading into the Patriots game -- the play of quarterback Joe Flacco -- turned into their biggest asset. Flacco outplayed counterpart and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, and if not suspect coaching on that final, fateful drive, Baltimore -- not New England -- might be celebrating an AFC Championship victory and an impending trip to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl.

Instead, the Ravens have the offseason to assess and reassess what went wrong, and to decide if Flacco truly is their franchise quarterback. We'll get that conversation started by pointing to one critical mistake in the game's final moments that had everything to do with the outcome.

First, let's set the stage: the Ravens held the Patriots to four plays on their previous two drives, the first ended in an interception in the end zone and the other was a three-and-out that gave Baltimore the ball at their own 21, trailing 23-20, and with 1:44 on the clock.

Flacco calmly moved the ball down the field, needing seven plays to get the Ravens to the Pats' 23-yard line. Facing a 2nd and 1 from the New England 14 with 27 seconds left, Flacco hit Lee Evans in the hands, in the end zone for what should've been the go-ahead touchdown. Pats cornerback Sterling Moore broke up the pass before Evans got two feet down. Incomplete pass.

After the game, some Ravens' supporters -- including coach John Harbaugh -- thought Evans had scored. "I'm surprised they didn't look at it," Harbaugh said in his post-game press conference. (The likely reason it wasn't reviewed: again, Evans only got one foot down. You can see it in the video here. And read the NFL's official explanation here.)

And while Lee's drop was big, it wasn't the primary reason for the final result. That would come two plays later when Baltimore, with one timeout left, instead chose to rush kicker Billy Cundiff on the field and attempt a field goal to tie the game. Cundiff looked hurried as he sprinted from midfield to Pats' 22-yard line. When arrived at his holder there were 10 seconds remaining on the play clock. And, of course, that one timeout that would ultimately go unused. The ball was snapped as the play clock ticked down to :01 and Cundiff promptly honked it. Game over. Ravens lose, despite one of Flacco's best efforts in his four-year career.


Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left that would have sent the game into overtime, and instead sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl. 

Harbaugh was asked afterwards if he thought about using that timeout and he said it never occurred to him.

"It's a kick I've kicked probably a thousand times out there," Cundiff told reporters after the game. "... I didn't convert and that's the way things go. There's really no excuse for it."

"I just told [Cundiff] it's going to be okay," Harbaugh said. "Everybody has a bad day ... Billy's going to be fine."

Cardinals kicker Jay Feely tweeted after the game that it's the kicker's job to call timeout if he feels rushed.

Or, you know, the coach could do it.

And if you're still skeptical that icing the kicker is a good strategy (it's not), credit to Bill Belichick for not using one of New England's timeouts to "ice" Cundiff. We're guessing he saw the chaos unfolding and didn't want to do anything to help the Ravens out.


The Patriots beat the Ravens 23-20 in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday after Baltimore's Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt with 11 seconds remaining that would have tied the score. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms recap all the action. 

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Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:55 pm
 

Video: Tom Brady on possible return to Super Bowl


Patriots' Quarterback Tom Brady is a win away from a return to the big game. The NFL Today's Dan Marino has a chat with Brady as Tom gets set to face the Baltimore Ravens with the AFC Championship and a trip to Super Bowl XLVI on the line. 

By Ryan Wilson

CBS Sports' Dan Marino begins his conversation with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady by looking back before glimpsing ahead: "Can you believe it's been 10 years (since the "tuck-rule" game)?"

"I can't," Brady responded with a smile on his face. "Because the memories feel so fresh" (Former Raiders' coaches and players would agree).

"That's when it all got started," Brady continued. "It's pretty unreal to think that it's been that long."

The two quarterbacks -- one in the Hall of Fame the other destined to be -- also talked about Brady's preparation, his on-field emotions, his six-touchdown performance against the Broncos last week, tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis' impact for the Ravens, and whether he'd like another shot at the Giants in the Super Bowl.

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Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:02 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 2:05 pm
 

WR Chad Ochocinco inactive for Patriots Sunday


After a win over the Texans last week, Joe Flacco and the Ravens will take on Tom Brady and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan preview this game. Watch the game on CBS at 3 PM ET. 

By Ryan Wilson

Chad Ochocinco missed practice Friday and wasn't with the team Saturday because, according to various reports, he had flown home to Fort Lauderdale to attend his father's funeral. Ochocinco, who was traded to the Patriots just before training camp but managed just 15 receptions and one touchdown all season, rejoined his team in time for Sunday's AFC Championship matchup against the Raven but he will not be active.

The former Bengals wide receiver and Pro Bowler, considered a healthy scratch, struggled to learn the nuances of the Patriots' offense, which explained why Ochocinco was often on the sidelines when the team went no-huddle during the season. Missing valuable practice time this week likely played a part in coach Bill Belichick's decision to deactivate him.

This won't affect the Patriots' offensive game plan, however. Tom Brady's favorite targets -- Wes Welker (122 receptions, 9 TDs), Rob Gronkowski (90, 17), Aaron Hernandez (79, 7) and Deion Branch (51, 5) -- will all play.

Running back Stevan Ridley is also inactive, possibly due to fumbling twice in the previous two games.

Other Patriots inactives: OL Sebastian Vollmer, OL Donald Thomas, LB Gary Guyton, RB Shane Vereen and QB Ryan Mallett.

Ravens inactives: WR Tandon Doss, CB Chykie Brown, RB Anthony Allen, LBs Josh Bynes andSergio Kindle, OL Justin Boren, NT Brandon McKinney.

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Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:41 pm
 

Report: Cam Cameron, Ravens could part ways

Flacco has been scrutinized this season but some of the blame is on Cameron. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

On Friday, we wrote that the Ravens' offensive struggles, and Joe Flacco's in particular, might have less to do with the quarterback and more to do with the guy responsible for setting the formations and calling the plays. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has been a favorite target of unhappy fans and media critics pretty much since Baltimore drafted Flacco in 2008, and now, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the Ravens might choose to let Cameron walk after the season.

Cameron's contract is set to expire and, as Mortensen tweeted Sunday, "Tension with Flacco [is] no secret in [the] building." 

Some of that tension almost certainly has to do with Cameron's vision of what the Ravens' offense should be. NFL Films' Greg Cosell told Yahoo.com recently that "The Ravens' receiving corps could be the absolute worst in the NFL when it comes to getting open versus man coverage. They don't do an awful lot to get them open versus man — you don't see a lot of the stack release concepts, or all the 'man-beater' concepts. No bunch, no stack release. No rub elements.

"They don't do a lot to help their receivers win versus man," Cosell continued. "I'm not going to defend Flacco, but I think it's very difficult to … it seemed that last week [against the Houston Texans] the route tree was a go route and a screen. I said this to one of my guys [while I was watching the Baltimore] tape — 'I feel like I'm watching a 1960s offense.' Every play, there was one receiver to the right, and one receiver to the left, often two backs or two tight ends, and that was every play, it seemed."

ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski echoed Cosell's sentiments during Sunday's NFL Matchup show.

"Cameron must be creative in this matchup [against the Patriots]," he said. "He can not line up in static formations and expect his talent to win. That's not going to happen. What I want to see -- I think we should look for in this game -- clusters, bunch formations, formation variation, motions, picks, rubs -- all those plays designed by Cam to manufacture big plays."

Sounds reasonable until you see this mind-numbing statistic from Football Outsiders: "In this era of multiple receivers and shotgun spreads, the Ravens actually run a fairly conventional, old-fashioned offense. Our charting lists the Ravens using two wide receivers on 56 percent of plays, the highest rate in the league."

PFT.com calls Brad Childress an "obvious candidate" to replace Cameron should he not return. Childress spent several years on the Eagles' staff with current Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.


After a win over the Texans last week, Joe Flacco and the Ravens will take on Tom Brady and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan preview this game. Watch the game on CBS at 3 PM ET. 

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:17 pm
 

Report: Ted Ginn not expected to play vs. Giants

Ginn is an integral cog in San Francisco's No. 2 special-teams unit. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The 49ers could be without one of their most explosive players when they face the Giants in Sunday's NFC Championship game. Return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. isn't expected to play, sources tell ProFootballTalk.com.  He is officially listed as a game-time decision after suffering a knee injury in last week's win over the Saints.

Ginn is the former ninth-overall selection of the Dolphins, drafted in 2007 when many Miami fans were hoping for quarterback Brady Quinn. Ginn didn't pan out as a big-play wide receiver and was eventually traded to San Francisco for a 2010 fifth-rounder (145th overall). The Dolphins selected cornerback Nolan Carroll with that pick, who has four starts in two seasons but is best known as "that guy tripped by former Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi."

Like Carroll, Ginn started just three games in 2011 but his most valuable contributions have come on special teams. In Week 1 against the Seahawks, Ginn returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, and 51 seconds later, he returned a punt 55 yards for another score. In 2009, he scored on kickoff returns of 101 and 102 yards in the same quarter against the Jets, the first player in NFL history to do so.

According to Football Outsiders, the 49ers have the league's No. 2 special teams unit thanks in part to Ginn, kicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee.


After dominating the Green Bay Packers last week, the New York Giants will travel to Candlestick Park to square off against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Join NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz as they break down this matchup.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:26 pm
 

49ers safety: We play physical...people get hurt

New York and San Francisco met on January 20, 1991 and Montana and Hostetler both took beatings that day. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

In the days leading up to Sunday's Giants-49ers NFC Championship game, New York running back Brandon Jacobs -- all 6-4, 265 pounds of him -- declared that "I wish like hell they'd hit me in the head. ... A helmet-to-helmet hit. I want one of those. Because that means they're staying high, you know. They're not going to the ground and trying to make tackles at the shoe strings."

Not long after, 49ers safety Donte Whitner, the man who knocked Saints running back Pierre Thomas out of last week's game with a concussion, spoke frankly about San Francisco's defense.

“We play physical,’’ he said according to the New York Post. “Whenever you play physical, people get hurt.’’

Whitner quickly qualified that it's not anyone's plan to injure or maim an opponent but football is a physical enterprise (just ask Joe Montana).

"We don’t want to go out and intentionally hurt anybody," he said. "But when you play this game the way we play, we play fast and carefree, some guys are going to end up getting injured. We are not going to stop playing physical. Guys come out of the game, hopefully it’s not too bad of an injury.’’

The Giants, unlike the Saints, aren't a finesse offense. In fact, they seem to welcome physical play. As we pointed out previously, they have a wide receiver who looks like a tight end (Hakeem Nicks), a tight end who looks like an offensive lineman (Jake Ballard), and a bruising running back who -- shocker -- likes to steamroll any defender unlucky enough to get in his way. (Of course, NFL Network analyst and former NFL defensive lineman Warren Sapp has called Jacobs the "tiptoe burglar" for his running style.)

But it's not Jacobs that concerns San Francisco's defense. It's his backfield partner, Ahmad Bradshaw.

“He’s going to be where our focus is this week,” Whitner said. “We have to take him out of the game.’’

Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh, a lock for NFL coach of the year honors, isn't short on confidence. And neither, is sounds, is his team.

“The only thing we have to fear is being unprepared,’’ Harbaugh said via the Post. “Like I’ve always said, you damn sure got to be confident. All these guys are.’’


After dominating the Green Bay Packers last week, the New York Giants will travel to Candlestick Park to square off against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Join NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz as they break down this matchup.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:20 am
Edited on: January 22, 2012 4:57 pm
 

NFL weighs in on Joe Paterno's passing

                                                                                                                                                                                          (Getty Images)
By Ryan Wilson

Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno died Sunday morning. Below are reactions to Paterno's passing from NFL players, coaches, media, alumni and others connected to the league.

(You can follow this story as it develops here. See what Paterno's former players are saying here.)

CBSSports
Family statement on Joe Paterno, "He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end." - http://t.co/g5hylJg4
1/22/12 10:36 AM

EyeOnCFB
Joe Paterno's former players respond to news of his death on Twitter - http://t.co/fpjbRvMD
1/22/12 11:33 AM

greggdoyelcbs
Sad it ended like this for Joe Paterno. Condolences to his family.
1/22/12 11:50 AM

GoPSUJeff
Bill O'Brien Statement on the Passing of Joe Paterno: http://t.co/lhhfR47n
1/22/12 11:12 AM

LaVarArrington
Thanks Joe! Thank You! We are!
1/22/12 10:43 AM

jaguarsinsider
More Posluszny: "Coach Paterno was not only one of the greatest coaches in any sport but he was a great man who did things the right way."
1/22/12 11:26 AM

theking1 (Justin King, Rams CB)
R.I.P Joe..thank you for helping shape me into man I am today..will always be missed..
1/22/12 10:31 AM

ShannonSharpe
Reports say Joe Pa has passed and even history may say this day,but he died when they removed him as coach.I believe it was his reason 2live
1/22/12 10:39 AM

Jeff_McLane
Bear Bryant died on Jan. 26, 1983, 28 days after his last game. Joe Paterno died on Jan. 22, 2012, 92 days after his last game.
1/22/12 11:41 AM

JasonWitten
So sad to hear the news of Joe Pa's passing! What an impact he made on college football! Many prayers for the family
1/22/12 10:38 AM

sharper42
Rip to Joe paterno. His Family and friends are in our prayers.
1/22/12 10:38 AM

damienwoody
It's crazy how ppl bringing up the scandal....respect that man 4 his accomplishments! #RIPJoePa
1/22/12 10:38 AM

DeseanJackson10
R.I.P Joe Paterno many years at high success.. Legacy leads on!! Sendin my prayers to all friends an fam of the Paterno's
1/22/12 11:42 AM

hollyrpeete
RIP Joe Paterno. My daddy -Distinguished Alumni of PSU- was your biggest fan and supporter...I think my first words were "Joe Pa" ...
1/22/12 10:54 AM

joereedy
RT @paulafaris R.I.P. Joe Paterno. Former PSU player Matt Millen just said on ESPN he probably died of a "broken heart".
1/22/12 10:51 AM

adbrandt
In talking to former PSU players re Paterno, all had expectation of a sharp decline once PSU football was no longer part of his life.
1/22/12 11:23 AM

NFLFilms
R.I.P. Joe Paterno Joe Paterno has coached over 350 players who have signed contracts in the NFL. http://t.co/FVSKuVnP
1/22/12 11:04 AM

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Posted on: January 22, 2012 10:08 am
Edited on: January 22, 2012 10:18 am
 

Expect SF cops dressed as NYG fans at stadium

Undercover officers will be at Candlestick Park Sunday to help keep the peace. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Almost five months ago to the day, two men were shot in the Candlestick Park parking lot following a Raiders-49ers preseason game. One of the victims was reportedly wearing a "F--- the 49ers" shirt. That incident came months after San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was severely beaten by two men allegedly wearing Los Angeles Dodgers gear outside Dodger Stadium.

In advance of Sunday's NFC Conference Championship game between the Giants and 49ers. The San Francisco Police Department will dispatch undercover officers throughout the stadium dressed as Giants fans. The plan, according to SFPD Sgt. Mike Andraychak, is to make sure that Giants fans aren't harassed or threatened during a game that's set to kickoff at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. local time).

“They asked for additional staffing at the game, also for additional officers in plain clothes so they could be in the stands, where Giants fans are seated,” Andraychak said according to CBS San Francisco.

Undercover officers will serve as observers, Andraychak explained, and if necessary call in uniformed officers to handle situations as they arise.

“The first step would be ejection. If you’re threatening, intimidating or using profanity, you should expect to be ejected from either the parking lot or if you’re inside the game.”

The Giants-49ers rivalry -- especially in the postseason -- goes back decades. One of the most physical games in recent playoff history took place in January 1991 when Lawrence Taylor's Giants met Joe Montana's 49ers in Candlestick.


After dominating the Green Bay Packers last week, the New York Giants will travel to Candlestick Park to square off against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Join NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz as they break down this matchup.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com