Posted on: October 6, 2008 11:00 am
Edited on: October 6, 2008 11:32 am
 

Ravens:Week 5 RECAP & Week 6 PREVIEW

RECAP:

This game (much like the previous weeks game of Ravens vs. Steelers) was dominated defensively by the Ravens in the early going. They forced two interceptions and got a fair amount of pressure on Kerry Collins holding the Titans to under 100 yds. of total offense in the first half. Flacco wasn't outstanding in the first half but still found most of his reads and got other receivers involved (ie. Williams, Heap, and Clayton)besides Derrick Mason. The defense was equally as stingy for the Titans who only allowed 3 points to the Ravens in the first half. The Titans running game got out nicely on their first drive of the game but the Ravens defense shut the down for the rest of the game preserving their streak of consecutive games without allowing a 100 yd rusher that dates back to last season. The Ravens came out swinging in the second half orchestrating a 71 yard drive to take a 7 point lead. This lead was held until 4 minutes left in the game. As the Titans moved down the field they were faced with a 3rd and 15. Collins pass was thrown incomplete but it was negated because Terrell Suggs was hit with what was said to be a helmet shot on Collins. This was critical as it turn a 4th and 15 into a 1st and 10 and allowed the Titans to continue what would be the game winning drive.

The Ravens defense was solid, as they have been all season. Joe Flacco had his moments, sometimes throwing into coverage against one of the best secondaries in the league. He finished with 153 yards and 2 INT. On the season he has only 2 TD (1 pass, 1 run) and 6 TO(4 int, 2 fumbles). You cant put all the blame on Flacco as he is constantly being bombarded by defensive lines as well as being a Rookie. McClain and Mcgahee had nearly half of the Ravens total offense this week. We also had a Todd Heap siting! Its being reported (not confirmed) that he actually had 4 rec. for 41 yds. Todd Heap is so key in the offense and its good to see flashes of old from him.

PREVIEW:

This week Baltimore (2-2) heads to Indianapolis(2-2)(no pun intended). The Colts come into this game looking down right disgusting. They have won both of their games by a total of 7 points. They have faced the Bears and Vikings defenses so far this year and have been shut down by both. It's not to much of a stretch to assume the best defense in the league will do the same. Peyton Manning looks like Eli in his Rookie year and the best WR for the Colts thus far is Anthony Gonzalez! Marvin Harrison has been a no show and with defenses focusing on Reggie Wayne its easy to see why his numbers aren't where he would like them. The Colts are also with out there defensive play maker in Bob Sanders which should allow Ravens running backs ample chances for big plays. McClain and McGahee have been a tough duo for good defenses to contain let alone the Colts. The fact that Adam Terry may be out of the O-line for this one may be a blessing in disguise for Ravens fans. Terry has constantly been beat off the line by some of the most routine moves that D-lineman possess. This will allow someone else to step into his place and try to provide better blocking.

Key Player: Willis McGahee: McGahee may feel he has to prove is worth as the starting RB in Baltimore. Well, heres your chance.

Key Matchup: Colts Linebackers vs. Todd Heap: Not only will Heap need to get open but he must also contain the Linebacker blitz. Heap has always been a good blocker, hopefully he continues that here

PREDICTION: Ravens 27 - Colts 17

Sidenote: This game is not to crucial for the Ravens. Even if they fall to 2-3 their next 4 opponents have a combined 4 wins.

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 30, 2008 9:13 am
Edited on: September 30, 2008 10:15 am
 

Week 4 Grades & Week 5 Preview

Lets just get right into the grades:

Joe Flacco: B+: Flacco had the look of a seasoned vet for the most part in this game. His reads were mostly clean and still showed calm and poise even while the pocket was collapsing around him. He got the ball in tight windows and even though there wasn't much of a running game to show for in the first half he still lead a game timing drive with 4:00 min remaining to send the game into overtime. I would have given him an A if not for the two fumbles, one of which resulted in a touchdown.

LeRon McClain: B: Between McGahee and McClain the Ravens accounted for more then 100 yds rushing on the day. With McGahee going down in the 2nd quarter McCain had to step in and produce. He finished with 89 total yds. (63 rush, 26 receiving)a TD and an average of 4 yds. a carry. His crucial TD came in the final minutes of the 4th quarter tying the game at 20. Time will tell how long McGahee may be out but I feel confident letting McClain handle the load.

Derrick Mason: A: Mason played in a big way on Monday night. 8 rec. 137 yds. for his first 100 yard performance of the year. It could have been more then that and probably would have decided the game if the first stab at the end zone early in the game counted. Some say he juggled the ball, but it was far to close to call. He made up for it with an equally spectacular catch in the 2nd quarter to keep the scoring drive alive.

Offensive Line: C-: The offensive line allowed 4 sacks and Flacco was under pressure almost the whole evening. Adam Terry was getting beat by what appeared to be the same move all day. It seemed like every time Flacco stepped back he first had to evaluate how many Steelers were free and heading for him before he could release the ball. I can only imagine what a healthy Steelers D-Line would have done. The only reason I cant grade them lower is the running game. I dont know so much if it was good blocking or good running that got them over 100 rushing yds. but they did, so I have to give some credit to the big uglies up front.

Defense: A: In my prior blog I predicted the final score would be 20-16 in favor of the Ravens. If we take away the Pittsburgh defensive TD the score is exactly that. In the first half the Ravens defense looked unmovable. They sacked Ben 3 times and forced him into costly mistakes like Ngatas interception. Then the second half rolls around and the dont record one sack. They still get an A in my book simply for shutting Mendenhall up. He promised a 100 yd performance, and failed to deliver. The streak continues!

Ravens/Titans Preview

It doesn't get any easier this week for the Ravens(2-1) as the Tennessee Titans(4-0) come to town. The Titans have been nothing short of impressive so far this season. The Ravens need to rally the offensive lineman this week with one of the best defensive lines in the NFL lining up across from them. Kerry Collins has controlled the game for the Titans, but no one is fooled, this is a running team. Something will give this weekend whether it be the Ravens rushing defense or the Titans rushing offense. We all now know what Flacco is capable of and he will be tested again this week by Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan comes into this game with a league leading 4 interceptions. He has returned one of them for a TD. He will most likely be guarding Flacco's favorite target, Mason. The defensives are basically on the same level, but I give the edge offensively to Tennessee. Look for Johnson and White to have solid games but neither one should break 100.

Key Matchup- Ravens O-Line vs Titans D-Line- Who ever wins the battle in the trenches will ultimately win this game. The O-Line must give Flacco a little more time in the pocket to find his man and air it out.

Key Player- Joe Flacco- If he is not able to escape the attacks from Tennessee this could be a long day. He can only scramble so much

Prediction- Titans 24 / Ravens 13

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 23, 2008 5:04 pm
 

Ravens: Thoughts and Steelers Preview

The Ravens have looked decent to this point in this season. They have beaten both teams from Ohio (Bengals and Browns) which last year would have been amazing for this Ravens team...... this year not so much. Even while boasting a 2-0 record there are still questions that need to be addressed by the organization. Can McGahee stay healthy for the entire season? Is Joe Flacco our answer at quarterback for this season? I think the first question has been answered to some degree. With McGahee out Week1 and limited Week 3 Le'Ron McClain and Ray Rice have stepped up in a big way posting over 230 yds. and 2 TDs. The second question deserves a bit more scrutiny. If you ask a variety of NFL "experts" they will without a doubt say that he his their answer at QB this year pointing to a 2-0 record as proof. I say its not as black and white as they make it seem. With the formidable defense of the Ravens along with a strong running game the Ravens ar off to a great start in the 2008 season. I simply don't trust Flacco with my team down 5 with under 2 minutes left to lead them down the field for a winning score. His stats alone provide enough of a reason to be  hesitant. Through two game Flacco has no TD and 2 INTs while posting a dismal 55.7 passer rating. But, the Ravens have boxed themselves into a corner. They CAN'T remove Flacco as starter with the fear of him losing confidence. I still believe that this year, this team should be lead by Troy Smith.

Troy Smith started a few games last year for the Ravens. He only won one of his starts but did not turn the ball over on a regular basis. I like to think of the Ravens as the Bears of the AFC. No QB, just hard nosed defense and a strong running game. Regardless of who plays QB, Clayton, Mason, and Heap need to step up. Heap has been a non-factor for nearly a year and a half now and needs to return to the TE we remember from a couple of years ago. Mason is getting older but is still as good of a receiver as they come. I think it was a mistake to put Flacco in so soon but I understand the choice beings that the only other two QBs on their roster were both out. Only time will tell what is in store for Flacco. As long as the RBs stay strong and they maintain at least a slight lead in their games they should be ok offensivly.

Now , on to the game. The Ravens could not have picked a better time to meet the Steelers. With Roethlisberger nursing shoulder and hand injuries the Steelers will have to rely on Parker to carry the load. The Steelers were out muscled last week against the Eagles and the only other defense I believe can repeat this would be the Ravens. With McGahee nearing 100% and the defense playing at a very high level I like the Ravens in this matchup.

Key Matchup: Ravens D- Line vs. Big Ben- If they can get to him early look for Ben to become rattled and make mistakes like he did last week at Philly.

Key Player: Derrick Mason- In order for Flacco to succeed he must rely on his wide-outs. Who better to rely on then your veteran?

Prediction:
Ravens 20 - Steelers 16
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 16, 2008 8:44 am
 

Cowboys vs. Eagles Grades

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Ouarterback

 

T. Romo- B-  He played steady football but had a couple hiccups along the way. The Fumble for the TD and interception  really hurts his grade.

 

D. Mcnabb- B+  Resembled the Donovan of old. He was hard to take down, creative in the pocket, and accurate.  Couldn’t give him an A with the two fumbles.

 

Running Back

M. Barber- A   A receiving TD and rushing TD along with over 100 total yards is a solid outing against Philly

 

B. Westbrook- A+ Almost the exact line a M. Barber except one more in the TD department

 

Wide Receiver

T. Owens- B+  If you would have asked me his grade in the first half it would have been A+, nut he was nearly non-existent in the 2nd half which lowers him slightly

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D. Jackson- C+  Became the first rookie in over a decade two start his first 2 games with over 100 yds. Receiving, with that being said let’s make sure we get EVERY yard before we celebrate

Tight Ends

J. Witten- A   Just another solid outing from Witten

L.J. Smith- F  I don’t believe he showed up until late in the 4th

Offensive Line

Dallas- B  Did not allow a sack but Barber struggled for yards

Philadelphia- C  Allowed 4 sacks and Westbrook also struggled for yards

Defense/Special Teams

Dallas- B-  4 sacks, 1FR, kick return for TD but still allowed 30 pts.

Philadelphia- C-  INT, 1FR for TD still allowed 41 pts.

OVERALL

Dallas- B+

Philadelphia- B

Was an all out offensive showdown and a great way to celebrate the final Monday Night Football game from Texas Stadium.

*Colors represent teams with the advantage in each department graded*<o:p></o:p>

 

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 15, 2008 3:49 pm
 

With the 32nd pick in the 2009 Draft Dallas takes

Thats the question on my mind. Who do we take. I think we go WR either B. Robiskie or P. Harvin. Any thoughts?

Category: NFL
Tags: Cowboys, Dallas
 
Posted on: September 15, 2008 2:32 pm
 

Can we finally get that playoff victory?

It has been so long since we as Cowboys fans have been able to celebrate a Cowboy playoff victory.  Last year was SUPPOSED to be our year. How can we now guarantee a win this year when we continue to systematicly shut down when the pressure is on. We beat the Giants TWICE during the regular season last year and then crap out to them in the playoffs. I dont know if it is Romo or the Defense or what. The only thing I can come up with (and I know it sounds cliche') is HEART. We dont have the same intensity or fire or whatever you may refer to it as. When are we going to find a way to win in the playoffs?
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 15, 2008 11:07 am
 

Cowboys vs. Eagles PREVIEW

Tonight the Cowboys and Eagles will face off in what may shape up to be the battle for the NFC East. The Cowboys (1-0) come in motivated after a convincing victory over the formittable Browns. A couple of key players were injured during their victory though. Namely Marion Barber and Tony Romo. Both have practiced throughout the week and are expected to be ready for Monday Night. The Eagles (1-0) are re-energized after demolishing the Rams last week. There are a couple of key injuries still for the Eagles. With Kevin Curtis still out and Reggie Brown questionable the Eagles may need to once again rely on L.J. Smith, DeSean Jackson, Hank Baskett, and Greg Lewis. Both defenses proved they were among the top in NFL last week allowing only 10 pts. and 3 pts. respectivly. The one concern the Cowboys will face with the Eagles defense are their CB's. With the signing of Asaunte Samual in the offseason and keeping Lito Sheppard for their Nickel formations the Eagles CB's may prove to much for the Cowboy WR's.

KEY MATCHUP- P. Crayton vs. S. Brown - With Samual and Sheppard (really no 3rd receiver in Dallas to worry about) doubling Owens this matchup will be key for a Dallas victory.

Prediction- Cowboys 38 - Eagles 35

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 10, 2008 12:45 am
 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of NCAA B-Ball

The Good:

This most recent season of college basketball has provided us with some of the most exciting play then recent memory serves me. The way Davidson, WKU, and San Diego have gone above and beyond expectations and how perrenial powerhouses like Duke, Connecticut, and Georgetown were stopped far before their time. Or were they.......

The Bad:

This season as well as the ones before them sung their praises for the powerhouses and left the mid-majors fighting for just one millisecond on any sports show. I know many will say rightfully so there were four #1 teams in the final four for the 1st tome ever. This remains true but we need not neglect the mid majors any longer. Davidson was a huge suprise this tournament to everyone outside of North Carolina. We saw them take teams like UNC, Duke and UCLA to the brink while boasting the nations longest winning streak before their loss in the elite eight. Now take Davidson and replace them with Syracuse and lets say Syracuse played the same teams the same way and had the same record as Davidson. They would have been at least a 3 seed. THE TIME IS NOW TO STOP THE GRAVELING OF THESE SO CALLED POWERHOUSES!

The Ugly:

The pressure that is put on these young players is way to hard. Derrick Rose had an outstanding Nat. Champ. Game but will always be remembered for the missed free throws. These kids and thats what they are can not be expected to be perfect. Even Jordan at some point had a great game and choked it at the end. Ask yourself this, if Rose went 0-15 for FT and Memphis won would you remember?

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com