Archive for category Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco was bragging in the off-season that he was the best quarterback in the NFL and no one took him seriously. Well, he tried to prove it against Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos with his impressive last-minute, 70-yard throw to Jacoby Jones for the touchdown knocking out the Denver Broncos out of the playoffs with a 38-35 double overtime victory last Saturday. A desperation pass on a third-down play with just 41 seconds left in regulation.
They don’t have timeouts left, and they were trailing by 7 points, Joe Flacco let loose the ball to a sprinting Jones down the right sideline into double coverage. Safety Rahim Moore attempted to knock the ball by jumping in the air, and Tony Carter tried to stop it but instead Jones caught it easily for a 70-yard touchdown to tie the game and force overtime. Flacco had 18 of 31 passes for 331 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
We may not agree about Joe Flacco being the best quarterback in the NFL, but in this game his was better than Peyton Manning who had 3 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions.
Super Bowl Sunday is finally upon us and it couldn’t have come quick enough. With all the non stop talk about the Harbaugh brothers matching up to Ray Lewis playing for the final time, its finally time to stop talking about it and let the play on the field speak for itself. But until then a little more talking.
The San Francisco 49ers enter the Super Bowl with a record of 11-4-1 after winning the NFC West title for the second year in a row. After last years disappointing NFC championship defeat to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the Niners return to their 6th Super Bowl with a record of 5-0 in their previous 5 appearances.
The Baltimore Ravens enter the big game with a record of 10-6 after winning the AFC North title in back to back years. Similar to the Niners, the Ravens avenged their heartbreaking loss last year to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game by beating them convincingly in New England two weeks ago and return to their second Super Bowl in team history.
A good Super Bowl has to have good story lines to keep the conversation going during the weeks before it and this one has plenty of backdrop. This game has been named the “Harbowl” by many because of the coaching matchup between the San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh and the Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh. This being the first time in NFL history two brothers will be coaching against each other in the Super Bowl. Another big story heading into the game will be the final appearance of Ray Lewis in a NFL game. The sure fire hall of famer will end his 17 year career sunday trying to win his second Super Bowl and ride off into the sunset in the most perfect way possible. Another future hall member who will try to get his first Lombardi trophy will be Randy Moss, playing in his second and possibly last Super Bowl, knows he does not have many years left so he must make the most of this opportunity.
Colin Kaepernick leads the high powered Niners offense that has been firing on all cylinders this postseason into the big game to face Lewis and the Ravens always tough defense in one of the big match-ups this sunday. Kaepernick will shine on the big stage as he has done all year while in games and help the Niners get the lead early. His natural athleticism will cause countless problems for the Ravens defense throughout the game but the Ravens will fight back.
One big question mark for the Ravens seemingly all year has been quarterback Joe Flacco. After a shaky regular season, Joe showed critics he could deal by throwing 8 touchdown passes while not throwing a single interception this postseason, beating Indianapolis, Denver, and New England. Joe will make a early mistake that the 49ers will capitalise on and take the lead early. Joe will bounce back with the help of running back Ray Rick and keep up with Kaepernick.
One playmaker that I believe will be a big difference maker will be 49ers running back Frank Gore. With all of the attention seemingly on Kaepernick, Frank will not have the defense watching him all game, giving him opportunities to make big plays for the 49ers. Expect Frank to find the endzone a few times on sunday.
The Niners offense will exploit the Ravens defense’s flaws to take a early but the Ravens who have been riding on the will of Ray Lewis for the postseason. Joe Flacco will get the Ravens close at halftime with the help of wide recievers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. The game will stay close with each team trading possessions till the Niners take a double digit lead. The Ravens will fight back and make the game close late, but the Niners strong defense lead by Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis will shut the Ravens offense down and hold on to the lead for good. The San Francisco 49ers will win their 6th Super Bowl trophy and end Ray Lewis’s magical last ride. Frank Gore will get the MVP and the Niners will return to the top of the NFL.
San Francisco 27 Baltimore 20
Baltimore @ New England
The Patriots and the Ravens meet once again in a rematch of last years memorable AFC Championship Game where the Ravens had the Super Bowl in their hands and dropped it. Now they return this year to fight for the same prize, but on the Ravens side they have a little more inspiration then they have had in previous years. Now that the Super Bowl is in site, Ray Lewis in his final year will be pushing even harder (if that was even possible) to get back to the big game where he won his first ring over a decade ago. On the other sideline is another great to play the game, Tom Brady. He leads the Patriots back to the AFC Championship game where now it seems like a given every year. After last years tough loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl, the Patriots want redemption this year. Tom Brady will get the Patriots offense moving over the Ravens Defense to get out to a lead but the Ravens will find a way to get it close. The Patriots will pull away late and return to the Super Bowl. New England 27 Baltimore 20.
NFC Championship Game
San Francisco @ Atlanta
Speaking of teams returning to the Championship weekend, the San Francisco 49ers return after their own heartache last year. This year, lead by red hot QB Colin Kaepernick, the Niners have returned to the Championship game to extract a bit of revenge from the loss last year to the Giants. Playing the “Giants” this year will be the Atlanta Falcons who got their illusive playoff win last week by blowing a lead to the Seattle Seahawks and just getting it back to squeak out a win and advance. Speaking of future hall of famers who’s last ride will be this year, Tony Gonzalez has just about said he will hang up his cleats after this postseason and this is the farthest he has ever gone in the postseason. The Niners, after dismantling the Packers last week, will start fast against the Falcons but the Falcons will counter and the game will be close throughout. The Niners will score late and face off with the Patriots in the Super Bowl. San Francisco 31 Atlanta 28.
Baltimore @ Denver
This is the reason why Denver brought in Peyton Manning, to win these deep postseason games and take the Broncos back to the super bowl. Peyton has already silenced all of his critics who didn’t believe he could play at his normal level again and now he must perform in the postseason to continue his magical season. One player standing in his way is Ray Lewis who in all likelihood is playing in his last game. Denver’s offense will pick apart the Raven defense and end the career of one of the best to play in the NFL. Denver 31 Baltimore 17.
Houston @ New England
Let’s all hope this will be a more competitive game than the week 14 beat down the Patriots put on the Texans. It should be after the Texans win last week over the Bengals and the added extra inspiration from the Boston Globe. However I still think the better team will win and that team is the Patriots. The Patriots offense needs to push around the Texans stout defense and possible defensive MVP J.J. Watt. The Patriots win, closer than the previous matchup, but still advance to the AFC Championship game in Denver. New England 27 Houston 14.
Seattle @ Atlanta
If Atlanta can’t win a playoff game at home this year, they may never. But they picked the worst matchup possible with the red hot Seahawks. It seems like the same story just about every year Atlanta is a top seed. They have a week off and play a low seed who is playing their best football and Atlanta plays flat and gets knocked out. They just can’t lose again. Matt Ryan will finally play a complete postseason game and the Falcons will eek out that illusive playoff win. Atlanta 20 Seattle 17.
Green Bay @ San Francisco
By far my favorite matchup of the weekend, the Packers vs the 49ers just has that classic game feel to it. This will be the first postseason game for the Niners electric young QB Colin Kaepernick and it will be interesting to see how he handles the moment. The Green Bay D will have to contain Kaepernick if they want a chance to win. The Packers offense will have to compete with the Niners always tough defense led by Aldon Smith. I will take Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to beat Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers and advance to the NFC Championship game. Green Bay 28 San Francisco 24.
Cincinnati @ Houston
Oh Houston, what happened to you? Two weeks ago you looked like a lock for the number one seed and now you could be the first team out of the playoffs. Now they run into winners of 7 of their last 8, Cincinnati. Cincinnati couldn’t have picked a better time to play the Texans and the combination of Andy Dalton to A.J. Green will be too much for the struggling Texans to handle. Cincinnati 27 Houston 17.
Indianapolis @ Baltimore
Earlier this week I was all but certain to take the Colts in this matchup. They are playing better football right now then the Ravens and Andrew Luck can make a huge difference in this matchup. But when Ray Lewis announced his retirement after this postseason making this week most likely his last home game, there is no way the Ravens can lose this one. Led by Ray Lewis one more time, the Ravens will squeak out a victory and send Ray off with a W in most likely his last home game. Baltimore 24 Indianapolis 23.
Minnesota @ Green Bay
The third meeting this year for these NFC North rivals will be a battle. Minnesota will travel into Lambeau Field with a little more swagger than in previous meetings coming off beating the Packers and getting into the playoffs because of it. Also having one of the favorites for MVP in your backfield doesn’t hurt either. The Pack will show up this week hungry and angry at the Vikings for last week and will show why when they are playing their best football, they are one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Green Bay 31 Minnesota 20.
Seattle @ Washington
I want to take Seattle in this one, I really do. But there is just something to the way RG3, Morris, and the Redskins are playing right now. Expect Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch to make it a very close game but Griffin will help the Redskins take this one. The fact that they are playing at home and not in Seattle helps Washington enormously and swings my vote to the Redskins. Washington 27 Seattle 20.
Posted by The Two Drew's in Andrew Isaac, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl, The Two Drews, Washington Redskins on September 1, 2012
1. New England (1)
2. Buffalo (6)
3. NY Jets
1. Baltimore (2)
1. Houston (4)
1. Denver (3)
2. San Diego (5)
3. Kansas City
1. Philadelphia (3)
2. NY Giants
1. Green Bay (1)
2. Chicago (5)
1. Atlanta (4)
2. New Orleans (6)
4. Tampa Bay
1. San Francisco (2)
3. St. Louis
AFC Wild Card
(3) Denver 38, (6) Buffalo 17
(5) San Diego 24, (4) Houston 19
NFC Wild Card
(3) Philadelphia 28, (6) New Orleans 20
(5) Chicago 20, (4) Atlanta 17
AFC Divisional Round
(1) New England 32, (5) San Diego 20
(3) Denver 27, (2) Baltimore 16
NFC Divisional Round
(1) Green Bay 38, (5) Chicago 31
(2) San Francisco 20, (3) Philadelphia 10
AFC Championship Game
(1) New England 23, (3) Denver 20
NFC Championship Game
(1) Green Bay 28, (2) San Francisco 24
Green Bay 31, New England 28
It looks as though Peyton Manning is heading out the door in Indianapolis in the near future with the next new young Quarterback coming down the pipe, *cough Andrew Luck cough*, and where he might land is up in the air. Just about every team in the NFL would have to look at their Quarterback situation if and when Peyton becomes available in the free agent market whether or not they already have a Quarterback in place. He is just that good when he is healthy. The problem is no one really knows if he is healthy enough to return to his MVP caliber play. Is he worth the risk? We will find out in the future but even if those doubts many teams will line up to talk to Peyton and possibly wear another uniform other than the Colts.
Miami Dolphins- 2/1
Miami has been searching for the player to fill the shoes that Dan Marino left behind and for more than 10 years now they havent come close. Falling behind the Patriots and the Jets in the AFC East the Dolphins need a leader of the offense that has at times been non existant. Miami has talent already in an effort to woo Manning with WR Brandon Marshall, RB Reggie Bush, and Lineman Jake Long which can make the difference for Peyton who wants another chance at a Super Bowl ring before hes done. The idea of playing rival Tom Brady and the New England Patriots two times a year may be intriguing for Manning as well.
Washington Redskins- 3/1
Being in the NFC East and playing against Eli Manning, Tony Romo, and Michael Vick, the Redskins know the importants of having a great Quarterback or in their case not having one. Obviously the combination of Rex Grossman and John Beck did not work at all last year and they need a change. With the 6th pick in the draft this year they have a chance of drafting a QB with Robert Griffin III as a possibility as the future. Washington has a habit of shelling out a lot of money for players whether they deserve it or not so Washington would not surprise me as a home for Peyton.
New York Jets- 4/1
Could you imagine the media explosion that would happen if both Eli and Peyton were both playing in New York? One of the major things holding the Jets back from taking the next step to the Super Bowl has been the play at Quarterback. Mark Sanchez has not grown and progressed as much as the Jets had hoped for and his time is running out. Watching the success of the Giants this year could push the Jets to make a drastic move to get the spotlight back on them. However if they make their aspiration of acquiring Manning public particularly to Sanchez and do not get him, they could ruin the psyche of the young, shaky QB for good.
Arizona Cardinals- 5/1
We saw this type of situation happen a few years back with the Cardinals and Kurt Warner. The success that they had together lead all the way to the Super Bowl which is where Peyton would kill to get back to. Playing in a dome similar to the domes he played in with Indy, the warm weather and airing deep balls out to Larry Fitzgerald would make Arizona a tempting destination for Peyton. But the Cardinals already have Kevin Kolb as their possible QB for the future and spending time behing one of the best all time wouldn’t be the worst thing for Kolb.
Seattle Seahawks- 5/1
Similar to the Cardinals, the Seahawks are looking for a QB who can bring the franchise back to the Super Bowl and Manning may be the guy. Seattle made a bit of a run towards the playoffs late last season and look to ride that momentum into the 2012 season and would like a QB to help out. Tarvaris Jackson did not have a bad year last year but he has never really been taken seriously as a franchise Quarterback here or in Minnesota. Seattle has a solid young team that could make a splash with a big offer to Manning and surprise everyone.
Keeping up with the run of NFC West teams how about the defending division champs. Before last season the Niners would be one of the frontrunners for Peyton but after the success and turnaround of Alex Smith makes this decision a lot tougher. Smith earned his money last year putting up his best year as a professional leading the Niners one fumble away from the Super Bowl, earning the trust of the 49ers and their fans. But with Smith a free agent now the move could be made for Peyton. With Smith the team almost made the Super Bowl, imagine how far the team could go with Peyton at the helm.
Baltimore Ravens- 10/1
For some reason the trust in Joe Flacco has disappeared in Baltimore. Even though he has lead the Ravens deep in the playoffs every year he has been in the league, the Ravens and their fans are losing faith in the young QB. Flacco has almost lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl so bringing in Peyton could put them over the top just like the Niners. Knowing this I wouldn’t put it past them to make an offer to Peyton giving him probably his best chance at a Super Bowl he will have on this list.
Denver Broncos- 15/1
If anyone can silence Tebow Time, it is Peyton Manning. I am still not sold on Tebow at all and I am sure that John Elway and the Broncos organization are not either. Even though Tebow lead the Broncos to a 7-4 finish after a 1-4 start and winning the AFC West, he was just about useless throwing the ball for the first 3 and a half quarters relying on the defense to keep them in the game. You cant win in the NFL like that for long. Bringing Peyton in could open the Broncos playbook a lot more than Tebow can and expand the offense much more. The Broncos might take some heat from the fans for benching their boy, but getting Manning even for a few years could really make the Broncos a great team.
Other Longshot Teams- Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings, and Cleveland Browns.
Funny thing about all of this is that Manning and the Colts could resolve their problems and stay with each other. We will all have to wait and see what their decision about each of their futures will be, because their decision will impact the entire NFL for years to come.
by: Andrew Isaac