Archive for October, 2008

Ravens (4-3) @ Browns (3-4)

October 31, 2008


The Ravens find themselves faced with a critical division game this week, as they begin a tough 3-game road trip in Cleveland and  the Browns team they will find there is playing in stark contrast to the one that visited B’More in week 3.  Cleveland has won 3 of their past 4 games, with victories over the Bengals, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, and a near miss in Washington since the Ravens handed them a 28-10 purple pounding on September 21.  They are well aware that a victory Sunday would tie them with the Ravens for 2nd in the AFC North, and with a Pittsburgh loss in Washington, put them just 1 game out of the division lead – not bad after an 0-3 start.

The stakes are, of course, equally high for the good guys.  If the Ravens can pull off just their 3rd road win in their last 12 tries, a Pittsburgh loss would find them tied for the division lead after Week 9, a very improbable scenario given preseason expectations.  It will take a lot more than hope and good feelings to get the win in the Dog Pound Sunday, though.

Quarterback Derek Anderson has been extremely inconsistent in 2008, and his team’s fortunes have rose and fell like the recent stock market with DA’s game.  When Anderson is good (as he was against the NYG – 18 for 29, 2 TD, 0 INT), he is very good.  When he is bad (like in Washington – 14 for 37, 1 TD, 0 INT – or in Baltimore – 14 for 37, 1 TD, 3 INT), he looks like he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, and has no business being in the NFL at all.   Which Anderson will show up on Sunday?  The Ravens, still playing with a depleted secondary, had better hope it is the bad DA; unfortunately, he seems to be much better at home.  Although they still have just the 30th ranked offense in the league, the Browns can explode for 30 points at any time – and they have the weapons (much like, gulp, the Colts) to expose the Ravens deep.  Jamal Lewis will be amped up to play his former team, as he always is (you think he doesn’t want to be the one to break the Ravens consecutive non-100 yard rusher streak?), but the Browns would be well-advised to go to the air early against B’More, who will be again playing without C-Mac or Dawan Landry.  Samari Rolle is said to be a game-time decision.

The Browns have improved defensively as well,  although their 21st ranking doesn’t really show it.  The more important statistic is their 7th-ranked scoring defense.  They are taking the “bend-but-don’t-break” philosophy to new extremes.  To have such a difference between the amount of yards you are giving up and the amount of points surrendered points to a very strong red-zone performance.  For the Ravens to pull off the upset (they are 1.5-point underdogs), they will have to put the ball in the red zone when they get the chance.  Controlling the clock is important against an offense like Cleveland’s, and the Ravens are currently #1 in the NFL in time of possession, but 7-8 minute drives followed by field goals are not going to get the job done.  We’re going to need touchdowns – if the defense or special teams can contribute one, we’ll certainly take it.

Will we see more trick plays this week?  Cam Cameron’s “Wild Bird” (can we please, PLEASE not call it that?) offense lit up the Oakland Raiders like a Christmas Tree (or Haunted House strobe light?), but those kinds of plays don’t work for long in the NFL.  It’s going to take lining up, man-to-man, and winning their match-ups for the Ravens this week.  Jason Brown will have his hands full against Browns DT Shaun Rogers, who has really stepped up his game in recent weeks.  We fully believe JB is up to the challenge, but he will certainly earn his pay in this one.  The Browns have also gotten SS Sean Jones and WR Donte Stallworth back from injuries since we saw them last – 2 playmakers who can have a big impact on the game at any time.  And of course, there is the ever-present threat of return man Joshua Cribbs to contend with.

All that being said, the fact remains that the 2008 Browns have yet to put together back-to-back strong games.  Joe Flacco has not turned the ball over at all since Indianapolis, and the Ravens defense, even with their injuries, is the best in the league right now (I don’t care what the stats say, I’ll take our D over shitsburgh’s any day).  The Browns will move the ball, but Ray and the boys will keep them out of the end zone when it matters most.  We’re picking the Ravens in a nail-biter.

Ravens 17 Browns 16

Lookalikes! Browns Edition

October 28, 2008

With the Ravens slated to play the Cleveland Brown Stains this Sunday (and hopefully complete the season sweep), we thought it would be a good time to trot out some Cleveland-inspired Lookalikes.

First up, from reader Sprizzle, who points out that former Ravens and current Browns QB Derek Anderson has a striking resemblance to the original white rap sensation, Vanilla Ice.

Good call, Sprizzle, and thanks for the submission!

Next, we have defensive tackle Shaun Rogers.  Rogers is playing great lately, and the Ravens O-line will need to control him to have any chance on Sunday.  But with his giant jowels and tiny cone-head, we can’t help but think of a certain childhood toy when we see him…




Unlike the Squealers, the Browns don’t have all that many totally goofy looking players on their roster.  However, lucky for us, head coach Romeo Crennel can fill a Lookalikes post all by his lonesome:


 As always, if you have any Lookalikes of your own, send them to, and we will try to feature them in a future post!

Ravens 29 Raiders 10 (The JOE "SLASH" FLACCO Game)

October 27, 2008

Remember former Steelers and Ravens QB Kordell Stewart?  His nickname, “Slash,” came about because of his lack of any true position…that is, he was a QB/WR when he first joined the league.  Well, after yesterday, Joe Flacco may be more deserving of that moniker.  “Joe the Quarterback’s” stat line from Sunday:

Passing: 12/24 140 yards 1 TD 0 INT

Rushing: 4 carries, 23 yards, 1 TD

Receiving: 1 reception, 43 yards

Just about the most unorthodox 21 point fantasy football day we can ever remember, that’s for damn sure.  Flacco’s big reception was just one of several very interesting wrinkles that we saw in Cam Cameron’s offensive game plan against Oakland.  Those “Troy Smith packages” that T-Sizzle was referring to last week finally showed up and caught the Raiders off guard time after time.  Conventional wisdom is that the option play can never work in the NFL, due to the speed of the defenses.  Well, don’t tell that to Smith and Ray Rice, who ran the play to perfection for a 21-yard gain in the 2nd quarter.  The Ravens’ offense had a very “collegiate” feel to it, to be sure, but after the kind of offenses we’ve grown used to seeing in B’More over the years (offenses that were better described as say, “kindergarten,”) we’ll take these 375-yard days any way we can get ’em.

We tend to get so caught up in any expression of offense around here that we need to be careful not to minimize another outstanding defensive effort.  The D set the tone early, as LB Jameel McClain sacked Raiders QB Jamarcus Russel in the end zone for a safety on Oakland’s 7th play from scrimmage, and held them to -2 total yards in the first quarter.  It was the 2nd of 4 Baltimore sacks of Russell.  Oakland became the 26th consecutive team to be held without a 100-yard rusher by the purple-and-black, as they gained only 47 yards on the ground all day.  Cornerbacks Fabian Washington and the much maligned Frank Walker had strong performances as well, with Walker intercepting his first pass of the season and Washington dropping what would have likely been a pick-6 in the waning minutes of the game.

Not to be outdone, the special teams of the Ravens finally put together a complete game.  Ray Rice averaged 27 yards on 2 kickoff returns, and Jim Leonhard 15 yards on 4 punt returns, including a 46-yarder that he nearly took to the house.  Rice and Leonhard are making a very strong case for the permanent return-men positions, even once Yamon Figurs is healthy again.  Matt Stover was 2-for-2 on field goals, and looks like he has corrected whatever was causing his early season issues.  The Ravens also covered well, holding Oakland’s speedy return man, Johnnie Lee Higgins, to just 18 yards per kickoff return and 1 yard on punts.

It was a complete team effort by the good guys yesterday at M&T Bank Stadium.  Sure, it was just the Raiders.  They admittedly seemed to dead on arrival to BWI this weekend, but we’re not going to dwell too much on that (like too many Balti-morons seem to be doing, judging by the calls to the radio shows).  There were some things that certainly need to be cleaned up.  There were 2 touchdowns, and at least 2 more big plays, called back because of penalties (any time you have 4X as many penalties as the Raiders, there is a problem).  If not for the 70-yard busted coverage touchdown to Demetrius Williams, Flacco would have had about 70 yards passing.  And LeRun McClain never seemed to know where to line up.  Those are, without a doubt, the kind of things that can lose you games against quality opponents.

John Harbaugh’s squad was able to overcome those mistakes yesterday though, as they absolutely handled a lesser team for the 2nd consecutive week, and kept themselves right in the thick of things in the AFC as the midway point approaches.  With the Squealer’s loss to the Giants (thank you, James Harrison), the Ravens are only 1 game back in the AFC North with a crucial road game against the resurgent-looking Browns coming up.

Especially considering everyone’s gloom-and-doom preseason expectations, we’ll take it.  We’ll gladly take it.

Raiders (2-4) @ Ravens (3-3)

October 24, 2008

The Ravens have a great chance to push themselves back over the .500 mark this week, as the Oakland Raiders come to B’More.  This is the 2nd of the “gift” games the Ravens get in 2008, against the other AFC teams that finished last in their divisions last year (the other was last week against the Dolphins).  The Raiders are coming off a feel-good win against the New York Bretts, a 16-13 overtime job.  Their other victory came in week 2 against the listless Kansas City Chiefs, 23-8.  Newly minted Head Coach Tom “The Cable Guy” Cable is undefeated in his tenure.

Its been quite a dramatic week here in B’More, as documented previously.  Let’s hope the purple and black can rise above all that mess and put the beatin on a team that they shouldn’t have much trouble with.  The Raiders feature 2nd-year quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who they should be able to confuse and frustrate all day.  Russell hasn’t played totally terrible, tossing 5 touchdowns to go with only 2 picks, but he is completing only 51% of his passes, has lost 4 fumbles and been sacked 14 times.  The Raiders game plan is very similar to the Ravens:  use a strong running game to protect your young quarterback and open up passing lanes.  Running backs Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden, the rookie from Arkansas, are a very capable duo.  But, as we know, nobody runs on the Ravens.  They still rank first in the NFL in run defense, and had no trouble stopping the gimmicky “wildcat” last week in Miami.  McFadden has been slowed by a toe injury, and was limited in practice this week.

The Raiders defense is led by veteran cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and DeAngelo Hall.  Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan (Rex’s twin brother) runs a similar system to the Ravens’, featuring lots of blitzes and pre-snap movement meant to confuse the opposing offensive line and quarterback.  Although they rank near the bottom of the league in yardage and points allowed, they have picked off 7 passes, just 1 shy of the Ravens’ 8.  Rookie QB Joe Flacco will have to build on last week’s strong performance and continue to protect the football with his life.  Getting the running game cranked up with Willis McGahee and Ray Rice will go a long way to securing another victory.  We’d like to see our boy Le’Run get some more carries this week as well, after only 6 carries for 17 yards in Miami.

Ryan v. Ryan

One area where the Raiders have a definite advantage, and where Ravens faithful should be a bit queasy going into the game, is on special teams.  Of course there is the huge leg of kicker Sebastian Janikowski to contend with, but the real area of concern is on returns.  The Raiders are 13th in the NFL in kick returns,  averaging 23.2 yards, with 3 returns of 40 or more yards.  The Ravens rank 24th, and have yet to break a 40+ yarder, although Ray Rice looked remarkably better last week than Yamon Figurs (who still is not practicing) has so far this season.

The only real concerns regarding the injury report are Derrick Mason, who has been out with an illness, and Demetrius Williams, with an Achilles.  Whatever illness Mason has (we sure hope to hell its not tonsilitis), let’s hope it clears up by Sunday.  Otherwise, the Ravens may be forced to go with Mark Clayton, Ernie Wheelright, and Marcus Smith as their wideouts.  Not a promising scenario, especially considering how crucial Mason has been in the offense this year, finding holes in the defense and providing a security blanket for Joe Flacco.

Another intangible the Ravens have working in their favor this week is the cross-country trip the Raiders are forced to make.  No West Coast team has won a game in the Eastern time zone yet in 2008.  The last time the silver-and-black visited M&T Bank Stadium, in 2006, the Ravens handed them a 28-6 whooping.  On paper, this one looks similar.  This is a game they have to win:  a home game, against a bad team that just flew 3000 miles, with basically a rookie quarterback, and a head coach in his 2nd game.

I’d go ahead and predict a shutout, but since Janikowski can put one through the uprights from the Aquarium, that probably won’t materialize.

Ravens 20 Raiders 6

Why Not?

Terrell Suggs – As Dumb as he is Ugly?

October 22, 2008

Another week, another member of the Ravens sticks their foot in their mouth.  Last week, it was Head Coach John Harbaugh, who made what could be considered an innocent gaffe.  This week, T-Sizzle has been VERY busy flapping off at the mouth, and has had much more potentially damaging things to say.

First off, I need to say that I’ve always liked Suggs; he seems like a good guy who is amicable to both media and fans.  His candor may have crossed a line this week though.

1)  First (first in this post anyway – I don’t know the order of events on the “Terrell Timeline”), Suggs was quoted as saying that, although he thinks Joe Flacco should get “some playing time,” he thinks “Troy should be the starter.”  WTF?!  We won’t even get into how dumb Suggs (and everybody else who agrees with him) has to be to think Troy Smith would be better than Flacco now, next week, next year, or next decade.  What the hell ever happened to shutting up and doing your job?  What does Terrell Suggs know about quarterback talent?  The only QB’s he should be worrying about are the ones he is getting paid to sack:  JaMarcus Russell this week, Derek Anderon next week, Matt Schaub after that.  The Ravens have plenty of coaches they are paying to make these decisions, and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit if those coaches fined Suggs for “conduct detrimental to the team,” or something similar.

2)  On the same show, Suggs said that the Ravens have a bounty on Squealers WR Hines Ward.  For starters, EVERY TEAM IN THE NFL SHOULD HAVE A BOUNTY ON WARD.  He is a cheap shot artist and I’m not sure how he doesn’t get dealt with every week at this point.  But for Suggs to come out and say that basically ensures that it will never happen, AND, since the NFL doesn’t take that kind of stupid crap lightly, if some Raven does happen to get anything close to a good shot on Ward, they can expect a penalty, a fine, and likely a suspension.  We hope to be in the thick of a playoff hunt when the Steelers come to B’More, so thats just what the team will need, right?

On top of Suggs being a complete moron this week, there is the ever-evolving drama with Chris McAlister.  C-Mac, who of course did not start Sunday, is rumored to be getting punished by the team for some type of infraction last week leading up to the Miami game.  Coach Harbaugh denies this, and basically tells us that McAlister didn’t start because Frank Walker is playing better than him right now?

Excuse me?

Coach, all due respect, but we aren’t TOTAL dipshits here in Charm City.  We have watched McAlister his entire career, and we see the difference he makes when he is in the lineup (see: 2007 vs. 2008 defense).  Don’t insult our intelligence by telling us FRANK EFFING WALKER is starting over C-Mac for performance-only reasons.  Be honest, tell us there is an in-house disciplinary issue that you are dealing with, and let’s all move on.  This Belichick-esque doo doo isn’t going to fly around here.

Unfortunately, all of this extracurricular mess is overshadowing what we should be talking about this week, which is that the Ravens ended their 7-game road losing streak and the next 3 teams on the schedule have a combined record of 5-13.

The Oakland Raiders are up on Sunday – look for the full game preview here at the Nest later this week.

Oh yeah…Congrats to Suggs for winning the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Ravens 27 Dolphins 13 (The WILDCAT? MORE LIKE PUSSYCAT Game)

October 20, 2008

 putty tat offense

What’s all this fuss over that newfangled “Wildcat” offense that the Dolphins had been running?  Somebody certainly forgot to tell the Ravens that they were supposed to be confused when Ronnie Brown was taking direct snaps and Chad Pennington was splitting out wide.  According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Fish ran the Wildcat 5 times and netted only 4 yards (it sure seemed to us that they ran it more than 5 times, but whatever).  Rex Ryan’s defense atoned a bit for last week’s stinker, playing very disciplined in allowing no big plays by a team that has lived by them this season, as well as producing a touchdown score of their own, their first since week 2.  Terrell Suggs picked off an ill-advised pass by Pennington in the 2nd quarter and took it 44 yards to the house for the first TD of his career.  That score put the Ravens up 10-3, and they never looked back.

The victory brought the Ravens back to .500 at 3-3, which would have sounded pretty good to most fans at the start of the season.  It also served to get that road monkey that had started to grow a bit off the team’s back, as they had not won away from M&T Bank Stadium since winning in San Francisco last season.

Joe Flacco had arguably his best game as a pro, posting a 120 QB rating and throwing for 232 yards and 1 TD.  Flacco benefited from some good runs by Ravens RBs on screen passes, but we’ll call it even since he also suffered a bit from Demetrius Williams’ and Mark Clayton’s inabilities to pull down very catchable balls downfield.  Flacco missed a wide-open Todd Heap in the end zone on the opening drive of the 2nd half for what could have been his 2nd score, and threw behind Williams on a slant that could have been a big play, but overall Joe did very well, and was night-and-day from his performance in Indy.

He was certainly better than his opposite number, Chad “I’m a giant dork and point like a tool when I scramble for a 4-yard first down” Pennington.  Seriously, his goofy air-stab whenever he fell past the sticks made me lose what was a decent amount of respect I had for the guy previously.  Maybe Chad and Phil Rivers can get together and form a Dorky Douchey Hillbilly Quarterback Club.  Although he threw for nearly 300 yards, Pennington made the aforementioned crucial mistake, the interception to Suggs he threw with Safety Jim Leonhard draped all over him, which really changed the momentum of the game.

The Ravens running game got itself untracked again, a very encouraging sign considering the replacement of the injured Marshal Yanda with the smaller, less-physical Chris Chester.  Chester played well though, and although they allowed 3 sacks, the O-line as a whole was very consistent all day.  Willis McGahee, as he always does in Miami, had a strong day, putting up 105 yards on 19 carries, and made up for his should-be-touchdown-turned-fumble on a 35-yard screen pass in the 3rd quarter by punching it in from 5 yards out on the very next drive.  We would like to see some more breakaway speed from Willis on a play like that, but considering that he is still dealing with a knee issue that required draining during the week, we won’t be too hard on him.

Special teams, as they have been all year, were uneven, at best.  Matt Stover connected on a 47-yarder, which should quiet some of this premature “Stover is done” talk.  Punter Sam Koch is quickly establishing himself as one of the best in the league.  Yesterday he put all 3 of his punts inside the 20, averaging 55.7 yards per kick, and had one boomer of 67 yards.  With such a ….well, call it “developing”…offense as the Ravens have, a punter like Koch is a critical weapon.  However, the kickoff coverage team was again shoddy, and Matt Stover had to make another tackle.  It was nice to see Ray Rice run north-and-south on his returns filling in for the injured Yamon Figurs.

It was a good, solid, win for the purple-and-black.  Joe Flacco got his first win as a visitor, the defense held what had been a productive offense under wraps, and a four-game losing skid was averted.

Next up, the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, and a very real possiblity of a 4-3 record.

Ravens (2-3) @ Dolphins (2-3)

October 17, 2008

Remember the last time the Ravens visited south Florida?  I do, since I had the privilege of watching the Ravens lose to an 0-13 team in person.  The events of that December afternoon, while seeming just depressing and enraging at the time, ended up having a pretty profound effect on the team that we are now watching.  Lets follow the bouncing ball, shall we?

It is pretty generally accepted around B’More that that was the game that ultimately cost Brian Billick his job.  His ridiculously tiny-marbled decision to kick a field goal from the 6-inch line as time expired to tie the game, rather than going for the win, coupled with a Matt Stover miss in overtime (a rarity at the time), were the last straws.  Because of that loss, John Harbaugh is now the Head Coach of the Ravens.  That Dolphins team, as I’m sure you’ll remember, featured Cam Cameron as their head coach.  Cameron, of course, is the Ravens current Offensive Coordinator.  He was fired after his only season at the helm in Miami, a 1-15 campaign.  His ONE victory last season opened the door for him to land his current job.  If he’d have managed the ultimate disaster, an 0-16 record, he’d certainly have landed on his feet somewhere else…but not in Baltimore, where Brian Billick would still be the coach.


John Harbaugh

Anyway, on to the game.  John Harbaugh made his first big gaffe of his head coaching career this week, when he gave the Dolphins some bulletin board material.  Referring to Cameron’s efforts last season, John said that Cam performed admirably, “considering what he had to work with.”  Current Dolphins players who were also on the team last year were none too flattered by the comment, and the team and their fan base will enter Sunday with just a tad more hate for the purple-and-black.  We don’t really buy into that kind of stuff around here at the Nest – the players shouldn’t need any extra motivation to play hard – but John will probably choose his words more carefully next time, nonetheless.

The Dolphins have been having a great deal of success with their new “wildcat” offense, in which running back Ronnie Brown takes a direct snap from center.  They have shown several wrinkles in the scheme so far, generating huge plays both on the ground and through the air.  Rex Ryan’s defense (still ranked #1 across the board, even after that debacle in Indy) will need to be disciplined and alert.  They may get CB Fabian Washington back, but his status is still up in the air.  On the bright side, when Dolphins QB Chad Pennington splits out to one side, maybe Frank Walker will finally be lined up against someone he can cover.

Here is a ridiculous piece of information for ya:  See up there where it says the Ravens are the 25th ranked offense in the NFL.  Well, as dismal as that sounds, it is still FIRST IN THE AFC NORTH.  Seriously.  The Steelers are 26th, the Browns 28th, and the Bengals 32nd.  At least we’re all ugly together, right?

The Dolphins are 10th in the league with 13 sacks, and our old shitstain friend  Joey Porter has been leading the charge, racking up 6.5.  The Ravens will need to do a much better job of protecting Joe Flacco, who was sacked like 5 times last week in Indy, and that will be easier said than done, especially with the loss of guard Marshal Yanda for the season with an exploded knee (he tore 3 ligaments, but should be ready for OTAs, reportedly).  Chris Chester may fill in for him at times, but the Ravens are hoping that Adam Terry will recover from his injury in time for the game, in which case he would play guard and Willie Anderson right tackle.

Cam Cameron has been assuring the media that the Ravens have been THIS CLOSE to hitting on big plays over the last couple games, but are just barely missing.  We’ll believe that when we actually see one hit, Cam.

The Dolphins strength on defense is stopping the run and getting to the passer.  When QBs have time to throw, they are able to light up the ‘Fins questionable secondary.  Sounds like a great time for Flacco to bust out of this rut he has been in of late, but again, it will all come down to giving him time in the pocket.  Flacco trying to make a play when flushed out has all Ravens fans holding our breath at this point.  Also working against us is that Demetrius Williams will likely be a game-time decision.

The Ravens will need to get their running game going….

You know what?  Screw it.

Trying to use the stats to break this one down is probably futile, because these have been 2 of the most schizophrenic teams in the NFL so far in 2008.  Who are the Dolphins?  The team that smashed the Patriots in Foxboro 38-13, then beat the other AFC Championship Game contestant from 2007, the San Diego Chargers, 17-10?  Or the team that lost to the winless Houston Texans last week?

Likewise, who are the Ravens?  The team that lost by a field goal each to two of the best teams in the AFC?  Or the team that got humiliated by Peyton & Co. last week?

Another item of note is Terrell Suggs’ slightly disturbing comments from earlier in the week, when he basically said (and we’ll paraphrase) that if the Ravens lose this one then they may just have to tank the rest of the season.  Terrific.

So, we’re going to go ahead and show some blind faith in our team this week.  The offense will finally click (maybe not on all cylinders, but at least on some of them), and Rex’s defense will expose the Miami gimmick crap for the “pussy”cat system it really is.  The Ravens avenge last year’s loss in the big orange and teal bowl.

Ravens 20 Dolphins 13

Polamalu Uses Pansy-Voice to Call Fines on Squealers "Pansy"-Like

October 16, 2008

According to this story on, Troy Polamalu has been whining about all the fines that Steelers players have been getting lately due to dirty play questionable rulings.  (One of the fines in question was for a play in the Ravens-Steelers Monday night game this year, although the NFL hasn’t really said which play.  Hiney has had it coming for years anyway, and there were probably several instances where he hit a guy who wasn’t looking when the play was over, or at least on the other side of the field.)

Unfortunately (and a bit ironically), nobody in the room could hear Troy, because he sounds like a 6-year old girl (or pansy boy) when he talks.

Cowboys Set to Trot Out New "Two-Ball" Offense

October 14, 2008

On the heels of today’s news that they had traded for Detroit wide receiver Roy Williams, the Dallas Cowboys immediately announced that they would be employing a brand new offensive system.

“Roy gives us another explosive weapon on the outside to compliment Terrell Owens.  With all that ego…uh, I mean talent, we felt it was prudent to give our whole offensive philosophy an overhaul” said offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

“That is why we are excited to debut our all-new, never before seen in any level of football, two-ball offense.  Roy and Terrell are two guys that demand not only attention from a defense, but also demand the damn ball.  With only one pigskin to go around in a traditional offense, we felt that the old way was not the best way to utilize our personnel.”

Garrett said he was inspired by the Miami Dolphins and their newfound success with the “Wildcat” formation, which involves the running back taking a direct snap.

“The whole league has been watching the Dolphins and seeing how defenses are struggling to react to a new system.  We think that our idea, in which the quarterback will have even more options, will prove even more productive.  For instance, when Tony takes the snap…er, snaps, he can either pass and pass, pass and hand off, run and pass, run and hand off, play fake and hand off….the possibilities are endless.”

Cowboys players expressed mixed reactions.

“Well, Coach promises me that I’ll have more touches now, so I’ll give it a chance.  I’d like to see a scenario where Tony tosses me the ball on short crossing pattern, then I turn upfield and run a fly pattern and he hits me downfield.  Then I’ll sign both of the balls and give one to Roy.  The new Roy.  Even with two balls flying around, thats what its gonna take to use T.O. to his full potential.  Getcha popcorn ready,” said Owens.

Quarterback Tony Romo was more hesitant.  “I have a hard enough time keeping one ball straight, to tell you the truth.  I mean, Jessica still only lets me play with one of her boobies at a time.  I don’t have to hold 2 for the kicker too, do I?”

Garrett said he and his staff threw around several other ideas, including a WR-direct snap system, a “hot-potato” type scheme where all 11 players on the field try to hold the ball for a short time on every play, and extending the game to 120 minutes.

“In the end, the two-ball system just seemed to be the best fit for what we are going to need to do around here from now on,” said Garrett.

Disclaimer:  I’m posting this at 7:42 ET on Tuesday.  I haven’t read anything similar to this (yet), but I’m guessing I won’t be the only one to make this joke.  So don’t accuse me of stealing somebody else’s idea.  However, if you see someone steal my idea, TELL ME!  just kidding…Also, I know this has nothing to do with the Ravens or any of the teams we usually hate on around here, but I just couldn’t pass it up.  Thanks for reading.  

Colts 31 Ravens 3 (The PEYTON STILL OWNS US Game)

October 13, 2008

Good Lord, WTF was that?

For all the good that the 2008 Ravens had shown us so far, leading us to believe that beatings like the one witnessed in Indy yesterday were the things of 2007, they showed more bad in 4 quarters yesterday than they had in the 4 games prior. 

Offense?  Non-existent.

Defense?  Torched.

Special Teams?  Especially abyssmal. 

Yep, the Ravens looked eerily similar to last year’s version of the purple-and-black in allowing Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne to run wild all over Lucas Oil Stadium all afternoon.  That “Manning-Face” we had hoped to bear witness to for 3 solid hours?  Only surfaced once, when a would-be 63-yard TD pass at the start of the 4th quarter was called back for an offensive holding penalty, and the Colts were denied making the score 38-3.  Poor Peyton. 

Instead, we were treated to a heavy helping of something that is becoming all too familiar around B’More lately: Flacco-face.  Flacco added 3 more to his interception total on the year, bringing him to 7 to go along with only 1 touchdown to date.  We’d like to talk to Joe for a second:

We Baltimoreans understand now the error of our ways in annointing you the 2nd coming of Johnny U after only 2 games.  We apologize for this extra pressure that we heaped on your shoulders, and for chanting “Let’s Go Flacco” when you are trying to concentrate on your job.  We are sorry, Joe, for all the sudden starting to throw around the “P” word just weeks after 95% of us had zero expectations for this season.  Your performances over the past 2 games have been the cold shower that we all needed, and have reminded us that you are, indeed, a rookie.  Consider our expectations of you sufficiently tempered, and please continue your growth at your own pace. 

It wasn’t all Joe’s fault, of course.  Coming into the game, the Colts had the league’s worst rushing defense, and the Ravens game plan did not seem to reflect that reality.  The team came out and went run, pass, pass (interception).  On the 2nd series, with the game still scoreless:  run, run, pass, punt.  On their 3rd possession (now trailing just 7-0), pass, pass, run, punt.  Seriously, Cam?  What happened to committing to the run?  Unable to get anything going early, the Colts quickly went up 17-0 and snuffed out any chance the Ravens would have at controlling the game by controlling the clock with their running game.  The Colts defense exectuted and the Ravens offense did not. 

The inverse of that was also painfully true.  The Colts, who were the last team to score a TD on the Ravens in the first quarter (last December), started early again on us, taking a 24-0 lead into the half.  The Ravens banged up secondary was no match for Manning, Harrison, and Wayne.  Frank Walker looked just as bad as we all feared he would.  Corey Ivy had another terrible day, not only in coverage but just about every way possible.  Seriously, it seemed like every time something positive would happen for Indy, there was Ivy right in the middle of it, whether it was a 1st-down completion, a flag on the Ravens, or another 12-yard kickoff return by Yamon Figurs. 

And what the hell is up with Figurs?  Brian Billick shows up in Baltimore with a reputation as an Offensive “genius” and proceeds to have terrible offenses for the next 9 seasons.  Now what, John Harbaugh shows up with a pedigree of Special Teams and we’re now going to be God-awful in that department?  So far, it sure looks like thats the case. 

The Ravens gift-wrapped the Colts their first win in their new stadium.  Let’s hope they can regroup from this embarassment (this was CBS Sports’ featured game of the week) and exact some revenge in South Beach next week. 


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