Ravens 21 Raiders 13 (The WATCHU TALKIN' 'BOUT, WILLIS? Game)

Willis Raiders

It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure, but the end result of Sunday’s game in Oakland is inarguable: The Baltimore Ravens are IN the playoffs for the second consecutive season. That’s now 2/2 for John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco, just the second time in Ravens history that they have advanced to the postseason in consecutive years. Oh, and, as an added bonus, thanks to the Houston Texans’ comeback win over New England earlier in the day, the Ravens were able to make sure that those scallywag luck-meister Shittsburgh Squealers are OUT of the playoffs. That’s right, nary a stupid yellow rag to be seen for the next 9 months. A good day, for sure.

The Ravens won this game on the legs of Willis McGahee, who turned in a career day. His 10 carry, 167 yard, 3 TD performance was arguably the best game yet in his seven seasons. The three touchdowns were his most since scoring four in Seattle in November of 2004, and the 167 yards were his most ever. His 77-yard touchdown in the second quarter was a thing of beauty, a perfect example of power and speed, as he used a devastating stiff-arm in the open field to beat the only defender that had a chance to stop him, then raced away from the pursuit, and his 36-yard scamper on 3rd-and-4 with 2:43 to go in the game allowed the Ravens to kill the clock and seal the win. There is little question about who “Played Like a Raven” in Week 17.

McGahee’s effort overshadowed another solid, if unspectacular, day from Ray Rice, who managed 70 yards on 14 carries, and added 19 yards on four receptions. Rice never seemed to find much of a rhythm, though, and uncharacteristically dropped a pass out of the backfield. Although Phil Simms and Jim Nance never made mention of it, Rice may have also been a bit nicked up at times during the game, as we saw a lot more of Willis McGahee outside of the red zone than usual, even before he demonstrated that he had came to Oakland to play.

And it was a good thing that the Ravens’ ground game was clicking on all cylinders, because the passing game…


Ew, man, was the Ravens passing “attack” ugly in Oakland. Flacco was 11/19 for 102 yards, and was sacked four times.

Ravens tight ends and wideouts totaled 6 catches for 77 yards. Ugh.

Yardage-wise, it was easily Flacco’s worst game of 2009, and he failed to throw a touchdown pass for just the fourth time in his sophomore campaign, and the first time since Week 11 against Indy. His pocket presence was absolutely atrocious – he was regularly flushed, tucked the ball and took a sack after his first read was covered, and at one point was even penalized for an illegal forward pass, after he ran past the line of scrimmage before overthrowing Ray Rice in the end zone. It’s a toss-up between this game and the Green Bay game for Joe’s worst of the season. If there is any solace to take, it is that after the Green Bay game, he bounced back great for the next three straight contests. If he can bounce back strongly for the next three…well, Miami awaits.

Unfortunately, the Raiders may have given defensive genius Bill Belichick, head coach of the Ravens’ next opponent, the New England Patriots, a blueprint for beating Joe Flacco. It was an awful, awful day for #5, and if he plays like that in the postseason, the Ravens will quickly be playing golf as a team.

The defense lucked out in Oakland as well. If Charlie Frye had played the entire game, the Ravens would very likely be packing up their lockers in Owings Mills this week. Frye torched the Ravens in the first half, to the tune of 18/25 180 yards 1 TD. That’s right, CHARLIE FREAKIN’ FRYE had nearly twice the passing yards and completions as Joe Flacco did all day, in one half of play. Greg Mattison, despite all the praise that must be thrown his way for making this rag-tag bunch into a Top-5 defense, still inexplicably opts to rush just three on 3rd-and-long situations, and even a quarterback as terrible as JaMarcus Russel can convert in that situation (as he did on 3rd-and-15 in the 3rd quarter). The Raiders chose to pick on Ray Lewis and Chris Carr all afternoon. Carr, for his part, was at least solid in tackling. Lewis, however, should be nothing but a blitzer on passing situations at this point. When Ray-Ray blitzes, good things seem to happen. When he tries to cover a talented tight end down the slot…not so much (as evidenced by Zach Miller’s 2nd-quarter TD reception).

Somehow, Frank Walker is still on the team. On one play, Walker could have broken up a pass from Russel, had he just, oh, I don’t know, STUCK HIS ARMS OUT. Instead, #41 was running around like his hands are tied behind his back, and the pass was completed. Of course, he was also flagged for illegal contact at one point during the game. STOP PLAYING FRANK WALKER!

Seriously, John (Greg, Ozzie, WHOEVER), Corey Ivy has to be a better option at this point. At least he will TRY.

The Ravens’ special teams were again uneven. Jalen Parmele had a strong day returning kicks, but there was another holding penalty that negated a big punt return by Carr, and Matt Katula’s snaps were again all over the place. The bad snaps are good for pretty much one missed FG per game now, not a good trend to be on going into the Playoffs, where every mistake is magnified. If a playoff game comes down to a late FG, who among us is confident in the Katula-Koch-Cundiff trio, given their recent struggles?

The Ravens are playing far-from-perfect football right now, but we have all week to discuss their shortcomings. Perhaps it hints to just how talented of a team they are that, despite the issues, they are among just 12 teams that will be playing after this week. Let’s take this time to simply celebrate and enjoy another postseason berth.

My celebration recommendations: A glass of this, and one of these.


36 Responses to “Ravens 21 Raiders 13 (The WATCHU TALKIN' 'BOUT, WILLIS? Game)”

  1. Thomas Crohwley Says:

    Were in and we elimanted the steelers good day all around.

  2. Goob Says:

    It gives me great pleasure to see the Steelers eliminated from the playoffs.


    On a lighter note, we didn’t look that great but Willis really stepped it up. I’m happy we beat the Raiders, its something the Steelers and many other playoff teams weren’t able to do. Oh wait… THATS RIGHT… THEY AREN’T IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!

    Let’s do whatever we can to get Nestminder into the Ravens locker room or on a horribly produced show on MASN to talk to Harbs, Cam and Roid Rage Stupidity Maddison. They need to listen!!!!!!

  3. Christmas Ape Says:

    So funny that Goob went to KSK to try to rub it in on me. Ravens inferiority complex even in victory. Just to show you I’m not hiding after “defeat” I’ll reply here. First, his comment:


    Your Steelers are out of the playoffs!!!! I’m so excited to not hear from your punk ass for the next 8 months or so!!!!!


    Uh, sorry, but no. No bragging rights for you. The Ravens made the playoffs with the same record as the Steelers. They might even get a win against a banged-up Pats team. Maybe. But a season split (when your only victory is in OT at home against Dennis Dixon) does not entitle your team to bragging rights a year after losing three games and the chance to go to the Super Bowl. I know you’re desperate to rub something in our face, but, really, that’s sad. Perhaps if the Ratbirds were to use the 6 seed to advance to and win the Super Bowl, then fine, go nuts. Because that’s what Roethlisberger did in his second year. Flacco fails and, well, we laugh heartily. Have fun.

  4. Matt Says:

    Sour Grapes. Maybe Ben will rape another hotel worker in the offseason. BTW Nest I love the new webdesign it looks really professional

  5. Goob Says:

    I’m just happy he used the number 6 in his argument

  6. Goob Says:

    ….and you know damn well that you’d be rubbing this shit in our face if you made the playoffs. We may have had the same record but we were the ones who put the final nail in the coffin on your team… that stings a little doesn’t it

  7. Goob Says:

    Ape… as I said on your site which honors drunk Jets football superstars

    @Christmas Apeshit

    Well the reason the tie was broken was because we were consistent at beating shitty teams that you were unable to beat…. Oakland, Cleveland, Kansas City etc…

    Try to not play down to your competition and maybe you’ll be in the playoffs. Also, we demolished you in that game head to head two weeks ago, damn penalties (which were our fault) cost us 2 TD’s. Your asses were stomped in the second half!

  8. Goob Says:


    We need to drop the whole hotel room thing, it’s about as sad as Ray Lewis stabbing people. I hate when it gets mentioned.

    If you’d like to talk about him fucking ugly chicks… that’s fair game

  9. NestMinder Says:

    Flacco may fail, but at least he won’t pretend to be hurt while doing it.

    Let’s play charades! I’ll go first….

    /drops back to pass
    ///”Oops, I fumbled…uh…uh…OWIE!, MY ARM!”
    ////hangs arm to side, lifeless
    /////licks hand, grabs nuts
    //////throws perfect pass
    ///////searches out sideline camera
    ////////finds it, acts as if arm was just blown off with a grenade, grimaces in feigned pain
    /////////gets a room with Dan Dierdorf

    If you guess, Ben “Drama Queen” Roethlisberger, you are correct! Enjoy the offseason, toolbox. You’ll have plenty of time to heal that and all your other fake injuries.

  10. Christmas Ape Says:

    Oh yes, Nest, I know how it must bother you that Big Ben plays it up for the camera. You would prefer that stays exclusively a Ray Lewis thing.

    /at the very least partially responsible for someone’s death
    /fake and vocal religious awakening
    /constant playing up his leadership credentials to the media
    /makes sure camera is around for pregame hype shouting at teammates
    /jumps on tackles late and celebrates
    /dances even after plays he doesn’t make
    /whines and cries about penalties that go against his team to the press
    /wanted to sign with either the Jets or the Cowboys last year
    /tries to play it off and pretend he wanted to stay in Baltimore


    I’m not arguing that the Steelers were gypped out of a playoff spot. They didn’t deserve it. Only that Ravens fans have nothing to hold over us. Ravens fans can pretend their team dominated in the Heinz (ONLY TO BE ROBBED BY THE REFS! WAHHH!) but the Steelers left as many points on the field in the first half. Baltimore outgained the Steelers by fewer than 40 yards. Factor in all the yardage they cost themselves with dumb penalties and the game ended as it should have.

    And let’s not act like the Ravens didn’t get a little gift yesterday when turnover machine JaMarcus Russell came into the game. The Raiders were heading for an upset at that point. Believe me, if the Steelers had gotten JaFatAss in the second half of their game against Oakland, they wouldn’t have lost.

  11. NestMinder Says:

    So wait, are you at least admitting that Ben is a drama queen now?

    Because in the past, you have vehemently disputed that.

    Also, I’m pretty sure I admitted right in the post that if Charlie Frye had stayed in the game, the Raiders likely would have won.

    @ Goob

    As long as Ape and others continue to call Ray “stabby” and bring up that Atlanta stuff (yes, like Ape did right there), the Ben rape stuff is fair game. Stop setting self-imposed limits on hating – where’s the fun in that?

  12. Matt Says:

    Did the Ravens get lucky that Fyre got hurt or Ben had a concussion? Maybe. But I don’t believe in luck, I believe in taking advantage of the opportunities that are given in front of you. The Ravens did that and the Steelers didn’t. Thank you and see ya next season. The Ravens have bragging rights this year because they won the war while the Steelers didn’t

  13. Christmas Ape Says:

    It’s funny how Ravens fans propagate the Ben “drama queen” stuff. Save for the time he said he had broken toes or something in 2004, he never talks about his injuries. The press reports (and doesn’t quote him) that he’s hampered by an injury and somehow it becomes Ben playing it up.

    Example: it was reported after the Super Bowl by team doctors that Ben played with broken ribs. Nary a single quote by Roethlisberger.
    Ravens fans: DRAMA QUEEN!!

    Same thing comes out by Brady this week and nary a peep.

    The guy was sacked 50 times this year. I’m sure he sustained OWIES at some point because of that. My point is that, even if you think Ben is a drama queen (I don’t), you’re more than happy to deal with antics out of Suggs and Lewis on a constant basis.

    Ray-Ray was convicted of a crime. Maybe not murder, but certainly involvement in one to a degree (remember he had to plea bargain down to obstruction of justice). Suggs and Roethlisberger are entangled in what look to be frivolous law suits. I don’t mention the Suggs bleach incident until someone drops a Big Ben rape joke.

  14. NestMinder Says:

    Right, it’s just us Ravens fans that propagate the drama queen stuff.

    Here’s a list of non-Ravens fans doing the same:

    Keyshawn Johnson and Matt Hasselbeck:

    John Clayton, Steve Young, Trent Dilfer

    Mike Florio:

    Steelers fans commenting at Mondesi’s House:

    Finally, some non-delusional towel-wavers! Just accept that he is, in fact, a drama queen, and move on.

    “Ben is a drama queen but i’ll take that any day. All the man does is win football games and he very rarely loses them. Gotta take the good with the bad.” – Smartest thing a Steelers fan has ever said.

    Constantly denying what everyone that observes the league agrees to be a given is just sad.


    Winner? Certainly. Drama queen? Hell yes.

  15. Christmas Ape Says:

    Mike Florio and a passel of moronic ESPN hacks? Really? Florio will say anything to piss people off and get comments on his site. I need not even break down those other idiots.

    I’m sure you can find one Ravens fan who thinks Ray-Ray is a murderer too.

    Suggs yammers about his injuries far more than Big Ben does. Go read his comments prior to the first meeting against the Steelers this year or his constant jawing about his hurt arm prior to the AFC Title Game last year. Somehow he’s not a drama queen, but a guy who doesn’t talk about his injuries is. If Ravens fans need some talking point for their Big Ben hate, whatever. Just concede that if you think Ben is a drama queen, then Suggs and Ray-Ray are too.

  16. Matt Says:

    Oooh Blogger fight. I give Nest 3:1 odds that he can kick Xmas Ape’s ass

  17. NestMinder Says:

    Of course you would choose to denigrate the credentials of the people saying it, rather than address the issue.

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, my man.

    But just keep sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling LALALALALALALA, all you want.

    Not only does Ben yammer on about them, he takes it one step further and hams it up at every opportunity. Like he did in the AFC championship game last year, hanging out in the stairwell acting like he was hurt. Like anybody in the stadium or watching had any doubt that he would be back in the game. But he has to put on his act, so he looks that much more “heroic.”

    Did Steve Young, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, John Elway, Warren Moon, etc. ever grimace and contort like Ben does? Certainly not. He’s obviously tough enough to play through these “injuries” so why the hell can’t he just suck it up and not feel the need to make it painfully obvious to everyone how “hurt” he is?

    Ray-Ray is an over-the-top ham, nobody will dispute that. But being a ham and a drama queen are not the same thing.

  18. Christmas Ape Says:

    Welp. Now that Matt’s going the creepy stalker angle again, it looks like this is drawing down. Kind of hilarious that one of his fellow Ravens fans told him to get a life.


    I give 1:1 odds Matt has never kissed a girl.

  19. Matt Says:

    Somebody is a little bitchy today….

  20. Christmas Ape Says:

    Uh, I did address the issue. Find me these quotes where Ben complains about his injuries. The only time he even mentioned them this year was after the concussion, when it couldn’t be avoided. Find me an instance when he did otherwise.

    You start by saying he yammers about it to the media then you say it’s because he grimaces on the field. Pick one or find evidence of the former. Pretty sure I saw Flacco hobbling around on the field when his leg was hurt a few weeks back. OMG JOE FLACCO IS DRAMA QUEEN!

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, my man.

    That’s a slippery slope. You can justify just about any rumor with that line of reasoning. Seriously, even Florio’s readers think he tries to stir up a response. And ESPN is reputed all around the sports world for doing the same.

    Why this “drama queen” stuff is so important to Ravens fans is beyond me. Whenever they can’t argue football issues, it goes to some peripheral nonsense like this.

  21. NestMinder Says:

    My main line of evidence is his grimacing and playing up injuries during the games. When he blabs to the media about it, it’s icing on the cake.

    Since I’m mainly talking about what he does ON THE FIELD though, I think its a legit football issue, and not terribly peripheral.

    This isn’t a “rumor” it’s a league-wide perception.

    Early in the season a player in the AFC told me he thought Ben Roethlisberger was a drama queen.

    Then, later in the season, Monday Night Football’s Tony Kornheiser said during a broadcast he was told that some in the Pittsburgh media believed Roethlisberger was a drama queen.


    Sure, that author disagrees, but there’s more examples of non-Ravens fans (AFC Players, Pittsburgh Media) saying Ben is a drama queen. More smoke.

  22. Steve Ravens365 Says:

    we’re in Ape and you’re out, that means we DO have the bragging rights this year, go lose to the Browns again and stop speaking

  23. Christmas Ape Says:

    When he blabs to the media about it, it’s icing on the cake.

    Again, show me evidence of him doing this.

    Here’s Suggs talking about his injuries:



    He did the same thing after the Brady Quinn shot this year.

  24. Matt Says:

    So besides McGahee not embarrassing me this weekend because I own his jersey. Who else played like a Raven. I nominate Ellerbe. He had a sack and interception and a fumble that pretty much iced the game. Who didn’t play like a Raven? Flacco well he had a bad day but it seemed like they were in control the entire game and that play when he threw it across the line of scrimmage was dumb. Cundiff its too much nitpicking to blame the kicker in a game you won by 8 points.

  25. NestMinder Says:

    If I must:


    But an initial medical examination revealed no significant damage, a team source said.

    Roethlisberger initially complained about feeling considerable pain but later reported that it had begun to subside.

    Roethlisberger didn’t talk to reporters, but he could be overheard saying, “Oh it just feels great. It feels like a car ran over it.”

    So, not talking to reporters, just making sure they hear him saying how much pain he is in. Even better.

    Still, my main point is his on the field Broadway-worthy antics.

    But there you have it.

  26. Christmas Ape Says:

    That’s the best you can find? Reporters listening to him talk to team doctors?

    And the AFC Title Game point you made is funny. He’s sustained broken ribs on a cheap late hit by Nakamura and he’s a drama queen because he met with a team doctor in a stairwell a minute later? Then didn’t talk to reporters about it later on?

    Let me crack a couple of your ribs and have you laugh it off.

  27. NestMinder Says:

    Let me crack a couple of your ribs and have you laugh it off.

    The difference being, of course, I’m not an NFL quarterback with a reputation for being tough and shaking off injuries. I’m sure I’d laugh at you trying to crack my ribs though, albeit for a completely different reason.

    Here’s some non-injury related “Real World” -type Ben drama:

    “He reached out to me and I told him I was just hurt more than anything else,” Roethlisberger said Thursday. “You know, we got over it, moved past it and now we’re preparing.”


    Aww, Hines hurted my feewings.

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger says he feared he was seriously injured after he heard a popping sound when teammate Max Starks accidentally stepped on his right foot during practice last week.

    “It is a pretty scary thing to have a 300-pound guy step on the back of your foot, on your Achilles,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday while discussing the injury for the first time. “He went down, too, so you know he didn’t just graze it.”


    So there’s some more talking about injuries. I reiterate, my main point is the on the field stuff.

  28. Christmas Ape Says:

    Of course. Because the on-the-field stuff is mostly a subjective judgment by the viewer, so it can’t be proven one way or another.

    Has Big Ben ever winced or shown evidence of being hurt on the field? Sure. But then so has any NFL QB that’s ever played the game, including Natty Joe or whatever you’re calling him now. When you take 50 sacks in a season, you’re going to be hurt.

    I’m sure I’d laugh at you trying to crack my ribs though, albeit for a completely different reason.

    Aw, that’s cute. Nest is a tough guy now. I’m sure an elbow or two to the chest could affect even your adamantium bones.

  29. NestMinder Says:

    With every other QB it’s either

    A – He is hurt; or
    B – He is not

    None of this in-between, I’m in agony but I’m still out here, “look how tough I am” crap. You know who else has some cracked ribs? Tom Brady. Let’s see how often he plays it up for the camera next week.

    As an aside – Pats vs. Ravens – what do you root for, other than the teams and fans maiming each other?

    And, you started the tough guy talk, you brawla, shot-calla, balla.

    Let ME crack a couple of your ribs

  30. Christmas Ape Says:

    How did I start the tough guy talk? You’re the one calling a guy a queen for having broken ribs. I was saying if you sustained the same injury, you would be in agony too.

    I’ll root for the Pats because I’ll always hate your team more. And the girlfriend will be happy with a Pats win. And they probably have a better chance of beating the Colts the next week (even without Welker).

    Either way, I’m pulling for Marmalard to win the AFC.

  31. NestMinder Says:

    I’ll root for the Pats because I’ll always hate your team more.

    More than the Pats? I’m flattered.

    If the Ravens can’t beat all odds and win it all, my order of preference for SB winner goes like this:

    1. N’Awlins
    2. Green Bay (hopefully with a victory over Minnesota thrown in)
    3. Dallas (so they’ll have “SIX RINGS!!!” too)
    4. Buzzsaw
    5. Marmalard

  32. Christmas Ape Says:

    I don’t doubt that you too would root for the Patriots if they played the Steelers in the playoffs again.

    But, yes, should a stray meteor find its way to Gillette Stadium on Sunday, you won’t hear me complain.

  33. NestMinder Says:

    Oh, of course I would.

    But, I have no reason to hate the Patriots or their fans, really. Sure, they’re Massholes, but I know, seriously….ONE Pats fan. Which is exponentially less than the number of Red Sox fans I know, curiously. Pats fans seem to say pretty well contained in the Northeast, unlike the towel wavers.

    Based on what I’ve read around the interwebs, i thought it was a toss-up between Ravens and Pats for Steelers fans.

  34. Christmas Ape Says:

    Perhaps they’ve neglected Baltimore. The Pats bandwagon exploded everywhere else I’ve been since 2001. I hadn’t met one until I was 18, now I see at least one every other day.

    The Patriots have dealt the Steelers far more anguish than the Ravens, but at least their fans will usually concede a loss as a loss when it comes. Well, at least some of them will, which is more than I can say for the purple camo clad faithful.

    Perhaps some Steelers fans still hate the Pats more. I am not one of them.

  35. Matt Says:

    If the Ravens don’t make it I rather see the Chargers in the Super Bowl. But I am pulling for the NFC team that make it I really don’t have any strong opinions on any of the teams in that conference, expect I can’t stand Brett Favre and want to see him crash and burn.

  36. Goob Says:

    I’m sick of Ape, I refuse to speak to him anymore. I don’t have the time to research shit all day long because I’m out working so that makes my arguments useless. Ape if you would like to argue with me, please keep it to just 1 or 2 posts per day and no research, then IT’S ON!!!

    Ravens are playing in Charlotte and Atlanta next year.. both games 100% going to. Anyone else down?

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