A Piping Hot Batch of NFL Midseason Awards
The NFL season has reached the midway point, and the league’s much ballyhooed parity has taken a hiatus in 2012. If the playoffs started today only three teams (New Orleans, Cincinnati, and Detroit) that made the playoffs in 2011 would miss the cut. The only 2011 playoff teams that are currently under .500 are the embattled New Orleans Saints and the typically bungling Bengals. The Andrew Luck-led Colts may be the only team to make the jump from sub .500 in 2011 to the playoffs this season. Luck could even emerge as a viable MVP candidate in the second half of the season. While most of the league has stuck to the script through the first half of the season the emergence of Luck, the Bears once again looking like monsters of the midway, and Doug Martin doing his best Ray Rice impression have made for some interesting story lines.Pin It Tweet
Baltimore Ravens Look to Slow Down Dynamic Redskins
The Baltimore Ravens will look to restore their winning ways when they make the short trip down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to battle the Washington Redskins on Sunday, December 9th.Baltimore is coming off a heartbreaking 23-20 Week 13 home loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s no shame in dropping a close game to Pittsburgh but the fact that the Steelers were led to the last second victory by 37 year old backup quarterback Charlie Batch was cause for much consternation in Baltimore.
The Redskins present an interesting challenge for Baltimore. Rookie QB Robert Griffin III has been a revelation for the downtrodden Redskins and their fan base.Pin It Tweet
Baltimore Ravens Bid Farewell to Longtime Scapegoat Cam Cameron
The Baltimore Ravens fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Monday following a crushing late game collapse against the Washington Redskins. While the timing of Cameron’s firing was curious and spelled of desperation the result was celebrated by many Ravens fans. Cameron’s offenses had been inconsistent, his play calling often baffling, and his in-game adjustments seemingly non-existent in just less than five seasons.
The fact that Cameron was dismissed the day after his team scored 28 points on the road says something about the depth of Baltimore’s offensive dysfunction. The loss to Washington could’ve been blamed on the Ravens injury-riddled defense. Baltimore has operated without major contributors on defense for much of the season and was down to its third string middle linebackers against the Redskins. The fact that the Ravens defense surrendered late game leads in consecutive weeks is no great shock to anyone who has watched the team throughout the season.Pin It Tweet
Health More Important than Home-Field for Playoff Bound Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens backed into the playoffs last Sunday when Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger tossed an overtime interception to set up the Cowboy’s game winning field goal. Big Ben’s gaffe secured the Steelers’ seventh loss of the season and Baltimore’s fifth consecutive playoff appearance. As Roethlisberger heaped blame upon offensive coordinator Todd Haley the Ravens and their fans were equally as cranky.
The Ravens are coming off an embarrassing 34-17 home loss at the hands of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. There’s no shame in losing to Manning, in fact the Ravens have made a habit of it over the years. The new offense of Jim Caldwell looked an awful lot like the old offense of the recently fired Cam Cameron. The Ravens started the game with three consecutive three-and-outs and Joe Flacco threw a goal line interception as the first half clock wound down which gave Denver a 17-0 lead and effectively ended the game.Pin It Tweet
Will This Be Ed Reed’s Final Home Game with Ravens?
The Baltimore Ravens will take the field on Sunday, December 23rd looking to snap a three game losing streak. As the Ravens’ season has hit a downward spiral amongst a bevy of missed blocks, red zone turnovers, and injured defenders the future of safety Ed Reed has been largely overlooked. Reed is a sure fire Hall of Famer and one of the best players in Baltimore history. He’s also a mercurial, aging defender in the last year of his contract. The Ravens have already qualified for the playoffs but if they lose their final two games they’ll likely enter the postseason as a Wild Card and thus be unlikely to host a game. Could Sunday’s game with against the Giants be Reed’s last home game as a Raven?Pin It Tweet
The Unwatcha-Bowl: Jets vs Chargers
Check out my first post for Gunaxin.com
The NFL’s Week 16 schedule features some intriguing match ups with serious playoff implications. While the Steelers/Bengals and 49ers/Seahawks games could help determine divisional winners the Jets/Chargers game features two teams that can’t get to the off-season soon enough.
The Jets are third in the league in turnovers behind only the hapless Eagles and Chiefs. Jets fans won’t have Mark Sanchez to push around any more; and they’re thrilled about it.Pin It Tweet
Ray Lewis Dances His Way Into Baltimore History
When Ray Lewis announced last week that this would be his final season a strange wave of emotion swept over the Baltimore area. I wasn’t really shocked by the news (37-year-old linebackers are few and far between) but was stunned by the timing. Lewis hadn’t played since suffering a triceps injury in October but somehow once again managed to make himself one of the game’s most pivotal figures. In making his announcement prior to the first playoff game Lewis allowed the Ravens to steal the emotional edge from the Colts, took the pressure off his teammates, and whipped the city into a frenzy that will last until the end of the season.
Out-of-towners still see Lewis as the guy in the orange jump suit and shackles who was charged with murder nearly 12 years ago. They see his pre-game dance as pure self-aggrandizement. They view his many good deeds with skepticism. They think he got away with something.Pin It Tweet
Could someone please show Colin Kaepernick how to wear a hat?
Cranky old honky alert! I was stunned by Colin Kapernick’s performance against the Packers on Saturday night. We’ve seen the 49ers’ young QB put on a show in the regular season but the postseason is supposed to be different, right? The stakes are higher, pressure mounts, young QBs falter, or so the theory goes. Kaepernick, along with Russell Wilson, was outstanding in the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs. Kaepernick stole the thunder from Aaron Rodgers and followed up on his virtuoso performance with an appearance on the Fox halftime show of Sunday’s Seahaks/Falcons game wearing his dad’s hat.
Come on Colin! I don’t care about the tattoo sleeves but at least learn how to wear a hat. It’s for your own good. Tony Romo has been criticized for looking like a dumbass, and often playing like one, for years largely because of his backwards cap. At least Romo wears a hat that fits. Kaepernick looks like he should be sitting in an over-sized chair with his legs dangling as he licks on a gigantic rainbow lollypop. Is there any doubt that his mom has scribbled “Colin’s hat” in magic marker on the underside of the bill of that cap? CK7 may be one of the NFL’s most exciting young players but the 49ers’ PR department needs to get a hold of him before they send him out for any more nationally televised interviews.
The Falcons may get a good laugh at Kaepernick’s head wear but the game film from Saturday’s thrashing of Green Bay could turn their laughter to tears. Dumb looking hat or no the young man should provide a helluva test for the Atlanta defense.Tweet
Ravens Continue on Road to Redemption
Next: knocking off Tom Brady and the Patriots.
The Baltimore Ravens’ stunning victory in Denver on Saturday may go down in Baltimore history as the second greatest game ever played and will live on in the annals of NFL postseason lore. Whether history remembers Joe Flacco’s 70-yard touchdown bomb to Jacoby Jones as the Mile High Heave, the Flacco Fling, or the Raven Rainbow won’t matter nearly as much as the final score. The victory over Peyton Manning and the big bad Broncos has propelled the Ravens right back to the same spot they ended last season. Baltimore’s return trip to New England to tussle with the Patriots once again is the ultimate do-over.
The final seconds of last season’s AFC Championship game left Baltimore with an everlasting disdain for Billy Cundiff and Lee Evans, and the Ravens with an enormous chip on their shoulder. General Manager Ozzie Newsome scored big points with the fan base when he replaced Evans and Cundiff during the offseason with free agent WR Jacoby Jones and undrafted rookie kicker Justin Tucker. The performances of Jones (game-tying TD) and Tucker (game-winning overtime field goal) must’ve been very gratifying for Newsome and his front office. The win also gave Newsome a victory over long-time nemesis John Elway, who broke the hearts of Newsome and the Cleveland Browns in consecutive AFC title games in the late 1980s. There’s no love lost in Baltimore for Elway, the Colts first selection in the 1983 draft who refused to sign and forced a trade to Denver.Pin It Tweet