MNF: Flacco’s Flock Takes Flight

Matt Schaub - Getty Images

Sad Texans

As a Ravens fan, I can say that I’m quite thankful for the abundance of prime-time games lately (although we lost to the Falcons and Steelers in 2 nail-biters). Tonight will be another showdown involving the Ravens, but unlike the previous prime-time Ravens games (@NYJ, @ATL, PIT), this one shouldn’t be too close. Houston’s offense has some great players, but with the way that the Ravens defense has been playing, I don’t see the Texans scoring over 20 (that’s saying a lot). Now, on the other hand, after such a devastating loss to the Steelers last week, most of which has been blamed on the offense and Cam Cameron, the Ravens will come out with as much offensive firepower as they can muster. Considering every skill player has been to the Pro Bowl (Boldin, Mason, Houshmandzadeh, Heap, Rice, McGahee, McClain), it’s about time for the Ravens to get their offensive act together. Thankfully, the Houston defense is a nice and soft opponent to get the motor churning. Flacco and the Ravens take to the air and win 28-17.

*Disclaimer* Yes, I’m a Ravens fan, and I’m currently wearing my Ed Reed jersey as I write this, but come on! Would you put money on the Texans to win it? At least I used a picture of the Texans for the post!

*Update* To be fair, my prediction was accurate until about halfway through the 4th quarter. The Ravens came out storming and put up 28 points with ease. Then, just like they’ve done for the entirety of 2010, the Ravens made sure the game stayed close, giving the Texans hope with long, draining scoring drives. After tying it up, the pass rush dominated in OT and forced Schaub to throw an interception for a TD. Ravens won 34-28, in what shouldn’t have been a nail-biter.

Friday Afternoon Videos: Human Joystick

Remember Dante Hall? He was one of the most exciting players to watch during his prime, wasn’t he? Here’s just a short little highlight reel of some of his plays. It’s easy to see why he earned the nickname “Human Joystick.” Don’t forget that all those guys he’s making fools of are professional athletes… and don’t miss the Dick Vermeil cameo towards the end. He was an awesome coach. Enjoy!

TNF: Manning Strikes Back

Jacob Tamme - AP Photo

Poor Tamme. He should see a drop in tackles soon.

Okay, just from the title alone, you can already guess who I think is going to win tonight’s game. As bad as the Colts have been playing lately, nobody in the entire NFL has been playing as bad as the Titans these last couple weeks. That’s saying a lot if you consider that the Panthers and Cardinals are also actual participants in the NFL. I guess you can argue that the Titans are getting Kerry Collins and Kenny Britt back, but even with Chris Johnson running around the Colts, I don’t think they can match Peyton‘s offensive execution. Yes, he’s been playing horrible lately, but even while he’s throwing 3-4 INTs per game, the Colts are usually still offensively in the game. Remember in 2007 when he threw 6 INTs against the Chargers? The Colts almost won that game! The quickness with which Peyton can drive down a football field is uncanny, and I see that as the determining factor in tonight’s game (and I just don’t see him throwing 4 picks again, but don’t bet money against it). Having Jacob Tamme on the field tonight would be more of a reason to like the Colts, but it looks like he’s a game-time decision. The Colts outmatch Chris Johnson’s production and win 31-13 in yet another boring prime-time game.

*Update* So, the game didn’t end up being quite as large of a blow-out as I thought, but even though it was only a 2 point game, that’s because the Titans scored a TD with 0 secs left on the clock. It didn’t really mean anything. Peyton showed up and picked apart the Titans defense, only having to worry about Blair White defending his TD pass to Reggie Wayne. That was smooth, rookie. Chris Johnson also had a nice performance, along with Kerry Collins, but just like I predicted (I also said Colts would score 31… just sayin’), the Colts moved down the field with too much efficiency to be topped by CJ1K. The Colts were aided by a few questionable pass-interference calls, but who’s surprised that the NFL wants to see the Colts make a run for the playoffs? I personally would like to see the Jaguars take the AFC South, but I’m sure there are many, including the IceBat, who would hate such a thing.

Why MNF Sucks

Jon Gruden - AP Photo

Can you at least fix Gruden's hair?!

I haven’t seen every game in the 2010 season, but I’ve made a point to watch every prime-time game… even when they’ve been hard to watch. And trust me, some of these games have been very hard to watch. Out of the 3 nights (Thursday, Sunday, and Monday), Sunday has been, by far, the best produced by NBC with the best games, but for the other 2, there’s been some major issues. First, just to get it out of the way, the NFL Network had some great games on Thursday night, but is absolutely butchering it with the commentating. Just listening to Matt Millen makes me feel like I’m losing (burn!), and honestly, I’m tempted every week to mute the game. Why couldn’t they have someone like Mike Mayock in the booth? Then we all might actually gain something from all the chatter. Anyway, at least some of the games have been able to make up for the mental bleeding caused by that crew – because the same can’t be said about Monday Night Football on ESPN. Here’s why they suck.  Continue reading

DEEP SLEEP: James Starks

Brian Westbrook - Getty Images

Westbrook, the Sharer of Carries

This week is going to be my last DEEP SLEEP pick for the 2010 fantasy season. After week 14, there’s really no way to check sleepers’ value since every week is most likely an elimination week and DEEP SLEEP’s were never meant to be just a plug-and-play type pick-up. Anyway, as usual, let’s go back to the past picks:

  • Brian Westbrook – Ouch, talk about a poor performance. After scoring 19.6 points the week before, he put up 3.1 this last weekend. But come on, were you really thinking about starting him against Green Bay? Expect bigger things against Seattle in week 14, but he’s still nothing more than a high-flex or low-RB2 option with Anthony Dixon taking some of those precious carries.
  • Keiland Williams – By far the biggest DEEP SLEEP bust of the season. I had my inhibitions to put him on the list, and from his last couple weeks, I should have stuck with my gut feelings. I just figured with Portis out for sure, Williams would thrive, but how wrong I was. The Redskins’ offense is nothing more than a good match-up for fantasy D/STs.
  • Pierre Thomas – Looks like week 14 should be the week he makes his come back. Considering how well Chris Ivory has been doing in his stead, there’s 2 ways this can go: Either Thomas will excel back in his old role or he will have to end up sharing his reps with Ivory. If you’re in the playoffs for week 14, I’d look for a safer play before unleashing Thomas on your opponent.
  • Shaun Hill – Doesn’t look like he’ll be back in week 14 from injury. When he’s healthy, he puts up good numbers.
  • Sidney Rice – Is 105 yards and 2 TDs considered enough? Finally Rice showed up in his breakthrough game of the 2010 season. I’m not benching him throughout the fantasy playoffs, especially after seeing his 2 TD catches last week. Ridiculous.
  • Jacob Tamme – Sure, a little less than normal, but I would still take Tamme as my TE over any other TE in fantasy, except, of course, Antonio Gates.

This week’s pick after the jump…  Continue reading

Suggs For MVP! & Other Thoughts on the Weekend

Terrell Suggs - AP Photo

Yikes. I'd be scared too.

This isn’t your traditional NFL column. Here are my personal views on this last weekend:

  • Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve – But didn’t. That’s the story of the Ravens loss to the Steelers last night. And as I’m still reeling from the loss, possibly the most painful piece of the entire thing is the fact that the Ravens should have won. I know, I’m a bitter Ravens fan, but if you watched the whole game, you probably saw the same thing I did: a dominating performance by the Ravens (despite frequent penalties), upset at the last second by a gritty Steelers team. Besides some inexplicable offensive stalls by the Ravens (Cam Cameron?), the Steelers were out-played in every phase of the game, including special teams. Yet, Flacco, the better of the 2 QBs last night, failed to recognize a blitz and protect the ball, while Roethlisberger successfully did both only a couple plays later, and that made all the difference. After a decade of an opportunistic Baltimore defense, this time the Steelers filled those shoes. Kudos to the Steelers for making the big play when it mattered most.

Suggs & more after the jump…  Continue reading

Friday Afternoon Videos: Stiff-Arm Ray Lewis’ Son

Okay, not the most accurate title ever, but pretty much captures the videos for today. The first is one of my favorite stiff-arms of all time. Willis McGahee stiff arms his way to the end zone against Oakland back in January this year (01/03/10), and when I saw it, obviously, I went nuts. It reminded me of those cherished days when Jamal Lewis would stomp all over the Browns… Anyway, here’s the video!

Ray Lewis and son after the jump…  Continue reading