Archive for the 'Baltimore Ravens' Category


Dallas Cowboys: Will They Keep Jason Garrett or Wade Phillips?

According to a report on ESPN, the Baltimore Ravens have asked Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to be their new head coach after they fired Brian Billick for being out of his league and living on undeserved accolades from years ago. Word on the street says that Garrett has yet to make a decision.

I have a feeling he won’t have to: Jerry Jones will offer him the head coaching job with the Cowboys if he will stay on, firing Wade Phillips in the process.

Now, this is all on gut feeling and I know there are others out there who feel the same way, especially after the Cowboys became the first top NFC team to lose in the Divisional round of the playoffs in modern-day NFL history. Someone has to pay for that, and the top man has proven himself to be, like Marty Schottenheimer, a postseason loser.

Phillips is now 0-4 in the playoffs. Marty has won five games in the postseason, but he has had 18 chances – and two of those wins came with Joe Montana and Marcus Allen playing together for the Chiefs. I have those games on tape and I am pretty sure they just stopped listening to Marty in order to win. If that was the case, Schottenheimer has not won a playoff game on his own merits since 1990. That’s only 18 years, right? Yeah, he’ll get another chance real soon. Madness.

Even Phillips has admitted that he was surprised to get another shot at being an NFL head coach after his sessions of futility while masquerading as the head coach of the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills made it abundantly clear – apparently to anyone not named Jerry Jones – that giving Wade Phillips command of an NFL team is simply to watch the Peter Principle play out before your eyes. It is a waste of the talents of people like Tony Romo and Terrell Owens, and no one wants to see Owens all teary-eyed. (By no one, I mean everyone except Cowboys fans; and I especially mean fans of the 49ers and Eagles.)


The article linked to in the previous paragraph talks about Norv Turner, the first-year head coach in San Diego, who is going to give an excellent example of an entire team displaying the meaning of the Peter Principle when the Chargers visit New England this weekend to play the undefeated Patriots on their home turf, Gillette Field.

Still, hats off to Turner for getting his team into the AFC Championship game. He has made some great calls in these playoffs and pretty much everything has panned out very well for him. Color me surprised, but happily so. I love being wrong about someone sucking. I want everyone in the NFL to be great. How could you not, as a fan?

Anyway, read what 41 Miles To Freedom says about the hiring of Wade Phillips in Dallas back in July of last year and you’ll get a glimpse into the thought processes that can sway an otherwise sound mind into the illogical notion that, “Hey, maybe Phillips will do just fine.”

So, now Jerry Jones has two choices, really. Both of which will cause him at least a measure of stress and losing face. He can keep Phillips and lose Garrett in the process; a decision that will bring the ire of intelligent football fans from throughout the Lone Star State. Or, he can cut Phillips and make Garrett his new head coach; in effect admitting that he should probably have hired Garrett instead of Phillips last year.

While the second option will placate the fans, at least for now – such a fickle bunch are they – perhaps Jones is smarter than we know. It is entirely possible that, like the four other head coaches mentioned in this piece, Garrett will not be a good head coach and Jones knows this. After all, not many people have been around football and management as long as Jones. (Don’t bring up the obviously insane Al Davis.)

Still, Garrett would only have to be better than Wade Phillips to be the better choice and that can’t be all that hard. Phillips seems to have brought the fun back to the Cowboys and Garrett is given tons of credit for bringing their level of play up a notch. Solution: Keep both, but have Phillips as a sort of team leader / cheerleader-type thing.

This story should be interesting however it plays out.



Monday Night Madness!

Wow…I seem to be saying “wow” a lot this season. I love the NFL!

Tonight’s game had New England at Baltimore and the Yardstick was set to 14 in favor of the undefeated team. But, Baltimore played a good game, right up until it was time to seal the victory, and the Pats won 27-24 on a touchdown with :43 seconds to go.

Get a good read on what happened in the final two minutes of Monday Night’s game by clicking that link behind you!


Ravens to Fire Brian Billick?

At least, if they have any sense they will, which appears highly unlikely, all things considered this year. Coaching makes all the difference in football, more so than any other sport. This week, in Baltimore, the call should be very loud for a new head coach for the Ravens. You don’t often see teams lose games by such obvious bad coaching decisions as those made by Brian Billick and his staff that caused the Ravens to lose to the Browns on Sunday.

The Ravens went ahead with :26 seconds left. They should have gone ahead with :02 seconds left, but Billick called for a passing play on 3rd-down – this from a supposed offensive genius. The pass fell incomplete and the field goal unit had to come on and do their job with the clock stopped. If he had ran the ball, the Ravens could have used up the time on the clock, leaving nothing for the Browns to work with. That was clear to everyone watching the game except the Ravens’ coaching staff. The Browns were standing around pretending not to be paying attention.

That was his first mistake that cost them the game. He followed that up with another, which helped to seal the deal, at least with the football gods, who saw his play-calling and realized they could not let Billick win if he doesn’t at least act like he knows something about the game.

The next mistake he made was to kick the ball to Josh Cribbs on the ensuing kickoff. All the Browns kick returner had done up until that point was to run back five kicks for 165 yards. It wasn’t like everyone would be amazed if he ran this kick back for a touchdown to win the game. Well, that did not happen, as the gods wanted to take their time with this. Cribbs ran the ball back 39 yards to the Cleveland 43. Two quick passes and the Browns were set to kick the tying field goal.

That field goal itself became a story and Brian Billick must have been suffering as it took five minutes for the officials to decide whether or not the kick was good. It was, and Cleveland got the ball first in OT. Never before, in any level of football, had anyone ever seen a football go through the uprights and come back out, thus the ensuing confusion. Credit the officials for making the right call. And credit the football gods for flexing their might when, in the Sunday Night game, it happened again on Buffalo’s field goal against New England. Never before – twice in one day. Wow.

So, the Browns elect to receive the ball first in OT. It was here that the insanity of Billick became most obvious. Even Cribbs himself, after the game, had this to say,“Coach was like, ‘They’re not gonna kick it to you … they’d have to be stupid to kick it to you this time,’ ” Cribbs said. “I was preparin’ for ‘em to kick it to (Darnell) Dinkins. Lo and behold, they kicked it deep (to me), and I’m like … what’s goin’ on?

“I started shiftin’ back to catch the ball. The whole time the ball’s comin’ back, I’m like … what are you doin?’ ”

Cribbs worked over the Ravens for a franchise-record 306 kickoff and punt return yards today. That last one, in OT, he ran back 41 yards. The Browns kicked the winning field goal shortly thereafter, and Billick’s fate should be sealed in Baltimore. I have never coached a football game in my life, and I could see the man clearly has no interest anymore in preparing for the game or understanding what is happening on the field. Good-bye Billick. Thanks for the good memories and an excellent football book (which you apparently have not read for a while).


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Bengals Henry Not Going to Make It

Chris Henry, the third receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals when he can keep his composure long enough off the field, does not seem to have learned very much during his eight-game suspension. Henry just finished serving his suspension, handed down by Commissioner Goodell after four charges had been laid by police in multiple supposed infractions of the law for drugs and gun violations, and has been practicing with the team for two weeks now.

While Henry tries to talk the talk of a reformed thug, it seems very likely that he is going to do something soon that could end his career. Although he mostly refuses to discuss his suspension with the media, one sentence did slip out that would make one think he has definitely not learned much, and that he has an inherent disdain for those who forced him into exile.


“I’ve been sitting back and going through this little stuff, my little suspension or whatever, and I’ve had a lot of time to sit down and think about everything.” (Source: ESPN)

That is the kind of talk that one would expect from a high-school bully after he gets back from reform school, not the type of words that would come from someone who truly realizes the precariousness of his position and the seriousness that could result from further misconduct.

In fact, although no charges have yet been laid, Henry was alleged to have gotten into even more trouble just last night with a parking attendant within view of Paul Brown Stadium, where he hopes to revive his career. Apparently, Henry and another person parked their vehicle and left without paying. Henry is said to have yelled, “Don’t you know who I am?” to the parking attendant who tried to make them pay. Henry then threw a fiver on the ground.

Words speak louder than actions, but when disrespectful words are coupled with actions of the same variety, it becomes pretty obvious that this young man has a long way to go before he can be said to be back on the way up. For a football player who makes a ton of cash to be so dismissive of a parking attendant speaks volumes.

I know who you are, Henry. I’ve met your type. You are vulgar, vain, self-centered and uncaring, if one goes by what you show to the public. Keep it up, big guy, and soon you’ll get what you deserve. Not only will no one know who you are, but they won’t even remember who you were. And no one will give a damn.

The Yardstick for the Bengals next game, against the Ravens this Sunday, calls for a three-point Ravens win as of Wednesday evening.

That makes me think that no one saw the Ravens play Pittsburgh on Monday night. I know I had to turn away before the first half was done, but I did make a couple notes beforehand:
1) Wow, Ben just made me a bit of a believer. That move to get out of the clutches of Pryce, then drop that pass in there – especially at that point of the game, when the knife hurt McNair’s back the very most possible – for the score? I don’t even know what to say? Except that, with no corners and only 20 yards to go each time, he’d better be able to finish
2) This game by the Ravens offense so far is the worst game I have seen any offense play since Dan Marino’s last game. Utterly embarrassing.
3) Before the first half was finished, I noted that Baltimore looked so bad that the Steelers could go home now. I mean, leave the stadium entirely, leaving the Ravens to fumble around blindly at midfield until the game ended. I am pretty sure, even with no defenders, that the Ravens would not be able to get into the end zone more than twice.
4) Ray Lewis might get charged with killing someone again very soon – this time, someone on his own team.


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It’s Gonne Be Ugly on Monday Night Football

Tonight’s game between the Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers is going to be an ugly affair all ’round…if you are a fan of offensive displays of power. Those of you who like trench wars and battles at the line of scrimmage will eat this one up. Neither one of these teams scares anyone with their passing game, and tonight will be no exeption, especially as the weather in Pittsburgh is getting rainier and windier as the day gets long.


The Yardstick for this game, as of 6:30 pm EST is calling for a 7-point victory for the home team, and that might even be a little much in this weather. Baltimore is also getting Steve McNair back, and WR Mason says he is looking much better than he did before. Of course, what else is he going to say? With Todd Heap a game-time decision, the Ravens passing game has even more question marks.

On the defensive side of the ball for Baltimore, it looks like Rolle and McAllister, their two starting corners, might not play this game. If so, there is no better game to miss, as the weather, combined with Big Ben’s relative lack of passing skills, should limit the damage that might otherwise be done.

One thing’s for sure: these two teams know each other well, and like each other not even a little bit. Last season, in the two games they played, Ben was sacked 14 times and threw 4 picks.

Fast Willie Parker? Last season’s sixth-leading rusher was held to just 51 yards. Yes, in two games.

So, the Ravens know what they must do to win. Now, if Ray Lewis can stop dancing and mouthing off long enough to play this game, they just might be able to pull off the upset. If so, the Steelers, Ravens and the Browns will all have 5-3 records after eight games. Now that would make things interesting!


Week 7 NFL Recap: FanYard vs. Pyle of List

These were some kinda crazy games, and we both made a couple very nice calls here. Read more to find out who between us made the better picks in NFL Week 7. Remember, like the Yardstick, we have to pick the correct NFL team and we want to be as close as possible to the amount of points that team wins by, without going over with our pick. Jon from Pyle of List is our fellow combatant. See what he thinks of Chris Berman.

BB: Patriots by 14 over Dolphins:

JP: Pats by 11 over Dolphins:

The Pats could only manage a 21-point victory over the finless Dolphins even after Ronnie Brown went down for the season? I can only imagine that Belichick has not been able to sleep a wink over his decision to sit Brady for a while in the second half. Unconscionable. One more notch on the Yardstick.


BB: Saints by 3 over Falcons:

JP: Saints by 7 over Falcons:

Juuusst a little bit over by Jon here, as the Saints marched over the backs of the Falcons by six points, not seven. So close, but still, I know he’s smilin’ at the fact that Joey’s back. BB up by two.

BB: Cowboys by 6 over Vikings:

JP: ‘Boys by 10 over Vikings:

Can you say, “Right on the money!” I knew you could. Jon gets two for a direct hit and we’re tied up, just like that.

BB: Giants by 7 over 49ers:

JP: Giants by 1 over 49ers:

Apparently Jon has more faith in the Niners than the FanYard players who help us find the Yardstick. But no one thought it would go this badly. Giants get an 18 point win, and I get one more point.

BB: Ravens by 3 over Bills:

JP: Bills by 4 over Ravens:

Color me impressed with this pick. Jon was almost bang-on again, as the Bills beat the Ravens by five at home. Tied up again.


BB: Steelers by 5 over Broncos:

JP: Steelers by 14 over Broncos:

No winners here, as the Broncos surprised the Yardstick, me, Jon and even themselves, with their third last-second field goal victory; it is the only type of win they have had all year.

BB: Eagles by 3 over Bears:

JP: Bears by 1 over Eagles:

Another nice pick here by JP, as the Bears won on an amazing final drive by Brian Griese, who called his own plays.

BB: Titans by 2 over Texans:

JP: Titans by 4 over Texans:

Yes, there was a ton of field goals in this game. Normally that is boring, right? Right. Except that this is the exception that proves the rule, at least in the fourth quarter.

BB: Bengals by 6 over Jets:

JP: Bengals by 3 over the Jets:

Almost bang on again, but the seven-point win by the Bengals is still good for one more precious point.

BB: Redskins by 6 over Cardinals:

JP: Cardinals by 6 over ‘Skins:

The two-point win by the Skins was not enough for points here, as they almost gave the game away in the second half.

BB: Seahawks by 7 over Rams:

JP: Rams by 3 over Seahawks:

I am not sure about the Rams making the playoffs anymore, man. They’ll have to play a little bit better if they want to save this season, that’s for sure. Meanwhile, the 27-point win in Seattle was overshadowed by a huge sale at Nordstrom’s and you can notch another point for Blake and the Yardstick.

BB: Lions by 2 over the Buccaneers:

JP: Lions by 6 over Bucs:

Jon’s call almost brought him within a point here, but I’m sure he’s gonna be happy with the one point he gets for almost exactly predicting this touchdown victory for the squad of miracles.


BB: Chiefs by 2 over Raiders:

JP: Raiders by 2 over Chiefs:

Now this, friends, was a nice, exact call to make, going against the favorite and taking a road dog while hitting the margin of victory right on. The Chiefs’ two-point win has them sitting in sole possession of first place in the AFC West. I am fine with being proven wrong about old Coach Hermie and I’ll take the two points, but I am pretty sure he is just elevating me enough to bring me down.

BB: Colts by 4 over Jags:

JP: Colts by 13 over Jags:

Nice call, JP, thinking the Colts would want to prove something. Well, they proved something all right. That they can play football very good and that Del Rio’s job was in jeopardy at the start of the season for good reason. Why is it that coaches seem to relish in making the worst decisions possible when playing the Colts? I guess Peyton really does screw with people’s minds. Maybe I should be giving the credit to Manning for the idiotic play-calling of Herm Edwards and Bill Billick for the lack of logic in their game plans against the Colts in last year’s playoffs, too.

Week 7 Points –

BB: 9
JP: 6

Total points –

BB: 30.5
JP: 23

Week 7 Record –

BB: 10-4
JP: 10-4

Overall Record –

BB: 46-25
JP: 42-29


McGahee Hates Buffalo Singers, Too

Oh, man, this is funny stuff!

I presume most of you know Buffalo has a big hate-on for their former running back Willis McGahee, who now plays for the Ravens and returns to Buffalo this Sunday for the first time since they traded him. In an interview with Penthouse last January, McGahee put down the women, bars, weather and pretty much eveything else about the city of Buffalo and suggested the Bills should move to Toronto.

Well, now there’s a site dedicated to hating Willis, and there’s even a DVD you can buy and a song called Our Turn To Speak. I never read the interview as I look at Penthouse for the pictures, but McGahee is on my fantasy team and I’d rather have him than any Bill I can think of. Of course, I had to listen to the song and lemme tell you, I think it just gave Willis more ammo and me a headache.

At least, that’s my five cents on Buffalo’s beef.


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What Day is the Game?

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