Tag:Joe Flacco
Posted on: November 12, 2010 1:48 pm
 

Hot Routes 11.12.10: Balance for the Jets rushing

Posted by Will Brinson



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  • LaDainian Tomlinson's been the story of the Jets rushing attack so far this season (yes, his dominance outweighs how terrible Shonn Greene has been). But the tides could be turning -- Rex Ryan wants to see a "more balanced" split in carries (anticipating about 50 carries a game) between Greene and Tomlinson going forward. RB coach Anthony Lynn points out that Greene -- whose YPC is up near 4.8 in recent games, while Tomlinson's is under 4.0 -- is "built for November, December, January." It makes sense, particularly if the Jets can get some separation in working towards a playoff spot, because there's no reason in wasting LdT during meaningless games of the regular season.
  • How safe is Mike Singletary's job in San Francisco? Tim Kawakami's already putting together a list of potential replacements.
  • Dom Capers, who's killing it with a depleted Green Bay defense this season, isn't inclined to talk about head coaching jobs right now.
  • Joe Flacco believes the Ravens left "a little bit too much time on the clock" for the Falcons Thursday night. This is technically correct, but, and I really hate to agree with Joe Thiesmann here, if you can get six when the Ravens got six, you take the points.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 12:18 am
 

Matt Ryan is awfully impressive

M. Ryan has become one of the better quarterbacks in the league (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I was prepared to write a post about how much better Matt Ryan is at playing quarterback than Joe Flacco. I probably wouldn’t have phrased it exactly like that, because the difference in the abilities of Ryan and Flacco is probably minimal at best.

But with the Falcons dominating the Ravens for most of the game Thursday night – and with Ryan easily out-playing Flacco – it would have been an easy story to write.

Yet, then, Flacco showed that, while neither he nor Ryan should be considered a top-five quarterback, they’re most definitely two of the better quarterbacks in the league. And they’re two quarterbacks who can push their respective teams deep into the playoffs and perhaps take them on a ride to the Super Bowl.

During Atlanta’s 26-21 win vs. Baltimore, Ryan was brilliant, completing 32 of 50 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns. It was a career game for him.

Flacco (21 of 34 for 209 yards, three touchdowns and one pick), who looked so flat for most of the game, willed his team to 14-straight unanswered points, including two touchdown passes in a span of 4:37 late in the fourth quarter. It was a heck of a final 15 for him.

Briefly, after Flacco hit Ravens TE Todd Heap for the nine-yard score with 1:05 to play to give Baltimore the 21-20 lead, it looked like Flacco had been vindicated.

Until Ryan – who improved to 18-1 at home in his career – took the field, that is.

He didn’t get a ton of help from his receivers. Harry Douglas dropped a pass. So did Roddy White, which was strange because White had dropped one earlier in the quarter and White almost never drops passes.

But he threw a great ball to Michael Jenkins for a 24-yard gain in which Jenkins made a wonderful fingertip catch. He connected with White, and two plays later, Ryan – with the pocket collapsing around him – threw toward TE Tony Gonzalez. The pass was incomplete, but the officials called it pass interference on Ravens LB Tavares Gooden.

Which set the stage for Ryan, who rolled left and threw a great pass to White for the 33-yard touchdown with 20 seconds to go and the victory.

Earlier, I told you Ryan isn’t the elite of the elite. After all, can you visualize him standing in the same picture as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Philip Rivers? But with more performances like that, you can see that he eventually could make his way into the frame with the finest of the fine.

Ryan is already a really good quarterback. Ryan becoming a great quarterback is very much a real possibility.

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Posted on: October 31, 2010 8:46 am
Edited on: October 31, 2010 8:47 am
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Halloween costumes

A. Cromartie would look great if he went as a dandelion for his Halloween costume (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Today will be a packed day for you. Naturally, you’ve got a full slate of NFL games to watch – either on TV or in the stadium of your choice – and then there’s going to be the few hours you need to recover from your team winning (beer!) or from your team losing (beer mixed with tears!). Then, you’ve got to take the kids trick-or-treating, because, lest you forget, it’s Halloween.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with the top-10 best costumes the NFL could make use of this year. Most would require a sense of humor from the individual player, but if that player DID dress up in what we’re suggesting, they would automatically be included in our Awesome Hall of Fame.

There were quite a few costumes we left off, because they simply weren’t good enough (or were too obvious). One of which was Terrell Owens/Chad Ochocinco as Batman/Robin. We’ve been there, done that. We also had a Wizard of Oz theme working with Albert Haynesworth as the tin man, Norv Turner as the scarecrow, Bryant McKinnie as the lion, and referee Gene Steratore (the official who had to make the replay calls on the Calvin Johnson non-TD catch and the Ben Roethlisberger non-TD fumble) as the actual Wizard (pay no attention to that man behind (or, in this case, underneath) that curtain!)

10. Joe Flacco = The Situation. This is the reason we had this idea in the first place. The other day we told you about Flacco dressing up like the Jersey Shore’s biggest star (complete with faux-hawk, racing stripes and the state map of New Jersey shaved into the back of his head). Yes, Flacco, at face value, doesn’t seem to have much in common with The Situation. But he was the impetus for our idea, so we include him.

9. Tom Brady = Justin Bieber. Obviously, the hair. And yes, this story has been a bit played-out, but we can’t get over the fact that Bieber tried to call out Brady in his terrible bit of freestyling on that ridiculous video. It makes me sad.

We miss J. Allen's mullet, but probably not as much as he does (Getty). 8. Jared Allen = Samson. You know, the biblical character. The guy who had so much strength because of the length of his hair, and then cut it all off because of that damn Delilah (that’s the basic framework of the story, right? It’s been a long time since I was in Sunday school). Well, Allen – who’s recorded only one sack in six games this year – has been invisible for most of the season after cutting off his mullet, because of, sigh, a woman (now his wife).

7. Brett Favre = Bill Clinton. The only prop he needs is a cigar.

6. Brett Favre = Verizon cell phone guy. Actually, this one wasn’t my joke, but I think it’s funnier than the Bill Clinton gag. Yet, IF Favre went as the Verizon guy with a pair of the No Fly Wranglers made famous by SNL, he might shoot to No. 1 on this list.

5. Ben Roethlisberger = a stop sign. First of all, Roethlisberger has the solid width to support an octagonal sign. Second of all, Roethlisberger would do well to heed the sign’s message the next time he’s out at a bar or a golf course or anywhere where there are females present. Roethlisberger would get even bigger props if he could pair the sign with a motorcycle helmet (safety first!). 

4. Wade Phillips = Bernie Lomax from “Weekend at Bernie’s.” At this point, Andrew McCarthy might as well be slapping flies off Phillips' forehead. Phillips obviously is still the head coach of the Cowboys, but the way the season has gone, he’s a dead coach walking. McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman don’t yet have to intertwine their shoelaces with Phillips’ to drag him out to the field, but if things get much worse for the Cowboys, we’re not far away from having a big boozed-out party at Phillips’ island getaway.

3. Jeff Fisher = CSI investigator. The Titans coach has become a private detective after his WR Kenny Britt was arrested last week at a club a couple days before Tennessee took the field against the Eagles (where he pounded Philadelphia single-handedly). Later, Fisher admitted he visited the Karma Lounge on a fact-finding mission to find out what had really happened with Britt. No word on whether he went inside wearing a trench coat and a top hat. Or whether David Caruso was with him.

2. Braylon Edwards = taxi driver. This might be a stretch for Edwards, considering it’s entirely possibly he’s never actually been INSIDE a cab before. Especially when he’s out for a night on the town and allegedly has had way too much to drink. Or, even better, Edwards could dress as a limo driver. Get the nice suit, the jaunty hat, maybe a scarf and (definitely) the driving gloves.

1. Antonio Cromartie = dandelion. Do you know why? Can you figure it out? Why would we compare the Jets cornerback to the flowering plant from the genus taraxacum? Think about what happens when you blow a fully-bloomed dandelion. The seeds scatter to the wind in an effort to reproduce and to make new dandelions. How does that relate to Cromartie? Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, check the video below. Happy Halloween indeed.




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Posted on: October 26, 2010 1:03 pm
 

Flacco + The Situation = brutal

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Credit Ravens QB Joe Flacco for going all out. All out for his Halloween costume, that is.

Flacco spent 100 minutes in the chair of a barber this week so he could transform Flacco’s hair into a replica of the Jersey Shore’s The Situation. Flacco now has a spike faux-hawk with racing stripes on the side and a map of New Jersey on the back. Naturally, it looks horrendous. But hilarious at the same time.

Check out the photos on the Baltimore Sun website.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: October 25, 2010 4:27 pm
 

Hot Routes 10.25.10 Week 7 box score tidbits

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Yet another story lost in the Favre hoopla Sunday night: the Vikings finished with 196 yards rushing that game.

Randy Moss had just three catches Sunday, which was three more than Donald Driver. Driver’s streak of 133-straight games with a reception is over. (For what it’s worth, Drive was playing with a bum quad.)

Carson Palmer lost Sunday, but we’re guessing that his fantasy owners won. Palmer’s final numbers: 36/50 for 412 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. C. Palmer (US Presswire)

Jordan Shipley, in his first game back since suffering a concussion after T.J. Ward’s vicious and dirty hit, caught six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown.

John Abraham caused some problems for the Bengals. It wasn’t an utterly dominant performance, but Abraham recorded two sacks Sunday and consistently pushed the pocket.

The Bears were just 2/10 on third down against the Redskins. That means they had three times as many turnovers as third down conversions.

Ryan Torain ripped off 125 yards on 21 carries. The Bears were playing without injured outside linebacker Lance Briggs (ankle).

Bears guard Chris Williams finally got off the snide, catching his first pass of the season for a gain of four yards. (Without seeing the play, the guess here is that the ball was either tipped, or Cutler was remarkably errant on an attempted smoke screen to DeAngelo Hall.)

Albert Haynesworth was a menace for most of the afternoon. He finished with a sack and two tackles for a loss.

The Titans won despite getting just 66 yards out of Chris Johnson’s 24 rushing attempts.

Jeremy Maclin was targeted 14 times but finished with just five catches for 42 yards.

The Chiefs gashed the Jaguars for 236 yards on the ground. At one point, Thomas Jones ripped off a 70-yard run and Jamaal Charles came in and punched in the goal-line score.

Dwayne Bowe scored two touchdowns for a second week in a row.

For the Jaguars, some guy named Courtney Greene started at safety and led the team with 12 tackles. (Because Greene started at safety, we’ll assume this means he’s about to be cut.)

It took Big Ben all of two games to get back into 300-yard passing form. Roethlisberger threw for 302 yards against the Dolphins.

The Steelers held Ronnie Brown to 14 yards on nine carries.

The official box score lists the Steelers have having four fumbles, with two lost and one recovered. That leaves one fumble unaccounted for. Does anyone, by chance, know what happened there?

Colt McCoy won his second start as a pro, but he contributed only 74 yards through the air in doing so.

Peyton Hillis rushed for 69 yards, which was enough by one yards to beat out punter Reggie Hodges to be the Browns’ leading rusher Sunday.

Saints safety Darren Sharper had two tackles in his first action of the season.


Scott Fujita returned to New Orleans and posted 11 tackles, a sack, two tackles for a loss, an interception and a pass deflection.

The Rams scored 17 points in the second quarter at Tampa but zero in the other three quarters.

LeGarrette Blount headlined the Bucs backfield with 11 carries for 72 yards. Cadillac Williams, who caught Josh Freeman’s winning touchdown pass, had just 12 yards on four carries.

Matt Moore was 28/41 for 308 yards, two touchdowns and an interception (which, granted, was an ugly one returned by Ray McDonald for six points). All in all, that’s a mountain-moving quarterbacking performance for the Panthers.

Steve Smith had four catches for 50 yards in his first game back from an ankle injury (which he tweaked in the third quarter, by the way), but it was David Gettis who wore the receiver hat for the Panthers. The sixth-round rookie had eight receptions, 125 yards and two touchdowns.

Joe Flacco was just 16/31 against the Bills, but he did throw three touchdowns and no interceptions. None of those TD’s went to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The former Pro Bowler was targeted just twice and finished with no catches.

Steve Johnson and Lee Evans both went over 100 yards for the Bills.

Ray Lewis: 15 tackles, one sack, one huge fumble force and recovery.

Max Hall and Derek Anderson combined for 12/33 passing

The Cardinals lost four fumbles at Seattle.

The Raiders pretty much embarrassed the Broncos in every statistical way imaginable.

Four the Patriots 15 first downs Sunday were a result of a Chargers penalty.

San Diego rushed for a measly 38 yards on 19 attempts.

Journeyman Antwan Barnes posted two tackles for a loss and two sacks for the Chargers.


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Posted on: October 14, 2010 11:35 am
Edited on: October 14, 2010 12:27 pm
 

Key Matchup Week 6: Ravens O vs. Patriots D

Posted by Andy Benoit

Thanks to the Randy Moss and Deion Branch trades, we’ve read plenty of analysis lately about the Patriots offense. (Quick two cents here: what does Branch give the Pats that Wes Welker and Julian Edelman do not? Also, now that the Pats are ostensibly back to their dink-and-dunk offense, doesn’t the loss of Kevin Faulk look even more significant?)

But what about the other side of the ball? Do the Patriots have a good enough defense to win without an explosive offense? The football gods were kind enough to provide New England with a Week 6 opponent that should provide an immediate bottom line answer to that question: Joe Flacco and the Ravens. Or maybe we should say Ray Rice and the Ravens. Or Anquan Boldin and the Ravens. Or Derrick Mason and the Ravens. Take your pick – that offense is loaded.
R. Rice (US Presswire)
We all remember what happened last time the Ravens visited Foxboro: Ray Rice’s 83-yard touchdown on the game’s opening play proved to be a harbinger of one of the most thorough beatdowns in wild-card history. The Ravens rushed 234 yards on 52 attempts in that 33-14 route.

Let’s start there: can Baltimore dominate New England on the ground again this Sunday? Ray Rice is fully healthy after battling a sore knee in late September. Rice’s compact running style and innate feel for pressing a hole and setting up blocks evokes memories of Emmitt Smith. Like Emmitt, Rice can make lateral cuts without halting his downhill momentum or sacrificing his strength (this latter trait is what separates Rice from an explosive-but-situational player like, say, a Jamaal Charles).

The Patriots have outstanding athletes at inside linebacker. Jerod Mayo, at his best, is as good as any player in the league (ever seen the way he slips and sheds blocks?). And rookie Brandon Spikes, though not fast in terms of 40 time, closes on tackles with tremendous speed. That said, it’s a tall order for any player to match up with Rice.

What’s more, Rice has the benefit of an outstanding supporting cast. The Ravens refer to the classic power run game more than any team in the NFL. They’ll use an overloaded line with versatile Marshal Yanda lined up next to Michael Oher, making tight end Todd Heap the offensive tackle on the weak side of the formation. This is a tactic teams use when they know they’re flat-out stronger than an opponent. Rice is capable of moving a pile, though the Ravens have even better options in Willis McGahee, who has shown far more burst than his numbers indicate, and Le’Ron McClain, who you could argue is the AFC’s version of Brandon Jacobs (the Brandon Jacobs of a few years ago, that is).

The Patriots would have welcomed a power run approach back when they had Richard Seymour, Ty Warren and outside linebackers who could actually set the edge against the run. The secret key to New England’s success in the 3-4 has been having ends that can win the power battles in the trenches. Just how important are the ends in Bill Belichick’s scheme? Important enough for coaches to frequently move the best nose tackle in football, Vince Wilfork, outside this season.

Wilfork’s de facto position change reveals just how desperate the Patriots are at defensive end. The starter opposite Wilfork is Ron Brace, a second-year player who was inactive for most of 2009. The other option is Gerard Warren, a journeyman veteran who has spent his entire career as a 4-3 defensive tackle.

With four games in the books, the Patriots rank 20th against the run. The Ravens rank 14th in rush offense, but there isn’t a soul out there who believes they’ll be outside the top 10 come season’s end.

The difference between this Ravens offense and the one that demolished the Patriots back in January is that this Ravens offense can consistently throw. The additions of Anquan Boldin, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and rookie tight end Ed Dickson have accelerated the already-steady development of Joe Flacco.

The Ravens, in a good way, are still trying to figure out roles for all their receivers. The Patriots, in a bad way, are still trying to figure out roles for all their defensive backs. New England’s No. 2 cornerback slot has been a revolving door. Undrafted second-year player Kyle Arrington has been the most recent guinea pig there. Before him, it was Darius Butler. Jonathan Wilhite and Terrence Wheatley have also been considered before. The No. 1 corner job is held by Devin McCourty, a first-round rookie who has had natural ups and downs thus far.

The Patriot corners have all struggled in press coverage. And, thanks to surprisingly inconsistent safety play – because of freelancing, Brandon Meriweather has gone from Pro Bowler to nickel defender – the entire secondary has been vulnerable in Cover 3, one of the Belichick’s favorite zones.

The conventional thinking would be that New England needs to pressure Flacco. But when your outside linebackers are Rob Ninkovich and Jermaine Cunningham (who captured a starting job because Tully Banta-Cain is a major liability as a playside run defender), the only way you pressure a quarterback is by blitzing.

A blitz would quickly define the read for Flacco and allow him to fall back on his arm strength. The Patriots may be better off taking their chances with rushing three and dropping eight. This would force Flacco to think and make decisions. The Patriots also want Flacco to have to make throws down the middle of the field, where he occasionally tends to misread coverages.

Of course, all this is based on the assumption that the Patriots can force the Ravens into third-down-and-long situations. And everything we know about the run matchup in this game suggests that third-and-long won’t happen often.

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:37 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.30.10: Falcons snub DeAngelo Hall?


Posted by Will Brinson
Got a link for the Hot Routes? Holler at us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • The Falcons are rocking their throwback jerseys on Sunday as they welcome Mike Singletary and the winless San Francisco 49ers to Atlanta; personally, I think they look pretty dope. But I haven't seen them up close, so I can't be positive. Neither, according to Mike Florio , has DeAngelo Hall. You see, the Falcons are sending the jerseys to all of their former Pro Bowlers as a "thank you" and whatnot -- Florio reports that Hall is the only guy who won't get a jersey, because he had some not-so-choice comments for the organization after he left. However, Rick Maese of the Washington Post now reports that Hall will get a jersey; apparently there was a big debate as to whether or not the team should spite Hall like that
  • Dwayne Jarrett said at Panthers practice that his agent Drew Rosenhaus discussed his release and/or trade with the Panthers this offseason, but said "they don't want to let me go because they still feel like I can help out the team." That noise you hear is every single Panthers fan shaking their heads collectively.
Posted on: September 26, 2010 6:58 pm
 

Rice on knee injury: 'Everything looks positive'

Posted by Will Brinson

Fortunately for the Ravens, Joe Flacco woke up and realized he was an NFL quarterback on Sunday, tossing three touchdown passes to help beat the Browns. Unfortunately, Ray Rice suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter.

But Rice says, according to the Baltimore Sun , that the outlook for the injury is "positive."

"Right now, everything is standard," Rice said. "I'll take some tests on Monday, but everything looks positive right now."

John Harbaugh wasn't exactly as enthusiastic, stating that the team "doesn't know [the extent] for sure."

Flacco's emergence -- as well as Anquan Boldin really flashing elite wideout numbers -- would at least be a cushion to the possible loss of Rice, as would the presence of Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain in the Ravens' backfield.

But still, the possibility of losing their elite backfield option for any period of time is pretty terrifying for a Ravens team that struggled on offense until Week 3.

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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