Tag Archives: baltimore ravens

How NUTS Was the End of That Vikings-Ravens Game?

(Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

(Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Heart-attack inducing doesn’t even begin to describe the final two minutes of Sunday’s matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the visiting Minnesota Vikings, a game which the Ravens eventually won 29-26.

It all started with a Joe Flacco 1-yard TD pass to tight end Dennis Pitta with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter. The Ravens then converted a 2pt attempt to go up 15-12 (#1 in the win probability chart below). That’s when all hell broke loose at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Vikings answered with a two play 68-yard drive that was capped by a 41-yard Toby Gerhart run that lasted all of 38 seconds (#2)—Gerhart was tasked replacing Adrian Peterson in the backfield after the league’s leading rusher went down with an ankle injury. After the extra point, Minnesota was back on top 19-15.

That was short lived, though. Jacoby Jones took the ensuing kickoff 77 yards to the house (#3) to put the Ravens in front yet again, 22-19, with 1:16 left on the clock.

Fans had little time to celebrate, though. On the third play of the Vikings’ next drive, Matt Cassel threw a short screen to rookie wide receiver/return man/future pro bowler/unstoppable force Cordarrelle Patterson who corralled the pass, made a few men miss, and then sprinted the rest of the way for a 79-yard touchdown (#4). The Vikes found themselves in the lead again, 26-22. Problem was, they left 45 seconds on the clock, nearly as much time as the last four drives combined.

Having to go 80 yards with only two timeouts, Joe Flacco turned to rookie receiver Marlon Brown. The two connected on the first play from scrimmage for 35 yards. An 18-yard pass interference call (that was extremely questionable and smelled like some home cooking) negated an interception, and another 18-yard pass to Dennis Pitta set Baltimore up at the nine yard line with ten seconds left. That’s when Flacco found Brown in the back of the endzone for a gorgeous toe-tapping reception (#5).

The drive took all of 41 seconds and left just enough time for a squib kick that was returned to midfield. Ravens win 29-26.

Ravens win prob 12 8 13

There have been some back and forth games this year, but I can’t think of one that saw so many swings in momentum, so close together, and right at the end of the game. The final six drives of the game all resulted in touchdowns, five of which happened in a span of about two minutes. Unbelievable.

Adrian Peterson found the events of the game unbelievable as well—specifically the actions of the refs and fans, and took to the Twitter afterwards to tweet his displeasure.

I’m guessing there’s a little frustration in there with the ankle injury—and I’m not going to disagree with him about Baltimore having the worst fanbase in the history of fanbases—but you can’t be mad about how that game ended.

The Ravens’ Social Media Manager Needs a Good Slap in the Face

Whoever runs the social media accounts for the Baltimore Ravens needs to get off of whatever drugs their on and take a good slap in the face, or—if in fact they are 100 percent sober and drug free—maybe they need to start looking for a different career field. For the second time in just over a year the team posted a foot-in-mouth comment onto the interwebs.

Last April, the Ravens were forced to issue an apology to their neighbors who play just across the street for taking a totally unprovoked and unwarranted shot at their neighbors who play right across the street in Camden Yards with this Facebook post: “Raise your hand if you’d rather be cheering in THIS stadium than a baseball stadium today!”

Fast forward to yesterday, when the team published this tweet:

It’s unclear whether that photo of the Miami parade was taken before or after the entire team was nearly decapitated, but that’s besides the point. Now, granted I’ve made it known that I’m not much of a Heat fan (or NBA fan) and find this exceptionally hilarious given the track record of the “fans” in South Beach, this attempt at putting another team down falls completely flat on its face. The image itself is great and seems to  fit the profile of Heat fans, but even the slightest bit of fact checking (and common sense) would let you know a few things:

  1. This Miami photo was taken near the start of the parade where fans were always going to be few and far between (the parade ended at American Airlines Arena, well up Biscayne Blvd.).
  2. Of course a photo from a parade route put up against a photo of a packed stadium is going to look a bit unbalanced. The photo on the bottom is fair game, but even that was taken only a few blocks from M&T Bank Stadium.
  3. Over 400,000 attended the parade in Miami. That’s double the amount who packed the streets of Baltimore after their Super Bowl victory.

The two Heat fans who caught wind of the jab thrown by the Ravens provided some photographic evidence of their own:

If you’re going to put other teams down for the sake of putting them down, then at least make sure the facts support your claim. Otherwise you make yourself (and the organization you represent) out to be the biggest, most ignorant douchenoggin out there. No apology has been issued in this incident as of yet, and I’m sure we won’t be seeing one.

Maybe there’s an explanation for all of this though. Maybe the Ravens are still bitter towards the city of Miami for helping them avoid a woeful 0-16 season in 2007. Still doesn’t make that tweet any less ignorant, however.

NFL Playoff Picks: Divisional Weekend Edition

Well, last weekend couldn’t have gone any better for this sports blogger. Four for four. Perfection. An unblemished playoff record. Wild Card Weekend was tamed.

OK, enough of that. Aside from my dominating performance though, the games themselves were highly entertaining—save for the shellacking in Green Bay. They all had interesting storylines going into them, had drama throughout, and left me wanting more football.

Thank God the Divisional Round is upon us.

As good as those storylines were last weekend, the way the games played out there might be even better ones ahead of us. Three of the four games feature rematches from during the regular season. Odd thing is, all three regular season games were completely lopsided, be it on the scoreboard or just in how the flow of the game was. The home team in each of these games was the victor in the previous matchup as well.

Enough jibber jabber, though. Let’s get to the games.

Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos—Saturday, 4:30pm, CBS

The Hall of Fame career of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was extended for another week after an impressive win against the Colts in last weekend. This week, he’ll get one last crack against another future Canton-bound player—Peyton Manning.

To do so, Lewis is going to have to help Baltimore buck an awful trend against teams quarterbacked by Manning. Peyton has won his last nine starts against his former team’s former city’s current team. Two of those nine games came in the playoffs as well.

While Lewis did look a little slow and rusty in his first start back since tearing his triceps, he was still a force in the middle. Unfortunately, it won’t be the same rookie-QB-led Colts on the other side of the field again. He’ll have to try and stop one of the most methodical and intelligent quarterbacks to ever lace up.

Manning has the Broncos on an 11 game winning streak during which they’ve averaged 31.8 pts per game. Too much for an aging defense to handle. Broncos win 35-24

Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers—Saturday, 8:00pm, FOX

The second of three rematches this weekend. San Fran marched into Lambeau Field for their Week 1 matchup and effectively shut down the Packers. It’s a start to the season that Aaron Rodgers would have liked to avoided, but it’s one he’ll get a chance to avenge in his home(ish)town. Oh, and against the team that took Alex Smith with the first overall pick in the 2005 draft instead of him.

Absolutely gushing with gooey madness. Almost too much to handle.

One big difference exists, and it’s one that I think will result in a different outcome than the Week 1 game. And that difference’s name is Colin Kaepernick.

What the second-year pro (and Wisconsin native, ironically enough) brought to the 49ers while Alex Smith was out with a concussion was excitement, a new look, and a jolt of energy. It was enough to convince Jim Harbaugh to make the switch permanent. And while he’s been decent—thanks to his athletic ability—my gut just won’t let me trust him in his first postseason action.

Rogers has been here, and the Pack are hitting their stride at just the right time. They, of all teams, know the importance of getting on a roll in late December and January. Packers win 27-24

Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons—Sunday, 1pm, FOX

Not to take away from Seattle’s impressive comeback in their Wild Card game against the Redskins, but what might it have looked like if Robert Griffin III’s knee was 100%? Whatever percent that knee was at during the first quarter was enough to put the Skins out in front 14-0 after two drives. A tweak, run, and a few tears later, the Seahawks found themselves marching on to the next round.

They won’t have the luxury of playing against an injured signal caller this week.

They will, however, be playing against the Atlanta Falcons. The team who hasn’t figured out how to turn their regular season dominance into post season wins in three of the last four seasons. Matt Ryan will look to buck that trend.

Something that I think leans heavily in their favor is the fact that Seattle will be making their second cross-country trip in a week. Seattle was 3-5 on the road this season. They will also have to do battle against the fifth ranked defense in the league.

Eventually something is going to have to go right for Atlanta in the playoffs, and there might be no better time than now. Falcons win 26-20

Houston Texans @ New England Patriots—Sunday, 4:30pm, CBS

Houston held on in the final minutes of their Wild Card game against the Bengals to advance to the divisional round for the second season in a row. Now they get a crack at Tom Brady and the Pats in Foxboro—the same team that romped them last month 42-10.

The last month of the season, starting with that rough one in New England, was quite terrible for Schaub and the Texans who went 1-3 and fell from the 1st to 3rd seed. It was good that they got the win to start the post season, but having the bye would have benefitted them, allowed them to regroup, and (more importantly) play this Divisional Round game in the confines of their own dome.

But they flopped, and now have to travel back to Foxboro. No one’s fault but their own.

Tom Brady is who he is. Analyze it anyway you want and you should (if you know what you’re talking about). Brady can roll out of bed and throw four TDs, while wearing Uggs, and I expect nothing less here.

If the Texans want to have any chance in this game, Arian Foster’s going to have to get more than 15 carries (and more than 46 yards).

It’s not going to happen though. These are the Patriots, and these are the NFL playoffs. Patriots win 37-27