Top 10 Reasons to be Wacco for Flacco!

Joe_flacco_ravens

By Richard Barnstein

10. The Ravens have at least 10 wins in 6 of their first 7 seasons with Flacco as the starting quarterback. (Including the playoffs)

9. 6 playoff appearances in his first 7 years.

8. At least one win in the playoffs 6 straight appearances.(10-4 in career)

7. Class act!

6. One of strongest and most accurate arms in league.

5. Most wins of ANY quarterback in the NFL since 2008. (82 including playoffs)

4. Durable/ Never missed a start in 7 years. Tough as nails! (Takes a clobbering, gets right back up!)

3. Most wins ever for a QB on the road in the playoffs. (7)

2. Most wins ever by an NFL quarterback in his first 7 seasons! (82 including playoffs)

1. In 2013 Flacco as usual proved critics wrong by having the best playoff performance ever for a quarterback! (11 TDs 0 INTs!) Beating Peyton and Brady on the road to get there! Superbowl MVP!!!!! He’s now has road playoff wins against Brady, Peyton, and Rothlesberger! We love you Joe!!!!! GO RAVENS!!!!!!!!!

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Top 10 Reasons for Ravens Fans to be Happy After the Broncos Loss

flaccodenver
By Richard Barnstein

10. The D was mesmerizing in the 1st quarter!
9. If we make the playoffs, most teams might underestimate us.
8. Down by ~30 late in the 4th quarter, they still played with unmatched intensity!
7. No one can say, “Fire Cam” anymore.
6. Half of the Ravens fans won’t battle with the other half anymore about how Flacco’s got what it takes to win a Superbowl.
5. Even though it’ll be one and done, we’ll probably still have a home game in the playoffs!
4. Ravens fans at the game could leave halfway through the 3rd quarter and make it home for the 4 o’clock games.
3. Every loss gives us better position for draft picks!
2. Kruger, looked pretty good!
1. The Steelers lost to Dallas today and just clinched us a playoff spot for the 5th year in a row! Woohoo!!!

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Top Reasons the Orioles Shouldn’t be Good on Paper..so far in 2012!

By Richard Barnstein

Who would have thought that the Baltimore Orioles would share 1st place with the New York Yankees in the September AL East Pennant Race? Baltimore fans LOVE IT!!!! We’ve been waiting for 15 years! Below I’ve listed 10 facts about the Orioles in 2012, and why many of the stats in evaluating a baseball team would suggest that the Orioles should not be in 1st place. I guess that makes it even more exciting! Go O’s!!!

1.The Orioles team hitting ranks 9th in the AL.
2. The Orioles team pitching ranks right in the middle of the pack at 7th in the AL.
3. The O’s team fielding ranks dead last at 14th in the AL!
4. Three of the Orioles pitchers in the starting rotation on opening day are in the minors or on the DL. (Think about that one!)
5. The O’s leader in wins is Wei-Yin Chen at 12! No other pitcher has more than 8 wins! (Remember this is September, and today (9/5/12) they are tied for 1st in the AL east!)
6.The O’s rank 24th in attendance at ~24,000 a game. (I doubt that includes show ups!)
7. The O’s are batting .247 as a team…opponents .254.
8. Chen, Tillman, Britton, Gonzalez, and now Saunders as the starting rotation? Who? Are you kidding me?!
9. The O’s have given up more runs than scored!! (Scored 581 runs…given up 600!)
10. Their no-name pitching staff has given up 20 earned runs in the last 11 games, including 22 consecutive scoreless innings!

GO O’s!!!!

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Eli: The Greatest Manning QB?

By Richard Barnstein

I have friends that get on me for bringing this up. Of course, these are all hypothetical questions. For anyone thinking, “Are you CRAZY?!!”, here’s the one question I want you to think about:

If you wanted to make a playoff run to win a Super Bowl, and you could pick between Eli or Peyton (Forget Archie!!), who would you choose?

My answer is simple…Eli!!! Now, if you choose Peyton, I can respect that, but please don’t call me crazy to pick Eli! Let me break it down before you start whining about Peyton being much better than Eli.

Statistically, during the regular season. There’s no question that Peyton put up some of the best numbers ever. Peyton had eleven seasons where he threw for over 4,000 yards, with 399 TDs and 198 INTS and a career 94.9 QB rating. By contrast, Eli, in 8 seasons has had 3 with over 4,000 yards passing, with 185 TDs and 129 INTs and a career 82.1 QB rating. When looking at regular season stats, keep in mind that Peyton played at least 10 games a year in the comfy confines of an indoor venue. Does this make a difference with stats? Absolutely! In Peyton’s 4 MVP seasons, other than his one in 2009, if you look at 2003, 2004, and 2008, all of his numbers were significantly higher when playing indoors/on turf. In his MVP season of 2003, he had a QB rating of 99.2 indoors, and 92.8 outdoors. In another MVP year in 2004 Peyton’s QB rating was 14 points higher indoors. YES IT DOES MATTER! In Eli’s 2008 Superbowl MVP year, during the regular season he had a QB rating of 80.2 outdoors and 117.3 indoors. Do you think it helps your stats as a QB to play 10 games a year indoors?

Let’s look at the playoffs though. In the NFL, there’s no more important position to win championships than the quarterback. They touch the ball 60-80 times a game. Some have a knack for “delivering in the clutch,” especially when it matters most in the playoffs, at the end of the game. When it comes to the postseason, there’s no question that for the QB the most important stat should be wins. Peyton has a career record of 9 wins and 10 losses in the playoffs, with one ring/Superbowl MVP and one Superbowl loss. In all of those great years of numbers stacked up during the regular season in the comfy confines of a dome, why do the numbers drop off in the playoffs? When it came time to match up with the likes of Brady and Rothlesberger, especially outdoors in the cold and wind, Peyton usually fell short. Eli in his career has 8 wins and 3 losses in the playoffs. He now not only has 2 Rings, but also 2 Super Bowl MVP’s, going head to head in classic down to the wire battles with one of the best ever in Tom Brady! Eli is one of only 3 other quarterbacks in NFL history that have won 2 Super Bowls AND 2 Super Bowl MVPs in their 1st 2 Super Bowls. (Others include Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and Bart Starr) Some QBs find a way to rise to the occasion when the stakes are highest. There’s no question that Eli has proved that he’s a big time clutch quarterback. Come playoff time, when it comes to choosing a Manning QB, I’ll take my chances on Eli getting to the promised land!!!!

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The Lee Evans Drop: What Really Happened? Ravens/ Patriots 2012 AFC Championship

By Richard Barnstein

ABOVE: Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans looses the ball for what would have been the game winning touchdown to advance to the Superbowl in the 2012 AFC Championship Game. Notice how his right hand is loose/away from his body after catching a perfectly thrown pass to his chest.

No one will know the real answer to this question. If Lee Evans either used poor technique in securing the ball, or perhaps prepared to celebrate prematurely by raising his right hand in the air, (We’ll break it down here on video), he would never admit to those blunders publicly. Now that Ravens fans have had a week to get over this heartbreaking loss, lets look at the perfectly thrown pass by Joe Flacco that should have sent the Ravens to the Superbowl. (Painful for Ravens fans, but true!) Plus, where does this drop rank in all time NFL playoff chokes?

Let’s get right to the nitty gritty. I’m not going to talk about whether two feet were down/whether it really was a catch. (I don’t think it was…but it certainly should have been reviewed.) What I’ll break down is what happens right as Evans catches the ball.

The most important angle to watch in this video is from 28-35 seconds. Enlarge it on your home computer. Pause and play it slowly. What I’ve noticed is:

1. This was a perfect pass from Flacco, that couldn’t have been more on target given the situation.
2. Evans has PLENTY of time to secure the ball. He knew this was the game winning TD to advance to the Superbowl. The Patriot’s defender Sterling Moore made the right play in reaching towards Evans to try and grab him, and reaching towards the ball in hopes of knocking it loose. He’s become a hero because of this play, and rightfully so, but Evans served it to him on a silver platter, more so than the defender making a great play. Historic play at a crucial time…yes…but not a great play. Think about how often you see a play like this in the end zone…hardly ever because most players know to clamp tightly onto the ball when catching a ball in the end zone if it hits them in the chest.
3. Evans catches the ball on the lower part of the “3” of “83” on his lower left chest at ~30 seconds. He catches it more with his left hand/left side, and immediately brings his right onto the ball to secure it.
4. Right as Moore makes contact with the ball at 32 seconds, for some reason, Evan’s right hand looks loose, and even comes away from the ball, where Moore slaps the ball down. Why is Evan’s right hand so loose? This is an excellent angle to analyze it. I think there could be 2 reasons. One is that he may have been trying to shove Moore’s hand away from the ball, where it was sort of a knee-jerk reaction. He may have been turning his body, where he was securing the ball in his left hand and using his other hand to shield/push away the defender’s hand/arms. If that was the case, it was a major mistake because it’s not like Evans was trying to get free for a big run downfield. ALL Evans had to do was catch the ball to advance to the Superbowl. He didn’t even have to turn his body at all. Just catch, cradle tightly, and fall to the ground without having to turn away. As a professional wide receiver in the NFL, JUST HOLD ONO IT FOR THE WIN! Another possibility is that Evans may have been celebrating early where he was securing the ball in his left hand/arm, and raising his right hand in victory. Some may say that’s ridiculous, but watch the video slowly from 32 to 33 seconds and see how his right hand comes up. Why would his right hand come up if he’s trying to catch/secure a game winning TD? He doesn’t need to shove Moore’s hand away… just catch it for victory! Evans knew that he was in the end zone! I understand that this was a boom-boom play, but Evans blew it!

I think more than anything the this was a mistake in technique and mental error. Here’s a perfect example of the right way. When Brandon Stokley caught the 38 yard TD pass in the 2001 Superbowl, watch (~1:00 into the video) how he caught the ball and then secured it tightly with both hands and arms. Even when he was dragged to the ground by the Giants defender, NOBODY was getting that ball out of Stokley’s hands. He knew what he was going to do with the ball when he caught it! Sure, the Stokley TD was a different throw/play/angle, but he handled it perfectly. Check it out at ~1:00 into the video. Watch it a few times to see how tightly Stokley secured the ball after he caught it. The defender could have body slammed Stokley, causing a concussion and a brain hemorrhage, BUT THAT BALL WAS NOT COMING LOOSE!!!

I believe Evans’s biggest mistake was not visualizing what to do with the ball once he caught it, before the play even took place. Just like when playing baseball, fielders always think, “if the ball comes to me, this is what I should do.” Evans reacted with poor technique because his head wasn’t in it, as to what he should have done when he caught the ball. This is also like when we see time and time again, how after a fumble, a player tries to pick up the ball and run with it, only to lose the fumbled ball, instead of just dropping on the ball, like they were always taught. What Evans should have done is catch it with his left hand into his lower left chest, immediately bring his right hand over the ball, AND CLAMP ON FOR DEAR LIFE! No need to turn his body at all if he’s already in the end zone, which he had to have known. Fall on your butt, take a step, whatever, but think, “NO ONE IS GETTING THIS BALL OUT OF MY HANDS/CHEST BECAUSE I’M GONNA HOLD ONTO THIS BALL LIKE IT’S ONE OF MY LIMBS. YOU CAN BREAK MY LEG, BUT THIS BALL IS NOT COMING FREE!!!! BECAUSE THEN WE’RE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!!! I feel bad for Lee Evans. I’m sure he’s a great guy, but he made history on the wrong side last week! Next week I’ll discuss where this blunder ranks amongst all time botches in playoff history.

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Top 10 Reasons Fate is on the Raven’s Side to Beat New England!

By Richard Barnstein

#10- We need a Har-bowl!

#9- The Ravens offensive line got torched by a fantastic Houston defense last week. They’re due to rebound with a great game!

#8- Brady peaked against Denver! (6 TDs)

#7- Ray Rice and Terrell Suggs are due for breakout games!

#6- Though Brady’s had a stellar season, the Patriots don’t have much of a running game. (20th in NFL)

#5- The Patriots haven’t beaten a team with a winning record this year.

#4- Since Billichick was caught cheating with Spygate…ZERO CHAMPIONSHIPS!

#3- Patriots have the 31st Ranked D in NFL.

#2- Brady has not won a championship since 2004-5 season! LOTS OF LOSSES IN THE PLAYOFFS SINCE THEN! (6 losses if you’re counting!)

#1- Flacco just keeps on winning! He’s 7-0 against playoff teams this year with 10 TDs and 2 INTS…it’s his time to lead the Ravens to the Superbowl!

GO RAVENS!!!!

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Top 10 “Defying Odds” Motivators for the Ravens to Beat New England!

By Richard Barnstein

#10- The media generally hates on Baltimore, preferring big market teams like NE, SF, and NY!

#9- Ed Reed’s banged up! Ray Lewis is too old and slow!

#8- The media will hype up how the Ravens couldn’t beat sub-par teams on the road this year…how will they win at New England?

#7- Tom Brady is hungry for one more title, after playoff losses to: The Jets in 2011, the Ravens at home in 2009, the Giants in the 2007 Superbowl, the Colts in 2006, and the Broncos in 2005.

#6- Trouble with QB T.J Yates at home? How can the Ravens beat Tom Brady on the road?

#5- Ravens coming off an unimpressive 20-13 win against Houston.

#4- New England has too many weapons on offense… the Ravens can’t stop Gronkowski, Welker, Hernandez, and Branch!

#3- The Brilliance of Bilichick!

#2- All time great Tom Brady coming off a playoff record 6 TD and 1 INT performance…threw for over 5,000 yards/ 39 TDs/12 INTS in the regular season.

#1- Win at New England with Joe Flacco? (Who just completed only 14 passes for 176 yards at home against Houston, and had his worst season statistically in 3 years?)…. He’s just not an elite QB!!!!

GO RAVENS!!!!!!

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