Posts Tagged ‘Ravens

17
Jan
11

Sports Digest 1.17.2011

A little over two weeks into the new year and I am in sports glory–play-off football is great, college basketball is in full swing, the NHL is chugging along and the Australian open is underway. The Steelers are in their 4th AFC Championship game in the past 7 years, Chicago is electric with the NFC Championship game and a huge Blackhawks game this weekend,  Being on this sports cloud-nine–why not dish up our first sports digest of the year?

Syracuse Orange vs. Pitt Panthers

Everyone knows this is going to be a good game. Tonight, you have the unbeaten #3 ranked Orange against perennial Big East powerhouse #5 Pitt. As much as I love the Orange, and as good as they are looking (#1 seed come tourney time) they always struggle against the Panthers, losing the last four meetings. I don’t think that this is going to change tonight–I think that Syracuse has a mental block against Pitt..they just don’t bring their A-game until it’s too late. Add in the loss of lead scorer Kris Joseph for the game tonight and I think it spells extra trouble. Hope I’m wrong and we pull off the W  (as Pitt is the only team from the ‘Burgh that I actively root against, and just can’t stand) but the odds aren’t looking good. That’s alright though, we’ll rebound to beat Villanova on Saturday at the Dome with in front of a record crowd.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Right before the NFL Championship game the NHL’s national game of the week is a rematch of the Stanley Cup last year. The Flyers have had a pretty dominant season and currently hold the #1 power ranking. The Hawks have had a lethargic start to the season but are finally finding their mojo. With a tough game Saturday vs. the Red Wings, look for the Hawks to turn the tide on a national stage and upend the Flyers on home ice.

The Demise of the Patriots

There are few things I enjoy more than watching the Patriots get outplayed. And that’s exactly what happened yesterday. After a shaky first quarter, Mark Sanchez settled down and maintained the tempo of the game and the Jets just, for lack of a better term, laid the smackdown on the Patriots. They got lazy in the fourth quarter and started playing too conservatively, and showed no modicum of class during their on-field celebrations but they got the job done. And I’m pretty sure I saw Tom Brady cry during the game, which just added to my joy. Hard to believe, as Adam Schefter put it, that Tom Brady has now lost three consecutive play-off games. Looking back, it all started going “south” when they lost the Super Bowl in the last seconds to the Giants–(or has it been since his knee injury?) Will Tom ever get another ring? Hard to say, but none of it diminishes that he (in my opinion) is the best QB to play the game..as much as I HATE to admit it. So we’ll have to wait another eight months (or longer) to discuss his Bieber haircut.

The Steelers NOT beating themselves

I’m STILL pumped about that Steelers win on Saturday. The team showed so much resolve coming back to dominate the second half–allowing the Ravens a TOTAL of 28 yards throughout the end of the game. Yes, they had their heads up their asses in the first half, and they won’t be able to play like that again and expect to move on but the determination of the steel curtain defense, as well as some AWESOME play by my boy Big Ben solidified the W. You can say what you want, but Ben Roethlisberger is a top 3 QB in the league (in my opinion two) He has the same number of playoff wins as Peyton Manning (9) with six years less experience. He plays hard, he scrambles, he takes control of the offense, he’s tough and he delivers. As long as there’s time on the clock, if the ball is in Ben’s hands, I honestly think we have a shot to win. Off-field drama aside, I don’t know that there’s another QB I’d take if I could have my pick–Brady gets frazzled–doesn’t seem like Ben does. He’s a great leader and he makes things happen. I like our chances on Sunday.

Are you on as much as a sports high as we have been this week? What’s been the highlight for you?

Let’s us know … we’re always up for a chat 🙂

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16
Jan
10

Sports Digest 1.16.10

Lots of awesome sporting events this weekend! Here is a preview! 🙂

NFL

So,  my NFL picks last week weren’t in much better shape than my BCS bowl picks but I  DID get my upset special correct. So here is a quick breakdown of who I ‘THINK’ will take it this week, although I’m fully aware that, because I pick these teams, they have a bigger probability of LOSING 🙂

  • Jets vs. Chargers-I’m going with the Chargers on this one. After their usual tepid start, the team is on FIRE and are winners of 11 straight. While I’m not a full believer in Phillip Rivers (he’s a jag too), I think the Chargers are a perrenial powerhouse. I am a HUGE fan of LT, not just because of his athletic ability, but also how he carries himself as a person. As for the Jets, it’s clear that the defense is carrying this team, but props to Mark Sanchez who turned in a solid effort last week against the Bengals (Everyone else finally on the ‘Palmer sucks’ bandwagon?’) I just don’t see him being able to stop the Chargers. I don’t think the Chargers are going to win the Superbowl–> they’ll run into Indy next week, but they won’t go out to the Jets either. But it’s been a fantastic end to a shaky rookie season by Sanchez where he notched his all important first playoff win.
  • Ravens vs. Colts– For many of the same reasons above, I pick the Colts. Ravens on a hot streak but it will end when they run into a team that is just all around better. Then I can breathe a sigh of relief because, as a Steelers fan, I hate the Ravens and I want nothing more than to see them lose. Especially when their motto is ‘Purple Power’…gag me.
  • Cardinals vs. Saints — This is my *Upset special* for the week folks. The Saints are awesome…and I WANT them to win, but they’ve been playing like dirt the last three weeks, with all of their starters IN. I’m not exactly sure what has been going on with them, but it’s almost like only one team needed to beat them and now every team can. The Cardinals have an AWFUL defense (yea they made that LAST play last week, but no one talked about how Aaron Rodgers had the nastiest face mask call I’ve seen in ten years and no one called it) but they also have Kurt Warner, and I think we all know not to ever count Kurt Warner out. Also, with some more legitimate rumors that this is Warner’s last season, I think the motivational factor for the Cards is at an all time high. So I’d hate to see it happen but I think it will, since the Saints are in this unbelievable funk.
  • Cowboys vs. Minnesota — after careful consideration, I’m NOT jumping on the Cowboys bandwagon. Ok, they beat up the Eagles three times this year, a team their familiar with. Romo seems to have broken his December/January streak, but we’re talking about Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson here. Brett Favre, as much as I hate to admit it, is still freaking awesome. He threw for 33 touchdowns this year and over 3,000 yards, add in Adrian Peterson and his PHENOMENAL year and you have the two best offensive weapons in the game…on one team. (Chris Johnson and Brees/Manning are all excellent, but they are on three different teams) No matter what anyone says, Romo and Barber are NOT the duo to take out the Vikings. I know there’s been some drama with Favre and Childress (seriously tho, after awhile, doesn’t everyone notice that the common equation in ALL of these tifts over the past couple years is Favre) but expect that to fall by the way-side. Vikings will win this one, but I expect the Cowboys to put up a decent fight

College Basketball

No. 5 ‘Cuse vs N0.9 WVU –today at noon. I think Syracuse will handle this one well. In my opinion, WVU ALWAYS seems to have a higher ranking than they deserve. They don’t seem able to put together a solid 40 minutes of basketball and always end up in the middle of the pack in the BIG EAST, (which makes them better than most of the teams in the US) So I’m saying ‘cuse take its.

Side Note: HOW DID KANSAS FALL ONLY FALL FROM NO.1 TO NO.3 AFTER LOSING TO NO. 15 TENNESSEE?! We got ourselves a ‘USC/BCS’ situation here…and I don’t like it.

What do YOU think about the NFL playoffs? What CBB do you like? Tune in tomorrow for my Australian Open preview (just in time!)

-Sam

05
Jan
10

PLAYOFFS?! You’re talking about Playoffs?!

That quote, ladies and gentleman, will be Jim Mora’s legacy. Hilarious to think he was discussing the Indianapolis Colts who would go on to be one of the most dominant teams in the NFL over the course of the decade. It’s NFL Playoff time which, in my opinion, is no better time of year. (Except Week 1 of the NFL…cause you still have a long way to go before it ends, but you’re out of the pre-season flag football stage) Before I go into too much depth, I would like to say that I’m really not happy about seeing three games this weekend that we saw yesterday. I don’t care if half the teams weren’t trying. Variety is the spice of life and having three of four match-ups be so fresh in the fans (and viewers!) minds isn’t a good thing. So, without further ado, here are my playoff predictions. Let’s just hope the chips fall better than my BCS bowl predictions!

NY Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals  4:30pm Saturday (NBC)

The Bengals should have just forfeited last night. With Pittsburgh not riding on that game, there really was no reason for them to play. They were guaranteed a home wild card match up vs the Jets if they lost. The Texans if they won. I think the Bengals made the right “choice,” seeing how Matt Schaub and those Texans seem to come out of NOWHERE. My pick for this game is the Bengals. Not that I think they’re that good…I’m not saying they aren’t….I mean they just swept the AFC North, but because the New York Jets are so spotty. Mark Sanchez has had a shaky-at-best rookie season. The NYJ/New Orleans game? HIDEOUS. And the sole responsibility for that game lies on Sanchez’ shoulders. I’m not saying he won’t mature into a decent QB, everyone needs time to develop (well except for Jemarcus Russell..he will always be awful) but he isn’t good enough to win a playoff game. He is no Joe Namath. I think that, although they dominated last night in a game that didn’t matter to the Bengals, the Jets will come up short on Saturday. Don’t get me wrong, Palmer isn’t throwing up great numbers, but I see the momentum swinging with the Bengals on this won. (although my fingers will be crossed waiting for them to LOSE.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys 8pm-Saturday (NBC)

One thing is for certain. This is a nasty rivalry. One where I come down on the Cowboys’ side due to my blind hatred of the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately, my misery is going to last me another week because I see those dirty birds from filth-adelphia taking this one. They were EMBARRASSED yesterday. Flat out embarrassed. Shut out. And if nothing but osmosis has occurred from me being around Eagles broadcasts for 12 years, I know that Philly won’t take that lying down. They.are.the.better.team. (BARF!) DeSean Jackson is awesome. McNabb is playing his style of football and they have been a solid team all year. I don’t care that Dallas is “getting hot.” Getting hot? By beating the Redskins? or Losing to the Giants? Or losing to the Chargers? Just because they won the NFC East doesn’t mean they deserve that title. There’s also the Tony Romo factor. Romo is 4-7 combined in December and January and has a 1-2 playoff record. I think he tends to choke on big games and, although he has Dallas completion records, passing yard records and touchdown records, I’ve never been hugely impressed by him. I don’t see him as much of a leader and nothing’s going to make him one…not even a jumbo-tron the size of Alaska. Now, don’t get me wrong, McNabb is a choke artist himself (three consecutive NFC Championship games and a Superbowl…and an NFC championship last year) but he will be solid in the Wild Card. These teams will, no doubt, benefit from having this be the third time that they’ve played each other, but Dallas won in such a fashion yesterday that they are due to be comfortable and overlook the Eagles. Which is a big mistake. I think the Eagles are up when they run into the Vikings or Saints, but no the Cowboys. Thus extending my NFL misery another week.

Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots 1pm (CBS)

Three words: WOW.WES.WELKER. Tearing your MCL/ACL in Week 17 when the game on the line didn’t really matter? A game that your team ending up losing? YIKES. I really feel bad for you. I saw you crying on the sideline. It made my normally-when-regarding-the-partriots-icy heart melt a little. For the Patriots in general. That sucks. Welker is a BEAST and a huge part of the offense. He has  123 catches, for over 1300 yards while missing the first two games of the season and most of Sunday’s game. His injury, is eerily similar to Tom Brady’s. Serious injury and always a shame when it happens to someone with so much talent. To make up for this, Tom Brady is just going to have to go back to utilizing Randy Moss. I wouldn’t say Moss has had a quiet season by any means, with 83 catches, 13 touchdowns, 1264 yards and a little over 15yds per reception, these are ALL improvements from last year. However, I think that Randy Moss can be contained. (Crazy when you look at the stats I know!) With Welker, you have two really solid wide receivers. Brady can go to either and you HAVE to cover both on EVERY play or you’re going to get burned. Now all the attention is on Moss and I think the Ravens’ defense will find a way to contain him. Not immobilize him, but contain him. What I like about the Patriots isn’t much, but they are a TEAM. A team that wins together AND loses together. In Belichick’s jag 4th and 2 on their own 28 fiasco, the players stayed united. “We are a professional football team, we should have been able to make that play. I trust our coach.” Says Brady (or some variation) There are a lot of players, and teams, who would have PUBLICLY questioned their coach. (Although I’m sure they did privately) The Pats are 1-5 on the road, but that won’t come into play until next week…unless…..

The Ravens will give the Patriots a run for their money, and I would never bet against Ray Lewis, but the Ravens are spotty. I’m not impressed by their trouncing of the Raider because…it’s the Raiders. (Still more than Pitt could do!) John Harbaugh is a great coach, but I just don’t think that Flacco and the offense can match up to the Pats. However, Welker is out and Willis McGahee is running so well, you would have no IDEA his kneecap shattered in a televised BCS title game in the early 2000s. (in my opinion, still the GROSSEST injury of ALL TIME) So this is my upset special folks. I’m taking the Ravens.

Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals 4:4opm (Fox)

Meh. This is my Meh game. I could really care less about these two teams but I think they will be pretty evenly matched. On Green Bay’s side you have Aaron ‘over 4,000 passing yards’ Rodgers and Ryan ‘over 1,200 rushing yards’ Grant. In Arizona’s corner you’ve got Kurt ‘over 3,000 passing yards’ Warner and Larry ‘I avoided the Madden Curse with 97 caught passes’ Fitzgerald. They are pretty evenly matched folks. The 33-7 score of yesterday is insignificant since all starters for Arizona were pulled in the 2nd quarter. I think Green Bay is going to take this one though because the NFC West is pretty friggin weak. Weaker than the NFC North (imagine that!) But, I think Green Bay will take it because of Charles Woodson. With 9 interceptions this season, he is tied for first in the NFL. He has been playing EXCELLENT all season and Kurt Warner cannot afford to make any mistakes. Also, I think it’s time that Aaron Rodgers develops into the player he’s going to be…and that starts on Sunday. He was always in Favre’s shadow and now, two years into his own (after 3 or 4 on the bench?!) he finally needs to become the player he’s meant to be. This is his chance to show that he’s an Eli Manning instead of a Tony Romo. Regular season matters, for sure, but YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO WIN PLAYOFF GAMES and this is Rodgers’ shot. Center stage, welcome to the big leagues Aaron. I think you’re going to do great, and I hope for your sake you do 🙂

What are your thoughts? Who’s YOUR upset special? What game are you most excited to see?!

Talk to me people! 🙂

–Sam




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