I’ve been telling you all that Cleveland is nothing to fluck with and even with Hoyer laid out and Weeden under center, they made it happen on Thursday. It’s about time too. Ravens fans need a new team to hate. Poking fun at the Steelers is just mean at this point. And if B’more doesn’t get their stuff together, they will be riding the short bus right along with them. However, Joe Flacco says there’s no need for alarm. So I’m calm…for now.
The strange thing about the Ravens this year though. They sometimes seem disconnected from their fan base’s anxiety. Well, maybe they know we are horrified, but they don’t cop to the catalyst of it. The local media is starting to press the panic button and Joe Cool says he likes where the team is going, but we have yet to see that dynamism on the field. This week would be a great one to let us in on the secret, Joe. I’m just sayin.
Anyway, Eugene Monroe is in, via the Jags and Christian Thompson and Billy Bajema are out. Ozzie is still trying to protect the title (and his QB) even if most find it a lost cause. When you are in 2nd place behind the Browns you should expect that folks aren’t seeing you as a legit contender. It is what it is. But how will these changes play out against the Dolphins? No clue. I refuse to fear any football team that wears teal and orange and has a cute drawing of flipper on their helmets. But with names like Ellerbe, Shelby and Wake on the backs of those colorful jerseys, the Ravens, with or without Monroe on the field, are up for a challenge. But dudes realized they aren’t playing just to defend the title. They are playing for their jobs. That’s serious motivation. Plus, the Dolphins may have a shoddier O-Line than the Ravens. Big day for Suggs and company approaching.
Prediction: The Ravens will do something they haven’t done all year. Run. And I don’t mean Joe Flacco running from Cameron Wake. Will they win? Of course. I’m a homer. What else would I say? Shake ups tend to rattle players into being the best they can be. Hopefully, this one will be no different. Besides, it’s the Ravens signature to win the games no one thinks they can. B’more in a nail biter.
As the season progresses and we know more about the teams, the matchups become more interesting. This week just like last has some doozies and some snoozies. What will I be checking for? Hate Fest ’13 aka Texans vs 49ers, Bears vs Saints, Bengals vs Patriots, Lions vs the Pack and Slop Fest ‘13 aka Eagles vs Giants.
How About a Tie?
I could really change the title of this column to Notes From The Dark Place In My Soul That Houses An Undying Abhorrence for the Texans, but that seems a bit long. I don’t know why this infinitely pedestrian group (except for JJ Swatt) of overrated players makes me frown, but they do. I’m not a huge 49er fan either, now that have my favorite Raven. I also believe one read Ralph aka Kaeptain Crunch is a sham. I’m going to watch this game just so I can yell and throw cheesy puffs like Randy.
Back To Business
The Bears have one great defense. They run a bit hot and cold, but when they are hot, they are splendid. The Saints have quite the miraculous offense, loaded with all kinds of monstrous weapons for Brees to use. This meeting will test the awesomeness of each. Plus it might give Cutler another excuse to truck someone. But who comes out on top? Honestly I haven’t seen the Saints offense turn in a bad performance this year and if it wasn’t for the bionic man in Denver, Brees would be the talk of the league.
Prediction: Cutler and Jeffery play throw and catch all night but can’t keep up with the point making machine that is New Orleans. Peyton and Brees have matching BFF t-shirts made just for the game. The Saints put the first nail in Atlanta’s coffin and go 5-0.
Brady vs Dalton? Does It Take a Brain Surgeon?
The Bengals have been sketchy at best. AJ Green is the truth but he’s only one person. And again we have one of these monumentally average QB’s that people want to make a big deal about. (I know what you’re thinking. Follow Flacco’s path through the playoffs last year. Not average; historic. Thank you.) The Bengals defense may be better, but we are still on Gronk/Amendola watch. If this pair plays on Sunday, it’s curtains for little red riding hood. Down the tubes baby, AJ Green and all.
Prediction: I see a blowout brewing here. I don’t think Cincy will be able to handle Brady’s hurry up. They couldn’t handle Hoyer’s hurry up and he doesn’t even have one. Edleman continues to pull em down in the middle and Thompkins puts the cherry on top in the end zone. Brady won’t even have to yell at people to get this one done.
Lions In Lambeau
Every year I say the same thing. If the Lions can keep Stafford healthy, they would be legit. Well, he’s healthy, the defense looks pretty good and Bush is slicing and dicing. But Aaron Rogers is Aaron Rogers and he has some slice and dice in him as well. Does he have enough to singlehandedly (and yes, he would have to put his offense on his back) combat the Lions defense? I say yes. This is going to be a good game with lots of TD’s, but Rogers will come out on top. I mean when was the last time the Lions won in Wisconsin? I know we have seen some unexpected shit so far this season, but a Lions win Sunday is asking for a little too much.
Prediction: Clay Matthews wears that ridiculous fake mustache through the whole game until Ndamukong Suh rips it off and beats him with it drawing a million dollar fine. Okay, maybe that won’t happen, but it would be entertaining if it did. Pass happy Rogers torches the Lions secondary and sends Glover Quin home a broken man. Pack gets this whole “losing” thing out of their system.
Chip Kelly Sad Face
The progression of Chip Kelly expressions this season has been amazing. He was looking like a kid on Christmas morning week one and since then, those cheeks have deflated significantly. While I appreciate all that Mike Vick has done for my fantasy team, I don’t see any post season hope for this squad. However, this week there will be a glimmer in Kelly’s eye. As bad as the Eagles defense is, they still stand a decent chance of shutting down the Giants crazy sloppy offense. As a matter of fact, the Philly defense vs. the New York offense will probably be the most entertaining 30 minutes of football you will see all year. Get your popcorn. This is going to be good.
Prediction: I’m going to go out on a limb here and pick the Giants. They have to win at some point. Why not now? They are playing what appears to be one of the worst defenses in the league. Eli has two rings and he didn’t make them in some metal fab class in high school. Giants in some ole techmo bowl style ish.
In conclusion class, the Falcons are in New York this week to see the Jets. The Jets who got their arses handed to them by Jake Locker and company on Sunday. The Falcons need to win this game and I believe they will. If they let this 3-ring circus hand them their 4th loss, with the Saints playing as righteously as they are; their playoff hopes will be demolished and Tony G will leave practice on Tuesday never to return. Take heed ATL, this is your come to Jesus moment. Rise up indeed.
I’m the quarterback of this team. I’m paid what I’m paid for a reason. ~ Joe Flacco.
This quote has nothing to do with anything above, but I love the fact that he had the balls to say this in public after tossing up 5 interceptions.