Tag Archives: Joe Flacco

NFL Playoffs 2010: the Colts dance all over the Ravens

Televised by CBS, the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts tangled cheek-to-cheek tonight in full-house Lucas Oil Stadium.  Which team would prove athletic superiority and advance to the AFC Championship game?  The Colts started the first quarter on offense.  Matt Stover threw up a field goal at the end of his team’s first possession.  Indianapolis 3 and Baltimore 0.  An illegal block in the back on the Ravens nixed what would’ve been a sixty-four yard return for running back Jalen Parmele.  Attempts to get into the end zone were no good.  The Ravens tossed up a field goal as well.  Indianapolis 3 and Baltimore 3.

The second quarter indicated how much stronger each team’s defense was compared to offense.  Near interceptions, sacks, and punts galore.  The offensive players certainly demonstrated skill, particularly with Peyton Manning’s complete passes, but with the score still 3 to 3 in the bottom of the quarter?  And, of course, moments later, Colts wide receiver Austin Collie made a touchdown catch in the left side of the end zone.  Indianapolis 10 and Baltimore 3.  The Colts insisted on trying to get into the end zone in the final seconds of the first half.  Peyton Manning threw, wide receiver Reggie Wayne caught and broke the plane ever so slightly for a TD.  Indianapolis 17 and Baltimore 3.

The third quarter was mostly dull until around six minutes when safety Ed Reed intercepted Peyton Manning but lost control of the ball halfway down the field.  Tight end Dallas Clark recovered it for the Colts.  A penalty on Ravens cornerback Corey Ivy nullified a second Ed Reed interception.  The fourth quarter started off the Colts getting another field goal.  Indianapolis 20 and Baltimore 3.  The Ravens showed some Ravens umph…until running back Ray Rice refused to be brought down and the ball got away from the crook of his left arm.  The Colts recovered it.  Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was intercepted in the bottom of the quarter.  Colts defensive back Antoine Bethea took the ball right out of its trajectory.  Another turnover took the final minute with Colts defensive back Jerraud Powers picking off Joe Flacco.  Indianapolis 20 and Baltimore 3.  Final score.


Observations & Miscellania:

1. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf narrated the event.

2.  Damned weather interfering with the digital signal.  The broadcast was very stop-and-go in terms of audio and video for me.

3.  LaDanian Tomlinson in a white suit letting the rhythm get to him.

4.  I like this Budweiser commercial more than this one.

5.  Upon returning from the commercial break that followed Ray Rice’s ball loss, there was footage of what happened after the play.  Rice went straight to the bosom of his quarterback, who tapped him on the head as if to say, “It’s okay.”

6.  How in tarnations do the Ravens beat the Patriots a week ago and then not be able to have at least tied the Colts into the fourth quarter?

7.  Ravens head coach John Harbaugh would look so dashing in Elliot Ness garb.

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NFL 2010 wildcard: Ravens swarm the Patriots

If  the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens had a million dollars (right this second), would they buy you a house or a K-car?  Probably not.  Instead, they would meet on a patch of grass, squat down, crouch in stealth, chase each other, and pull one another to the ground in order to go to the playoffs.  Broadcast on CBS, the Ravens went on offense first and running back Ray Rice bolted eighty-three yards down the field for a  touchdown on the first play–seventeen seconds into the game.  Two plays into the Patriots’ possession, Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs initiated a turnover.  The end of that drive produced a touchdown by linebacker Jameel McClain.  Baltimore 14 and New England 0.  Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw an interception into the hands of Ravens cornerback Chris Carr in the middle of the first quarter.  Rice soon made his second TD of the day.  SWEET AND SPICY JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS!!!! Brady threw yet another interception when the Patriots got back on offense.  Ravens safety Ed Reed made the turnover catch and tossed the ball to safety Dawan Landry before getting tackled at New England’s thirty-four yard line.  The Ravens went with a field goal at the end of that excitement.  Baltimore 24 and New England 0.

The second quarter started with the Patriots punting the ball away but none of the Ravens caught the ball.  New England cornerback Kyle Arrington recovered the ball in Baltimore’s red zone.  The commentators thought the Ravens should’ve challenged the call but also pointed out that Baltimore’s coaches were not close enough to see anything to warrant throwing a red flag.  A few plays later, wide receiver Julian Edelman caught a pass for a TD.  Baltimore 24 and New England 7.  Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was picked off six minutes into the quarter.

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The third quarter appeared to demonstrate more New England solidness, that is until Dawan Landry intercepted Brady six minutes into the quarter.  The Ravens increased their score with a field goal  Baltimore 27 and New England 7.  Several minutes later, Julian Edelman made a second TD.  Baltimore 27 and New England 14.  The fourth quarter began with the Ravens winning a challenge to get a first-and-goal and a couple plays later, running back Willis McGahee got himself into the end zone.  A two-point conversion attempt did not work.  Baltimore challenged the unsuccessful try but lost.  Halfway through the quarter, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostowski’s kick was no good.  Baltimore 33 and New England 14.  Final score.  The last time the Patriots lost at home was to the Jets in 2006.  The Ravens are going to play the Indianapolis Colts next week.

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Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were the commentators.  Both men wore dark suits, but Nantz had a purple tie, a lavender shirt, and a dark gray sweater vest.  Simms was decked in blue of varying shades for vest, tie, and shirt.

2.  Phil Simms noted during the Ravens’ kickoff to the Patriots upon returning from the commercial break that followed Ray Rice’s game-opening TD run that in an interview from the previous night, Rice said that, “I run deceptively quick with speed.”  I had no idea what that meant until an extreme high-angle (essentially an overhead view) of the field where the Patriots end zone was at the bottom of the screen.  The replay began at the line of scrimmage and as Rice broke through the New England defense and was headed down the field, the “deceptively quick with speed” became apparent in comparing the running of two Patriots that were trying to catch up to Rice.  These Patriots’ feet move more rapidly, whereas Rice’s strides were bigger.

3.  Jameel McClain did a little step-dance after he stood up in the end zone.

4.  Did I just see Peyton Manning and Justin Timberlake speaking really, really bad Mandarin in a Sony TV commercial?  Yes, I did.  Manning sounded like he was speaking a bizarre smoothie of bad Cantonese and Mandarin.  Timberlake sounded like he was only speaking bad Mandarin.  It was pretty funny, though.  They have inflections in their voices.  I think I could teach both of them how to pronounce Mandarin properly.

5.  Ravens tight end Todd Heap sustained some kind of injury in the bottom of the fourth quarter.  He’s one year and two months older than I.

6.  New England head coach Bill Belichick was wearing a beanie.  The red and white yarn ball atop of it reminded me of a peppermint candy.  Tom Brady also needs to cut his hair.

7.  After the game, Ravens head coach Jim Harbaugh ran around the field high-fiving Baltimore fans.

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AFC Championship 2009: Steelers wrap up the Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens marched down to the Pittsburgh Steelers to the tune of I-wanna-go-to-Super-Bowl-XLIII.  Broadcast on CBS, the first quarter spritzed out a forty-five yard run by Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.  This play was filmed in a high-angle, medium long shot.  The Steelers looked like yellow jackets, again, and the Ravens looked like pandas (white jerseys, black pants).  That drive ended with a Jeff Reed field goal.  Pittsburgh 3 and Baltimore 0.  Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend intercepted Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s pass halfway through the quarter.  Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes did or did not make a (touchdown) catch two minutes later?  Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh challenged that it was even a catch (apparently Mike Tomlin was reaching for his red flag at the same time and wanted a TD call).  Harbaugh won the challenge.  After all that hoopla, the Steelers came away with a field goal.  Pittsburgh 6 and Baltimore 0.  In the bottom of the first quarter, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis hit Steelers running back Willie Parker, who then lost control of the ball, and safety Jim Leonhard recovered it.

Well, well, well. The second quarter sprang out with a sixty-five yard TD thread for the Steelers.  Denied twice in the first quarter, Santonio Holmes ran that ball in to the front, left corner of the end zone.  Pittsburgh 13 and Baltimore 0.  Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled to on that play–he didn’t have a solid move and just threw the ball (I’m guessing in the direction of Holmes).  John Harbaugh threw out the red flag again toward the bottom of the quarter on a complete pass call.  Did Steelers Nate Washington keep control of the ball?  He sure did, by the space between his kneecaps.  No more challenges for the Ravens.  By the bottom of the quarter, Ravens running back Willis McGahee got the ball into the end zone.   Pittsburgh 13 and Baltimore 7.

The third quarter boiled down to three-and-a-half minutes before anyone scored…the Steelers and a forty-six yard field goal.  Pittsburgh 16 and Baltimore 7.  The fourth quarter rocked to nine-and-a-half minutes and Willis McGahee raised his team’s score with a TD.  Pittsburgh 16 and Baltimore 14.   Five minutes later Joe Flacco threw an interception.  Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu abducted the ball mid-flight and ran it–weaving in and around the Steelers–back forty yards for a TD.  Pittsburgh 23 and Baltimore 14.  A few plays later, while the Ravens were back on offense with under four minutes on the clock, Willis McGahee and Steelers safety Ryan Clark collided full speed into one another.  McGahee had just caught the ball, took one step,  and within a nano-second, Clark had plowed into him.   Clark eventually got up and walked off the field, flanked by teammates, but the cart had to come onto the field for McGahee.  Stewed to the rockpit bottom of the quarter, Joe Flacco threw another interception, that time the ball ws caught by strong safety Tyrone Carter.  Pittsburgh 23 and Baltimore 14. Final score.  The Steelers will go to Super Bowl XLIII.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Martina McBride sang the national anthem.  She stood on the middle of the field, methinks, where the Steelers logo is on the turf.  Another great performance.  I’d even say I like hers more.  The CBS cameras didn’t put her on screen as much as the Fox cameras did Jordin Sparks.

2.  Jim Nantz and Phil Simms rattled out commentary.

3.  Was it snowing? Oh yes, it was.

4.  Interesting screen graphic.  Like graffiti blue trails of players’ paths.

5.  Hines Ward suffered an unsightly right leg mishap during the top half of the first quarter.  Imagine wringing a towel…and then if the towel was Ward’s leg.  He did come back towards the bottom of the quarter…briefly.

6.  After Willis McGahee made the TD in the second quarter and the extra point was kicked, there was replay footage of Ray Lewis, in a medium shot, on the right side of the screen.  The uprights were in the background and out of focus.  Ray was looking offscreen left, towards the upper corner of the frame.  Jim Nantz and Phil Simms noted that Ray Lewis was watching the extra point on the jumbotron, not wanting to watch the “real thing.”  Fascinating, isn’t it?  Why would Lewis prefer to look at the jumbotron? Better view? A different perspective?  Or…the camera lens (and the monitor) add an extra dimension of distance.  Good news is good and bad news is less bad.

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AFC Divisional 2009: Ravens inverse reciprocal the Titans

On a cloudy, rainy, and fifty-three degree afternoon, Baltimore Ravens put on the oven mitts in a gridiron show-down with the Tennessee Titans for the AFC Divisional title in the latter’s home state. Broadcast on CBS, the first quarter marched down to about four-and-half minutes before anyone got a number: Titans running back Chris Johnson slide-winded into the front, right corner of the end zone. Tennessee 7 and Baltimore 0. The Ravens snapped back with a forty-eight yard touchdown pass between quarterback Joe Flacco and wide receiver Derrick Mason. Both teams 7.

The second quarter began with pin-your-hands-on-the-ballie as an awkward Titans snap let the ball shimmy all over the turf before quarterback Kerry Collins landed on the ball. After a stellar series of passes and runs by the Titans, Collins threw an interception. Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle grabbed the ball. The Titans breathed a sigh of relief because the Ravens were unable to take advantage of the turnover. In under a minute left to play, Titans running back Lendale White lost control of the ball and Ravens safety Jim Leonhard recovered. Going into halftime, the score was still 7 t0 7.

The third quarter nibbled for six minutes until Ravens head coach John Harbaugh challenged whether or not Titans tight end Bo Scaife had possession of the ball at the Baltimore twenty-eight yard line. He won the challenge. Titans kicker Rob Bironas then tried but didn’t make a fifty-one yard field goal. With fewer than two minutes to in the quarter, Joe Flacco connected spectacularly with Ravens wide receiver Mark Clayton.

The fourth quarter opened with Ravens kicker Matt Stover gave his team the lead with a field goal. Baltimore 10 and Tennessee 7. The Titans responded with offensive energy but what might have been one or two plays shy of touchdown or field goal became a turnover as tight end Alge Crumpler was tackled and Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington landed on the fumbled ball. The Titans defense was relentless in keeping the Ravens from making any kind of progress. A Titans field goal tied the game 10 to 10 towards the bottom of the quarter. Would the Ravens keep the game from going into overtime? Would Matt Stover be able to nail the forty-three yard field goal attempt? Yes! Ravens 13 and Titans 10. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf provided commentary.

2. Ravens tackle Willie Anderson stepped out of the game in bottom of the second quarter. Sidelines footage revealed him wincing and furrowing his eyebrows. He came back in the second quarter.

3. Derrick Mason’s first quarter TD was the result of not just and incredible throw and catch, but also an incredible roll. One of the Titans got to Mason, and the two of them ended up rolling into/onto the front, right corner of the end zone.

4. On account of the rain and colliding with the Titans, many of the Ravens’ white jerseys were stained with splotches of light blue. The Titans’ jerseys in turn bore green patches from the turf.

5. In the top of the fourth quarter, Dan Dierdorf (I believe) remarked that the Titans’ offense had pretty much “slept through the third quarter.”

6. Chris Johnson didn’t return to the game in the second half, did he? Somewhere in the middle of the third quarter I noticed that he was on the sidelines with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.

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