Oct 01

Michal Cajkovsky vs Brandon Bollig

Brandon Bollig won this fight but I have become impressed with Michal Cajkovsky’s fighting skills. Cajkovsky is a Slovakian native and has been in a few fights this preseason. Most European hockey players never drop the gloves. Bollig got some really good upper cuts in.

Win: Bollig

Oct 01

Are the Ravens missing Matt Birk

Matt Birk Ravens Training Camp August 5, 2009The Baltimore Ravens offensive line has struggled greatly this season and even the coaching staff is saying it needs to improve. Last season during the playoffs the line played great and helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl. Only one player is missing from that line and it is center Matt Birk.

Most people did not think his absence would be missed that much because of his age, he is now 37 years old. Head coach John Harbaugh admitted that the Ravens are missing his line calls. Birk may have been old and hurt for the Ravens but Birk is very smart on and off the field and rarely made mistakes.

Birk’s replacement Gino Gradkowski was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 draft to be just that, Birk’s replacement. This is the first season that Gradkowski is getting starting action in the NFL and he is experiencing some growing pains. I think Gradkowski has pass blocked well but the assignments he has given have not been there.

Gradkowski has also struggled opening up the running game, the whole offensive line has. Gradkowski is young and inexperienced he has a lot of room to grow.

This is how bad the running game has been… the Ravens have a total of 256 rushing yards and averaged 2.6 yards a carry.  That is not good at all.

Birk was bigger than Gradkowski but I thought going into this season that a younger fresher center would be an even trade off for Birk. I can see Gradkowski improving throughout the year, right now a lot of the problems seem to be with his line calls and that comes with experience.

Oct 01

Brayden Schenn vs Tom Wilson

A fight right as the puck drops, this was an easy win for Tom Wilson. Wilson went on a furry against Brayden Scheen.

Win: Wilson

Oct 01

One Redskins win equals back in the pennant chase

Heck of a start boys,

We get a punt blocked in the end zone and with the extra point, it’s Oakland 7 and the Redskins 0. It was soon 14-0. Good God, we are going to get blown out by the mediocre Raiders and have a miserable season.

After one quarter, the winless Redskins are on pace to lose this game 56-0.

The second quarter begins and the refs check in again with a wrong call. Our franchise QB, Griffin the third, is called for grounding. Do these referees know what grounding is? Do you think Robert knows how to throw the ball out of bounds?
So we had to settle for a chip shot field goal from backup kicker John Potter.

And then a major break in the proceedings. Four minutes later, that rookie from NC State, David Amerson, gives up a pick 6. Takes back an interception for 45 yards and the Skins are back in the game. I may even forgive his old school, NC State, for the heartache from basketball with David Thompson and Tom Burleson beating my Maryland team with Tom McMillian, Lenny Elmore and John Lucas. Oh, never mind.

So now, with help from the Wolfpack rookie, the blowout is now a tight halftime game at 14-10.

OK, by now the word is out on both coasts. The Redskins are no longer a winless squad. Washington rallied from two touchdowns down and posted a 24-14 win on the left coast.

The second half opens with a sad fumble from Logan Paulsen after he chalking up yards after a catch. Didn’t he hear me yelling at him to protect the ball?  Anyway we survived that miscue and drove close to the go-ahead score late in the third quarter.

Griffin found Leonard Hankerson on a big gainer. The Skins rode the back of Alfred Morris to push to the goal line. Pierre Garcon got his number called from 5-yards out and the Oakland lead was gone. The Skins were up 17-14.

And wouldn’t you know, our much-maligned defense was making a stand. Evidently, Brian Orakpo isn’t washed up and he can still go get a quarterback.

I actually witnessed Brandon Merweather make a big play on defense. And that Ryan Kerrigan is still a star.

And then Morris left the field injured. Didn’t he know I needed his yardage in fantasy football?

Enter Nebraska U star Roy Helu, Jr.  And Griffin didn’t seem to mind to throw to Helu and give him the ball. With six minutes left in the game, Helu did the honors from 14 yards out. That was 24 points in a row. Redskins win.

Sep 30

Ravens report card versus the Bills: The defense and special teams

Here is a link to the report card on the offense.

Defensive Line:  The Ravens got run at a lot and this unit sure did take a beating.  The Buffalo Bills were able to rush for 203 total yards.  The Ravens did mount some pressure on EJ Manuel and got two sacks.  This unit just got tired by the end of the game.  The Bills ran the ball a total of 55 times.  Grade C+

Linebackers: Daryl Smith had another interception and had 12 tackles.  The real star was Terrell Suggs who had his fourth sack in four games and 17 tackles.  That 17 tackles is not a typo, Suggs had a great game.  Josh Bynes also had a good game with nine tackles.  Grade B

Secondary: The Ravens lost Lardarius Webb early in the game but held up pretty well.  Jimmy Smith played pretty well for the Ravens.  Corey Graham was beat for a touchdown filling in for Webb but made a big interception later in the game.  They held the Bills to only 167 passing yards.  Grade B

Overall: The defense was not the problem in this game.  It was all the offense.  The Bills may not be the best offensive team but the Ravens held them in check. Grade B

Special Teams: Deonte Thompson and Tandon Doss both did good jobs returning kicks.  Justin Tucker was two for two on his field goal tries.  The special teams also did a good job covering kicks.  Grade A

Coaching Staff: The coaching staff needs to figure out how to get the running game back on track.  The Ravens completely abandoned the running game in the second half.  Grade C

Sep 30

Chris Davis deserved the MVO

Chris Davis on August 10, 2011Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis had an MVP caliber season and was voted the Orioles MVO or most valuable Orioles this year.  This one was a near no brainer as Davis had a historical season for the Orioles.

Chris Tillman is the only player who I really think should have come close to Davis in the MVO.  Lets get back to Davis, who broke the Orioles record for most home runs hit by an Orioles with 53.

Davis hit 20 more home runs than he did last year and I can only wonder how many he would have hit if he did not participate in the home run derby.  The derby and All Star game clearly took a toll on Davis.

It was not just home runs that set Davis apart, he also had an average above .300 for most of the season.  Davis ended with .286 average, again he was worn out by the end of the season.

Davis also had 42 doubles and 138 runs batted in not to mention a Gold Glove caliber season at first base.  Another impressive thing about Davis’ season is the 71 walks, meaning pitchers were pitching around Davis A LOT.

This might have been one of the best offensive seasons an Orioles player has ever had.  Davis is well deserving of the MVO.

Sep 30

Capitals trade Perreault get Mitchell

Mathieu PerreaultThe Washington Capitals traded Mathieu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks for John Mitchell and a 4th round pick.  Perreault has played parts of four seasons with the Caps and in the 2011-2012 season provided 16 goals.

Perreault is a very skilled center with nifty hands and is a very good skater.  The downfall to Perreault’s game is that he is really small weighing only 185 pounds.

Last season Perreault had six goals in 39 games for the Caps.  Perreault is only 25 years old and still has some developing to do but he will always be a pure offensive player.  Perreault’s size limits what he can do defensively and is someone that is rarely out for the penalty kill.

John Mitchell is no one to write home about, he is an undrafted 27-year old minor league forward.  The Caps have lost a lot of fire power I doubt Mitchell makes a difference or the team.  The key to this deal was the 4th round pick.

Sep 29

Ravens report card versus the Bills: the Offense

The Baltimore Ravens lost to the Buffalo Bills 23 to 20, the Ravens had a chance to win it or tie it late but failed.

Quarterback: Joe Flacco had one of his toughest games of his career, he threw a career high five interceptions.  Flacco’s final quarterback rating was 46.4 which is really bad.  To Flacco’s defense two of the interceptions were on deflections from the receivers.  Some of the interceptions were Flacco’s fault.  Flacco did throw for 374 yards.  Grade D

Running backs: Ummmm where were these guys, the Ravens just gave up trying to run the ball.  The Ravens rushed for 15 total yards in the first half and ran it twice in the second half.  Ray Rice has not even been used in the passing game.  Grade E

Receivers:  Torrey Smith finally got his first touchdown of the season and added a big 74 yard reception.  Smith played great along with Marlon brown who made some really tough catches.  Ed Dickson deflected a ball for an interception but actually made two receptions.   The Ravens really liked having Deonte Thompson back who had four catches for 50 yards, including a really good 33 yard reception that he took a heavy hit on.  Dallas Clark and Tandon Doss also had four receptions.  Grade B

Offensive line: The offensive line allowed four sacks and let Flacco get hit way too much.  The line also had way too many penalties and when the Ravens tried to run they could not open anything up.  This unit has to improve or Flacco will get hurt.  Grade D

Overall: The Bills were short on defensive backs and had trouble covering Smith.  There is no excuse for this loss and the run game needs to do something.  Rice has been invisible and it has made Flacco’s job very tough.  The receivers are young and talented but with no time it has really hurt.  Way too many third and longs because of the run game.  Grade D

Sep 29

The Baltimore Ravens are losing to the Buffalo Bills 20-7 at halftime

The Baltimore Ravens are losing to the Buffalo Bills 20-7 at halftime.  The defense has looked good at time but have Lardarius Webb questionable with a thigh injury.  The offense had one good drive that ended in a Joe Flacco touchdown pass to Marlon Brown.

Flacco has been under pressure and has two interceptions so far on the day, one came on a pass that Ed Dickson should have caught.  Flacco has been shaky but again the run game has mounted nothing.  The run game has 15 yards in the first half.  Ray Rice has not been effective as a receiver either.

Marlon Brown is the Ravens leading receiver with four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown.  Torrey Smith has three receptions.  The offense needs to get going if they want to come back.

Brandon Williams has a fumble recovery in his first game back with the Ravens and has played very well.  Terrell Suggs and Chris Canty both have sacks.  The Ravens defense gave up a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown.

The Bills are missing four defensive backs and possibly five with an injury to Aaron Williams so the Ravens offense has a chance to come back if they can get things going.  The Ravens are not winning the battles up front.

Sep 29

Ravens inactives versus Bills

The Baltimore Ravens have announced their inactives. For the Ravens the notable active players are Ray Rice and Deonte Thompson. Brandon Williams is awesome active for the first time this season. Brandon Stokley had a groin injury and is inactive. Arthur Brown and Terrence Cody were expected to be out with injuries.

Here is the complete list from Jeff Zrebiec.

 

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