Tag Archives: Ray Lewis

The perfect ending to a storybook career

RayLewisSB47Super Bowl XLVII marked the end of a great 17 year career. Ray Lewis went out on top you can’t ask for a better storybook ending. If you would have told me during week 6 when Ray was hurt and placed on the IR that he would return for the playoffs and help lead his team to the Super Bowl I would’ve called you a damn lie to be frank. In the grand scheme of things I thought it wouldn’t happen like this but boy was I wrong.

ray-lewis-miamiRay Ray tore up college at the U, they were the U when he was there don’t judge the current state of the football team. He won a lot of awards at the U but there were some that thought he was too small to make an immediate impact in the NFL. For those who doubted Ray man were they wrong. The newly Baltimore Ravens drafted Ray in the first round in the rest was history after that. Lewis can count his lucky stars just for the beginning of his career if the Ravens hadn’t bolted from Cleveland he would have been a Cleveland Brown. Yes this isn’t a joke do you think this teams luck would have changed who knows? Or would the city of Cleveland have two Super Bowl titles? Ok, this post isn’t to argue this point but you get where I’m coming from right?  1996 was the first year for the Baltimore franchise in Ray was the teams 2nd pick in history.

During the end of the 99 season, Ray had his biggest trail in it wasn’t on the field. He wasn’t found guilty so I’m not here to judge him. For us football fans have been lucky enough to enjoy on of the entire football career of one of the all time greats. Do you think the Ravens turn into a model franchise without Ray around? For their organization it’s good they didn’t have to find out but it was a close reality.

Enough with the negative let’s highlight some of the many things that will leave a lasting impression on football fans across the world. Ray helped the Ravens win 2 Super Bowls (XXXV, XLVII) and was the XXXV Super Bowl MVP which is something that normally goes to the QB, RB or WR, yes normally an offensive skill position. Lewis made 13x Pro Bowls, an All-Pro 10x (7x 1st team, 3x 2nd team), the NFL Defensive player of the year 2x and AFC Defensive player of the year 3x. He is the only player in the history of the NFL to record at least 40 interceptions and 30 plus interceptions during their career. All of these feats are pretty damn impressive, he also is one of the best leaders of men we will probably ever see in our lifetime. That is an immeasurable that you can’t put on paper which may be his greatest asset.

RayLewismadden2005It seems like Ray was unstoppable but one thing got him. What was that one thing? It was the cover of Madden 05 (which was the 04 season) he was the cover boy for the very popular EA Sports game. During that season he didn’t last the whole season as he was injured and couldn’t beat the famous Madden curse but it was one of the few things that could slow down this great career.

Ray has been slowing down the last few years everyone could see it but he still was effective, nobody could argue that. It’s good to see one of your favorite players go out on his own terms because most are forced out via getting cut or injury. During week 6 I thought it was possible that it could happen to Ray but he was able to come back in change the dynamic of the Ravens team for one last ride. At the expense of my 9ers he was able to ride off into the sunset like no other. Ray enjoy watching your son play at the U and being able to relax in the off season.

Breaking Down Super Bowl XLVII: San Francisco 49ers vs Baltimore Ravens

superbowl-2013logoThe biggest day in professional football is Sunday. The 49ers and Ravens will square off in the Super Bowl, and only one team leave as a winner. This year’s Super Bowl as a lot of story lines. From the Harbaugh brothers making history coaching against each other in the big game to dealing with the departure of  Hall of Fame player Ray Lewis. Like the Super Bowls before this one the most memorable moments will be those left on the field. Here is an in-depth analysis of the Super Bowl match-up below. Feel free to comment or debate the selections that are made.

Quarterback

Colin Kaepernick vs. Joe Flacco

Both quarterbacks have different styles, but they both have the ability to will their teams to victory. Flacco is a pocket quarterback with the ability to scramble when needed, and Kaepernick is the new age hybrid quarterback that can run the ball for 70 yards as well as throwing the ball at an efficient level as well. Since Jim Caldwell has taken over for Cam Cameron as the offensive coordinator Flacco has been a different player. His big arm has been on display enabling guys like Anquan Boldin, Jacoby Jones, and Torrey Smith to make big plays. With Kaepernick he has beat teams with his legs as well as his arm. The pistol offense give Kaep a huge advantage due to his big arm and mobility.

Advantage: 49ers

Running Backs

Frank Gore and  LaMichael James vs. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce

Frank Gore and Ray Rice are arguably the most complete running backs in the NFL. Both have the ability to dominate on the ground, catch out of the backfield, and provide adequate pass coverage when needed. You can’t go wrong with either back, and many teams around the NFL would love to have them on their rosters.  Their backups LaMichael James and Bernard Pierce are no slouches either. James was thrusted into the lineup after Kendall Hunter went down with a season ending injury. Since then James has been the perfect complement to Gore. Bernard Pierce is a solid back, and is a great change of pace back to compliment Rice. Pierce has shown flashes this season with big games, and could play a huge role in the Super Bowl.

Advantage: Push

Wide Receiver’s/Tight Ends

This is a tough debate since both teams are loaded with talent on the outside. Randy Moss and Anquan Boldin are the older guys that can still ball, but guys such as Torrey Smith, Michael Crabtree, Dennis Pitta, and Vernon Davis are big time players as well. Both teams use their skill players in different manners. The Ravens have become a pass first team under new coordinator Jim Caldwell, and the guys on the outside have blossomed. The 49ers are still a power team, but they do a good job with mixing it up with the passing game.  If I were a quarterback I wouldn’t mind throwing to either group of skilled players.

Advantage: Push

Offensive Line

Both offensive lines pride themselves on tenacity.  With the Ravens future Hall of Famer Matt Birk is the anchor of the offensive line. The Ravens have strong pieces that punish opponents in the running game, and it is rare that Joe Flacco is laying in the dirt. The 49ers offensive line is younger the Ravens offensive line, but age is nothing but a number. Joe Staley is one of the best left tackles in the game, and is complimented well by the other lineman such as Mike Iupati, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, and the elder statesmen Jonathon Goodwin.  The 49ers and Ravens are almost identical when talking about the offensive lines. I think it’s pretty scary.

Advantage: Push

Defense

Both defenses are loaded with Pro Bowlers, Hall of Famers, and All-Pros. We all know that this is Ray Lewis last game so the Ravens will be very emotional. Linebackers Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Ray Lewis, and Terrell Suggs may be the best group of Linebackers playing in the same Super Bowl in recent memory. We all know that Ed Reed is the head of the class when talking about the secondary, but the 49ers may have the best back four playing in the game with Goldson, Whitner, Rodgers, and Brown. Both defensive lines are led by All-Pros Haloti Ngata and Justin Smith. Games are won in the trenches so it will be interesting to see both defensive lines play against strong offensive lines.  Like many of the other categories there is no clear-cut advantage.

Advantage: Push

Special Teams:

David Akers has resembled Ray Finkle rather than the Pro Bowl kicker from last season. Akers has missed the most field goals in the NFL this season. On the Ravens side Justin Tucker has been one of the best kickers in the NFL. Tucker has been money in the bank, and put the Ravens over the Broncos in Overtime during the Divisional match up in this years playoffs.  Return men Jacoby Jones, Teddy Ginn Jr, and LaMichael James can make big plays, but out of the three Jacoby Jones is the most dangerous of the group.

Advantage: Ravens

Coaching

The Harbaugh brothers are gutsy, brash, and excellent. Sorry, but there is no other way to put it.

Advantage: Push

Final Score

49ers 34- Ravens 21( Hoping for at least one choppa city juke from Jacoby)

Sorry, I have to roll with the home team.

2013 NFL Playoffs: NFC and AFC Championship Game Picks

There are four teams remaining after a long grueling NFL season. At this point of the season coaches are exhausted, and players are nursing injuries. All of that goes out of the window when trying to achieve the ultimate goal to reach and win the Super Bowl.  Here are our selections for the teams who will make it to New Orleans for the Super Bowl. Feel free to comment on our selections!

San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons, 3:00pm, ET

colinKBoth teams played extremely well last week in their respective divisional match ups. Colin Kaepernick’s video game like numbers, and Matty Ice’s first playoff victory dominated the headlines last weekend. Atlanta Falcons have the home field advantage, but they may be at a disadvantage against the 49ers.  The Georgia Dome is a fast track and players such as Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Randy Moss could take advantage of playing in the dome. The Falcons struggled mightily against dual threat quarterbacks this season, and  Kaepernick possess the ability to do damage on the ground and in the air. On the Falcons end they have a potent offense, and will look to attack with Tony Gonzales, Roddy White, and Julio Jones in the passing game. It will be a lot harder for the Falcons to go up and down the field against the 49ers due to them having a stout defense. It will be a great game at the start, but I think that the 49ers defense will make the “Dirty Birds” one-dimensional forcing Matt Ryan to beat them through the air. I know it is a homer pick, but my Niners will be heading to New Orleans for the Super Bowl.

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots, 6:30pm, ET

Tom+Brady+Joe+Flacco+AFC+Championship+BaltimoreBoth teams won their game in different fashions. Tom Brady & the Pats dominated the Houston Texans, and The Baltimore Ravens won a double overtime thriller against the Denver Broncos. Tom Brady looked sharp as usual, and the Patriot running game has the ability to take over games as well. The Ravens are fueling off of the inspiration of Ray Lewis, who is set to retire at the end of the season. The Ravens are fighting to win the big one so they can send Ray off into the sunset. With Jim Caldwell calling plays the Ravens have been more balanced than usual. Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin are getting the touches that they should have been getting years ago.  It is hard to bet against Brady, but something in me feels like the Ravens will not let No. 52 down. Ravens win in a tight game in Foxboro.

2013 NFL Playoffs: AFC and NFC Divisional Picks

Another football weekend is upon us, and there are eight teams awaiting their destiny to see if they can make it to the next round of the playoffs. Last week there were some surprises, and the same is expected in this week’s match ups  Please feel free to express your opinion about our choices for games of the week.

Houston Texans @ New England Patriots, 4:30pm ET SUN

In the first match up between these teams the Patriots made the Texans look like a junior varsity squad. I think the Pats will show some rust due to having time off, but will have enough fire power to beat the Texans. The Texans looked so-so against the Bengals, and if it weren’t fo a few errant passes from Andy Dalton we wouldn’t even be talking about the Texans. At the end there will be too much Brady and the Pats will cruse to a victory.

 Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers , 8:00pm ET SAT

In a week one match up my Niners cruised to a victory against the Pack, but both teams look a lot different since that match up. Colin Kaepernick is the starting quarterback for the Niners after Alex Smith lost his job in the middle of the season. Kaepernick provides the big play ability that was lacking while Smith was in the quarterback position. On the Packers side they have an improved running game and defense, and they still have Aaron Rodgers with an arsenal of weapons. Wide receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb are new weapons that are being used more than they were used in the earlier part of the season. As a Niner fan I am worried about facing the Pack, but the end of the day I think the 49ers will make the Packers a one-dimensional team forcing Aaron Rodgers to do it all by himself against a top flight defense.

Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos,  4:30pm ET SAT

This will be the last game where wRay Lewise will see Ray Lewis go against Peyton Manning in any type of game. This will be a chess match up between two masterminds. Peyton has been in MVP form, and will look to continue his strong play in the playoffs. The Ravens balled out against the Colts, but it wasn’t in convincing fashion. Andrew Luck made a lot of mistakes that Peyton will capitalize on. It is hard to win in the Mile High city due to the altitude as well as the atmosphere. I think Joe Flacco will play like the Flacco we all know, and I expect Peyton & Co. to take care of the Ravens.

Seattle Seahawks @Atlanta Falcons @ 1:00 PM, ET SUN

Trusting the Atlanta Falcons is like trusting a man without a mustache being sponsored by Buick. The Atlanta Falcons may be the home team, but I don’t see them doing well. I don’t know if I am drinking the haterade, but with the way that the Seahawks are playing it will be interesting to see how things will fare in Atlanta. Marshawn Lynch and the running game will be a little too much for the Atlanta Falcons D. By using the running game as a weapon it will keep the Falcons high-powered offense on the sideline. Seahawks by seven.

2013 NFL Playoffs: AFC and NFC Wildcard Picks

The playoffs kick off this weekend, and four out of eight teams will be one step closer to the ultimate goal. Every year some wildcard team makes an unsung run to the Super Bowl. Which wildcard team will play Cinderella this postseason?  Please feel free to express your opinion about our choices for games of the week.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans, 4:30pm ET SAT

Geno-AtkinsThe Texans enter the playoffs playing uninspired football. Though, the Texans have home field advantage they are not a clear choice to defeat the Bengals. The Bengals are looking for revenge from last season’s playoff game against the Houston Texans. This year Andy Dalton knows what to expect, and I expect him to play lights out in front of his hometown. The Texans have the talent to wake up out of their slump, but I don’t see it happening. Bengals beat the Texans in a close one.

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers @ , 8:00pm ET SAT

The Vikings beat the Packers last week to get into the playoffs, but i don’t think means much since it is a brand new season. Stars such as Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, and Clay Matthews will come to play. It will be up to the supporting casts of both teams, and I feel that the Packers have a clear cut advantage. I don’t have enough faith in Christian Ponder to go up to Lambeau to leave as a winner. Packers win big against the Vikes.

Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens @ 1:00pm ET SUN

Ray LewisThis could be the last game of Ray Lewis’ career after stating that he will retire at the end of the season. The Ravens go as Ray Rice goes, and it would make sense to feed him the ball. Andrew Luck will have a tough time beating the Ravens in this match up, but this is only the beginning of the Andrew Luck era. As long as Joe Flacco doesn’t go Elvis Grbac I see the Ravens winning convincingly.

Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Redskins @ 4:30pm ET SUN

The battle of the “cornball brothers”(just joking) will be at full throttle. RGIII and Russell Wilson have their teams playing at a higher level than anyone expected. It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks will play away from home. RGIII had another week to rest up his knee, and I think he and Alfred Morris will unleash in the running game. This is the first Redskins home playoff game since 1999 so I expect it to be a zoo in that stadium. Seattle will play hard as usual, but I see them falling just short of victory.

What We Learned in Week 7 of the NFL Season

Week in and week out there are great games to go along with some amazing story lines. Week 7  continued a great trend of great moments during the football week. Feel free to chime in and comment on our selections if you like. Enjoy!

The Carolina Panthers Running Game is extinct– Smash and Dash or whatever you want to call them have not lived up to their hefty contracts this season. The Panthers were a phyiscal team last season, and now they are relying on Cam Newton to do everything.  I don’t know if its Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, or coaching, but something is wrong with the Carolina Panthers running game.

Matt Stafford has regressed– Stafford has one motive, and that is to throw to No. 81. I’m not mad at him I would probably do the same thing. Opposing teams know where the ball is going and it is showing in the Lions win column. Stafford had a quarterback rating of 97.2 last season, and now its 78.4. We hear about the decline of Cam Newton, but Stafford’s may be worse.

Terrell Suggs is a Freak of Nature– I know the Ravens got blown out, but Terrell Suggs played out of his mind. I may be exaggerating, but for someone who tore their achilles tendon this past summer he was quite impressive.

Ray Lewis will be missed– It was quite obvious to say that the Ravens will miss Ray Lewis, but after getting whooped 43-13 it should create some concern in Baltimore. Maybe with the return of Suggs he can spark the play of the Defense.

Malcolm Jenkins may have saved the Saints season– Vincent Jackson thought he had a easy walk in touchdown after catching a bomb from Josh Freeman. Malcolm Jenkins put an end to that by hustling from about twenty yards away to tackle Freeman at the three yard line. By saving the touchdown it led to a fourteen point swing that eventually led the Saints to victory.

Alex Smith still has work to do– I am not the biggest Alex Smith fan, but when your favorite team is winning it’s hard to complain. Alex Smith was bailed out by Frank Gore and the stout 49ers Defense once again as he put up pedestrian numbers. Alex has the weapons, but the results are not showing on the field. How long can the 49ers keep winning with Alex playing his best impersonation of Camp Rooney?

Chris Johnson is back– CJ2K ran all over the Buffalo Bills, and even brought out the choppa city juke. Johnson went for 195 yards off 18 carries to go along with two touchdowns. It was a good day for my homie C.J.

What We Learned in Week 6 of the NFL Season

Week in and week out there are great games to go along with some amazing story lines. Week 6 continued a great trend of great moments during the football week. Feel free to chime in and comment on our selections if you like. Enjoy!

The New York Giants made a statement- By the New York Giants beating the Niners they may be the best team in the NFC. It hurts to type this, because I am a Niners fan, but the Giants dominated in the run game and made Alex Smith look like the Alex Smith of old. The Giants are great when their backs are against the wall. Can they keep up the good play when expectations are rising?

Peyton Manning & The Broncos are going to be dangerous- In the Monday Night Football game Peyton and the Bronco’s defense led a historic comeback. Being down 24 points Manning and the troops closed out the game by winning 35-24. No this was not a Tim Tebow Disney comeback, this was actually done by the Bronco’s defense harassing Philip Rivers for six turnovers as well as Manning doing surgery on the Chargers defense. As the season goes on the Broncos will only improve. The sky is the limit for the team in the Mile High city.

Andy Reid needs to make changes- I don’t know if Michael Vick should be benched, but something needs to be done in Philly. I think play calling has a lot to do with Vick’s turnovers, and there is only so much you can do when your offensive line works for PETA. Shady McCoy should be featured more which eliminates the chances Vick can turn the ball over. Juan Castillo and the Defense lost the game in the closing moments of the game for the second consecutive week. It still baffles me that a former offensive line coach is the defensive coordinator for this team. Andy better wake up soon or things will get ugly in Philly.

The Ravens will be in trouble- Ray Lewis and LaDarius Webb were lost to season ending injuries against the Dallas Cowboys. I know football is the ultimate team sport, but it will be close to impossible to replace No. 52.  With losing Webb it will not be such of a blow, because that will insert Jimmy Smith in the lineup who has loads of potential. I can’t remember the last time I saw Ray Lewis on the sideline for an extensive period of time. This will get interesting.

3-3 is a trend in the NFL–  11 teams boast the record of 3-3. At this time of the year bye weeks can be very helpful for teams to regain confidence or to get healthy. It will be interesting to see what teams make it over the hump.

The Discount Double Check is back in effect- Aaron Rodgers made the Houston Texans defense look awful. The six touchdown passes were a season high, and it will only boast Rodgers confidence for the remainder of the season. The Packers are a lot better than what their record states ( 3-3) so I expect them to go a far as No.12 can take them.

The Browns will not go win less- Cleveland has had a few bright moments this season, but none translated into victories. With the rivalry game against the Bengals the Browns won the match up. Shout out to the Browns for getting their first win.

2012 Week 1: NFL Games of the Week

The NFL season took off in great fashion with the slug fest between the New York Football Giants versus the Dallas Cowboys this past Thursday night. Sunday will be even more entertaining with so many marquee match ups in the fold.  Check out what games we picked for this week.

San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers,  4:25pm ET– This could be the preview of the NFC Championship game. Both teams lost to the New York Giants in the playoffs last season and will look to bounce back after the playoff disappointments.  Aaron Rodgers & Co. will have their hands full with Patrick Willis & Co so it will be interesting to see the chess matches between to two All-Pro performers.  My opinion is biased hoping for a Niners victory, but it will be hard to contain all of the weapons that the Packers possess.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos, 8:20pm ET– The return of Peyton Manning could not come against a tougher opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers. The last time the Steelers were in the mile high city they were Tebow’d so they will be looking forward to some type of redemption. Manning has looked great in preseason and will continue the trend versus the Steelers secondary. This will be a great game, but in the end there may be too much Peyton Manning for the Steelers to handle.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens,  7:20 ET (Opening game of Monday Night Football double header)– The AFC North is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. The game between both teams will be well coached and there will be a lot of hard hits due to two standout defenses.  How much will the Ravens miss Terrell Suggs? Can A.J. Green and Andy Dalton cue up an encore to their outstanding rookie season? With all that said I think the Ravens will take the victory due to home field advantage the play of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

These are our picks for the week.  Do you agree with our selections? Feel free to comment or give some input about the games we chose for week 1.