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James Harrison Named Defensive Player of the Year, Ed Reed Demands Recount
by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 5th 2009 1:00PM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers, AFC North, NFL Fans, NFL AwardsI’ll admit it: I’m shocked. James Harrison has been named the NFL’s 2008 Defensive Player of the Year. I certainly thought he deserved to be in the conversation, and since I’m a Steelers fan, I’m obviously happy for him. But I also fully expect the Ed Reed and DeMarcus Ware supporters to make a spirited case for why their guy got hosed.

Fair enough.

It’s hard to dispute Reed’s ability to blow your mind on a weekly basis, but he got off to a slow start (only one pick in the first 10 games, which, when you consider that he wasn’t supposed to be playing — maybe ever again — is impressive in its own right), but the eight interceptions over the final six weeks of the season puts him in the mix. That he had a lot to do with the Ravens’ making it to the postseason further strengthens his case.

Ware, on the other hand, recorded 20 sacks, but the Cowboys, like the rest of us, watched the playoffs from the couch last weekend. I know, I know, playing on a team not coached by Wade Phillips doesn’t automatically disqualify you for Player of the Year, but there’s no way Ware gets it over Harrison or Reed, two guys still playing.Continue Reading

Haynesworth, Vanden Bosch Should Practice Tuesday, Play On Saturday
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 6th 2009 8:52AM by JJ Cooper (author feed)
Filed under: Ravens, Titans, AFC North, AFC SouthWhen the Titans host the Ravens on Saturday, it appears they won’t be stuck bringing the B-team defense to the game.

Albert Haynesworth (knee injury) and Kyle Vanden Bosch (groin) will return to practice today and should be ready to play on Sunday. Haynesworth missed the Titans season finale, while Vanden Bosch hasn’t played since Dec. 7 in an injury-plagued season.

It’s not that Jason Jones and Jacob Ford haven’t been very solid replacements, but with a spot in the AFC Championship game on the line, and the Ravens’ relying heavily on their running game, Haynesworth is probably the most important player on the Titans team this week. If he can shut down LaRon McClain and Willis McGahee, the Titans’ secondary should be able to handle Joe Flacco–they picked him off twice in their regular season win.

The bigger injury concern seems to be center Kevin Mawae. Mawae is questionable with an elbow injury. Backup Leroy Harris is physically talented, but asking him to figure out the infinite combination of Ravens blitzes would be a very difficult job in only his second career start.

Ed Hochuli Works Ravens-Dolphins Playoff Game, NFL Grades Him Top Ref
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 4th 2009 1:58PM by Michael David Smith (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, Ravens, NFL RefereesFour months after blowing a call that handed the Denver Broncos a win over the San Diego Chargers, Ed Hochuli has been rewarded by the NFL with a playoff appearance, working today’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.

The NFL gives playoff assignments to officiating crews based on the way they performed during the regular season, and CBS announcer Phil Simms reported that the league actually rated Hochuli and the six other officials on his crew as the best team of officials in the league.

And although that won’t sit well with Chargers fans, it’s really not a surprise. Hochuli has long had a reputation for being a firm but fair ref, and just because he was very wrong on one very big call, that doesn’t make him a bad referee. If he’s been judged by the league office as the league’s best ref, he belongs in the playoffs.

Cam Cameron Won More Games in Miami This Year Than He Did as Their Head Coach
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 4th 2009 3:58PM by Matt Snyder (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, Ravens, AFC East, AFC North, NFL CoachingSometimes you can’t make a coordinator into a head coach in the NFL. Malcolm Cameron (yes, that’s Cam Cameron’s real name, though I guess it’s reassuring to know his name isn’t Cameron Cameron) would be a perfect illustration. He’s a great offensive coordinator, yet his one head coaching stint in the NFL resulted in disaster, as he went 1-15 with the Dolphins last season.

I remembered thinking it was an awful hire for the Dolphins, simply because — even though he’s a great offensive mind — he was such a terrible head coach at Indiana, my alma mater. I endured watching 38-35 losses on a weekly basis during college, thanks to Cam’s lack of defensive prowess. He couldn’t even get to a bowl game with Antwaan Randle-El and his high-octane offense. Seriously, if you can’t succeed in the Big Ten, how are you cutting it in the AFC East?

Today, Cameron won his second game of the season in Miami, as an opposing offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. Coincidentally, his lone victory in Miami last season came against the Ravens.

Just as was the case last year, I’m sure Dolphins fans are happy to see him exit South Florida.

Against Ravens, Chad Pennington Forgot That He Was Comeback Player of the Year
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 4th 2009 4:15PM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, Ravens, AFC East, AFC North, NFL Fans, NFL Playoffs
Well, today’s playoff performance should temper all the “Chad Pennington should’ve won the MVP award” talk. I thought he deserved to be in the conversation, but it’s hard to argue against Peyton Manning landing the honor; the Colts won their final nine games of the regular season, and unlike Pennington, Manning the Elder had no running game to fall back on.

Via ESPN.com’s Tim Graham, Pennington wasn’t just bad against the Ravens, he was as dreadful as he’s ever been during his nine-year NFL career. And given that he was benched for Kellen Clemens last season, that’s saying a whole lot.

The gory details:Continue Reading

Ravens 27, Dolphins 9: Chad Pennington’s Bad Day Ends Miami’s Surprising Season
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 4th 2009 4:25PM by Adam Gretz (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, Ravens, NFL Fans, NFL Playoffs
.

During the regular season, Miami quarterback Chad Pennington threw just seven interceptions, one of the lowest totals in the NFL among starting quarterbacks. On Sunday, during the Dolphins 27-9 Wild Card loss to Baltimore, Pennington was guilty of four interceptions while Miami turned the ball over five times against a swarming Ravens defense. Miami finished the day a -4 in the turnover department, after finishing the season with a league-best +17 margin in terms of turnover differential.

That’s not going to get it done. Continue Reading

Sorting the Playoff Pile, Wild Card Weekend: Norv Turner This Time of Year
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 5th 2009 8:30AM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Eagles, Ravens, NFL Fans, NFL PlayoffsSix weeks ago, the 2008 Chargers were effectively done. They were 4-8 after having lost at home to the Falcons, and worse, division rival Denver held a three-game lead with four games to play. Well, we know how the final month of the regular season played out: the Power of Norval Eugene compelled San Diego. The Chargers won out, finished 8-8, and the cherry on top: they smacked around the Broncos in what amounted to a Week 17 play-in game.

The Chargers, not content to just get to the postseason, kept hope alive against the Colts, many people’s favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl next month. And while the records suggested that Indianapolis would come into Qualcomm Stadium long enough for hang 30-plus on a suspect San Diego defense before making its way to Tennessee, it didn’t happen. Never got close, really. Sure, the Colts had won their final nine games to finish 12-4, and the Chargers backed into the playoffs, but there are a couple things worth considering.Continue Reading

AFC Games May See Snow This Weekend
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 5th 2009 8:38AM by JJ Cooper (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Eagles, Giants, Panthers, Ravens, Steelers, Titans, NFL PlayoffsWhen you get to the playoffs, it’s worth keeping one eye on the weather–Chargers fans rightfully believe they would have made it to the Super Bowl in 1981 if it wasn’t for a record cold snap in Cincinnati. And there are Cowboys players from the 1960s who still have frozen fingers from the Ice Bowl.

We shouldn’t see anything like that this weekend, but it appears that three of the four second-round playoff games could see some inclement weather.

The Titans-Ravens game could be a turnover-fest, as rain and potential snow showers are forecast for Saturday with a high of 38 degrees. And the Chargers should be ready to bundle up as the projected high in Pittsburgh on Sunday is 23 (with mild winds) and occasional snow showers are forecast.

The Giants-Eagles game will be played in very mild conditions for a Giants-Eagles’ game in January–30 degrees and sunny, while the Panthers-Cardinals game may see rain–as the early forecast is for 52 degrees and rain. While rain might affect the Cardinals’ passing game, they surely would prefer to have 52 degrees and rain to another snowstorm like the one that buried them in New England last month.

These are forecasts for six or seven days in the future, so there is a chance that they will change over the next week. But if they don’t change we could see some interesting weather this weekend, which usually makes playoff games even more interesting.

Behind Enemy Lines: Talking Wild Card With Dolphins and Ravens Bloggers
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Jan 1st 2009 1:45PM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Dolphins, Ravens, AFC East, AFC North, NFL Playoffs I like the fact that no one is giving us any real credit for getting there. Jim Mora says on air that the best AFC East team is New England and there has been little “props” for winning the division as most of the kudos surrounds simply the turnaround. The Ravens are three-point favorites in this game and the Phins are getting tired of feeling second rate.

The Ravens are really beginning to gel in Cam Cameron’s offense and now they are getting contributions from Mark Clayton and Willis McGahee. Joe Flacco has come on strong since the last meeting with the Dolphins and has the third highest road QB rating among NFL quarterbacks. And of course the team’s defense is always dependable. The Ravens could be a dangerous post season participant.Continue Reading

All Four Home Teams Are Underdogs for Wild-Card Weekend
by @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 29th 2008 9:15AM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: AZ Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, NFL PlayoffsWinning an NFL division championship means a playoff spot, a home game and nothing else. All four teams that will be hosting the wildcard round of the playoffs are underdogs.

The lines for the four wildcard games has been set:

Eagles (-3) at Vikings
Falcons (-2.5) at Cardinals
Colts (-2.5) at Chargers
Ravens (-3) at Dolphins

The Falcons have two more wins than the Cardinals. The Colts have four more wins than the Chargers. The Ravens and Dolphins have the same record. The Eagles finished with just one less win than the Vikings but the same amount of losses.

Since the NFL has established the current playoff format in 2002, this has not been rare. In both the 2004 and 2005 playoffs, three of the four road teams won their wildcard matchups. This year, we have our first 8-8 division champion since 1985.

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Gary Stills Name: Gary Stills
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