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Sunday Action Open Thread

cleveland browns brady quinnThere are those who would argue that the Ravens‘ season is already over. I’m not yet among them, but I will go so far as to say that a loss today at home against the Browns would be devastating. And I more or less think it’s going to happen.

We know Cleveland is going to score, with Derek Anderson and Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards and Jamal Lewis. This much is for certain, even against a still-stout Baltimore D. So this game comes down to whether or not Kyle Boller can exploit Cleveland’s weaknesses and put up, say, 24 points or so.

The Steelers, meanwhile, travel to East Rufferford to take on a Jets team that is much better than their 1-8 record suggests. This is the definition of a “trap game”, and the Steelers will need to stay focused.

Cincy stays home to take on the Cardinals, and a win there could make for some momentum heading down the stretch.

The biggest grudge match of the week happens out in Dallas, where the Redskins will attempt to cast aside a nasty injury bug and reclaim their status as NFC East contenders.

And for those of you not into football: New England takes on Houston in the MLS Cup Finals (down at RFK if I’m not mistaken), and the NASCAR season wraps up in Miami with Jimmie Johnson your likely champion.

The floor’s wide open…

20 comments to Sunday Action Open Thread

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    i think the ravens will win today, don’t know why. boller will come out, look good, throw for decent yardage, win the game, get everybody excited, then throw 14 interceptions against sd, ne, and indy.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Neal, it’s over. Even if we win today (and a freaking special teams early turnover says probably not) the only game that matches up well for us is Miami – and that’s IT.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Wow – the Browns offense looked horrible just there. You recover a fumble at the 35 and don’t get any points after its 3rd and short at the 24.5? Wow. Good work and good luck? We might have a shot anyway (but not for the playoffs).

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    once again, billick has to be the most over-rated coach in history. he is solely responsible for this loss. ONE RUNNING PLAY at 2nd and 1 or 3rd and 1 with 35 seconds left and the game is over when stover kicks the field goal.

    absolutely horrible coach.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    lol @ steelers

  • neal s

    Man, you gotta give the Jets all the credit in the world for this one. Especially if you happen to be a Browns fan.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    To say that any one or two plays decided any game is dumb. We lost this game because of the same thing that caused us to lose every other game so far: turnovers everywhere.

  • neal s

    I don’t know, Andrew. Billick’s maniacal insistence on passing in short-yardage situations — especially on days like today when McGahee has been money — is pretty much unforgivable. BBM is right. This game should have been won or lost by running the clock down with Willis and taking a shot with Stover.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Well if there hadn’t been 3 early turnovers Cleveland wouldn’t have even been in that situation. It was a bad play, but up until then the passing on that drive had been so good, why not keep going with it?

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    air – normally you’d be right.

    but to excuse a single moment at the end of a game that 99.9 percent of coaches, players, fans, coaches wives, pundits, farm animals, schoolchildren, prisoners, politicians, foreigners, trekkies, skinheads, evangelicals, and bacteria would KNOW wins the game in question is not dumb.

    especially when it happens over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

    i cannot believe how completely out of it billick is on those sidelines when it comes to the absolute BASICS. football 101 stuff. it’s killed this team at least as much as their qb situation has in the last five years.

  • random dude

    You don’t keep airing out the ball, even if it’s working, if you are able to run the clock down and thus not allow the other team to have the ball on offense after you kick. Each play is not played is not played in a vacuum, you have to take everything into account for each play. If you are passing the ball like Tom Brady to Randy Moss and you have had no running game whatsoever, you STILL should run the ball there. You’re in field goal range, you obviously want to get the ball closer to make it a higher percentage kick, but its better to make sure you don’t give their offense a chance to come back. Since we WERE running the ball effectively, it makes even more sense.

    Yes, if our offense showed up in the first half, or we didn’t turn the ball over so many times, it wouldn’t have mattered. But we were in position to win the game DESPITE our mistakes on the field. And Billick single-handedly gave the Browns the last chance to go for the win or tie. That’s why I think this is the rare occasion where you can blame one player/coach for a loss. That was the worst playcalling I’ve ever seen. I don’t mind throwing it on 2nd. I wouldn’t have, personally, but that wasn’t the end of the world. But on 3rd? A kneel down there would have won the game for us. That’s depressing.

  • neal s

    It’s pretty simple, really — just look at history. I don’t mean football history, I mean the sum total of human experience up to this point. Among the few constants we find, there is hubris.

    hu·bris (hyōō’brĭs) n.
    Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance

    Hubris has defined the Ravens (by way of their head coach and star linebacker) for years. And as it has gone in every other instance where hubris has been displayed, so has it finally gone for the Ravens. They are simply getting what has been coming to them. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I’ll say it one more time: this team lacks true leadership. They won’t be respectable again until they find it.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I agree 1001% that there’s no way in hell Billick should be calling the plays 3 weeks ago – but it’s a simple fact about sports that one or two plays never, ever, ever decides a game. There’s is always a larger issue. All season, it’s been turnovers and/or offensive malaise, or both. Did Billick mess up royally in that crucial moment? Yes, definitely. But running the ball on 3rd and 1 doesn’t guarantee success either. To say we lost on those two plays is just as defendable as saying if we hadn’t let freaking Cribbs run up to midfield on the following kickoff we’d have won. We should have won right there.

  • Tim

    Nice call on the Jets game. I am a firm believe that if Kyle Boller is given the reins of the quarterback position without threat of not starting the next week, or having to split time, that he has the chance to be the best quarterback that Baltimore has ever had. I’m glad that he now has that chance.

  • random dude

    I’m not sold on Boller at all. He has always played well against bad defenses at home. And while he played decently yesterday (better than McNair this year), he didn’t have a breakout game against one of the worst secondaries in the league at home. I think he gets destroyed the next three weeks.
    He also had three years that he was the starting quarterback. He didn’t have to worry those years about who would start week to week. I know he got thrown in too quickly, but those were still three years where he was the starter.
    Every game he plays he goes out and makes some excellent throws, and then follows them up with terrible decisions and throws of his back foot. He’s not good at looking off a receiver. And he rarely ever throws to anything but his top one or two options for the play. Watch his head, he almost never looks to a 3rd or 4th receiver if the first two are covered. He just throws it into triple coverage. I don’t think he’ll ever be anything more than a backup in this league. I honestly don’t even think he’s a change of scenery candadate. He has never been that good, even back to college. He only had one good year. It takes more than a laser, rocket arm (being able to throw the ball from knees through the uprights) to make it in this league. Though I will admit that that kneeling throw does make a fun party trick.

    Oh, and excellent call on the Jets.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    neal i always chuckle at the seeming intellectual dishonesty with which you see ray lewis. it reaks of steelerism.

    as a ravens fan i’m the first to admit he’s had shortcomings the last few years as his skills have diminished. he’s obviously frustrated with billick’s handling of this team. his seeming childishness completely mimics that of another hall of famer drafted with him in ’96. jonathan ogden and his sideline and post-game antics are no different but you seem to have no problem with him.

    you continually seem to overlook all history, testimony, and information regarding ray’s legacy. you seem to choose to look at anything you dislike about him and concentrate only on that – and wash away the fact that he’s mentored ed reed, terrell suggs, jamal lewis, hell countless pro-bowl players (here and in other cities) through the years through his unmatched work-ethic and willingness to kill himself year-round to capture another title.

    i’ll never say he’s the perfect athlete personality wise. i wish he was the strong silent type. but seriously dude get over whatever personal hangups you have.

    concentrate on billick – a man that’s become truly indefensible.