Reality: Peyton Manning has been “one and done” in the playoffs eight times… most by any quarterback in the Super Bowl era.
Perception: After Sunday’s victory, that number will remain the same. We are privileged to be watching two of the best quarterbacks to every play the game, play during our lifetime. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning truly are two of the best ever. But the perceived difference is interesting. Ray Lewis said, “When you think about Peyton Manning, you think about numbers. When you think about Tom Brady, you think about championships.” It’s totally true. Tom Brady is looked at as a winner. He just wins. People don’t talk about his stats, just his wins. But with Peyton Manning, he is looked at as a regular season winner. But for him, people only talk about his stats, not his one Super Bowl victory or other successes… just his stats.
But this weekend’s game should be special. Eight of the 14 Manning-Brady games have been decided by seven or fewer points, including six of the last seven. Personally, I think the Patriots pull it out (but I’ll be rooting against them). But then I saw this stat: Brady has a .333 career road win pct vs. the Broncos (inc. playoffs), which is tied for his worst vs. any team. I’m looking forward to it.
Reality: Jim Caldwell is now the Head Coach of the Detroit Lions
Perception: Caldwell becomes the first Ravens Offensive Coordinator to not be fired. Matt Cavanaugh, Jim Fassel, Rick Neuheisel, and Cam Cameron were all let go by the Ravens. But it may have just worked out that way because he got another job. It would not have surprised me at all if Caldwell did not get a Head Coaching job, but then the Ravens let him go anyway. I don’t believe Harbaugh wanted to have to do that, but this is what the Ravens hoped would happen all along. But now you can expect even more changes.
Reality: The Ravens have granted permission for secondary coach, Teryl Austin, to interview for the Lions Defensive Coordinator position.
Perception: The Ravens already have an opening at the Running Backs Coach position and Offensive Coordinator. If Austin leaves, they will have a 3rd coaching position open. It’s likely that more coaches could interview for other jobs with all the new coaches looking at filling out their coaching staffs.
Reality: Rich Gannon told the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson that the Ravens Offensive Coordinator position is an attractive job for a lot of reasons.
Perception: I really thought the Ravens would just got with their “Next Man Up” philosophy, even when it came to the coaching staff. That’s what they have done pretty much every other time there has been an opening. As much as I don’t want it to happen, I really thought Juan Castillo or Jim Hostler would be the next Ravens Offensive Coordinator… and they still may. But the Ravens announced Wednesday that they will look inside and outside the organization for their next OC. And the Ravens were granted permission to interview former Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan for that position. I know that he likes to run a lot of 3- and 4-wide receiver looks on offensive, but I’m not a huge fan of that move.
I know most Ravens fans want Norv Turner as the next OC of the Ravens. After the Browns fired Rob Chudzinski, all his assistants were told they could interview for other jobs. So that means Turner could interview with the Ravens or the Vikings (as has been rumored). I’m not just not sure that Turner comes to Baltimore, as much as we all want to see that.
I tend to think that the front runner for the job is former Texans Head Coach, Gary Kubiak. He is well-respected around the league and within the Ravens. His run-oriented approach could fit the Ravens well. Even former Texans, and current Ravens, fullback Vonte Leach put his backing with Kubiak. Leach retweeted @TheNFLchick who told the Ravens to bring in Gary Kubiak. I think that would be the best fit for the Ravens.