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  1. #1
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    Super Bowl thought experiment



    It still hasn't completely sunk in that we won this year. For the better part of 12 months, I was cursing Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff. But in the glow of a Super Bowl victory, I can now forgive those guys. I can forgive them even more if their disappointments could be somehow linked to our victory this year. That idea brought about a thought experiment in my mind. Can you make the case that without the debacle in Foxboro at the end of the 2011 season, we would not have won the Super Bowl in the 2012 season? Or should the 2012 Super Bowl have been two in a row?

    There are several ways I could argue that without the Evans-Cundiff game, we don't win in 2012.

    1. Cundiff would still have been the kicker in 2012. No guarantee he doesn't make all the same kicks that Tucker made (including a 47 yarder in subfreezing night temperatures in the Broncos playoff game), but I wouldn't bet the farm on that.

    2. Firing Cam would have been much harder if he had a Super Bowl on his resume. And if Cam didn't get fired in favor of Jim Caldwell, we don't go on this year's run.

    3. We probably would have extended Flacco last year -- and would not have been able to sign Jacoby Jones. Without the Jacoby Jones signing, we don't win the Super Bowl -- and we may not even make the playoffs.

    I think the stars aligned just right for us this year -- and a lot of that has to do with what happened last year.

    Now before you tell me that if a cow had testicles, she would be a bull, I realize that this is all highly speculative. I get it. But what do you think? Without Evans' drop and Cundiff's shank, is the confetti falling on the Ravens in New Orleans in February 2013?




  2. #2
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    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    I don't think we would have.

    Getting as close as we did and not winning that game prepared the players for just how hard you have to fight to win. I think the only reason we won the Denver game is this team went through the AFCCG heartbreak and wanted to avoid feeling that again at all cost, now Denver knows that feeling.

    When you combined that with the offseason and coaching moves you mentioned because of that loss, you're right, we don't win the SuperBowl this year without going through that.
    We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. - Benjamin Franklin




  3. #3
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    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by NCRAVEN View Post
    I don't think we would have.

    Getting as close as we did and not winning that game prepared the players for just how hard you have to fight to win. I think the only reason we won the Denver game is this team went through the AFCCG heartbreak and wanted to avoid feeling that again at all cost, now Denver knows that feeling.

    When you combined that with the offseason and coaching moves you mentioned because of that loss, you're right, we don't win the SuperBowl this year without going through that.
    Agree with you yet again, NC Raven.




  4. #4
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    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    I'm of the opinion...what's past is past. Everything that happened in the last 5 years led up to this Super Bowl. Any bit of it changes, you have no idea where it goes.

    We win last year, guys like Birk and Ray may choose to retire THEN. Ed Reed may opt to retire as well. Ray Rice's deal might be bigger than it was this year. Bryant McKinnie may choose to walk away from football and NOT get in shape for the playoff run.

    One that could be a little sobering...Chuck Pagano may still have been our DC this year. Imagine how hard his situation would've hit the team had he been a coach here still. Not to say they didn't care this year, but our football operations weren't affected by it.

    LOTS of things that could easily flip things one way or another.
    .
    .
    “When I think of a Baltimore Raven - we go in there, we take your lunch box, we take your sandwich, we take your juice box, we take your applesauce, and we take your spork and we break it. And we leave you with an empty lunch. That’s the Baltimore Raven way.” - Steve Smith Sr.


    Call me a Special Teams coach again. I dare you! I double dare you, MFer!




  5. #5
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    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
    ... For the better part of 12 months, I was cursing Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff. But in the glow of a Super Bowl victory, I can now forgive those guys...
    Hh, I can't forgive those two guys, but (with our Super Bowl victory) I can now forget them... Bc




  6. #6

    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    One of my favorite sayings is "you can't go back, you can't stand still, you can only go forward". Ravens have been like that every year. The years of Billick with a great D and no franchise QB after winning the 1st Sb could be talked about until you are blue in the face. Flacco being bad in away games and terrific at home, also will give you heartburn. The 2012 season started with a crucial injury to Suggs and got worse with injuries as the season progressed. The 2012 season showed the fans that 2nd string defense players had been learning and helped with the bend but don't break strategy. Winning those 9 games was critical for the post season appearance. Harbaugh and staff made the right moves in replacing players that didn't help the team win.
    I really don't want to remember certain players from the 2011 team. Winning the SB gave us new names to talk about and hopefully those names will come up positive for this new season. Still Wacco for Flacco(Franchise QB for the Ravens for years to come)




  7. #7
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    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    I agree that we can now put Cundiff and Evans out of our mind a little bit. If we win last year and then win over the Giants in the Super Bowl, I don't think we repeat this year. I think we would have seen Ray retire, probably Birk too, and maybe used some of that as a catalyst to make changes and get younger and so on. There are a lot of variables involved.

    I will say that I bristle whenever I see talking heads ranting about how the Ravens "gambled and lost" when it comes to not extending Flacco. Holding the Lombardi trophy is not losing. If anything, we gambled and WON. Yeah, Joe is going to be more expensive now, but consider the converse: if Flacco leaves and we're rebuilding around two new first round picks, then we'll still be able to say he won us a trophy. What if the 49ers had won? We'd be in the same bind but with NOTHING to show for it if Flacco signs elsewhere. And if we sign him to an extension the previous offseason... do we still win? Can any part of Joe's amazing performance be attributed to his desire for money and respect? If you take any of that away, do we slip up along the way? There were many many moments where one errant, distracted pass from Joe would have finished our run.

    Yeah, the Ravens will have to pay more to sign him. But not much more. $2-3m a year more, okay, that's one mid-level player's difference. One less Jameel McClain, or having Bobbie Williams be a low-cost rookie backup instead. The price tag for Flacco was always going to be high... now that extra $2-3m comes in exchange for a championship.

    Peanuts.




  8. #8
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    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabrosin View Post
    I agree that we can now put Cundiff and Evans out of our mind a little bit. If we win last year and then win over the Giants in the Super Bowl, I don't think we repeat this year. I think we would have seen Ray retire, probably Birk too, and maybe used some of that as a catalyst to make changes and get younger and so on. There are a lot of variables involved.

    I will say that I bristle whenever I see talking heads ranting about how the Ravens "gambled and lost" when it comes to not extending Flacco. Holding the Lombardi trophy is not losing. If anything, we gambled and WON. Yeah, Joe is going to be more expensive now, but consider the converse: if Flacco leaves and we're rebuilding around two new first round picks, then we'll still be able to say he won us a trophy. What if the 49ers had won? We'd be in the same bind but with NOTHING to show for it if Flacco signs elsewhere. And if we sign him to an extension the previous offseason... do we still win? Can any part of Joe's amazing performance be attributed to his desire for money and respect? If you take any of that away, do we slip up along the way? There were many many moments where one errant, distracted pass from Joe would have finished our run.

    Yeah, the Ravens will have to pay more to sign him. But not much more. $2-3m a year more, okay, that's one mid-level player's difference. One less Jameel McClain, or having Bobbie Williams be a low-cost rookie backup instead. The price tag for Flacco was always going to be high... now that extra $2-3m comes in exchange for a championship.

    Peanuts.
    Totally agree. Teams would gladly give up $2-5 million of cap space to guarantee a Super Bowl victory. If you saw the "gamble" as being, "Don't sign Joe now, win a Super Bowl, he becomes Super Bowl MVP, lose $5 million in cap space next year" -- I think every single team in the league would sign up for that deal. Heck, they spend $120+ million in cap space trying to get to where we are. The name of the game is not how much cap space you can save, it's how many championships you win. And we just won the biggest prize. If it gets Joe an extra $5M in cap space, so be it. That is a win-win in my book. You don't hope your team loses so that you can save cap space next year or get a higher draft pick -- not when you are so close to the mountaintop. We didn't gamble and lose. We gambled and won -- and so did Joe.




  9. #9

    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    We won a Super Bowl by a microscopic margin thanks to the SF and DEN wins. You could literally take about 30 different elements from this Super Bowl run, and state "we aren't world champions if ______happens or doesn't happen"

    That's why I think this whirlwind is pretty amazing. In 2000, that team was so brutally dominant of its opponents that I don't think one particular player's presence or absence made the difference. I guess you could argue that the Washington/Mitchell blocked FG was the only play that really won a Super Bowl individually

    This year, you had several dozen from the Denver game alone, followed by another 10-15 from the SF game. If Pitta doesn't convert the 3rd and 13. If Tucker doesn't split the 0 degree air for the winning FG. If Rahim Moore doesn't commit one of the all-time playoff blunders. If Flacco held the ball for 3/10ths of a second longer on the 70 yarder to Jones. If pass interference is called on Chykie Brown on the Corey Graham pick-6. What an incredible run.


    As many of you know, I never really blamed Cundiff or Evans after last year's loss. I was actually far more heartbroken over the lead we gave away in Pittsburgh the year before. That was to our top rival on a game we had in the bag. It's just easier for us to forget that game because the pain was more of a slow bleeding in the 2nd half than one quick kick in the gut like with Evans/Cundiff. I think it's also easier to conveniently put the Steeler January 2011 loss behind us because many of the goats from that game (Boldin/Flacco/Rice/Webb) are still valuable, respected members of our franchise.




  10. #10

    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    I think the story line for this year is so much more memorable because of that loss, and that overcoming it can send a powerful inspiration to never lose hope. I think this is the sort of Super Bowl season that defines a franchise for years.




  11. #11

    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenalytics View Post
    I think the story line for this year is so much more memorable because of that loss, and that overcoming it can send a powerful inspiration to never lose hope. I think this is the sort of Super Bowl season that defines a franchise for years.
    Agreed. This year is proof that "there's always next year" is a true statement.




  12. #12
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    Re: Super Bowl thought experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
    Now before you tell me that if a cow had testicles, she would be a bull, I realize that this is all highly speculative. I get it. But what do you think? Without Evans' drop and Cundiff's shank, is the confetti falling on the Ravens in New Orleans in February 2013?
    Well then I guess we have cundiff and evans to thank for this championship.
    "Screw it, let's ride"!




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