Reality: There was 12 missed extra points in Week 11, 11 last Sunday alone.
In a league where no kick is a sure thing, Ravens K Justin Tucker is the only kicker to make all of his field goal & extra points in 2016.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 22, 2016
Perception: Justin Tucker continues to make a name for himself in the NFL, proving that he is the best kicker in football today.
Tucker is perfect on field goals and extra points in 2016. He has missed 18 field goals in his career out of 171 kicks, which is an 89.5% success rate. And Tucker is perfect in his 153 career extra point attempts.
The NFL was tired of the extra point being an automatic point with a 99.6% success rate, so they pushed the kick back over 20 yards to make it more of a play that matters, and it’s worked. The extra point is now making a difference in games. It’s giving people a reason to wait to go to the bathroom or get that beer. It’s giving coaches a reason to actually debate going for two or not. I’m not sure how some people think it was a bad move by the NFL, but apparently some do.
Remind me again why it was a good idea to move XP back again? Oh that's right, it wasn't. #NFL
— Mark Zinno (@MarkZinno) November 20, 2016
Former Baltimore Sports Talk host, Mark Zinno, believes it was a bad move, but his reasoning is idiotic.
Best rule change NFL has done
— Joe Polek (@JoePolek) November 20, 2016
@MarkZinno If they are not football player then they are not needed on team at all. Oh, but they are on team? Then they are football player
— Joe Polek (@JoePolek) November 20, 2016
What does Zinno want, the NFL to just get rid of kick-offs, punts, and field goals? Really? If not, then your argument makes no sense. Kickers are football players. But I understand, it’s similar to what Steve Smith Sr. said, recently, about Tucker… if he hits does his job and hits the game-winner, we love the kickers. If he doesn’t, we hate them. But couldn’t that be said about every position player? If Smith drops a touchdown pass, then they stink (See Lee Evans). Does that make him not a football player?
Peter King helped defend the new extra point.
How is a 99.6% percent play (the old PAT) good for the game?
Make the friggin’ kicks.
They’re 33-yard FGs. Stop making excuses for kickers. https://t.co/TGGZisbbRD
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) November 20, 2016
Reality: The Ravens rushed 16 times for 101 yards in Dallas last week.
Ravens are only going to win, consistently, if they can rely on the running game. They will fall whenever they lean on Flacco and passing.
— Don Olsen (@Olsen_Don) November 20, 2016
Perception: That is a 6.3 yards per rush average. But like they have all season, for some reason, the Ravens stopped running the ball at halftime. The Ravens had 86 rushing yards in the first half and only 15 in the second half. Terrance West alone had 42 yards rushing in the first half, but was only given the ball one time in the second half. WHY!?!?!
It was 10-10 at the half, so why abandon the run? The Ravens were hanging tough with the Cowboys because they were controlling the tempo of the game on offense, which gave their beat-up defense time to rest. When your offensive line is busting open big holes for the running backs, who were running with authority, WHY STOP RUNNING?
The Ravens offense is not set-up to be a pass-first team. The team has already switched offensive coordinators this season and nothing is changing. But it’s not just this season. Ray Rice used to get frustrated that the play-calling went away from the run. It’s simple. The Ravens win when they run the ball and let their runs set up the passing game. The Ravens lose when they pass first.
Why can we all see that, but the coaches can’t? The only constant in the playcalling has been John Harbaugh. He says he lets his OCs call what they want, but am I to believe that every OC the Ravens have had over the years all make the same mistake?
Reality: Some people think John Harbaugh is on the hot seat with the Ravens.
— Joe Polek (@JoePolek) November 22, 2016
Perception: Being 5-5 right now, with six to play, I don’t see Harbaugh being fired at all. I mean, if the Ravens go 0-6 the rest of this season, then maybe, but they won’t. If they go 8-8, it’s unlikely but maybe owner Steve Biscotti lets Harbaugh be a lame-duck coach next year and makes him coach for his new contract.
Since Harbaugh’s contract runs out at the end of the 2017 season, we should find out very quickly after this season if he will return. Either he’ll get a contract extension or he’ll be let go. If he is let go, I could see him being interested in Texas or another big-time college job, but what do I truly believe will happen? I think Ravens finish 8-8 or 9-7 and Harbaugh is giving a two-year contract extension and remains the Ravens head coach in 2017. But next year would be his “do or die” season. He gets at least 10 wins and goes to the playoffs or he will be fired. But that’s after NEXT year. I believe Harbaugh is safe this season.
Reality: The Ravens are 5-5, half a game back of the 6-5 Steelers, with 6 games to play.
Six remaining Ravens games: CIN, MIA, at NE, PHI, at PIT, at CIN. Need to win 4 to get to 9-7 #RavensTalk
— Bo Smolka (@bsmolka) November 20, 2016
Perception: As odd as it sounds for a .500 team, the Ravens control their own destiny in the AFC North. They can win the division, and they would need to, because no team in the AFC North is likely to get a Wild Card this year.
If the Ravens win Sunday, they would be 4-0 in the division, still holding the tiebreaker against the Steelers for the division lead (and looking good in other tiebreakers, as you can see here). Looking at who they play, there is no reason they couldn’t go 4-2 in their final six games, giving them a 9-7 record, and likely the AFC North title.
I know that I have said it this year, but does it really matter if the Ravens win the division? They aren’t good enough to win in the playoffs. But I’ve also said it in prior years… anything can happen in the playoffs, so just do what you can to get there.
Since 2005, only four of the Super Bowl winners have been a #1 or #2 seed. If the Ravens win the division, they will likely be the #3 or #4 seed. If the Ravens can make it to the playoffs as the division winner, they would get at least one home game. If they continue to get healthy over the next six weeks and host a playoff game, I like the Ravens’ chances. We saw how competitive they were against the best team in the NFL while on the road. We’ll get another glimpse of that when they travel to Foxboro in a couple of weeks.
I’m going to try to stay positive and cheer on the Ravens to the playoffs and see what happens in the second season.
Reality: The Ravens and Bengals have played 40 times in the regular season with each team winning 20.
Perception: It doesn’t get any closer than the Bengals/Ravens series. However, Cincinnati has dominated lately, winning five straight and six of seven. Before that, the Ravens had won four in a row.
The Ravens have the better record, A.J. Green is out with an injury, and the game is in Baltimore. All of those things point to a Ravens victory, but this is the Ravens we are talking about. The Bengals are ranked 10th in the NFL in offense, while the Ravens defense is ranked 2nd. Cincinnati’s defense is ranked 23rd while Baltimore’s offense is ranked 23rd.
This will be another close game between the Bengals and Ravens, but I see Baltimore finding a way to win at home.
Ravens win 27-23.