The theme of this 2017 NFL season, thus far, has to be the pre-emoji shrug guy.
Yea. That one.
There’s literally zero rhyme or reason to anything thus far. The Jets sit above the Patriots in the AFC East. Deshaun Watson and Alex Smith look like the 2nd and 3rd best QB’s behind A-A-Ron Rodgers. The Bears are awful, yet beat the Steelers and almost beat the Falcons.
Maybe those doomsday crazies were right about the apocalypse signs all around us…
Here’s a quick recap of last week’s insanity:
-The Pats should have lost to the Bucs, had it not been for a trio of Nick Folk shanked FG’s that made Robert Aguayo laugh his ass off.
-The Browns went for it on 4th & 2 at the Jets 4 yard line… in a 3 point game… with 6 minutes left.. and failed… and lost. Tanking confirmed.
-Aaron Rodgers further solidified his GOAT status with a final second (11 seconds to be precise) TD pass to beat the Cowboys, further prompting the “Dallas should’ve just taken Zeke’s suspension, they still can’t win with him” punch line.
–LOL STEELERS…AT LEAST THE RAVENS SCORED A TOUCHDOWN AGAINST THE JAGS. 30-9, Ravens atop the AFC North again.
Last Week: Ravens 30, Raiders 17
Be honest… who saw that game coming?
Who saw the Ravens offensive offensive line keeping Joe clean all game?
Who predicted Flacco would break his consecutive interception streak on a west coast game?
Who saw the Ravens defense not only getting pressure, but forcing turnovers and sacks once again?
Who thought Vince Mayle, of all people, would score in this game?
Who foresaw the Ravens holding a lead throughout the entire game from the opening drive?
Hell, who even thought a victory was a sure shot, despite EJ Manuel under center for Oakland?
IF you answered yes to any of these questions? You’re either a bad liar or a savant of sorts, and we need to chat ASAP.
This Week- Da Bears @ Ravens
Sunday 10/15 @ 1pm
The Ravens come into this Week 6 tangle with Chicago after adding another notch on their belt in a very convincing win against Oakland.
Dare I say, I believe this was the Ravens best game this season.
Da Bears (you can never use ‘the’ in reference to Chicago’s football team) comes in with a record of 1-4, having lost their last 2, and their only win coming in overtime against the Steelers.
Chicago hasn’t scored more than 17 points in regulation this season, and in their 4 losses they’ve managed to surrender a shade under 27 ppg.
Then there’s Bears rookie signal caller Mitch Trubisky, who will be starting just his 2nd game. Last week, Trubisky threw for 128 yards and completed less than 50% of his passes (12 of 25), with 1 touchdown, a pick, and scampered in a 2-point conversion. A little bit of good, mostly mediocrity, and a touch of noticeable rookie play.
But what can you really expect from a Bears team with a shaky O-Line and a wide receiver corps consisting of Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy & Markus Wheaton…
Of course, it’s not all craptastic for Da Bears, especially on defense, where they’ve collected 13 sacks (T-9th), only allow 205 passing ypg (8th), and surrender 100.2 rushing ypg (13th).
Scary to say, but… all of those defensive metrics are better than Baltimore. Some substantially so…
Okay, don’t get too worried. I’ll end on a happy note:
Chicago, just like Oakland last week, has not intercepted a pass this season. The Ravens have 9, and will likely make it to 11 or 12 before 4pm Sunday.
How many people will call this a trap game? Probably the same people who called Cleveland a trap game. And Oakland. And probably every other game against a lesser opponent moving forward…
Ultimately, this game comes down to 3 factors:
1. Can Flacco and the offense sustain last week’s success?
2. Can Baltimore do to Mitch Trubisky what they’ve done to every rookie QB to step into The Bank?
3. Can the Ravens defense contain the RB tandem of Jordan Howard & rookie Tarik Cohen?
I think 2 of those 3 are going to happen. The Raiders defense last Sunday was expected to eat up Flacco all day, yet Marty Mornhinweg made some play calling adjustments to get the ball out relatively quickly and spread the Raiders D. I expect more of the same this week against Da Bears (is it annoying yet?). I also think Baltimore’s defense will fluster Mitch Trubisky and force him into some bad plays, coughing up the ball 3 times- 2 picks, 1 fumble.
As for the 3rd factor- containing Howard and Cohen- I don’t see it happening. I don’t think Brandon Williams is ready to come back yet, and without that opposing force upfront, the Ravens D has been a bit of a sieve. That being said, I believe the Ravens go up 17 by halftime, forcing Chicago to toss it around and pull back on the run game, thus limiting Howard/Cohen touches in the second half.
Flacco adds 2 touchdowns (Watson, Wallace), decides not to start a new interception streak, and Alex Collins breaks the century mark on the ground.
Here we come, 4-2!
Best of the Rest
Not the best of weeks around the NFL, but still a few noteworthy games…
Pats @ Jets Sun 10/15 @ 1pm. Battle for 1st place in the AFC East. No, seriously! New England (3-2) has the NFL’s worst defense, and very well could be 2-3 had it not been for fortuitously crappy kickers on the opposition (sound familiar?).
Steelers @ Chiefs Sun 10/15 @ 4:25pm. The Steelers coming off a 30-9 loss at home against the Jags, while Big Ben threw 5 picks, then whined about ‘maybe not having it anymore’ post-game. The Chiefs are 5-0 and playing at home. Prepare for some happy Ravens fans!
Giants @ Broncos Sun 10/15 @ 8:25pm. I’m just watching to see who the hell Eli is going to throw to now that he’s lost OBJ, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris.
This has irked me for quite some time, and with a home game on the horizon for Sunday, I’m sure we’ll see plenty more of these clowns…
Top 5 Game Day Jersey Fouls
5-AVOID THE BLUE TINTED RAVENS JERSEYS. These are awful. You may not notice it until it’s up against a Nike jersey, but the disparity is stark, as those jerseys sold by the corner vendor with the cardboard sign for $15? Yea… probably not authentic… I mean, when you saw that #5 was spelled as “Flacko” I’d think you’d know better… (also not a fan of the all-pink-with-rhinestones ordeal. Just awful.)
4-DON’T WEAR SIGNED JERSEYS. Somebody justify this. Please. I’ll wait… Ok, I’m done waiting. Are you waiting for somebody to ask you about the autograph? Say they do (they won’t), what’s your response? “Funny you should ask, I paid $80 to wait in a 2 hour line to say hi & get this signed then walk on!” Riveting…
3-STOP TUCKING YOUR JERSEY IN. Betcha you’re feeling real fashion forward tucking that jersey into your carpenters jeans, right? Can’t blame you though- if it wasn’t tucked in, getting into that fanny pack would be such a challenge!
2-VANITY NAMEPLATES ARE NOT OKAY. Fine, you want your last name on your jersey. Whatever. But don’t get something stupid on the nameplate like “Mr Lucky” or “Superman.” Save it for your license plate. Actually, no. Don’t do that either.
1-IF THE TEAM ON YOUR JERSEY ISN’T ON THE FIELD? GO HOME. This irks me to no end. Literally an ounce or two of liquid courage away from questioning each any every one of you who pull this stunt. There are 2 teams on the field at the game. One is the Ravens. Their jerseys are acceptable. The jerseys of the opponents are acceptable as well. Any professional team beyond that? NO. Don’t show up to Week 2 Browns @ Ravens in a Steelers jersey (that happened), or Week 4 against the Steelers wearing a Skins jersey- actually Skins fans show up far too much to Ravens games in gear when THEY AREN’T EVEN PLAYING THE RAVENS AND CAN’T BEAT BALTIMORE WHEN THEY DO. Just stay in the tailgate lot from 1pm ’til the clock hits zeroes, will ya?