As we head into Week 7 of the 2019 season, let’s take a look at some of the headlines throughout the week.
— The XFL had a draft… and nobody cared. Even the AFL is taking the under on the duration of this league playing off the nostalgia of their previously defunct attempt to overthrow the NFL.
— Patrick Mahomes knee’ds time off. The NFL’s top QB took a shot to his kneecap whilst diving on a 4th down play last night, and appears to have dislocated it in the process. Good news for Chiefs fans is that three weeks seems to be the necessary rest but lest we forget that this is proof that THE MADDEN CURSE IS REAL. Please never put Lamar Jackson on the cover.
— Trade Market heating up! The Ravens acquired Marcus Peters, and the Rams paid through the nose for Jalen Ramsey… could Yannick Ngakoue be next for the Ravens? Something tells me you should read this blog that I’m shamelessly plugging to get more insight into the possibility.
Last Week: Ravens 23 Bunguls 17
The final score wasn’t exactly pretty, but what can you expect from a Divisional opponent, regardless of their level of talent?
Aside from an opening kickoff touchdown and a late-game scamper for six by Andy Dalton, the Ravens defense largely kept the Bengals in check. Once again, Marlon Humphrey puts a good wideout on an island (Tyler Boyd this time) and shuts him down.
Unfortunately, we cannot take a page out of the ‘Revis Island’ book and call it ‘Hump Island’ because that’s… it’s probably not something that should be Googled.
Offensively, fans got a little bent about only putting up 23 points… remember the days when we used to be elated for 23 points on offense? Now suddenly, we expect 30+ every game without looking at the full stat sheet to see the Ravens actually put up a shade under 500 total yards, nearly doubled Cincy in Time of Possession, and scored on 5 out of 8 drives (excluding end of half/game).
That’s not too shabby as far as I’m concerned, and I’m not lamenting a close game here. Take the W, and get ready to head west…
This Week: Ravens @ Seahawks (-3.5)
At initial glance, I think many (irrational) fans chalk this one up to a loss. They see 5-1 Seattle over 4-2 Baltimore, and while that’s a mere one-game swing between the two teams, we get “yea but the Ravens can barely beat Cincinnati or Pittsburgh, so there’s no way they can hang with Seattle!”
Then it gets awkward when you tell them the Seahawks beat the Steelers by two and the Bengals by one…
Realistically, it’s true the Seahawks are going to be a tough opponent come Sunday, and the numbers show in several facets of their play. On offense, the Seahawks are 5th in yards per game, 7th in points scored, have the 5th fewest turnovers (aided by 0 picks for Russell Wilson), and have scored 21+ points in every game this season. Despite their offensive success, Seattle has the 20th-ranked defense in points allowed and yards allowed.
But it seems we all forget these Ravens aren’t too shabby, either. On offense, Baltimore is 1st in yards per game, 2nd in points scored, have the 8th-fewest turnovers (aided by Jackson’s 0 fumbles) and have scored 23+ points in every game. Just like Seattle, the Ravens defense is lacking as well, as they’re ranked 18th in points allowed and 13th in yards allowed.
So where’s the advantage?
For the Seahawks, they’ve amassed 12 turnovers this season on defense – six picks and six fumble recoveries. They’ll be looking for loose balls to help their offense make the Ravens pay.
For the Ravens, their top-ranked rushing attack versus Seattle’s 25th ranked yards per carry allowed (4.5 ypc) will be the key to their success.
Prediction: Get ready for a homer take, because the more I look at this matchup, the more I can see the Ravens falling into the favor of the football Gods.
The Ravens will likely be without the services of Hollywood Brown on offense, but none of that really matters this week, as the Ravens will be a heavy ground & pound team this week. Look for Jackson to contribute 15 carries of his own for 95 yards and a score, while Mark Ingram puts up 100 yards and a score of his own. The Ravens will indeed find the end zone through the air as well, courtesy of Mark Andrews this week, and a few Justin Tucker field goals will ramp up their score.
Defensively, I believe new acquisition Marcus Peters comes out in lockdown-mode for Baltimore, opposite Marlon Humphrey (again, Hump Island isn’t’ working here). Earl Thomas gets more freedom to roam, and he’ll corral Wilson’s first pick of the season. Chris Carson will find his chunk yards and will carry the offense the best he can, but ultimately this game forces Seattle to focus on the pass game, and Wilson’s options will be limited by an improved Ravens secondary, and quite frankly, the loss of Will Dissly.
Seattle carried a 13-10 halftime lead into the locker room but the Ravens pull away with back-to-back 3rd quarter touchdowns to go up 24-13, and never look back.
Ravens 30 Seahawks 23
The Rest Of The Slate
Since the Ravens aren’t playing until 4:25, you have a whole 1 pm slate to check out this week! My only recommendation is to not start drinking Oktoberfest on the early slate on you’ll never survive through the 4th quarter of the Ravens game (or maybe you will because your liver is made of adamantium or vibranium). Here’s the best of the rest.
Rams @ Falcons. Sun 1pm. If you like offense and Matt Ryan losing? This game is for you!
Cards @ G-Men. Sun 1pm. Daniel Jones versus Kyler Murray. Rookie versus rookie. Bad team versus bad team. I don’t even care, I’m down for it.
Eagles @ Cowboys. SNF 8:20pm. This is my NFC version of Steelers vs Patriots in the sense that I don’t want either team to win. I can’t tolerate either fan base, I think both QBs are overhyped, and the thought of either winning another title makes me puke. Hope for a tie.
Pats @ Jets. MNF 8:15pm. Just kidding, absolutely nobody outside of New England is wasting their time with this game. Gross.
It may seem early for this, but the Ravens have a bye next week, then take on the Patriots the following week on November 3rd, so I think now is the perfect time for the Halloween-related ranking, except this year, let’s avoid the candy debate because it’s played out…
Top 5 Obscure Great Things About Halloween
5. Moving Night Is DEAD.
I swear it wasn’t me but I knew a few kids who were mischievous little monsters on Moving Night (October 30th). I definitely had my house egged & TP’d the tree at some point, then naturally, it fell on me to clean it up (‘Who’d you piss off this time?!’). Thanks to Ring doorbell cameras and parents having constant tabs on their kids, this is no longer a thing and as a homeowner? LOVE IT.
4. Buying Unnecessary Amount of Candy.
One bag. You need one big bag of candy for Halloween and call it a day. So naturally when Target has a Buy-2-Get-1-Free deal, you pull the trigger and somehow? All of the KitKats and Twix (top-2 candy bars, come at me) disappear before October 31st. Strange…
3. WE GET HALLOWEEN FOOTBALL!
It’s a rarity, but this year we’re blessed with NFL action on Halloween night thanks to Thursday Night Football (49ers and Cards, but I’ll take it). Game starts at 8:20pm, which is typically when Trick or Treating is a done deal and kids are coming down from their sugar rush and crashing, so nothing like a solid three hours of NFL action to close out a night of kids, chaos, and our Top-2 ranked greatest things…
2. Raiding Your Kids’ Buckets.
Let’s not act like parents don’t do this. We all know your kids will ToT until their legs fall off, and naturally, they’ll amass far more candy than they’ll ever eat. So what do you do? You help them lighten the load a bit. I mean, obviously not in front of your kids, but definitely after bed time, and maybe not every day but surely snatching a Skittles pack here on Monday night or a Reese’s Cup there on Thursday night is fair to you because 1) dad had to walk the neighborhood too and I couldn’t even dress up like Bob Ross because your mother said it was weird, but also 2) you don’t want cavities so I’m actually being a better parent by saving you rom yourself.
1- Taking Your Kids Trick-or-Treating And Finding The Houses With Booze.
I know not everyone has kids and this is back-to-back parent specific things… but I do and this is my ranking, dammit. We run the same route every year with family and friends, and I always know where booze houses are: one is spiked cider, one is syringe shots, one Jell-O Shots, and one is a really old guy that has a bottle of moonshine and some Dixie cups (I trust him, mostly because he offered me two shots last Halloween).
If you find these houses on your route, you never forget to hit them again as an adult Halloween treat.