Tag: Joe Flacco

Flacco Gets a Big Pay Day

Kyle Simpson, Ravens Corespondent

The wait is finally over.

The Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco has agreed to a new long term deal that will finally put to rest all of the questions of numbers and salary cap hits. And in the process, Joe Flacco becomes the highest paid player of all time.

What is the behemoth deal made of?

Six years, $120.6 million, $52 million of that guaranteed. Only $6.8 million of that will count against the cap this year, leaving the Ravens with a little over $10 million in cap space to deal with their free agents.

I would expect a resigning of Dannel Ellerbe to a long term deal and the tendering of all (give or take one or two agents) of the Ravens’ restricted freee agents.

The other big question mark is Ed Reed. Will he be back?

Probably.

He’ll probably take the same course Ray Lewis did and shop potential teams and get offer sheets to give the Ravens a better idea of what other teams think he is worth and then match that deal and have Ed sign a new deal with the Ravens. It is hard to see him go anywhere else after this year.

I would not expect any cap casualties from the Ravens either. Anquan Boldin (taking up $7.5 million) and Jacoby Jones ($5 million) are probably safe with Joe Flacco’s new deal. Vonta Leach is still a big question but I’d expect him to be safe.

Flacco is expected to sign the deal and take a physical today.

Storybook Season Gets a Storybook Ending: Ravens are World Champs!

Ravens-Win-in-NOLA

Words: Kyle Simpson, Ravens Corespondent

Baltimore, MD – You could not write a better ending for the last ride of Ray Lewis. Becoming a Super Bowl champion after making one last goal line stand to win the game? It is the stuff of legend, made a reality Sunday night.

The 10-6 Baltimore Ravens pulled off what nearly everybody said was impossible. They beat the “unstoppable” offense of the 49ers and brought the Lombardi back to Baltimore for the second time. Not even a freak power outage can stop the team of destiny on their path to glory.

The Ravens came out strong, drawing first blood with a Joe Flacco touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin. That would be the first of three touchdowns thrown by the Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco, last night. He would throw one to Pitta and another miracle bomb to Jacoby Jones in the 2nd quarter. Putting the Ravens up 21-6 going into halftime “part one” (more on that in a second). The Ravens put up a strong performance for the first half.

They had all the momentum leading into Beyonce’s halftime show, and for the first minute and a half after it. Jacoby Jones returned a beautiful 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown (Gardener’s Furniture made a bet saying that if the Ravens returned either the opening or the second half kickoff for a touchdown, any and all furniture bought before 3 PM on Sunday was free. Whoops). It was 28-6 at the start of the second half and it looked like the Ravens were going to have just as easy of a win as they did in 2001.

Some could say they were playing “light’s out”.

Then the lights actually went out (forgive that terrible pun). Nobody really knows how, or why, but they did. And that moment changed the tempo of the game. Instead of continuing to pound the 49ers, they got a 35-minute half time “part two” to regroup and catch their breath. Shifting the momentum from purple and black to the burgundy and gold. And it showed. They scored 17 unanswered points in what was probably the worst 3rd quarter I have ever witnessed. But the 3rd quarter doesn’t matter.

Games are won in the 4th quarter (or the 6th if you are in Denver).

Continuing their drive from the 3rd quarter, the Ravens finally got back on the board with a field goal from Justin Tucker. It was now 31-23. San Francisco answered with a drive that ended in Colin Kapernick running 15 yards for the longest rushing touchdown by a quarterback in Super Bowl history. The 49ers needed the two point conversion to tie, and thanks to Ed Reed getting in Kapernick’s face, they did not get it. 31-29 and the Ravens are desperately holding on. They would get one last field goal to make it 34-29 in the last two minutes of the game.

This would be the point where I should have asked my father why we did not have a family cardiologist.

The 49ers marched down the field and got to the five yard line to wind the clock down to the two minute warning. It was second and goal.

My heart has never beat so fast.

Ray Lewis’ last series would be a goal line stand for the Lombardi trophy. First was a pass that incomplete in the end zone. Exhale. 3rd down. They tried to air it out again to Michael Crabtree who got crushed by Jimmy Smith, knocking the ball incomplete. No exhaling this time. It was down to this.
4th down. This was it.

San Francisco snaps the ball. Passes is up to Crabtree again. Incomplete! Exhale.

Hugs were shared between my family and I, but we all knew it was not over yet. With just over 1:45 left on the clock, the Ravens did all they could do to wind the clock down. They pounded the ball on the ground and force the 49ers to use their last timeout. Two more unsuccessful runs brought up 4th and long.

This is where the Ravens got real crafty. They hike the ball to Sam Koch in the end zone and he keeps it in the backfield to keep the clock running. As time ticks away, Koch is dancing to avoid being tackled and runs out of the end zone to take the safety and leave the 49ers with four seconds on the clock. That special teams brilliance was a far cry from the gaffed fake field goal in the first half.

The Ravens punt the ball away and shut down the return to seal the victory. 34-31. CBS cut to a shot of Ray Lewis embracing Ed Reed (who was ridiculously giddy about winning the Super Bowl in his home town) and Terrell Suggs. Chykie Brown was making confetti angels.

Joe Flacco was MVP (pay the man already) and Ray Lewis was hoisting the Lombardi trophy for his last game. Ever. There really couldn’t be a better ending to this season of ups and downs.

It was surreal at first: the fact that my birds had won the Super Bowl. That idea really set in on Monday morning when I picked up my copy of The Baltimore Sun and “CHAMPIONS” was plastered on the front. I have been grinning ever since. All the haters, doubters, pundits, and analysts were all proven wrong. Baltimore was the real deal. Baltimore deserved respect. Baltimore had earned this victory. And that victory was so sweet. I did not sleep that much Sunday night. But the loss of sleep was so worth it. So, so, so worth it.

Hail to the Ravens!

Pittsburgh Steelers Defeat Baltimore Ravens

Words: Kyle Simpson

Baltimore, MD – Frustration. It’s the only word that can really come to mind when describing Sunday afternoon’s match up between the Ravens and Steelers, ending in a 23-20 victory for Pittsburgh in the final three seconds of the game.

Going into the game, the general buzz among Ravens fans was that Steelers’ quarterback Ben Rothelisberger was ruled out and that the Steelers ended up starting their third string quarterback Charlie Batch who had an overall 5-3 record starting for the Steelers going into Sunday’s game. Considering the third string start with the 15-game home win streak and the 14-straight divisional wins; this game was shaped up as an easy win for the Ravens.

And it looked that way for the first half. The Ravens played fairly well, limiting Pittsburgh to only two field goals and got two of their own on top of a 31-yard touchdown pass to Ravens’ receiver Anquan Boldin after Steelers receiver Antonio Brown threw an interception to Ravens’ corner-back Corey Graham on a trick play. Going into half time with a 13-6 lead, the Ravens were confident. It all went sour in the second half though.

The Steelers redeemed their offensive showing in the first half (only 93 yards total) with a 73-yard drive for a 16-yard touchdown run by Jonathon Dwyer to tie the game at 13. Thanks to an inexplicable fumble by Steelers’ receiver Emmanuel Sanders to give the Ravens the ball back at their own 37, Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco was able to drive down the field and get seven points on a 34-yard run by Ravens’ running-back Ray Rice (not as impressive as the “Hey Diddle Diddle” play the week before, but good enough). The Steelers took the ball back and immediately drove down in scoring range to tie the game up again. Ravens’ safety Ed Reed would not allow that to happen, though. After miraculously intercepting the ball and running it back about 30 yards, Reed had given Flacco and the offense the chance they needed to get a two possession lead over the Steelers with a little over 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

But Reed’s effort was wasted as Flacco was strip sacked by Steelers linebacker James Harrison on third and five to give the Steelers the ball back on the Ravens 27 yard line. With 7:24 left, Batch connected with Steelers’ receiver Heath Miller with 7:24 left in the game. The Ravens ended up punting the ball away to never get it back. The Steelers ran the clock down and scored the game winning field goal as time expired. The third string quarterback that everybody thought would hand the Ravens their playoff-clinching victory ended up out-playing Flacco and handing their first home loss in two years. “We were disappointed by our first loss at home in two years, that’s tough.” commented coach John Harbaugh at his press conference yesterday, “But now it’s our job to start a new streak, and that’s what will be our goal going forward.”

After the game many people were calling for Flacco’s head. Saying that he is not a good quarterback, that he was the full and only reason for the loss. While I will give the angry hoard of Flacco-hating fans that he had a bad game (16 for 34 on pass attempts and an ugly interception throw out of desperation), it is not his fault that the Ravens lost that game. Yes, he fumbled the ball. No, he was not playing smart football. I encourage those fans that would rather have Flacco’s head on a stake than have him start another game to ask themselves: is it REALLY all his fault? The Raven’s offensive line is a surprise every week these days. There is only so much Flacco can do when the defense is in his face the entire game because the offensive line gets beat like a drum on a regular basis. There were also multiple occasions when Flacco would put the ball in the receiver’s hands and it would still end up on the ground. Cam Cameron also must take part of the blame. His play calling is uninspired, predictable, and lacks any creativity on his part. Is this some sort of argument to say Flacco is off the hook for the loss? No, he made poor decision after poor decision and got sacked multiple times when he should have thrown the ball away and it is time for him to start playing like the elite quarterback he claims he is.

But one bad game on his part is not enough of a reason not to re-sign him like some fans want. He has led the Ravens to four winning seasons and the same number of trips to the playoffs the last four years, and has a good shot this year of doing the same. Flacco is all the Ravens have. There are too many other holes to fill with draft spots without worrying about replacing our quarterback; holes such as the offensive and defensive lines and buffing up the linebacker corps to try and add speed to the pass rush; which has been noticeably absent since Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles tendon last April. Not to mention fill the hole that will be left by the aging Ray Lewis if and when he retires.

Until the day that Flacco plays consistently bad and the Ravens hold a losing record, I stand by him as Baltimore’s quarterback.

As it stands now, the Ravens hold a two game lead over the Steelers in the AFC North, but fall three games behind the Houston Texans and into the number three seed in the conference as the New England Patriots win the three-way tie between themselves, Baltimore, and Denver. With four games left in the regular season, the Ravens are still in control of their destiny going forward despite the minor bump in the road.