Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Instead, the trip to
#1
(SportsNetwork.com) - Oh, to be in the NFC South in 2014. If the Baltimore Ravens could jump regions and conferences prior to Week 14s slate of games, theyd head to Miamis Sun Life Stadium on Sunday with a comfortable two-game lead and at least one eye toward finalizing arrangements for a home playoff game in early January. Instead, the trip to South Florida - given the jumbled competitive reality that is the AFC this year - is far more in the class of full-on business desperation than leisurely holiday comfort. The Ravens and Dolphins are two of six conference teams with 7-5 records through 12 games, which means their get-together takes on particular urgency as the seasons final quarter gets under way. Baltimore seemed destined for a more stable 8-4 record and a firm hold on playoff destiny heading into the fourth quarter last week, but instead saw a 10-point lead evaporate into a 34-33 loss to San Diego. It was a second straight prolific performance for an opposing quarterback, with Philip Rivers amassing 383 yards and three touchdown passes just six days after Drew Brees threw for 420 yards and three scores in a game the Ravens ultimately won, 34-27, at New Orleans. Ravens QB Joe Flacco had two TD passes last week before the late meltdown. Miami enters the game with just 27 completions of more than 20 yards and just one TD pass of that length, but Baltimore coach John Harbaugh isnt lessening the emphasis on secondary performance. Weve got to make some plays, he said. Thats really what it boils down to. The return of starting cornerback Asa Jackson from an injured toe could help. The third-year man last played in Week 5 before being placed on the returnable injured reserve list. He had 16 tackles and a pass deflection in early season action before the hiatus. The loss of Pro Bowl defensive lineman Haloti Ngata certainly wont help. Ngata was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the leagues policy on performance-enhancing substances Thursday. Ngata said he took Adderall and apologized for the transgression that will keep him out of Baltimores remaining four games of the regular season. I made a mistake, and I own this, said Ngata in a statement Thursday. I took Adderall and take full responsibility for doing this. I am deeply sorry and broken up over this. I let down my family, my teammates, Ravens fans and myself. My hope is that the Ravens make the playoffs, and I believe they can do this. And, then I can come back and help us win. Ngata, in his ninth season with the Ravens, is the center of Baltimores defense as the prominent run stopper in the clubs 3-4 scheme. He has 31 tackles with two sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions in 12 games this season. This is disappointing news for the Ravens, said general manager Ozzie Newsome. We are disappointed with Haloti, but no more than he is with himself. The Dolphins defeated the New York Jets on Monday to improve to 7-5, but theyve allowed better than 200 rushing yards to two consecutive opponents for the first time in 24 years. Coincidentally, the Ravens backfield is occupied by Justin Forsett, who leads the NFL with a 5.6-yard average per carry and has gained 400 yards while scoring four times in Baltimores last three games. Flacco has four passing TDs and no interceptions in the same three-game stretch, and Baltimore for the season is sixth in the league with an average of 27.3 points per game. Its hard to overload the box because they have those threats on the perimeter, Miami coach Joe Philbin said. I think the key for them has been balance. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed just 21 of 40 passes in a three- point home loss to the Ravens in 2013, but hes been among the hottest QBs in the league lately - completing at least 70 percent of his throws in five consecutive games. The last two passers with six-game runs of 70 percent or better were named Favre (in 2007) and Manning (Peyton, in 2008 and 2012). Tannehill was 25-for-35 for 235 yards against the Jets. Their offense is a spread-option type of an offense that Tannehill runs very effectively - a lot of weapons, Harbaugh said. They spread the ball out, they spread the formations out, they run the read option, they run the dive, quarterback keepers, quarterback-follow plays. Miami, which is tied with Buffalo in the AFC East - two games behind New England - faces the Patriots next week before finishing with Minnesota and a home rematch with the Jets. The Dolphins last made the playoffs in 2008. Weve talked to them more about the month of December and the importance of each and every game in December, Philbin said. This one that we have coming up, Baltimore, both on paper and on film, is as good as team as weve seen. WHAT TO WATCH FOR Elvis is in the Backfield Baltimore pass rusher Elvis Dumervil has 12 1/2 sacks in 2014 and was a chronic thorn in Rivers side last week, forcing three hurries and hitting the San Diego QB twice. Right tackle Dallas Thomas draws the assignment against him after allowing three pressures, but no sacks, in Mondays defeat of the Jets. Thomas could be aided by Tannehills ability to throw while moving away from rushers. Beating the Replacement Miamis Cortland Finnegan was a no-go at cornerback against New York and is listed as questionable for this week. If hes again unable to play, or less than 100 percent, it tilts a matchup in the favor of Ravens veteran Steve Smith. R.J. Stanford started in Finnegans place Monday, but hell be much more challenged by Flacco and Smith than he was by the Jets tandem of Geno Smith and Eric Decker. OVERALL ANALYSIS Though the Dolphins have won five of their last eight games - and only dropped the other three by a combined 10 points - a noticeable theme across 12 games is that theyve feasted on lesser foes, and struggled with better ones. The five losses have all come against teams with at least seven wins, while the seven wins include Jacksonville, Oakland and the Jets. Baltimore is good, and matches up well. We have a huge game down in Miami, Harbaugh said. There will a lot on the line and theyll be ready and theyre good. Well have a great opportunity to make a move. Its going to be very competitive (and) down to the wire to make the playoffs, to win the division, and we are in the thick of it. Sports Network predicted outcome: Ravens 28, Dolphins 27 Tevin Coleman Super Bowl Jersey . According to Tony Barrett of The Times, the Liverpool captain is set to announce that he will leave the club at the end of the 2014-15 season. Y.A. Tittle Super Bowl Jersey . Juventus announced details of the deal Saturday, saying that Morata signed a five-year contract with the club. The deal also includes an option for Madrid to buy Morata back for up to (euro)30 million ($40. http://www.49ersofficialfanshop.com/tren...sales.html. Bobrovsky posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.58 goals-against average and .950 save percentage to help the Blue Jackets (35-26-6) gain five of a possible six points last week. He capped the week by making 32 saves and stopping 2-of-4 shootout attempts in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Kyle Juszczyk Super Bowl Jersey . The Sochi organizing committee said in Fridays statement that the torch relay reached the North Pole on Oct. 19. Russian Polar explorer Artur Chilingarov, who led the mission, lit a special bowl at the North Pole sign. Ronnie Lott Super Bowl Jersey . Calgary finished atop the CFL standings with a 14-4 record and earned the right to host the West Division final at McMahon Stadium on Nov.LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed Byron Scott is their new coach Monday night. The Lakers finally made the long-anticipated announcement in a news release. Scott will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday at the Lakers training complex. Scott told reporters last weekend he had been hired by the Lakers, who have been without a coach since Mike DAntoni resigned April 30. Scott is the 25th head coach in the 16-time NBA champions franchise history. General manager Mitch Kupchak said he conducted "an extensive and thorough search" with owner Jim Buss. "Were proud to welcome Byron back to the Lakers family as our next head coach," Kupchak said. "Byron has proven himself at the highest levels of the game as both a player and a coach in his almost 30 years of NBA experience. His leadership skills and track record for success make him the ideal person to lead this franchise forward." Scott is 416-521 as a head coach for New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland, reaching two NBA Finals with the Nets. He has won three division titles, and he was the NBAs coach of the year in 2008. Scott also was a shooting guard for the Lakers for 11 seasons, playing allongside Magic Johnson during the Showtime era.dddddddddddd He was a teammate of Lakers star Kobe Bryant during his final NBA season, and Bryant has endorsed Scott for his new job. "I am ecstatic to once again be a Laker and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mitch and the Buss family," Scott said. "I know firsthand what it takes to bring a championship to this city, and as someone who both grew up in L.A. and played the majority of my career here, I know how passionate and dedicated our fans are. I will give everything I have to fulfil the championship expectations that our supporters have for us, and that we have for ourselves." Scott spent last season as an analyst on the Lakers television network, watching their disintegration during a 55-loss season, the most in franchise history. Bryant played just six games last season. The Lakers interviewed several coaching candidates over the past three months, including Lionel Hollins and George Karl. Scott has been widely considered the front-runner for the job since early summer, but Kupchak and Buss appeared to be more focused on the NBA draft and free agency than their current teams leadership. ' ' '
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)