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Old 01-17-2012, 08:09 AM    (permalink
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Default Conference Championship Discussion Thread

Baltimore at New England - Sunday 3:00pm EST

NY Giants at San Fran - Sunday 6:30pm EST


For the first time in years I don't really have a rooting interest/team I hate in the playoffs. (Last year it was the Packers, before that, the Colts and Eagles took turns as my most hated teams.)

Giants/49ers is going to be a great game I think. Both teams are playing at even higher levels than when they first, and that was a great game. I'm pulling for the 49ers because I like what Harbaugh has done there, but my gut tells me the Giants win that one close.

I think the Patriots might level Baltimore. I hope I'm wrong and that it's a good game, but the Patriots are playing with a fire that I haven't seen out of them in years while the Ravens...barely beat the Texans when gifted with turnovers. How Cam Cameron runs the Ravens offense will determine this one I think. I'm saying Patriots by two scores for right now though.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:25 AM    (permalink
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My initial non-homer wish for a Harbaugh Super-Bowl still remains possible.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:42 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by BeerBaron View Post
Baltimore at New England - Sunday 3:00pm EST

NY Giants at San Fran - Sunday 6:30pm EST


For the first time in years I don't really have a rooting interest/team I hate in the playoffs. (Last year it was the Packers, before that, the Colts and Eagles took turns as my most hated teams.)

Giants/49ers is going to be a great game I think. Both teams are playing at even higher levels than when they first, and that was a great game. I'm pulling for the 49ers because I like what Harbaugh has done there, but my gut tells me the Giants win that one close.

I think the Patriots might level Baltimore. I hope I'm wrong and that it's a good game, but the Patriots are playing with a fire that I haven't seen out of them in years while the Ravens...barely beat the Texans when gifted with turnovers. How Cam Cameron runs the Ravens offense will determine this one I think. I'm saying Patriots by two scores for right now though.
The media disagrees with you on Baltimore. NFLN ESPN etc are preaching that New England isn't physical enough and won't last.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:46 AM    (permalink
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The media disagrees with you on Baltimore. NFLN ESPN etc are preaching that New England isn't physical enough and won't last.
The media...idiots. All of them. Pandering to the masses. The Ravens defense is somewhat overrated. They got no pass rush last week, and granted, the Patriots o-line isn't as good as the Texans, but Brady being significantly better than Yates makes up for that. I anticipate Gronk having another big day, and they can always include more to Welker, something they didn't even need to do against Denver.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:53 AM    (permalink
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The Ravens are my team for the playoffs but man...Flacco and Cam Cam are killing them...if someone doesn't do an intervention with Cam he'll run....eerr...pass...this team put of the playoffs.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:01 AM    (permalink
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The Ravens are my team for the playoffs but man...Flacco and Cam Cam are killing them...if someone doesn't do an intervention with Cam he'll run....eerr...pass...this team put of the playoffs.
I'm telling ya what I see happening. Ravens get the ball first, run twice with Ray Rice for minimal gains, incomplete pass on 3rd down. The Pats get the ball and Brady takes them straight in for a TD.

Joe Flacco throws 63 times and Ray Rice touches the ball 6 times for the rest of the game. Pats win big.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:10 AM    (permalink
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I'm telling ya what I see happening. Ravens get the ball first, run twice with Ray Rice for minimal gains, incomplete pass on 3rd down. The Pats get the ball and Brady takes them straight in for a TD.

Joe Flacco throws 63 times and Ray Rice touches the ball 6 times for the rest of the game. Pats win big.
You could certainly be right. I don't think BB is going to let Rice run. He'll just let Flacco throw and be patient and wait for his mistakes.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:16 AM    (permalink
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I'm telling ya what I see happening. Ravens get the ball first, run twice with Ray Rice for minimal gains, incomplete pass on 3rd down. The Pats get the ball and Brady takes them straight in for a TD.

Joe Flacco throws 63 times and Ray Rice touches the ball 6 times for the rest of the game. Pats win big.
Stop saying this, I am having nightmares you dick. And I need my sleep.

I don't agree that the Ravens defense is overrated. I know we've often been susceptible to big plays, especially in the back end, but there is quite literally no other defense I'd want in the playoffs then ours. Yeah, the Niners can play some great defense, but give me Ray Lewis and Ed Reed in the playoffs every time. Not to mention, I fully expect Terrell Suggs to have multiple sacks this game. No way does he get held in check 2 weeks in a row.

I honestly believe that if we run the football, beat the living piss out of Gronk and Hernandez at the LoS and don't give them free releases, and keep ******* Flacco upright, that we'll take this game home.

Commie and I were talking in IRC the other day about how Ed Reed might be the best player left in the NFL without a ring. He's arguably a Top 5 player at his position, ever.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:17 AM    (permalink
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I'm telling ya what I see happening. Ravens get the ball first, run twice with Ray Rice for minimal gains, incomplete pass on 3rd down. The Pats get the ball and Brady takes them straight in for a TD.

Joe Flacco throws 63 times and Ray Rice touches the ball 6 times for the rest of the game. Pats win big.
Vegas agrees, and I trust Vegas.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:19 AM    (permalink
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Commie and I were talking in IRC the other day about how Ed Reed might be the best player left in the NFL without a ring. He's arguably a Top 5 player at his position, ever.
Except he's extremely average now. Painfully average. People will get fooled by his INT and near INTs last week that he is in full form again. He's not. Yates is just terrible. Although I saw Ed Reed make a tackle this weekend after Lewis whiffed on one. First one in like 3 years. If he ever tried to cover Hernandez or Gronk he'll be on the sideline hurt by halftime.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:19 AM    (permalink
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Stop saying this, I am having nightmares you dick. And I need my sleep.

I don't agree that the Ravens defense is overrated. I know we've often been susceptible to big plays, especially in the back end, but there is quite literally no other defense I'd want in the playoffs then ours. Yeah, the Niners can play some great defense, but give me Ray Lewis and Ed Reed in the playoffs every time. Not to mention, I fully expect Terrell Suggs to have multiple sacks this game. No way does he get held in check 2 weeks in a row.

I honestly believe that if we run the football, beat the living piss out of Gronk and Hernandez at the LoS and don't give them free releases, and keep ******* Flacco upright, that we'll take this game home.

Commie and I were talking in IRC the other day about how Ed Reed might be the best player left in the NFL without a ring. He's arguably a Top 5 player at his position, ever.
Who beats up the TEs off the line? Do you sacrifice your pass rush to do so?
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:21 AM    (permalink
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Who beats up the TEs off the line? Do you sacrifice your pass rush to do so?
Plus Hernandez lines up the backfield a ton. Seems like they did it even more than usual against the Broncos.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:24 AM    (permalink
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Plus Hernandez lines up the backfield a ton. Seems like they did it even more than usual against the Broncos.
I don't think anyone realizes what an effect that has. Teams see the personel and think hey empty backfield spread.

They send out personel accordingly and got burnt when an RB lined up.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:24 AM    (permalink
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Stop saying this, I am having nightmares you dick. And I need my sleep.

I don't agree that the Ravens defense is overrated. I know we've often been susceptible to big plays, especially in the back end, but there is quite literally no other defense I'd want in the playoffs then ours. Yeah, the Niners can play some great defense, but give me Ray Lewis and Ed Reed in the playoffs every time. Not to mention, I fully expect Terrell Suggs to have multiple sacks this game. No way does he get held in check 2 weeks in a row.

I honestly believe that if we run the football, beat the living piss out of Gronk and Hernandez at the LoS and don't give them free releases, and keep ******* Flacco upright, that we'll take this game home.

Commie and I were talking in IRC the other day about how Ed Reed might be the best player left in the NFL without a ring. He's arguably a Top 5 player at his position, ever.


APS, I don't say these things to hurt you, I say them because I feel that they are true.

As has been said, Belichick is almost certainly going to focus on taking away the run (if Cam Cameron even calls run plays...) and just wait for Flacco to make mistakes.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:25 AM    (permalink
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Except he's extremely average now. Painfully average. People will get fooled by his INT and near INTs last week that he is in full form again. He's not. Yates is just terrible. Although I saw Ed Reed make a tackle this weekend after Lewis whiffed on one. First one in like 3 years. If he ever tried to cover Hernandez or Gronk he'll be on the sideline hurt by halftime.
This isn't really true. He's been somewhat physically limited over the past few seasons, especially with the pinched nerve in his neck. You won't see him lay the lumber as often as he used to, be he's far from incapable of making tackles and he certainly does it regularly. Moreover, he's STILL the best center fielder in football. Nobody sets up QBs like Ed Reed, and that's just as true today as it has been his entire career. He still has the burst to close to the ball, trust me.

As far as jamming the big TE's off the line, you've gotta hope that someone manages to mangle them within 5 yards. I don't know if we'll leave it to a LB, or try and man up Pollard on one of them inside, but we will need to find a way to take care of those 2. Ladarius Webb just had a very strong season and is playing lights out on the fringe, but I feel like we could see him lined up in man on Hernandez on several occasions as well.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:27 AM    (permalink
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This isn't really true. He's been somewhat physically limited over the past few seasons, especially with the pinched nerve in his neck. You won't see him lay the lumber as often as he used to, be he's far from incapable of making tackles and he certainly does it regularly. Moreover, he's STILL the best center fielder in football. Nobody sets up QBs like Ed Reed, and that's just as true today as it has been his entire career. He still has the burst to close to the ball, trust me.

As far as jamming the big TE's off the line, you've gotta hope that someone manages to mangle them within 5 yards. I don't know if we'll leave it to a LB, or try and man up Pollard on one of them inside, but we will need to find a way to take care of those 2. Ladarius Webb just had a very strong season and is playing lights out on the fringe, but I feel like we could see him lined up in man on Hernandez on several occasions as well.
I think that's the dilemma your coaching staff faces this week. Let the TEs have a free release and rush the passer with LBs or Jam them and slow their routes. No way in hell you can expect a DB to slow down either of them off the line.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:33 AM    (permalink
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No one has figured out a good way to slow up the TEs yet. That's why they are so dominant in the league right now. We saw Gronk, Graham and Davis all completely explode last week. You don't think the defensive minds on the other team were trying to stop them?They were, none have found a good way to actually accomplish it yet.

I touched on this in my "thoughts" thread. What do you do? What can you do?

If you have an extremely athletic linebacker like a Boley or a Briggs, you can put him on the TE. But even then, someone like Gronk or Graham with that kind of size and speed is going to get his catches.

Cover them with a safety? Doubtful. They give up far too much in size.

"Chipping" the TE with a pass rush to slow him up might help, but that slows up your pass rush too.

Right now there just isn't a good way to do it.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:34 AM    (permalink
Hines
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I can't believe I'm going for the Patriots Sunday. It almost feels like I'm worshiping the devil right now. I just do not want the Ravens in the Super Bowl. Either way, I'm going for the NFC in the playoffs(another yuck), but that's only because I hate the two teams in the AFCCG.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:35 AM    (permalink
BeerBaron
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I can't believe I'm going for the Patriots Sunday. It almost feels like I'm worshiping the devil right now. I just do not want the Ravens in the Super Bowl. Either way, I'm going for the NFC in the playoffs(another yuck), but that's only because I hate the two teams in the AFCCG.
You have no right to complain, you lost to Tebow. You deserve to see the Ravens in the Superbowl after that.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:37 AM    (permalink
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You have no right to complain, you lost to Tebow. You deserve to see the Ravens in the Superbowl after that.
Haha this made my morning. They did lose to Tebow, didn't they? How terrible are the Steelers.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:37 AM    (permalink
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You have no right to complain, you lost to Tebow. You deserve to see the Ravens in the Superbowl after that.
I think I'd rather let James Harrison hit me like he hit McCoy before I root for the Ravens and to have them in the Super Bowl. Hell, I'd even let in his prime Mike Tyson punch me in the face with no glove before seeing that.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:39 AM    (permalink
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I would like to see what Webb can do on the TEs, specifically Hernandez (I wouldn't put him on Gronk) He can be pretty physical at the LOS and is probably one of our best cover guys at this point.

Gronk is the real problem. Do we put Suggs on him? (Was covering Andre Johnson at times last week) Then we lose almost all of our pass rush.

My ideal would probably be to put Suggs on Gronk for a good amount of the snaps while throwing in some rushes. MEanwhile have Webb line up in the slot on Hernandez and use some of his blitzing abilities as well.

I don't think you can use any one scheme the whole game so it will have to get switched up a lot.

Still, I think this is a better game than people think. Probably ends up being the best game of the weekend as I have the NYG putting the stomp on the 49'ers
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:41 AM    (permalink
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Put your best CB on Hernandez, and you have no one to cover Welker.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:42 AM    (permalink
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I would like to see what Webb can do on the TEs, specifically Hernandez (I wouldn't put him on Gronk) He can be pretty physical at the LOS and is probably one of our best cover guys at this point.

Gronk is the real problem. Do we put Suggs on him? (Was covering Andre Johnson at times last week) Then we lose almost all of our pass rush.

My ideal would probably be to put Suggs on Gronk for a good amount of the snaps while throwing in some rushes. MEanwhile have Webb line up in the slot on Hernandez and use some of his blitzing abilities as well.

I don't think you can use any one scheme the whole game so it will have to get switched up a lot.

Still, I think this is a better game than people think. Probably ends up being the best game of the weekend as I have the NYG putting the stomp on the 49'ers
I gotta disagree I think the 9ers game will be much better, especially if it rains.

It will be a grinder. I think the 9ers will put some serious heat on Eli and we'll see how good he really is in bad conditions against an Elite Defense.

I think the Pats Ravens game will be more of a shoot out to be honest. Probably 28+ for each team. Flacco will pass alot I expect but a pick or two from him should be enough.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:44 AM    (permalink
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Put your best CB on Hernandez, and you have no one to cover Welker.
Welker can have his little 3 and 4 yard gains, as long as Gronk isn't running people over down the seam on his way to 40 yard TDs. Welker scares me much less then the TEs do.

At least this week we know damn well the Pats aren't going to be running the ball like the Texans. If we are going to stop them, we're going to have to stop them through the air.
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