Monday, January 25, 2010

Super thoughts & pondering the Ravens passing game

The Colts opened up as 5 to 5 ½ point favorites over the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV, the over/under is set at 55 ½. Count me among those who think Peyton Manning will be hoisting another Lombardi and it won’t even be close. Before I let the talking heads sway my thinking, I’m calling it Colts 34, Saints 20 with the Saints adding a late score to bring the final into the realm of respectability.

You have to feel happy for Colts’ receiver Pierre Garcon. He caught 11 passes for 153 yards and put the Colts ahead to stay with a four yard score in the back right corner of the end zone. The native Haitian is undoubtedly playing with a very heavy heart.

Like many in the country who will side with the Saints as sentimental favorites as the world around the Bayou continues to recover from Hurricane Katrina, many may have their heartstrings tugged by Garcon’s story. Either way, Super Bowl XLIV will clearly feature interesting human interest side stories one of which will be Peyton Manning’s attempt to prevent New Orleans’ first Super Bowl victory.

Manning grew up in Louisiana and his dad Archie, is a former Saints’ great who is still held in high regard by the Who Dat’ faithful.

While watching the NFL’s Final Four this weekend I found it difficult not to compare the teams still alive to the Ravens. Priority number one for the hometown team is to improve the passing game. But for me the improvement IS NOT simply one of personnel. Cam Cameron must find ways to flood zones and to target soft spots inside the hash marks when encountering Cover 2 schemes.

By contrast the Ravens do not attack opponents in the passing game the way that even the Jets do with a rookie quarterback. Growing a pair comes to mind.

Speaking of growing a pair, Braylon Edwards sure does look good on those sideline routes but send him over the middle and that wingspan shrinks like wool in the cotton dry cycle. Rex might be the head coach, but T-Rex wears number 17 in gang green.

Does the offseason officially begin today as the media ponders the completely tired topic of Brett Favre’s future? I got a kick out of all the shots of Deanna Favre covering her mouth, face, eyes, etc while stressing out over yesterday’s game in New Orleans. That 8 carat diamond sure did help and boy do I feel sorry for her and all of the reported stress in her life. How she can get by on Brett’s 8 figure annual income while living in high-priced Mississippi is absolutely amazing!


ravcolt said...

Here are Flacco's post-season numbers: 55-120 for 660 yards, 47.5% comp %, 5.5 yds/attempt, 1 TD and 6 picks (4 sacks). QB rating less than 50. This sucks and better get better quickly or HC, OC, and QB could be out of a job next year. How long do we wait?

Harryos29 said...

Harry os 29 Jan 25th Patient please. Joe produced those numbers with 3 body parts hurting. Next season JOE should be 100% healthy, and our offensive line should be settled so he will have better protection on passig plays.
...YES.. The Producer of the SAINTS/VIKES game must have affection for Players wives. ENUFF..of the Deanna Farve shots. SHE has Zero to do with the game. I'm hoping that BRETT finaly retires.....for GOOD!!
.. Here is hoping that ERIC and OZZIE can discover a Peire Garcon and an Austin Collie before August and training camp begins. Wide Receivers are all that stand between JOE FLACCO being an ordinary JOE, or an ALL PRO. Beat the bushes guys and get JOE the Toys that he needs.

Anonymous said...

I actually had the same thoughts - is Cam's scheming/game plan still relevant? I know Mason is the only quality receiver, a #2 on most teams, but the routes do not seem to be complimentary or coordinated the way the Colt's are. I know Cam was a genius in SD, but... I still think the O-line allows too much penetration too easily.

Jerry B said...

Biggest difference between the Ravens and Jets who are literally "mirror images" is, as you point out, that the latter attacked the Colts defense with imaginative playcalling, while the former stuck to an ultra-conservative, "vanilla" approach with expected results. Of course, another difference is the fact that the Jets have better receivers than we do, Edwards' "short-arming" across the middle notwithstanding! As for the Super Bowl, of course the Colts are favored as EVERYBODY is afraid to attack Manning even though he's been known to "rattle" when excessively pressured, but I recall another Super Bowl many years ago, 1969 to be exact, when the BALTIMORE COLTS were heavily favored and.....lost! So, as cliches go, "That's why they play the game" and, "On any given Sunday"........ GO SAINTS!!!

Tony Lombardi said...

Jerry...Any Given Sunday

Jerry B said...

Got it, TL! By the way, the hiring of Pees, who was a former defensive coordinator with the Patriots, as linebackers coach, signals that Harbaugh may recognize that his Dad's buddy, Greg Mattison needs help next year. So, it's a good move from that perspective. Cameron may need similar help with the departure of Hugh Jackson - Flacco has too much talent to just, "manage the game"! It will be interesting to see if Greg Williams will "assault" Manning. It's really the only way to have a chance against him. Allowing him to "comfortably" pick out open receivers makes no sense. His passing is all about timing, so if pressured, he may have to hurry his throws or at least be made to "pay" a price, which is why I the prefer more blitzing, not less. If the conventional widom is that he's so good that he'll beat you either way, then better to "punch him in the mouth" a few times and try to make him as uncomfortable as possible......

Anonymous said...

For Jerry B, the Ravens and Jets games against the Colts demonstrate why you should never blitz Manning consistently. The Ravens played coverage schemes and mostly contained the passing game, including two picks (one called back due to a phantom penalty). The Jets had success into the 2nd quarter and then Manning killed them. Stop the run, play soft zone doubling Wayne and Clark, and score four touchdowns to win 28-24. That's how you contain the Colts offense from exploding!