Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Good, Bad, Ugly & The Megan Fox: Ravens @ Browns

This past Sunday I ventured up to New York City to celebrate my birthday with my wife and couple of dear friends. Naturally we had to be situated and comfortable by kickoff and we were told that Johnny Utah’s on 51 Street, a block from 30 Rock, was the place to go for Ravens’ fans.

We arrived around noon and there were only 3 people there and the infamous electronic bull. Unfortunately the 3 people included a bartender, a hostess and a waitress. So that had to be happy to see us!

Ok, so maybe we’re early we thought. The place seemed nice and they had an ample amount of HD screens and HD projection screens but just to be sure, we asked if they would be broadcasting the Ravens/Browns game.


We were told that they could only show the nationally televised games. What a waste of HD power.

Quickly we rallied and caught a cab to The Wharf Bar & Grille on Third Avenue between 38th and 38th. I had actually Googled Ravens’ bars in NYC on the bus ride up and found The Wharf Bar but opted for Johnny Utah’s on the recommendation of a Twitter follower. Live and learn I guess…

That said, The Wharf Bar was great – filled with purple and black in a reserved area of the establishment and we had their best bartender – Amy, who was OUTSTANDING. Remember this place if you are in NYC on a Fall Sunday.

I figured I’d share this with you hoping that the story was a bit more entertaining than this week’s game.

THE GOOD: The ageless Derrick Mason is about as reliable and steady as the surf in Ocean City. His fingertip catch off a slant pattern on third and 6 from the Cleveland 46 helped the Ravens keep an eventual field goal drive alive after the Browns had taken the lead 7-0. He later caught a 22 yard pass for a TD despite being mugged by Browns CB Sheldon Brown… Jarret Johnson followed up a nice outing against the Saints with another one in Cleveland showcasing his versatility against the run, pass and when rushing the quarterback… Cory Redding was solid defending the run and continues to improve as the season goes on. On Sunday he regularly had the upper hand in battles against Browns’ tackles John St. Clair and Joe Thomas…Lardarius Webb’s technique seems to be improving with each passing week and despite a lean frame he’s one of the more physical tacklers in the Ravens’ secondary…Joe Flacco hit TJ Houshmandzadeh with a picturesque scoring strike after stepping up in the pocket to avoid oncoming rushers. Flacco also avoided the rush to keep plays alive and kept his head downfield.

BAD: Chris Carr gave up a defendable TD pass to Brian Robiskie off a flea flicker that he had properly read. His ball skills were poor and the mistake costly but he did make up for it later by stripping Mohamed Massaquoi after a catch, enabling Jameel McClain to pick up the forced fumble and set the Ravens up to take a lead they would never relinquish…Flacco shows up here as well for a poorly thrown ball to Anquan Boldin that should have gone for six. Boldin had CB Joe Haden beaten on the play but got a gift from Flacco in the form of a well underthrown pass. He was also guilty of a few poor decisions, holding the ball much longer than he should have and taking unnecessary hits and a sack…Jalen Parmele showed very poor judgment on his only kickoff return following the Browns only TD, taking it 4 yards deep and then trying to make a play against a solid kick coverage team. The end result was an 11 yard line start for Joe Flacco & Co…Cam Cameron needs to get Donte Stallworth involved in the flow of the game before he sends him on to the field to run go routes off a flea flicker. Memo to Cam: I think the league is on to your primitive employment of Stallworth’s talents, i.e. reverses and fly patterns.

UGLY: The Ravens weren’t all that sharp but then again they weren’t all that bad. They simply did what was needed to secure their card in the NFL’s post season dance. Dan Fouts needs some happy pills because he certainly is a miserable analyst for CBS Sports. Maybe he is still jaded after getting the boot off the MNF broadcast all those years ago.

THE MEGAN FOX AWARD: Ed Reed came up with two interceptions and a big hit on the Browns physical RB Peyton Hillis which seemed to send a message to the beaten back. The only way the Browns had any chance in the game was if Hillis could repeat his performance against the Ravens in Baltimore. Unfortunately for the former Razorback he had more yards in one carry at M&T than he did on the entire afternoon in Cleveland (12 carries, 35 yards.)


Jerry B said...

Reasonable and well thought out assessment from my favorite blogger! The "zoom" slo-mo shot of Robiskie's "catch" clearly showed the ball hitting the ground, but the "zebras" probably didn't look at that one! Parmale's a "bust" and wouldn't be playing if David Reed had been available. And, I'm so tired of Cam Cameron's antiseptic, ultra-conservative, let's just do enough to win and not lose approach, that win, lose or draw in the playoffs, I hope next year he is going, going......gone!!! They gave him the weapons and he either doesn't use them or misuses them! Flacco's been remarkable in spite of, not because of, Cameron, amassing over 10,000 yds passing in his first three years, a feat only accomplished by six other QBs. In the right system with a legitimate coordinator, no telling how much better he could be!

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 Dec 28th
...Tony, you are a brave man...to go to New York with all of that snow that was forecast. But I admire your courage. You must have a newer Phone than I do, to be able to find a Bar in New York that showed the Ravens/Browns.
..Well..lets just marshall all of our forces and pray the the Browns come up with the Game of their lives and beat the STILLERs..so that the $500 bucks you sent in for HOME PLAY OFF Games will be used here in early 2011.
Again, Happy Birthday and Welcome to the OLD GUYS CLUB!

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29
JERRY B..you and I could be Brothers...Well Said..is there any way we could get this email to STEVE BISCOITTI..
the Bull Dog on 1057fm says all the time..that CAMERON has a Maserotti and he is driving it like its a VW...
...Jerry B..what did Baltimore Fans do to deserve this type of ...PLAY NOT TO WIN OFFENSE...??

Jerry B said...

Harryos29: Maybe it's contagious and Cameron caught it from Brian Billick! The reality is that there are not many great/good NFL coaches as they all seem to read the same play books and do the same damn, dumb things week in and week out! With the talent evenly spread among all NFL teams, except at QB, the biggest difference is in coaching. And, for every Belichick, there are dozens of.......Spagnolas! Obviously, the same applies to coordinators........

Harryos29 said...

..yes...they all have the same play book, except for a certain coach who hangs out in a place called FOXBORO, MASS.
Like him or hate him, when his team takes the field, he takes the NO HOLDS BARRED approach. I'd like to see a coach in Baltimore, take that approach before my time is up on this earth!
...Happy New year!