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Effects of Ravens Opening on the Road

News Photo: Baltimore Ravens celebrate in the streets after Super…

(Image Courtesy of Getty Images/Patrick Smith) 

The defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens will have to have their season opener on the road, instead of at home like normal champions. The Ravens would have their opener at home on Thursday, September 5. Since the Orioles play on that very same day, at the same time, the Ravens are being forced to go on the road that night. 

As many people know, the Ravens are much stronger at home than on the road. In the past two seasons, the Ravens are 14-2 at home, while they are a lousy 8-8 on the road. 

The Ravens have two main teams they could be facing in their season opener: the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos, both championship contenders last year. The Ravens defeated both of them on the road in the playoffs in 2013, but can they really do it again, while they are both looking for revenge? 

The Ravens could be in serious trouble if they have to open their season against one of these two teams on the road. The Broncos and Patriots have a hatred for the Ravens, and want to avenge their postseason losses from last season. 

If the Ravens were to lose their season opener to either the Broncos or Patriots, it could hurt them for later on in the playoffs. A few reasons why: 

  • If the Ravens lose their opener, it already starts them off 0-1, something they never want to be. The Ravens need to be above .500 as much as possible if they want to see the postseason next season. 
  • If the Patriots or Broncos win, the Ravens already go down to one of the top teams in the AFC, ruining their chances at defeating them in a tiebreaker, if need be. 
  • If the Patriots or Broncos win, it already puts one of the dominant teams in the AFC at 1-0, something the Ravens and other teams couldn’t afford.

It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the Ravens opening on the road could be dangerous to the team for the 2013-14 season. Although a loss on opening night wouldn’t put them out of the playoffs or put their season in jeopardy, it could go ahead and get them disoriented before Week 2 begins. 

For the Ravens sake, they better hope they are playing the Browns, Jets, Dolphins, or Bills on the road on opening night. If they play a top team in the NFL on the road in Week 1, it could spell early trouble for the defending Super Bowl Champions.

~ Victor Hensley (@Frezeal33)

Ravens Win Dumervil Sweepstakes

The Ravens have signed Elvis Dumervil to a 5 year contract worth up to 35 mil. Dumervil will receive 12.5 mil in guaranteed money. The Ravens had lost OLB Paul Kruger in free agency to Cleveland, Kruger was the Ravens best pass rusher last season.

Kruger cashed in with the Browns getting a 5 year 41 million dollar contract. Kruger will receive 20 million in guaranteed money. Many think Elvis Dumervil is the better player.

The Ravens can now turn their focus to other needs. Baltimore’s two starting safeties will not be returning next season, the Ravens cut Bernard Pollard to clear up cap space and free agent Ed Reed signed with Houston.

The Ravens resigned S James Ihedigbo, who played a huge role in special teams last season and played a lot of defensive snaps. Baltimore also has S Christian Thompson who they drafted in the 5 round last season. He was placed on IR last season. The Ravens have interest in free agent safety Michael Huff, they are expected to meet next week.

Baltimore lost ILB Dannell Ellerbe to Miami in free agency. The Ravens had been determined to resign Ellerbe, but were outmatched by Miami’s 35 mil contact. Many mock drafts have the Ravens taking ILB Manti Te’o with the 32nd pick.

The Ravens next action will probably be resigning young TE Dennis Pitta. Pitta led the Ravens with seven TD receptions last year. The Ravens have also expressed interest in extending OT Michael Oher.

The Ravens find their gems in the draft. Notable Raven selections: Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Joe Flacco, and Ray Rice. The Ravens hope to find another franchise player in this years draft.

Trey Stradling (@t_strad, @ravenfannews)

Super Bowl Win , Ravens lost

Unfortunately with the Super Bowl win there comes a price a team has to pay

and the Baltimore Ravens with 13 unrestricted free agents and 6 free agents

just could not afford that price. Heading into the off season their top priority

was signing Super MVP QB Joe Flacco before free agency began and

fortunately for them they were able to work a deal out. Flacco became the

highest paid QB in NFL history and still kept his price salary cap friendly this

season with roughly 6.8 million of cap space used up.  Unfortunately with only

40 hours into free agency the Ravens have lost Dannell Ellerbee, their ILB

who finished second on the team with 89 tackles, to the Miami Dolphins. With

Ray Lewis’ retirement the Ravens are lacking strength in the middle of their

defense which made Ellerbee their top priority. They even traded Anquan

Boldin on Monday, which shocked quite a few  Ravens fans and Boldin

himself, to free up some cap space after his refusal of a pay cut.

#TrustInOzzie has become a quite popular hashtag around twitter

while these moves were being made. But it’s becoming hard to trust that he

has something up his sleeve with almost the Ravens only weapons on

defense being lost. Besides Ellerbee the Ravens have also lost Paul Kruger,

who stepped up while Suggs battled with his ACL injury and led the Ravens

with nine sacks during the regular season and 4.5 more in the playoffs.

Kruger received a 5 year 40 million dollar contract with the Browns. With 

those three shockers Ravens fans believed nothing else could bewilder them

but as Tuesday morning came they were all left dumbfounded. Strong Safety 

Bernard Pollard tweeted, ” Well Raven Nation it’s been fun. My time in

Baltimore is done… Thank you!” Considering the fact that he wasn’t a free

agent and lead the team with 98 tackles and a key factor in the secondary

has everyone at a lost for words as to why he’s being released. So far the

defending Super Bowl champions have lost 7 players from their Super

Bowl team including Ray Lewis, Matt Birk, Bobbie Williams, Bernard Pollard,

Paul Kruger, Danell Ellerbee, and Anquan Boldin. I’m sure I speak for every

Ravens fan when I say I pray that Ozzie pulls something out of nothing as

he has had to do plenty of times in the past.

Ray Lewis vs. Patrick Willis

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It’s almost here! Super Bowl XLVII is less than 24 hours away! I have one more comparison for everyone. Ray Lewis vs. Patrick Willis. The two biggest linebackers, leaders, motivators, and defensive players in this game!

Ray Lewis (Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens) and Patrick Willis (Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers) are both leaders for their defenses, and both play the linebacker position very well. 

Ray Lewis is one of, if not the, greatest linebacker in NFL history. He has played the position very well, having over 2,050 combined tackles, 30+ interceptions, and 40+ sacks. (Only player in NFL history to have 30+ interceptions and 40+ sacks.) Lewis is one of the biggest leaders in the NFL. He motivates the Ravens before every game, and keeps their heads up after losses. He is known as the heart and soul of this Ravens team, and that isn’t a lie. Lewis announced on Wednesday, January 2, that this would be ‘his last ride.’ Lewis’ retirement saddened the Ravens’ fanbase, and even players that were playing against him. Lewis motivated the team to beat the Colts, then the Broncos, and lastly, the Patriots. If that isn’t a great leader, I don’t know what is. Lewis had a pretty good 6 games in the regular season, having 57 combined tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery. Lewis suffered a torn triceps in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys. Lewis was put on Injured Reserve: Designated To Return List, and returned in the Wildcard matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. He ended up with 12 tackles in that game, leading the team. In the postseason he has 44 tackles, leading all players. Lewis is a motivator, a great person, and a terrific player. Lewis has had an amazing career, which includes: 13 Pro-Bowl selections, Super Bowl Champion (XXXV), 2 AFC Championships, Super Bowl XXXV MVP, 2-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 3-time AFC Defensive Player of the Year, 2-time Alumni Linebacker of the Year, Most games started as an Inside/Middle Linebacker (227), and the list goes on and on. 

Patrick Wills is the 49ers’ biggest leader and motivator. Willis is said to be one of the best linebackers in the game, some even say he is better than Lewis. Willis is said to be a ‘Mini Ray Lewis’, meaning he is following in Lewis’ footsteps, looking just like Ray Lewis did when he was Willis’ age. Willis had 120 combined tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 interceptions. He had a fantastic season, having double the amount of tackles that Lewis’ had, but Willis played all 16 games, while Lewis only played in 6. Willis is the heart of the 49ers’ defense, and is feared by a lot of players. Willis is a hard-hitter, and is a force to be reckoned with. If a guy is said to look like Ray Lewis in his prime, you should probably fear him! Most players fear and respect Patrick Willis, since he is a very nice guy, but on the field, he is the exact opposite. Willis has played 6 seasons in the NFL, acquiring 6 Pro-Bowl selections, an NFC title, AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2007), 3-time NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year, and a few college awards before he made it into the league. 

Both of these guys will be talked about when it comes to Hall-of-Fame careers, most likely. These two are two of the hardest hitters in the league, even though Lewis has played for 17 seasons, and Willis has played for 6.

The two linebackers will be giving their team a speech tonight, and tomorrow before the big game. Who will give the better one? Ray Lewis is known for his motivational speeches and how much emotion he puts into them. 

Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis will be the two guys that wield their defenses to make stops, force turnovers, and help win this game. Lewis is looking to shine in the last game of his career, trying to make him a Super Bowl Champion on his last day as a Baltimore Raven. Lewis is the ‘Original Raven’, being the only one left from the team in 1996. He is the only one that has won a Super Bowl on the team, and his experiences could be something that helps get the Ravens the victory. 

Both of these guys will be working hard on the field on Sunday, to try and get their team a Super Bowl ring. Who will have the better game? Who would you rather have leading your guys out of the tunnel? Ray Lewis or Patrick Willis? 

~Victor Hensley (@Frezeal33) 

Ravens’ Safeties vs. 49ers’ Safeties

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It’s Friday, 2 days until Super Bowl XLVII! Today, we have another defensive comparison, but with four people. Ravens’ Safeties Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed vs. 49ers’ Safeties Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson.

Bernard Pollard (Safety, Baltimore Ravens), Ed Reed (Safety, Baltimore Ravens), Dashon Goldson (Safety, San Francisco 49ers), and Donte Whitner (Safety, San Francisco 49ers) have all been great this season, both being on two of the best secondaries in the National Football League. 

Let’s start off with Bernard Pollard. Pollard has had a lot of history with hard-hitting and injuring people. Of course, injuries aren’t a good thing, but it proves that you should be a little scared when you see him on the field. To the Patriots’ fans, Pollard is known as ‘The Patriot Killer’, since he has injured so many players on the Patriots. When he was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, he tore Patriots’ Quarterback Tom Brady’s ACL and MCL, ending his season. A year later, as a member of the Houston Texans, Pollard tore Patriots’ Wide Receiver Wes Welker’s ACL, ending his season. In the 2011 AFC Championship Game with the Ravens, he hurt Patriots’ Tight End Rob Gronkowski’s ankle, making him worthless in the Super Bowl. Last but not least, in the 2012 AFC Championship Game, he brutally hit Patriots’ Running Back Stevan Ridley, knocking him out of the game with a concussion. Pollard is known to be a hard hitter, and he wants everyone to realize that. In the 2012 regular season, Pollard had 98 combined tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 interception. In the postseason, he has had 15 combined tackles, and 1 forced fumble. Pollard isn’t a guy that you would want to mess with, and he’s made that perfectly clear over his 7-year career.

Ed Reed is a HUGE part of the Ravens’ defense, as well. He is a very scary guy to all quarterbacks, especially because of his 61 interceptions over his career. Ed Reed is a player that plays great some days, then awful others, but in the end, he is still one of the greatest safeties to ever play the game. This regular season, Reed had 58 combined tackles, 3 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions, and 1 defensive touchdown. In the postseason, he has had 10 combined tackles and 2 deflected passes. Reed is a very special safety. In his 11 seasons in the NFL, he is a 9-time Pro Bowler, 8-time All-Pro, an AFC Champion, the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2004), AFC Defensive Player of the Year (2004), 2-time NFL Alumni Defensive Back of the Year, 3-time NFL interceptions leader, 2-time NFL Interception Return Yards Leader, and he has the longest interception return touchdown in NFL history (108 yards.) 

Donte Whitner is one of the two main safeties that help complete the San Francisco 49ers secondary. Whitner had 83 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception, and 1 defensive touchdown in the regular season. In this postseason, Whitner has 6 combined tackles. Whitner is apart of a 49ers’ defense that dominated in the regular season, forcing turnovers and not letting opponents score, especially with the run game. Whitner’s 83 combined tackles was one of the highest totals in the league. In Whitner’s 7 year career, he has 1 Pro-Bowl selection (2012) and an NFC Championship. 

Dashon Goldson is just as good of a safety as Whitner is, if not better. Goldson had 61 combined tackles, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, and 3 interceptions in the regular season. In the postseason, he has 12 combined tackles and 1 forced fumble. In the NFC Championship against Atlanta, Goldson struggled. Julio Jones caught two touchdown passes over him, helping the Falcons jump out to a 17-0 lead. The 49ers were able to come back, with the 49ers defense able to tighten down and only letting Atlanta score 7 points in the second half. Goldson just had a bad game, and he normally plays with a ‘shut ‘em down’ attitude. Goldson has played 6 seasons in the NFL, He is a 2-time Pro Bowler, 1-time All-Pro (2012), and an NFC Champion.

Ed Reed is a free agent after this season, and the Ravens may not be able to re-sign him with their cap space issue. The Patriots have shown interest in him, and Reed has said that he wouldn’t mind playing for Bill Belichick, because he has respect for him and he thinks he is a great coach. There is also the possibility that Reed will retire if he wins the Super Bowl, to ride off into the sunset with Ray Lewis. Reed has said multiple times in the past week that he wasn’t going to retire if they won, but throughout this offseason and season, Reed has shown signs of wanting to be with his family and wanting to retire. We’ll just have to see what Reed’s decision will be after the Super Bowl. 

All four of these safeties are terrific. Which pair would you rather have, Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard, or Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner? 

~Victor Hensley (@Frezeal33)

Terrell Suggs vs. Aldon Smith

It’s Thursday, which means there is only 3 days until Super Bowl XLVII! Today, our comparison is the first defensive one we’ve done. Terrell Suggs vs. Aldon Smith.

Terrell Suggs (Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens) and Aldon Smith (Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers) have both had outstanding careers and are both looking good this season, as well.

Terrell Suggs received bad news during the offseason of the 2012-13 season. He was told he had a torn Achilles tendon. He worked harder and harder each day, trying to recover to get back on the field as soon as he possibly could. He finally got back on the field in Week 7 against the Houston Texans, a game in which the Ravens were blown out. Since then, he has had 22 tackles and 2 sacks in the regular season, along with 19 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble in the postseason. The former Defensive Player of the Year has played lights out in the postseason, running right through opposing offensive lines to bring pressure on the quarterback, regardless of who it is. Terrell Suggs is a hard hitter, and is one of the large defensive leaders on the Baltimore Ravens. Suggs has played 10 seasons, and has acquired tons of hardware to prove that he is an elite linebacker. He has been the AP NFL Defensive rookie of the Year (2003), PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year (2003), AP Defensive Player of the Year (2011), AFC Sacks Leader (2011), Baltimore Ravens all-time sack leader, AFC Champion, and 5 Pro-Bowl selections. He has also gotten TONS of college awards. 

Aldon Smith had one of the best seasons in he National Football League this year. He was 3 sacks away from tying the record of most sacks in a single season (Michael Strahan- 22.5 sacks.) Smith killed it with 66 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and one interception in the regular season. In the postseason, he has somewhat decreased. He only has 3 tackles and 1 forced fumble in the 2 postseason games he’s played this season. Smith was a force to reckon with all season, and was one of the main reasons why the rushing game of opposing teams wouldn’t work. Smith has only been in the league for 2 years, and he has a ton of potential. Smith, almost breaking the sack record, has plenty of other opportunities to break Michael Strahan’s record. In his 2 years, he has been the PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year (2011), NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year (2011), NFC Defensive Player of the Year (2012), San Francisco 49ers rookie sack record (14), San Francisco 49ers single-season sack record (19.5), Fastest Player in NFL history to get 30 sacks (27 games), NFL record 33.5 sacks in first two seasons, Monday Night Football single-game sack record (5.5), and 1 Pro-Bowl selection. (2012)

Terrell Suggs is know as the one that talks on the Baltimore Ravens. E says whatever is on his mind, especially about the New England Patriots. After last week’s AFC Championship Game, he said some choice words about the team and their coach, Bill Belichick. “Tell them to have fun at the Pro Bowl, Arrogant F****,” Suggs said, “These are the most arrogant p***** in the world, starting with Belichick on down.” The funny thing is, Belichick didn’t talk to CBS after the game, like he was supposed to. Also, most of the Patriots that were selected to the Pro Bowl, elected not to go after the loss, claiming an ‘undisclosed injury.’

Both of these linebackers have been great in ALL of their seasons. Smith obviously had a better year this year, but Suggs also missed the first 6 games. Suggs has done a much better job in the postseason than Smith, but who will do better in the Super Bowl?

Both guys will be exciting to watch on the big stage. They both seem like they want to win, and want to win big. Who would you rather have on your football team? Terrell Suggs or Aldon Smith?

~ Victor Hensley (@Frezeal33)

Vernon Davis vs. Dennis Pitta

It’s Hump Day! Which means there is only 4 more days until Super Bowl XLVII! It’s time for one of our daily comparisons. Today, it is Vernon Davis vs. Dennis Pitta. The Clash of the Tight Ends! (Get it? Clash of the TIGHT ENDS..?)

Vernon Davis (Tight End, San Francisco 49ers) and Dennis Pitta (Tight End, Baltimore Ravens) have had opposite seasons than they did last year. 

Vernon Davis had 41 receptions for 548 yards and 5 touchdowns this season, and 6 receptions for 150 yards and 1 touchdown this postseason. The bad thing is, is that only 2 of those touchdowns and 18 of those receptions came from Quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick acted as if Davis didn’t exist for most of the season, therefore making his numbers drop. Last season, he was one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL, but this season he was the exact opposite. Kaepernick threw the ball mostly to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, while Davis was running around attempting to get open on every play. Vernon Davis has spent 7 seasons in the NFL, acquiring one Pro Bowl selection and an NFC Championship. 

Dennis Pitta has had a better season than Davis, catching 61 balls for 669 yards and 7 touchdowns in the regular season, and 10 receptions for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns in the postseason. Dennis Pitta has been the primary tight end on the Ravens, since Ed Dickson slowly faded out of the offense. Pitta has looked much better than last year, and is turning out to be a very reliable receiver. Pitta has looked like Davis did last year, while Davis looked like Pitta did last year. Dennis Pitta has been in the league for 3 seasons, acquiring only an AFC Championship. Although, in college, he won a few awards at Brigham Young University. (BYU)

These two tight ends are elite tight ends, and are tough, as well. In the AFC Championship game, Dennis Pitta took an enormous hit after catching a pass. A normal person may have gotten up and would have had to go sit on the sidelines for a play or two, but no, not Dennis Pitta. Pitta stayed in the game, and the very next play, he caught a touchdown pass from Quarterback Joe Flacco, one of his three touchdown passes on the night.

Both of these tight ends are great, and it’s unfortunate that Kaepernick has overlooked Davis in the 9 games he has started. Davis is a tight end that knows how to play the game of football, but has struggled in the 2012-13 season, while Dennis Pitta has prospered. 

Which of these two tight ends will have the better performance on February 3rd? Who would you rather have on your football team? Vernon Davis or Dennis Pitta? 

~Victor Hensley (@Frezeal33)

Torrey Smith & Anquan Boldin vs. Michael Crabtree

It’s Tuesday! Almost mid-way through the week, and only 5 more days until Super Bowl 47! (Super Bowl XLVII.) Every day we are doing comparisons of two players on each of the Super Bowl teams. Today, it is Torrey Smith vs. Michael Crabtree.

Torrey Smith (Wide Receiver, Baltimore Ravens) and Michael Crabtree (Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers) have both had the best season of their careers.

Michael Crabtree was a favorite target from both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. He had 85 receptions for 1,185 yards and 9 TD’s in the regular season. His production has not decreased in the playoffs. He has 15 receptions for 176 yards and 2 TD’s in just two postseason games this year. Crabtree emerged out of the darkness this year, as he had almost 300 yards less and 5 less TD’s in the 2011 season. This year, he was targeted 127 times, a very high number. Last season, Crabtree was overshadowed by Tight End Vernon Davis. But, this season, Crabtree’s production on the field has overshadowed all of the other 49ers receivers and tight ends. Crabtree has played 4 seasons in the NFL. In those 4 seasons, he has had no real NFL awards, except for one NFC Championship.

Torrey Smith was a huge player involved in the Baltimore Ravens’ offense this year. He had 49 receptions for 855 yards and 8 TD’s in the 2012 regular season. In the postseason, he has 9 receptions for 198 yards and 2 TD’s. He is only in his sophomore season in the NFL, and Quarterback Joe Flacco loves to throw it deep to him. His longest reception of the season was a 54-yarder against the San Diego Chargers, and his longest of the postseason was a 59-yard touchdown reception against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional Round. Torrey Smith has spent two years in the NFL, both with the Ravens, and has already has been an: AFC Champion, Pepsi Rookie of the Week (Week 11, 2011), and AFC Offensive Player of the Week (Week 11, 2011.) HE has also stacked up many college awards from the Atlantic Coast Conference. (ACC)

Anquan Boldin is another HUGE Ravens receiver. Boldin had 65 receptions for 921 yards and 4 TD’s in the regular season. He has been an absolute BEAST in the postseason, and has racked up 16 receptions for 276 yards and 3 TD’s. He was a big part in the AFC Championship game, where Joe Flacco threw two touchdowns to Boldin, sealing the deal for the Ravens to get the win. Anquan Boldin is one of the four players on the Ravens that have been to the Super Bowl. He was a member of the Arizona Cardinals, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl just a few years ago. Boldin has spent 10 seasons in the NFL. During his 10 seasons, he has been both an NFC and AFC Champion, AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2003), and is a 3-time Pro Bowler.

Michael Crabtree was involved in a sexual assault case, in which allegations were made about him after the win against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs. Since then, a district attorney in San Francisco has decided not to press charges on Crabtree. 

In Week 3 of the 2012 season, the Baltimore Ravens were set to play the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football in Baltimore, Maryland. Earlier that morning or late Saturday night, a tragic motorcycle accident ended the life of Torrey Smith’s brother, Tevin Jones. All day on Sunday, people were wondering if Smith was going to play, especially the members of the team. He knew he didn’t have to, but Smith played anyway. Smith came out that night, playing like he has never played before, grabbing 6 receptions for 127 yards and 2 TD’s. Torrey helped lead his Ravens to victory over the Patriots, 31-30. After the game, Smith gave an emotional speech to the team in the locker room, in which they all hugged him and told them how much he was loved by the team and his fans. 

All three of these receivers have been terrific in the regular season and the postseason. But, which one will have the best performance on Super Bowl Sunday? Which of these three receivers would you select to be on your team? 

R.I.P. Tevin Jones 1992-2012

~Victor Hensley (@Frezeal33) 

Frank Gore vs. Ray Rice

It’s Monday, a new day, which means it’s time for another player vs. player on each of the two Super Bowl teams. Today, we’re looking at Frank Gore vs. Ray Rice.

This season, both Frank Gore (San Francisco, Running Back)  and Ray Rice (Baltimore, Running Back) have done very well. 

Frank Gore has been underrated this year, as no one really mentions him when they discuss top RB’s. During this regular season, Frank Gore has accumulated 1,214 yards, 8 TD’s, 234 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD. He has been a great help to the 49ers, especially when QB Colin Kaepernick is struggling. Gore has been a big help in the playoffs too. He has 209 yards and 3 TD’s in just two postseason games this year. Can he keep that up against the Ravens’ defense with Ray Lewis as their leader? Gore was selected to appear in the Pro Bowl, but he obviously was not able to play, due to being in the Super Bowl. Gore is a 4 time Pro Bowler, NFC rushing leader (2006), and the 49ers all-time leader in rushing TD’s. He is looking to add Super Bowl Champion to that solid resume. 

Ray Rice was not underrated at all this year. If anything, people expected TOO much out of Ray. He was a solid RB for the Baltimore Ravens, fumbling only once in the Regular Season, having 1,143 yards, 9 TD’s, 478 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD. He came into the playoffs being outrushed by his backup, Bernard Pierce, in two straight games. Against the Colts, Rice would be outrushed again, and have 2 fumbles on the day, more than he had in the entire 2012-13 season. Other than that, he has been great in this year’s playoffs. Rice has 247 yards and 2 TD’s in 3 games this year. Rice is a 3 time Pro Bowler (selected for the 2013 Pro Bowl), 2 time All-Pro, and a 1 time AFC Champion. Rice is also looking to add Super Bowl Champion to his list of accomplishments. 

Gore has been in the league 3 more years than Rice has, and Rice almost has more Pro Bowl selections and has more All Pro selections than Gore. Rice and Gore are both little RB’s, and can get a little scrappy when they are fighting for yards.

A memorable thing happened for Rice and the Ravens on November 25, 2012 against the San Diego Chargers. The Ravens needed a field goal to send the game into overtime. There was not much time left in the game and it was 4th and 29 for the Ravens. Most people turned off their televisions, thinking that they knew that they wouldn’t convert it. The ball was hiked, and the play began. Joe Flacco was under pressure, and nobody was open downfield, so, he decided to check it down to Ray Rice. Rice sped up, juking and jiving his way past Charger defenders. Due to an exceptional block by Anquan Boldin, Ray Rice was able to barely stretch out to get the controversial first down. That play lead to a Justin Tucker field goal to send it into overtime, and the Ravens won in overtime, 16-13. The play was the biggest 4th down conversion since the 90’s. Ray Rice named the play in the news conference after the game: “Check down, Hey Diddle Diddle, Ray Rice up the Middle!” 

Frank Gore had a hard thing happen to him last week, when the NFL fined him $10,500 for -get this- WEARING HIS SOCKS TOO LOW! Against the Falcons, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell noticed Gore was wearing his socks too low, and decided to hit him with a $10.5 thousand dollar fine. (Note: Patriots’ QB Tom Brady was only fined $10,000 for kicking Ravens’ safety Ed Reed intentionally.. guess that’s not worse than wearing your socks too low!)

Also, in the last 5 Super Bowls, eight out of the ten teams that played in these games had less than 100 yards in total rushing yards. The longest run in these 5 games was a 26-yard run by Colts’ RB Joseph Addai. 

Both of these running backs are terrific, especially with each of them being selected to this years’ Pro Bowl. But, if you had to choose, who would be your running back? Frank Gore or Ray Rice? 

~ Victor Hensley (@Frezeal33)

Joe Flacco vs. Colin Kaepernick

The Super Bowl. The most watched sports game in the world. This year, it features the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. We all have seen these two play, but who is better? We’ll find that out on the 3rd of February.

But until then, comparisons are a nice thing to do. Joe Flacco (Quarterback, Baltimore Ravens) vs. Colin Kaepernick (Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers.) They are the two starting quarterbacks of the two Super Bowl teams. But, who would be the better one to have on your team?

Both quarterbacks have spent 5 or less seasons in the National Football League. Joe Flacco is much more experienced, having played 12 postseason games, going 8-4 in those 12 games. Colin Kaepernick, on the other hand, has only started in 9 games total, going 2-0 in the playoffs so far. 

Joe Flacco is having the best postseason of his career. He is 3-0 this postseason, having thrown 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. All quarterbacks in NFL history that have had at least 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the playoffs went on to WIN the Super Bowl. (Joe Montana holds the record with 11 TD’s & 0 INT’s in one of his postseasons as a 49er.) Flacco gets criticism left and right, especially after he called himself ‘elite’ in an interview earlier in the season. During the regular season, he was up and down. In one game, he had a quarterback rating of 0.4, the lowest in the league. But, since the win against the Giants in Week 16, he has had 1,196 yards, 10 TD’s, 0 INT’s, and a quarterback rating of 104.8, way above average. (Week 17 vs. the Bengals, he only played the first half.) Flacco has turned it up this postseason, outplaying Andrew Luck and Future Hall-of-Famers Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Is Joe Flacco elite?

Colin Kaepernick was a risky decision to start. He got his starting job in Week 10, when Alex Smith went down with a concussion and was inactive. Kaepernick has since been the Jeremy Lin of the NFL. He has been talked about a lot, even said to be better than Flacco by some analysts. Kaepernick has started in 9 NFL games, 2 in the postseason. Kaepernick broke a QB rushing record for most rushing yards in a single game when he rushed for 181 yards against the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round of the NFC Playoffs. Kaepernick has had 1,814 yards and 10 touchdowns in his 9 starts. He has been accurate and great in this postseason, just like Flacco has. He has had 496 passing yards, 3 passing TD’s, 1 INT, 202 rushing yards, 2 rushing TD’s, and 1 fumble. He is a new and upcoming quarterback, and has done great against opposing defenses, especially when he runs. The Ravens could have a hard time stopping him when he gets out of the pocket and takes off into the open.

Both quarterbacks are special, and it’s fun to finally see quarterbacks other than Peyton Manning ,Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Ben Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl. These two quarterbacks will play against each other in the biggest game of their lives on February 3, 2013. 

Colin Kaepernick has trademarked the term ‘Kaepernicking’ this week. In the game against the Packers in the Divisional Round, each time he ran for a TD, he would kiss his right bicep. Since then, the term has been called ‘Kaepernicking’. He finally trademarked it this week, and we’ll see if that could possibly cause a distraction for Kaepernick or be a source of motivation for the Ravens. 

This Super Bowl should be a good one, with two young quarterbacks trying to get their teams a Super Bowl win for the first time in 10+ years. Flacco and Kaepernick will continue to be a big debate until Super Bowl Sunday, when a winner is crowned. 

We’ll see what the two will bring to the table on Super Bowl Sunday. Until then, who would you rather have? Flacco or Kaepernick? You decide.

~ Victor Hensley (@Frezeal33)

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh