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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Patrick Marleau

2011 Week 4 Preview: Jets and Ravens

October 2nd 2011 13:29
This right here is definitely the game of the week, and it features Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, and Jim Leonhard going at it against their former team. This is a matchup between two contenders who have quite a bit to prove heading into this matchup. The Ravens need to show that they are indeed for real, and the Jets really have to show that they aren't all mouth after getting run all over by Darren McFadden.

In big injury news, Nick Mangold is listed as questionable for this game, and this actually does mean quite a bit. Not only is he one of the best centers in the game, but his replacement Colin Baxter is one of the worst run-blocking offensive linemen in the league. He gets pushed around like crazy, and that more than "makes up for" his great work in pass protection. It's known fact that run blocking is far more important for centers than pass protection, and Baxter has proven to be a liability on the line overall.

While Ladarius Webb and- to a greater extent- Ed Reed have played well in the secondary, Cary Williams has been absolutely terrible this season. If you watched that Steelers game, you would pretty much know all that you need to know about this guy; he gives receivers far too much space.

I could see this being a very easy game for Haloti Ngata in run defense against Baxter, and Terrell Suggs is another high-impact player who should have a high impact in this contest. Dustin Keller has already been a force on offense for the Jets this season, and Mark Sanchez needs to continue hitting him up for the Jets to remain successful on offense. I really don't see them getting much on the Ravens defense though, and I have always been critical of Sanchez.

The Ravens tackles have been absolutely horrendous this season, but they are lucky that the Jets don't have any good pass rushers. Bryan Thomas barely qualifies as adequate, and I don't think anyone will be mistaking Aaron Maybin for DeMarcus Ware any time soon.

The Ravens interior, however, is much better and has two of the best in the business in Marshal Yanda and Matt Birk. I think Ray Rice should be okay in this game, but don't expect him to play like he has through the first three weeks. Even though they got run down by McFadden, this Jets run defense is a tough matchup.

While Lee Evans has been nothing short of disappointing and awful through his first three weeks in a Ravens uniform, Torrey Smith was exactly the opposite last week. Still, I really don't see Flacco being all that good against a very solid Jets secondary. This game is definitely going to be a battle of defenses.

For the reason stated above in that last sentence, I am going with the Ravens. Although both teams are about even defensively, the Ravens are actually good offensively. Even though I would probably take the Jets wideouts over the Ravens group, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice easily trump Sanchez and Shonn Greene.

Prediction: Ravens 20 Jets 14

MVP: Terrell Suggs (Wayne Hunter? What a joke of a tackle.)

Other picks

Cowboys over Lions
Steelers over Texans
Panthers over Bears
Chiefs over Vikings
Bills over Bengals
Titans over Browns
Redskins over Rams
Eagles over 49ers
Saints over Jaguars
Falcons over Seahawks
Giants over Cardinals
Patriots over Raiders
Packers over Broncos
Chargers over Dolphins
Bucs over Colts (How weird would that be five years ago?)
Terrell Suggs
Heeelloooo Wayne Hunter

3/2011: NFL Safety Rankings

March 10th 2011 15:58
1. Troy Polamalu- Do I even have to explain his impact?
2. Quintin Mikell- He is one of the most underrated players in the league. Mikell doesn't get appreciated much, and he is the best coverage safety in the league who also plays some nice run support D. Reed gets the picks, but Mikell is the true star in coverage.
3. Ed Reed- A pick machine.
4. Nick Collins- A big playmaker who showed it in the Super Bowl.
5. LaRon Landry- Did you see this guy at the beginning of 2010? Expect more big things with Atogwe next to him.

6. Antoine Bethea- Remember when Bethea was more than just a tackle-machine?
7. Adrian Wilson- He'll bounce back in 2011. He's still too good to not improve from last year.
8. Michael Huff- I can't wait to see what he achieves next year after building on an amazing 2010.
9. Eric Weddle- The Chargers really need to lock this guy up.
10. DaWan Landry- He may be poor in coverage, but boy does he make plays and tackle well.

11. Chris Harris- One of the best leaders and most underrated players in the game.
12. Jim Leonhard- He showed his importance after the Jets' secondary really took a step back when he went on the IR.
13. Eric Berry- This guy is a stud and another one of Pioli's great picks.
14. Tyvon Branch- He was game last year with Huff. Man can he disrupt plays behind in the line of scrimmage.
15. Kerry Rhodes- I love his run D. He was underpaid and under-appreciated by the Jets, and he has shown just how good he is with the Cardinals.

16. Roman Harper- I know he sucks in coverage, but he is the best pass rushing safety in the league and can hit like heck.
17. Dashon Goldson- He oozes raw ability.
18. Donte Whitner- A real prize in free agency.
19. Bernard Pollard- It's not his fault that the Texans' secondary is bad.
20. Thomas DeCoud- He was one of the most improved players last season.

21. Michael Griffin- He would be much, much higher if he stopped making an excusable number of whiffed tackles.
22. OJ Atogwe
23. Malcolm Jenkins
24. Ryan Clark
25. Jairus Byrd
26. Gerald Sensabaugh
27. Charlie Peprah
28. Yeremiah Bell
29. Earl Thomas
30. Charles Godfrey
31. Sean Jones
32. Danieal Manning
33. Antrel Rolle
34. Louis Delmas
35. TJ Ward
36. Sherrod Martin
37. Deon Grant
38. Chris Hope
39. George Wilson
40. Nate Allen
12 Safety in NFL

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