Should Flacco Wear 'The Glove'?
And you thought only Tom Brady and Michael Jackson wore a glove…
Now Denver's Peyton Manning has taken to wearing 'The Glove' on his right throwing hand, showing that even 36-year-old quarterbacks can learn new tricks.
It's starting to take on folklore status in Denver because it's been effective so far. Manning wore a bright orange glove for two regular-season home games and passed for a combined 643 yards and six touchdowns.
He could wear it again this Saturday in Denver, where temperatures are predicted to be 18 degrees with a 20 percent chance of snow. The colder temperatures make the football harder and slicker, so it's easier for Manning to grip the pigskin with a glove.
His teammates say the ball comes out of Manning's hand the same, but reporters say it's perhaps even more accurate.
So the question naturally becomes: should Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco wear 'The Glove' too?
Flacco rejected it Wednesday, first joking that a glove would look stupid on his hand.
"I like to feel the football," Flacco told The Baltimore Sun. "Even growing up playing baseball, I never wore batting gloves. I like the feel of the ball. I could get used to wearing a glove, but I just feel like being able to feel the leather, I'd rather do that."
Flacco does wear a glove while golfing, so he's not totally opposed to the idea of a sheathed hand.
"I'm sure I could get used to wearing a glove," he said. "I've just never had a problem not wearing one. So I just keep it that way."
Holy Moly, Somebody's Picking The Ravens
Make sure you're sitting for this.
A reporter is actually giving the Ravens a chance against the Broncos this Saturday. I know, craaaaazy.
After hearing all week that Denver might as well start getting ready for the New England Patriots in the AFC championship, FOX Sports' Peter Schrager is going out on a limb and picking the Ravens to win.
"I'm on an island this week and this island is littered with crab cakes, Jim Palmer stories and Barry Levinson movie references," wrote Schrager, who also said he's wearing his old Orioles Brady Anderson jersey. (Ha!)
Schrager's argument is that Denver hasn't really played any strong teams since early this season when the Broncos got off to a 4-3 start. They got beat by the Falcons, handled by the Texans and outmanned by the Patriots.
"The Ravens are no doubt battle tested. Denver? They've been in cruise control since October," he wrote. "If Saturday's game is close in the second half, are we certain the Broncos will respond under pressure? I know Baltimore's been through those wars this year."
Schrager says the Ravens could be a "team of destiny." He covered the 2005 Steelers, who beat Manning in the divisional round. He covered the Giants, who beat Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field last year.
"I was in that Ravens locker room on Sunday. There was a certain unity — a certain desperation — that reminded me of both of those teams," Schrager wrote.
Vince Wilfork Got Chills Watching Ray Lewis
While Reggie Wayne is busy complaining about Ray Lewis' Sunday sendoff, another former University of Miami alum, Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork, was soaking it up.
Wilfork said Lewis' entrance Sunday sent chills up his body. Not to bust on Wilfork, but that's a lot of chills.
"You know what* *that guy means so much to the NFL,'' Wilfork told the Boston Globe.
"When I'm old and retired, this game is going to go on. People are always going to remember Ray Lewis. Always. He's going to be remembered because the love that he has and the passion he has – I mean, the way he can get guys to rally around him, it's unbelievable. He's a special guy."
Wilfork went on and on in his praise of Lewis. Let's hope the two see each other next week.
"When you talk about being great and you talk about defense, the first person that comes to your mind is Ray Lewis," he said. "What he's done over the years is ridiculous. He's just a hell of a player, he's a hell of a person. He's just a great, great icon."
Ravens Know Manning Will Complain
Something Brady and Manning have in common (besides the glove) is that they tend to get favorable calls from referees.
That's how the Ravens feel heading into Saturday's game, and they are keeping that in mind while going at the Broncos quarterback, reports USA Today.
"It's known that they're going to complain or if they get thrown down and look at a ref they're going to get a flag thrown against the defense," linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo said of Brady and Manning.
"We've seen that happen against us before with Tom Brady. We always teach the same rules, regardless of the quarterback: hit them in the strike zone. If you're within a step of his arm motion, hit him."
However, only one roughing-the-passer penalty has been thrown for a hit on Manning this season. Part of the reason is that Manning hasn't been touched all that much. Denver has given up just 21 sacks this season, the second fewest in the NFL. The Ravens sacked Manning twice in their Week 15 matchup.
The Ravens want to get after Manning, but they have to be careful where they hit when they do reach their target.
"You're aware of it when you're playing those guys," linebacker Dannell Ellerbe said. "You can't go in there and take a stupid shot."
- The Denver Post's Nick Groke says John Harbaugh could be making a big mistake by bringing his team to Denver as late as possible. The Ravens are leaving Friday afternoon in hopes of minimizing altitude's effects. The writer's evidence is three Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts in August. Huh?
- Rookie cornerback Asa Jackson says it's a "huge relief" to be back with the Ravens after his four-game suspension. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Baltimore executives made their predictions for Saturday's game. Not surprisingly, they're feeling the Ravens. [Baltimore Business Journal]
- Check out this feature story about Courtney Upshaw's difficult childhood, which has made him grateful for his current opportunities. [The Baltimore Sun]
- CBSSports.com is giving out its season awards. Jason La Canfora named Jacoby Jones his special teams player of the year. Clark Judge said it's a tie between the Ravens and Packers for best-run franchise. Pat Kirwan says the return of Ray Lewis is the most memorable moment.
- Jones says he has a "bulls eye" on his chest. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Everybody's worried about Manning. But what about running back Knowshon Moreno?He rushed 22 times for 118 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens in the regular season. The Ravens are eager for another shot at him. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees can do some more remixes with more linebackers at his disposal. [CSNBaltimore.com]
- Stats say Ravens can't be caught in third-and-long versus Broncos. [CSNBaltimore.com]
- Eight notes/stats you need to know heading into Saturday's game. [ESPN.com]
- If the Ravens can hold Manning to completing just 65 percent of his passes, intercept him once and sack him three or more times, AccuScore says Baltimore is a 65-percent favorite. [ESPN]