Terrell Suggs Dan Patrick = Gold
Anytime you put two entertaining nuts like Terrell Suggs and Emmy-winning sportscaster Dan Patrick together for a chat, it's an instant lead for LFW.
Here are five awesome things we learned:
1) Suggs doesn't want you to know that he drove to work yesterday singing "Clarity" by Zedd at the top of his lungs. By the way, Suggs may have the gift of gab, but he "absolutely does not" have an ability to sing.
2) Who has more rhythm: Sizzle or Joe Flacco? "Do I even have to say it?" Suggs answered the question with a question. Suggs says he's grateful that he's never had to see Flacco dance, but the defensive beast has little room to talk. His teammates sure wish they never had to see this sack dance Sunday.
3) There is a big difference in the enjoyment level of sacking Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger versus Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (Suggs hasn't sacked him yet). Patrick asked if Suggs wants a piece of the newly-dubbed starter in Cleveland, but Suggs doesn't seem overly excited. "I just like sacking quarterbacks," he said. "I don't have him until next week, so I'm not really worried about it this week." Maybe it will feel better once (if) Suggs does take down Money Manziel in Week 17, but he probably won't go as crazy as the Bengals did every time they had a decent play against the rookie. "Seems like they were [fired up]," Suggs said.
While Suggs said he gets satisfaction out of sacking all quarterbacks, he admits his favorite to drop is Roethlisberger, hands down. Big Ben is the QB Suggs has taken down the most over his career (11.5 sacks), but that doesn't mean it's easy. "He's probably the hardest quarterback in the NFL to sack," said Suggs, which can get frustrating and sometimes elicits some not-so-nice cursing exchanges.
4) Suggs doesn't think J.J. Watt should be an MVP candidate if the Texans aren't a playoff team.
5) Suggs explains to Patrick why white defensive linemen "always have a high motor." That was frequently said of former Ravens defensive end Paul Kruger, so Suggs has some experience in the area. Kruger would complain to Suggs: "You know, when a black guy is good, he's a phenomenal athlete. But when a white guy is good, he has a high motor." For the record, Suggs does not have a high motor. "No, I'm just a phenomenal athlete," he said with a chuckle.
Ravens Have 73.44 Percent Chance Of Making Playoffs
With two games left to play, the Ravens' chances of making the playoffs are pretty darn good.
They have a 73.44 percent chance of advancing, according to sports analytics site numberfire.com, but their chances of clinching a spot via winning the division are much lower at 20.50 percent.
Here are numberfire's percentages:
Pittsburgh Steelers: 45.72 percent
Cincinnati Bengals: 33.78 percent
Baltimore Ravens: 20.50 percent
Cleveland Browns: 0 percent
*Wild Card *
Baltimore Ravens: 52.94 percent
Cincinnati Bengals: 45.80 percent
Pittsburgh Steelers: 32.56 percent
Kansas City Chiefs: 31.26 percent
San Diego Chargers: 22.68 percent
Buffalo Bills: 13.82 percent
Houston Texans: 0.94 percent
Don't Take Final Two Games For Granted
The likelihood of a sixth playoff berth in seven years may be high for the Ravens, but The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck advised that you don't bet your house on it and take the final two games for granted.
Neither of Baltimore's final two opponents have winning records (7-7 for both), and both are "mired in a quarterback crises." The Texans don't even know who their starter is (Thad Lewis or Case Keenum) after two more quarterbacks were injured last Sunday (this will be starter No. 4), and the Browns'disastrous start to the Manziel era.
"So, the remaining path to the postseason looks like it's going to be a cakewalk, right? Sure, just like Sunday's game against the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars," Schmuck wrote.
"Let's get something straight. The 2014 Ravens have delivered a few one-sided beatings to struggling teams, and they've won the first two of their must-win games in December. But they retain a certain unpredictability that makes every game an adventure. … If this wasn't one of the craziest, mixed-up NFL seasons in recent memory, it would be easy to look at the way December is working out and believe that the football gods are finally smiling on the Ravens."
Ravens Will Miss Taliaferro
He may have been a third-string rookie running back, but The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec believes the Ravens will miss after he was placed on injured reserve (sprained foot) yesterday.
In fact, Zrebiec believes they already missed the big back in the Jaguars game down the stretch.
"Taliaferro has been used sparingly this season, so he would have had fresh legs, and I think he could have given the Ravens the late-season boost that Bernard Pierce provided as a rookie in the Super Bowl year," Zrebiec wrote.
"Big backs are so important in December, when the weather gets colder and the rushing yards are hard to come by. We saw that Sunday against the Jaguars. Justin Forsett looked banged up and Pierce didn't look decisive, and the Ravens got virtually nothing going on the ground until late in the fourth quarter."
Will Any Of These CBs Get Final Roster Spot?
The Ravens made a boatload of roster moves yesterday, but they still have one spot left. Who will it go to?
Perhaps it could go to one of the cornerbacks the team reportedly had in for workouts yesterday.
Cornerbacks Anthony Gaitor, Quinton Pointer, LeQuan Lewis and Brandon Smith all worked for the team at the Under Armour Performance Center, per The Sun's Aaron Wilson, and Pointer was signed to the practice squad. The other three corners are also still available, and the Ravens could look to sign one of them.
Don't worry if you've never heard of any of the four before. The Ravens are really digging now. The Ravens have made 12 transactions involving defensive backs in a 43-day span and that doesn't count the cornerback that they'll likely add to take Jackson's spot, per Zrebiec.
"Don't look for anyone significant coming to the rescue," wrote CSNBaltimore.com's Clifton Brown. "It's up to the healthy corners the Ravens still have to prevent big pays – Lardarius Webb, Anthony Levine, Rashaan Melvin, and Antoine Cason. Look for Cason to be active against the Texans after not dressing against the Jaguars."
By the way, the injuries are not exclusive to defensive backs (even though they make up the most). With the Ravens placing three more players on injured reserve yesterday, the total is now at 16.
Is that a lot? That's the most the Ravens have placed on IR since 2009.
Week 16 Power Rankings
ESPN: No. 12 (no movement)
"One of six AFC teams with at least nine wins, Baltimore just needs to beat the 7-7 Texans and 7-7 Browns to punch a ticket into the playoffs."
SportingNews.com, Vinnie Iyer: No. 11 (moved up two spots)
"Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith lead the best linebacker group in the game. They are swarming everywhere rushing the passer and stuffing the run. On the other side, it helps that Joe Flacco and the offense have succeeded in keeping the ball and protecting it a lot better."
Fox Sports, Dan Schneier: No. 11 (moved down one spot)
"With Torrey Smith banged up, the Ravens' offense may lack the weapons in the passing game to prevent defenses from stacking to stop the run. The Ravens' defense continues to generate the most pressure in the NFL, and these pressures are finally translating to sacks."
ProFootballTalk.com, Mike Florio: No. 12 (no movement)
"Like 2012, they're finding the gas pedal in December."
CBSSports.com, Pete Prisco: No. 12 (moved up one spot)
"They have a soft schedule in the final two, so they should be a playoff team. But you never know."
NFL.com, Elliot Harrison: No. 14 (no movement)
"If they were all supposed to be easy, you wouldn't be reading this column, and the NFL wouldn't be fun. And if teams weren't capable of surprising some folks, then the 2012 Ravens would never have been complaining about a half-hour light delay -- because they never would've made the Super Bowl in the first place. So don't read too much into the hard-fought win over the Jags. That's football."
The Baltimore Sun, Jon Meoli: No. 10 (no movement)
"Baltimore, Pittsburgh or Cincinnati could go here, but even after a performance against Jacksonville that disappointed, the Ravens are still the class of the division. The Quarterback Gods smiled on the Ravens with two rookies and a street free agent in the final three games."
- "There's been plenty written about the resurgence of the Ravens' running game," wrote Zrebiec. "What hasn't gotten as much attention – and it really should – is the improvement of the pass protection. Quarterback Joe Flacco has been sacked only 16 times, second-fewest in the NFL behind the Broncos' Peyton Manning (14 sacks). Flacco, if you recall, was sacked 48 times last season, second-most in the NFL." [The Baltimore Sun]
- Steve Smith jokingly blames his fantasy numbers on Flacco. "Sometimes a guy may say, 'I needed some points from you last week. You killed me.' It's like, 'Well, you know, tell my quarterback that. I can't do anything about that,'" Smith told the Mike and Mike radio show. [ESPN]
- Hey Clifton, do you think Marlon Brown's role will increase in the future? "Brown is playing extremely well, with 11 of his 22 catches coming in the last three games. It's no coincidence that his production has increased with Torrey Smith hampered by a bad knee the past two games. However, the Ravens are deep at wide receiver and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak likes to use two-tight end sets. Brown will continue to get reps, but I don't see his playing time increasing dramatically." [CSNBaltimore.com]
- Ray Lewis sounds off on Jay Cutler after his lackluster performance on Monday Night Football, causing more gratitude for Flacco. [YouTube]