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Late For Work 7/9: Joe Flacco MVP Odds Chuckle Worthy


Joe Flacco MVP Odds Chuckle Worthy

What are the chances that Joe Flacco has a big enough rebound year that he earns the league's most valuable player?

Just as good as the chances of rookie Johnny Manziel winning the starting role in Cleveland and becoming the MVP: 100 to 1.

Those are the MVP odds sportsbook Bovada released Tuesday for the two AFC North quarterbacks, and ESPN's Jamison Hensley found it humorous.

"This has to get a chuckle from even the most ardent Flacco bashers," Hensley wrote. "Flacco has been nothing more than a slightly above average quarterback during the regular season in his career, but he is just 17 months removed from being named the Super Bowl MVP. All Manziel has racked up since being drafted is plenty of comps in Las Vegas. Maybe Flacco has to take more vacations to the Sin City to get in better favor there."

Not to be left out, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton got the exact same odds.

"Johnny Manziel (100-1) has the same odds as Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton! The ultimate AFC North slap in the face," wrote CBS Sports' Will Brinson.

To the surprise of zero people, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning received the best odds to win the honor at 3 to 1.

Manning, plus 27 other players (16 quarterbacks) have better chances than Flacco for MVP, including Robert Griffin III (25 to 1), Matt Ryan (33 to 1), Nick Foles (40 to 1), Ben Roethlisberger (50 to 1), Philip Rivers (50 to 1) and Tony Romo (50 to 1). 

"The odds on Flacco aren't surprising," Hensley wrote. "He's never even produced a Pro Bowl season. He's never thrown for 4,000 yards or passed for more than 25 touchdowns in a season.  But, when it comes to leading his team to the playoffs, there are not many surer bets than Flacco." 

Ravens fans are accustomed to Flacco getting little love outside of Baltimore, but they know the impact he's had on the franchise during his six-year career. Ravens 24x7 reminded us of that on Facebook yesterday:

"Ravens starting QBs the six years before 2008 on left, Ravens starting QBs since on the right. #transformationtuesday"


Fact Or Fiction? Steve Smith To Be Flacco's Top Target

Flacco may have his most talented group of weapons ever, giving him a solid chance of breaking 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career.

Of the wide array of targets to choose from – Torrey Smith, Steve Smith Sr., Jacoby Jones, Marlon Brown, Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels – who will become the quarterback's go-to receiver?

In the always fun game of "fact or fiction," ESPN's Herm Edwards was asked whether newcomer Steve Smith will be the top target.

"That is a fact," Edwards said. "Steve Smith's a veteran guy, he has good quickness, he understands how to get open. He can play in the slot, he can play outside and he will be the security blanket for Flacco – that's a must."

That doesn't necessarily mean Smith will get the most receiving yards. Hensley thinks Smith will come in under 1,000 yards, but agrees that the 14-year veteran could get the most catches. (I would add that Pitta will give the biggest competition for the "Flacco security blanket" distinction.)

In a fan Q&A yesterday, Hensley was asked for many more predictions on the Ravens receiving corps:

Can Torrey Smith reach 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns?
"I think those numbers are attainable for Torrey Smith. He had 15 touchdowns in his first two seasons, so I can see him scoring seven or eight this season. It's also realistic to think he will match last season's totals of 65 catches and 1,128 yards."

Who gets more targets/catches this season: Brown or Daniels? "Owen Daniels, although Marlon Brown should have more TDs."

Which wide receivers will make the 53-man roster?"Steve Smith, Torrey Smith, Marlon Brown, Jacoby Jones, Jeremy Butler."

No love for rookie Michael Campanaro?"He will likely get redshirted and either be placed on IR or practice squad."

How do you rate Butler based on what you have seen so far?"Butler is constantly showing up when you watch team drills. I don't remember him dropping too many passes, too. He's been the biggest surprise of the undrafted rookies."

Vote On Ravens' Most Memorable Plays

ESPN is asking fans from all 32 NFL franchises to vote on their team's most memorable plays in history.

Here’s your chance to vote on the Ravens' top play.

Nearly 20,000 votes have been cast so far, with one play running away with the lead.

64%: The "Mile High Miracle" when Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard touchdown pass to tie 2012 divisional playoff game in Denver. The Ravens went on to win the game and Super Bowl XLVII.

24%: Ray Lewis rips a pass away from Eddie George and returns it for a 50-yard score in the 2000 divisional playoff matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

12%: Jermaine Lewis returns a kickoff 84 yards in Super Bowl XXXV in the Ravens' first championship.

Quick Hits

  • @BPierce_30: Leg day! 640lbs sets of 10 gotta put that work in [Instagram]
  • @BowieBaysox: Baltimore #Ravens WR Marlon Brown @MB_uno4 will be at the Baysox game Sun July 13. Get tickets for autograph session [Twitter]
  • @TorreySmithWR: My sources tell me that Lebron will play basketball this year #factsonly [Twitter]
  • Hey Clifton Brown, when do you think a decision on Ray Rice will come? "I honestly thought we'd have a decision by now. Rice met with the commissioner June 16.  The Ravens want to know. Rice wants to know. I think a decision comes within the next 7-10 days, so the Ravens know the deal before camp starts." []
  • Ravens rookie tight end Crockett Gillmore is making an impression with his toughness. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • "Check out Joe Cool sporting the John Stockton like shorts on the beach," wrote sports gossip blogger Terez Owens. "You have to be super confident to pull off that look. Doesn't hurt Flacco has one of the richest contracts in the NFL. Check out Joe playing a little whiffle ball with some locals below. What a great guy." []
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