If Joe Flacco & NFL Quarterbacks Were Bald
Thank you Mandatory.com.
This brings such joy to our hearts.
The self-proclaimed "greatest men's website on the*Internet" *played around in Photoshop to see what today's NFL quarterbacks would look like if they were bald. They ran a first set of bald QBs last year, which was a viral hit, and they did a second round this season, which included our own Joe Flacco.
While he generally keeps his* *short, Flacco has been blessed with a thick head of hair with no receding line in sight, so this may be our only opportunity to see what he would look like with a shiny dome.
(Mobile users tap "View in Browser" at the top of the page to view.)
And for your continued entertainment, let's take a look at New York Giants' Eli Manning, Cleveland Browns' Johnny Manziel, Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III, Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson, Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Foles, Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan, Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton and St. Louis Rams' Sam Bradford.
In this video, the NFL Network took a poll to see who fans thought was the funniest bald quarterback.
The winner was Bradford with 46 percent of the votes, Flacco was second with 28 percent, followed by RGIII at 18 percent and Manning with 8 percent.
Bengals Brace For Hostile Baltimore Crowd
There is one goal the Cincinnati Bengals have when it comes to fighting a feisty Baltimore crowd.
"I like it when it's quiet during the fourth quarter when everybody's leaving," Bengals defender Adam Jones said. "It means they're losing."
The only problem is it's not easy for visitors to steal a win at the 71,008-seat M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. And the Bengals know that as well as anyone.
They are 5-13 at Baltimore, losing the last four games. The last time Cincy won at the venue was 2009.
"To begin the year 1-0 Sunday won't be easy," wrote ESPN Bengals blogger Coley Harvey.
When a reporter asked linebacker Vontaze Burfict what he expects the conditions to be like at M&T Bank Stadium, "a wry smile formed in the corner of [his] mouth]."
"It's awesome," Burfict said, still smiling. "They hate us there when we walk into the building. It just feels like us against the world."
Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis knows how loud the Baltimore crowd can be, both from an insider and outsider perspective. Lewis was an assistant coach for the Ravens when the organization was first formed in 1996 until 2002. He returned in 2003, but as a division rival with Cincinnati.
Lewis has seen an evolution in the Baltimore crowd that has come with two Super Bowl wins in less than 20 years, along with multiple other playoff appearances and wins. He senses a feeling of invincibility from Ravens fans.
"Obviously I've been there from the ashes," Lewis said, "They've forgotten the ashes. They've let it go. The people that come to that game on Sunday think their team is invincible, and that's a great attitude to have and carry into that stadium."
Dalton knows he has a mountain climb ahead of him. He has never won at M&T Bank Stadium. In three career games, he's been sacked five times and thrown seven interceptions to three touchdowns.
"It's a tough task," Dalton said, "especially when they've got a good atmosphere there, and it's tough when you're playing a good team, as well. So you've got to be sharp."
Pierce's Big Audition
Running back Bernard Pierce is looking at Sunday's matchup like any other game.
He'll take over the starting role the first two games with Ray Rice suspended. And while Pierce wants to make his shot count, he doesn't want to view this as an audition.
"Pierce was reluctant to describe the next two games as an audition. But it is," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "Pierce can deny it. He can downplay it. The fact of the matter is, with Ray Rice serving a two-game suspension, Pierce gets the rare opportunity to show he can handle the load as an NFL starting running back.
"It's Pierce's job to break tackles and long runs to the point where the Ravens have a tough decision to make when Rice is eligible to return in Week 3. If he doesn't capitalize on Rice's absence, it's uncertain when he will get another chance to prove he can be a featured back."
Five Reasons Ravens Will Return To Playoffs
The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson gives five reasons why the Ravens will return to the playoffs this season:
1. Gary Kubiak's offense clicks
"Under this scenario, the offensive coordinator's run-first, play-action-heavy offense hits its stride quickly as the unit is transformed from one of the worst in the NFL (ranked 29th overall last season) to at least somewhere in the top half of the league."
2. Joe Flacco regains old form"With Flacco throwing on the move more and becoming more accurate as he capitalizes on his improved downfield weapons and pass protection, he should be able to rebound and avoid the regression he made last season, when he often hurried his passes, threw off his back foot and stared down his primary read."
3. New blood, change energizes defense
"The defense gets rejuvenated with youth as rookie inside linebacker C.J. Mosley and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan make immediate impacts."
4. Offensive line improves
"One year after failing to protect Flacco reliably and open many holes for the running backs, the offensive line has been reconfigured."
5. Justin Tucker becomes an even bigger weapon
"The Ravens won't hesitate to use Tucker on long-distance field goals after he proved that his range extends to 60 yards and beyond."
*Mosley, Brooks Make All-Rookie Team *
ESPN's Mel Kiper put together a potential All-Rookie team for 2014 by position, and two Ravens rookies made the cut.
First-round linebacker C.J. Mosley and third-round safety Terrence Brooks made the defensive squad. Mosley was an obvious choice, but Brooks was a little more surprising considering he is listed as the third-string free safety. That said, Brooks is picking things up and started to come on strong at the end of training camp and the preseason.
But what about second-round defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan?
"If Kiper puts together a team at the end of the season, there's a good chance Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan will be on it," Hensley wrote. "The second-round pick is the primary backup to Haloti Ngata after being very disruptive in training camp."
- A shout-out to "The West Wing," a large Raven fan group in Los Angeles. This weekend they were awarded the "2014 Best Sports Fan Group" honor at the Sports Fan Conference in Orlando, Fl. They beat out fan groups for the Raiders, Redskins, Bills, and Seahawks to take home the trophy. [thewestwingla.com]
- Jimmy Smith says he's "absolutely fine" and fully recovered from his chest injury. [The Baltimore Sun]
- The Ravens are bracing for dynamic Bengals running back Giovani Bernard. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Who is the greatest Baltimore football legend: Ray Lewis or Johnny Unitas? In a fan poll, Unitas won with 82 percent of votes. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Another day, another quarterback rankings list. Flacco comes in at No. 16 in the latest from Around the NFL. [NFL.com]
Just signed my lease. Time to rent furniture, turn on utilities, and get internet. — John Urschel (@MathMeetsFball) September 3, 2014