The Mighty Braves

The Atlanta Braves are a tough team to beat right now and it’s got nothing to do with the Waffle House. The Waffle House in question opened at Turner field and coincided with Atlanta’s extremely recent 14 game winning streak.

It does have everything to do with their dominant hitting and pitching. The Braves have a league best 72-46 record. They are absolutely man-handling the NL East. I don’t want to say they’re the team to beat but, c’mon, are you blind? They are absolutely the team to beat (despite some very good baseball coming from the Dodgers as of late). This team is peaking at the right time and there’s no argument against it, they’re playing playoff baseball right now.

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor works in the second inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Pitching The only team pitching better than the Atlanta Braves are the Pittsburgh Pirates (in terms of team ERA anyway). The Braves boast a team ERA of 3.20, allowing only 372 runs all year long. What’s more at 1.18 they have the best WHIP(walks and hits per innings pitched) in the major leagues. They are led by Mike Minor and Julio Teheran who are both pitching out of their minds. They both rank among the top 20 in the MLB in ERA.

Minor has a 12-5 record this season with a 2.87 ERA. He’s been pitching like a stud. He’s got a great fastball and does a great job of dominating the corners of the strike zone. He may have just filled the role as the team’s ace.

Julio Teheran is just 22 years old but he’s certainly trending upward. With a 2.96 ERA, Julio is pitching with the best of them. He also has a great fastball. He’s got quite a bit of savvy for his age and is capable of dominating a game when he gets going.

Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman, right, gets a hugs from teammate B.J. Upton after hitting three-run home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Hitting The Braves can hit. They’ve scored 525 runs this year which is 7th in the Majors and as a team they’ve hit 141 home runs which makes them 3rd in the MLB. The Braves have offensive fire power and are capable of jumping up to sizable leads very quickly. Their pitchers protect these leads, which is yet another reason why they’re are hard to beat. Oh by the way, Atlanta is 9th in On Base Percentage.

The Braves are led by first baseman Freddie Freeman. He’s batting .313 this season with an OBP of .393, putting him at 7th in the MLB and he’s got 74 RBIs.

Chris Johnson has got the best batting average on the team. His average is .336 and he’s got 121 hits which is pretty good.

I think Justin Upton is the key because he is so solid. He’s bats a solid .267,  he’s got 22 home runs which is really good and he’s scored 74 runs which is ridiculously good. In short, Justin Upton is good at his job.

When all of these pieces are put together they make a team that is capable of getting players in scoring position, and then getting them home. If you recall, the Braves have scored 525 runs this year. That’s a lot of runs. There’s a reason why they can do that. They have players who put them in positions to score frequently. Even a guy like Dan Uggla, who doesn’t hit particularly well has 21 home runs this season. When he does make contact with the ball, it’s leaving the park. Period.

So here are the ingredients. Lethal pitching, consistent hitting and scoring, followed by an enviable home record of 40-16 (you read that correctly, the Braves have won 71% of their home games). It only makes one thing. A recipe of disaster for any opposing team.

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An Open Letter To RGIII: Please Stop Talking.

I need to preface this by stating that I’m a Redskins fan. I have been since 1999, which is more than half of my life at this point. I should also mention that because of this fact, I really like Robert Griffin III. He’s the best player on my favorite team. So that makes sense. What I’m about to say, given my fandom, will not. You don’t bash the guy who gave your favorite team it’s first divisional title in 13 years (which is my entire time as a Redskins fan). However, I don’t feel like I would be doing my job if I ignored this.

(redskins.com)

Dear Robert,

Shut up. Please. I understand that you have recovered from your knee injury faster than anyone could have anticipated. Which is great for all of us because we get to see one of the league’s exciting young players back in action. That’s great. What’s not great though is the incessant whining that the coaches aren’t letting you do enough, sooner.

We get it. You’re an uber-competitor, with the will to win and we all applaud that…sort of. What you fail to understand is that the coaching staff is under a lot of pressure to get this right. So going to the media and telling them that you want to move from 7 on 7 team drills to the full 11 on 11, is neither the time nor the place. When you do things like that, you put them in a bit of a catch-22. If they start you and (God forbid) something bad happens they get blamed, if they don’t and something bad happens they get blamed. This is why you do not air your dirty laundry to the media.

The coaching staff will be extra careful in bringing you along because you’re the franchise. In the city of Washington, that’s everything. The Redskins are everything. Your knees are the most important knees in that entire city. Yes, even more important than President Obama’s knees.

While one would think that you are best qualified to speak on the subject of your own knee, I respectfully disagree. If memory serves correctly, the last time we listened to you say you were ready to play, you were collapsed in a depressing heap at FedEx Field with Redskins fans the world over holding their collective breaths. Present company included. We already look forward to seeing you week 1 against the Eagles. It is going to be the first of 16 games that I will watch all year in which my heart is firmly planted in my throat.

So, what’s the rush? Let the coaches do their job. Don’t add any more pressure than there has to be. I think that’s what everybody wants.

-Keon R., Sports Cloud

P.S.- Have a good season and keep beating the Cowboys. That never gets old.

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Jay Bilas Exposes NCAA Shop, Defends Justice.

Go to the NCAA Shop now. Here’s the link: http://www.shopncaasports.com/

Do you see a search bar? No? That’s because there isn’t one. The NCAA Shop disabled it after ESPN analyst Jay Bilas did some searches of players on it’s site. This is important because the NCAA claims not to make money off of players names and likenesses. Yet a simple search on the site proved that this isn’t the case. Typing in a player’s name in the search bar led directly to the correct team and corresponding jersey number.

Does it matter that the player in question was suspended? Or if they are currently being investigated for alleged rule breaking?

Nope . . .

. . . and nope.

This is the NCAA that won’t allow college athletes to sell their own memorabilia under the facade of amateurism. This is the NCAA that suspends them and slaps them on the wrist for doing so and then turns around and sells, what is essentially their name and likeness online. That’s not even the really unfair part. The part that is truly unfair is that there isn’t a whole lot the student athletes can do about it. Not Manziel, nor Bridgewater, nor Clowney. None of them can really stop it. Besides the media no one can hold the NCAA accountable.

As long as fans buy merchandise and video games and the like, it’s the players who get continually screwed. Fans feed the machine. Specifically, the money of fans feed the machine. The NCAA doesn’t care about the spirit of the game or protecting amateurism. They care about having your money in their pocket without having to pay the people that get it there. I’m all for fair but, does that sound fair to you?

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Johnny Manziel Is Not A Smart Man

Johnny Manziel is being investigated for allegedly selling his autograph for a five figure fee. This information came from ESPN’s Outside The Lines.  Two witnesses say that they saw Manziel sign products but that they did not see him receive payment. While the NCAA is very good at investigating things, it’s difficult to believe that this particular investigation is going to bring much result. The circle of information is too small and unless Manziel tells on himself (officially making him dumber than I thought) he wouldn’t get caught for his alleged actions.

While the alleged action of selling autographs isn’t smart, especially given the fact that Manziel’s family is quite wealthy, that’s not why I think Johnny Football is being pretty stupid.

I think Johnny Manziel is being stupid because at this point, he’s displayed the maturity of a six-year-old child. A six-year-old, for those of you who have never been around one, doesn’t think about the future. They can’t grasp the concept of their current actions having future consequences. And why should they? They’re six. When I was six wanted to be a Power Ranger or a Stegosaurus, I can’t quite remember which.

The problem?

Johnny Manziel is 20 years old. He isn’t a child. He’s an adult, and more importantly, he’s an adult that wants to be in the NFL. This is a notion that is becoming increasingly more difficult to believe with every incident. It was the summer of Manziel in the worst way imaginable. In a summer in which Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder and Tim Tebow joined the Patriots, Johnny managed to dominate the headlines.

The first questionable decision in a conga line of questionable decisions by Johnny Manziel goes back to December 20th of last year in which Johnny had court side seats to see the Dallas Mavericks host the Miami Heat. This is not a bad decision in and of itself but, people questioned how Manziel got his seats, he took to twitter. Which is always a bad idea.

Then January 5th of this year Manziel takes an instagram picture with a fist full of cash and tagged it “casino ballin” which again isn’t wrong, but maybe the world didn’t need to see that. Johnny again seems to be living his life as though he didn’t have the scrutiny of being a Heisman winning quarterback. When the (completely justified) scrutiny came. Manziel again took to twitter. Do you see a theme developing?

Source: (@jmanziel2)

I could do this all day. There is a laundry list of incidents. There was the bottle of Dom Perignon January 6th, the reported shoving a graduate assistant in a March 23rd practice, that thing with the Manning Academy or the twitter rant after a parking ticket on June 16th.

Johnny actually deleted this tweet but a simple google search proves that nothing is really deleted from the internet.

What’s the point? Johnny Manziel is extremely talented. However, he’s short standing at 6’1″ and there are questions about his arm strength. Legitimate questions about Johnny Football’s on the field measurables mean that he should not invite extra questions about his off the field ones. It doesn’t make any sense. Many said that media coverage of these stories were making mountains out of mole hills but, Manziel has provided quite a few mole hills because of the situations that he puts himself in. Then he compounds it by tweeting about all of it.

There is such a thing as “good will,” be it with public perception or the media. When a person runs out, especially a celebrity, it’s difficult to get more. It’s a perfectly adult thing that players coming out of college to enter the pros know. They are aware that their actions can put things in jeopardy. Maybe Manziel doesn’t realize he’s running out. A sure fire sign is usally when you can’t sneeze in any direction without the media reporting it. Johnny may not care what anybody thinks, but he should. The media will continue to exist, criticize and scrutinize  after he becomes a pro and NFL general managers are keeping tabs on everything he does right now. Johnny’s draft stock is being affected as you read this. All of his actions have very real world consequences for him. No team wants to waste a high draft pick on a guy with more red flags than an air craft carrier.

Does he realize this? Because that would be a perfectly adult thing to do. Any thing less would be, well, stupid.

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The Lakers Are Growing Old. Are They Growing Up?

The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves at a very interesting crossroads. Considering the age of the team, let’s call it a midlife crisis. After all, isn’t midlife crisis about realizing one’s mortality and diminished strength due to increased age? If mortality for the Lakers is defined by life after Kobe Bryant, then the term fits quite nicely.

 

Almost too well. Acquiring Dwight Howard in the misguided belief that he would stay in Los Angeles, is nothing short of the guy in his mid 50’s buying an expensive sports car in an attempt to recapture his youth. To be fair to the Lakers, Dwight took them farther than Andrew Bynum would have, by virtue of breathing air and being on the floor. But since when has a 7th seed and a first round exit ever been enough for Los Angeles?

I’m not very good at playing general manager but there is one truth about the Lakers. They need to face reality. They can’t win a title next year. They are not even close to being considered contenders. In fact, the Lakers would be fortunate to make the playoffs next year. They are instead engaged in the petty exercise of avoiding rebuilding. Which of course is ridiculous because all teams have to do it eventually. Yet with rumors that the great organization is eyeing Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony in 2014 one can’t help but think that they have learned nothing.

The Lakers should probably take the lumps that come with any amount of sustained success; and just suck for a little bit. I’m not saying tank per se but let nature take its course instead of constantly trying to drink from the fountain of youth by signing young stars in free agency. You think Carmelo is going to fix the Lakers? Nope. Not by himself anyway. Role players are going to be necessary to do anything of substance. Let’s not forget that Kobe Bryant, for all his wear and tear, has no intention of taking a pay cut. And that’s if Carmelo opts out next year at all.

For goodness sake’s just draft already! I mean if ever there was a year to build through the draft, 2014 would be it. For starters there’s next years draft prize Andrew Wiggins. If that doesn’t work out, there is Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, either of the Harrison twins and Dante Exum. The list of potential  lottery picks goes on. There is a way to win this. A good team built from the ground up can have continued success, whereas going for the quick fix, a move the Lakers seem committed until the bitter end, will net them less. A lot less.

I’m not suggesting the Lakers tank. Nor do I suggest that they shouldn’t go after the big name free agents next season. What I am saying is that Mitch Kupchak trying to put together a “winning” team within the next two seasons is a mistake. At best it is fan service. Not unless you actually think the offseason additions of Jordan Farmar, Chris Kaman and Nick Young make the Lakers contenders. Because it doesn’t.

Whatever decision they make it needs to be the right one. It will affect the course of this organization for years to come.

 

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Thunder Gamble With Harden Trade and Lose . . . For Now.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were at the mercy of their opponent. They were in a tight spot and at the mercy of their opponent, and I’m not talking about the other night when they were eliminated by the Memphis Grizzlies. The opponent in this case was Rob Pelinka. Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Pelinka wanted the max contract for Harden at $60 million over four years. The Thunder GM Sam Presti was only willing to go as far as $54 million to avoid paying the luxury tax. This was after, of course, Pelinka turned down $52 million deal before. Presti had to do something.

So he gambled. In the Houston Rockets, he found a team desperate for the services of James Harden. Rockets GM Daryl Morey wanted James badly enough to pay the extension, and then some. The Rockets paid Harden $80 million over 5 years. In exchange for Harden (as well as Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich, and Lazar Haywood) Oklahoma City received Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, 2 first round picks, and a second round pick.

It was a two way gamble. Rockets bet that James Harden was an elite player that could finally garner them post season success and the Thunder gambled that they could replace Harden and keep enough firepower to return them to the Finals. They were almost right.

Russell Westbrook’s torn meniscus in game 2 against the Rockets in the first round, made sure the Thunder’s plan backfired. Without Westbrook or Harden from the year before, the undermanned Thunder lost in the second round to the Memphis Grizzlies in just 5 games. Kevin Martin didn’t provide the firepower that Harden once did and without Westbrook, Durant was forced to carry the load of a team that had no punch. For instance Kendrick Perkins posted a -0.7 player efficiency rating the worst of a player in the playoffs with at least 200 minutes played, in league history.

Oklahoma City’s first year without James Harden ends in a failure almost directly related to not having Harden on the roster. That’s not to say that the Thunder are in long term danger without him. If Jeremy Lamb develops into the player the Thunder front office thinks he can be they hope to regain some scoring power there, as well as adding to it with the draft picks acquired in the trade. While Kevin Martin as a Harden replacement was initially a flop the Thunder still have pieces to work with.

They’re just going to have to wait a bit.

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A Tale Of Two Cities: Examining Derrick Rose and Robert Griffin III

In two different cities, two young leaders of two burgeoning franchises, playing two different sports suffered two separate ACL injuries. These young men, both possessing the most important knees in their respective cities have one more thing in common. A single question that haunts them, and their fan bases.

When do I return?

The Season Derrick Rose, the Bulls point guard, is known for his quickness and devastating crossover. He tasked himself with carrying the offensive load of his team in his fourth season. He also became a solid defender as well. In the 2011-12 NBA season, Rose led his Bulls to the league’s best record and the number 1 seed in the eastern conference. That season, Rose 21.8 points per game and 7.9 assists per game. While not career highs, these are extremely impressive numbers all the same.

The Injury When the playoffs began, the Bulls faced the surging Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia was inconsistent all season but, had won four out of their last five games heading into the post season. Still, the Bulls were heavy favorites going into the matchup with the upstart eighth seed 76ers. Then it, happened.

With 1:22 left in the game, Derrick Rose jumped off his left in the lane as he attacked the basket. This is a routine move for Rose but, this time, he didn’t finish the play. Lacking elevation, he fell to the ground and crumpled in a heap. He attempted to stand but simply could not. Rose had torn his ACL.

The Return Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls in the 2012-13 season, are playing playoff caliber basketball. Not quite at the level that they were a season ago, when they were considered championship contenders. With a current record of 39-31, the Bulls sans Rose are more than capable of holding their own. They displayed their mettle when they ended the Miami Heat’s historic winning streak at 27. The Heat with the best player in basketball, playing the best basketball of his career are all but a shoe in to return to the finals. The kicker? They did it without the team’s second best player, Joakim Noah.

There are obvious downsides to Derrick Rose missing games. Prior to the injury, Derrick Rose was the focal point of the offense. Since then, his Bulls have had to find ways to win in his absence. There will definitely be chemistry issues when he returns. However, by not playing, Derrick Rose and the Bulls staff are hoping to  prevent further injury. This is a great decision. It hurts the Bulls now, but if Derrick Rose is the player that everyone believes he can be, and reaches the heights that fans believe that he can reach, Chicago has everything to gain.

Which brings us to Robert Griffin III.

The Season Fresh off of his Heisman winning season at the University of Baylor, the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft was ready to take the league by storm. He did exactly that. Griffin passed for 3,200 yards and completed 65.6% of his passes. He threw 20 touchdowns and accounted for 7 touchdowns on the ground. He threw 5 interceptions, all season. The Redskins began the season an underwhelming 3-6 but, won 7 straight games to win the NFC East title for the first time since 1999 and make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

The Injury The week 15 matchup between the Redskins and eventual Superbowl champion Baltimore Ravens marks the beginning of a two part tale. In order to get a first down Robert rolled out of the pocket and scrambled upfield. As he attempted to get down he was hit by Raven’s tackle, Haloti Ngata. The weight of the 330 lb Ngata hit the leg of Griffin causing his knee to bend momentarily in the opposite direction.

Griffin led the Redskins down the field twice in the first quarter of the playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. Twice they scored but, on the second drive, Robert’s knee buckled in an attempt to elude defenders. It is at this point that Robert Griffin III should not have been in the game. Whether the coach, staff or player is at fault is the question that still needs to be answered.

The Seahawks rallied and climbed back into the game. The Redskins were deep in their own territory with 6:15 to go in the 4th quarter, and they needed a drive to hold off the Seahawks. The ball was snapped low and as Griffin reached to pick it up, his knee gave out. The Seahawks recovered the ball and scored.

The Return Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who is overseeing the recovery of Griffin had only great things to say about his recovery so far.

He wants his recovery to be fairly private, but I can tell you he’s way ahead of schedule. His recovery has been unbelievable so far.

– Dr. James Andrews

This statement and the an interesting Adidas ad almost make it seem like Robert is trying to come back for week 1 of next. This is not smart. When a team trades two first round picks and a second round pick to take a guy, they expect to build around that guy for the next ten years. Robert is that guy. He’s got to be smart and learn from Derrick Rose. Comeback 100%. If that’s week 1, which is unlikely, then it’s week 1. If it’s week 7 then so be it. However, if  Griffin needs to miss the whole season, he needs to accept that that’s just how it’s got to be. Everyone is wondering if he, and the Redskins will make the same mistake twice. If the Redskins make the wrong decision and set him back, then it won’t matter if he’s superhuman or not.

Two young players, two big decisions, and two very bright futures on the line.

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In LeBron’s Shadow.

For years, LeBron James has lived in the shadow of Michael Jordan. All great players, especially those with an aptitude for scoring, usually wind up there. This is a testament to how larger than life Jordan is. However, this season is different, LeBron James has found his style and hit his stride. One NBA season after his first ever championship, LeBron has found a way to slide from behind the shadow of Jordan. By playing his own game. LeBron with his size and new found agression, is playing in a style that Michael Jordan never could. He’s scored 30 points in his last 6 games while shooting 60% from the field. This has never happened in NBA history. His efficiency is staggering. The tear that LeBron is on has him garnering consideration for a second consecutive MVP award. Deservedly so, but with this attention going towards James it is leaving an unlikely player in his shadow.

Kevin Durant.

Yes, Durant. LeBron has been playing at such a high level that it’s easy to overlook what Kevin is doing with the Thunder. It’s also easy to miss the fact that statistically, James and Durant are nearly identical. I don’t mean identical in some statistical categories, I mean almost all of them.

Typically in a Kevin Durant versus LeBron James debate, LeBron always gets the edge because he, like no one else in the league, is capable of filling out a stat sheet. Except, that isn’t quite true. Durant is more than able of filling out a stat sheet himself.

Comparison

Points Per Game – James: 27.1 Durant: 30

Rebounds Per Game – James: 8.1 Durant: 7.4

Assists Per Game – James: 6.9 Durant: 4.4

Steals Per Game – James: 1.6 Durant: 1.6

Blocks Per Game – James: 0.9 Durant: 1.2

Field Goal Percentage – James: 56.% Durant: 51.9%

3-Point Percentage – James:42% Durant: 43.2%

Kevin Durant is more of a shooter than LeBron is, attempting more shots and scoring slightly more points but, LeBron maintains a higher shooting percentage. This is likely because he takes higher percentage shots, especially since he has put more of an emphasis on attacking the basket and playing in the low post. They are both proficient on defense averaging the same amount of steals per game and a high number of blocks.

This is not to say that Kevin Durant has been getting no consideration or that he’s “underrated” or anything along the lines of those cliches. Far from it.

The point is that LeBron is playing more dominantly than he has ever played. He has elevated his game to such a high level that he  has actually managed to out shine a fellow all star and a player with stats comprable to his. Durant and James play the same position and are both dominating at it in very different ways. The race for MVP and an NBA title may be one in the same, and it’s a race that is much closer than it looks.

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Lights Out! Or How The Ravens Survived the Surging 49ers to win Superbowl 47

A Super Bowl review four days after the big game?! Unthinkable. I thought so too but, now I get to cram all the delicious post-Super Bowl action into here. No body has to lose any sleep over this. Even if (disappointingly) this my first post since the “fail mary” that lifted the Seahawks past the Packers and made Aaron Rodgers angrier than Rich Eisen covering a Brett Favre comeback.

So, without further ado, the notable moments of Super Bowl 47 and it’s after math.

The San Francisco 49ers Start Slow and Pay For It.

In my opinion, San Francisco was too conservative in the first half. This hurt Colin Kaepernick’s rhythm , because San Francisco did not line up very often in the pistol formation nor did they use the read option very much. This is odd because the Ravens’ defense showed a susceptibility to it against the Redskins earlier in the season, and later in the game. The Ravens respect for the run game makes the read option effective against them by opening up holes in their secondary. A weakness the 49ers did not exploit until the second half.

Kaepernick was often times indecisive with his throws early in the game, which led to a 1 interception and no touchdown half for the second year quarterback.

On defense, San Francisco was determined not be beaten by Baltimore’s speedy receiver Torrey Smith. They double teamed him on nearly every play he was in the game, though the Ravens took shots in his direction anyway ( I assume in an effort to keep the defense honest). This allowed slant passes and other underneath routes to be highly effective against them. Torrey Smith didn’t do nearly as much damage Anquon Boldin and tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson did. This was eventually their undoing on the defensive side because the Ravens picked up a number of crucial third and longs by winning those routes.

The Baltimore Ravens Soared Early and Held On Late.

The  much maligned Joe Flacco ended his post season with 11 TDs and no interceptions, including his 3 TD first half performance that netted him the game’s MVP award. Flacco, in a contract year, played like a franchise player deserving of his self glossed elite status.

There was however, more to this game than Joe Flacco. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones turned in his own MVP-worthy performance as well, receiving 1 TD pass and returning a record setting 108 yard kick return at the beginning of the second half to keep the Ravens in the driver’s seat.

Despite Flacco’s stellar first half, he came to earth and was pretty human in the second. The power outage may have had something to do with this, stymieing the Ravens momentum but, regardless Flacco was not playing at his first half level in the second half as far as red zone play is concerned. The Ravens were still moving the ball well but settled for field goals inside the 20 yard line on a couple of possessions that may have iced the game.

The Ravens game plan was very balanced. Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell deserves credit for that. Running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce shared 32 carries between the two of them. Flacco threw the ball 33 times. The Ravens disproportionately racked up yards in the air with 287 passing yards as compared to their meager 92 rushing yards. However Flacco was hot for most of the game and the 49ers have an especially stout run defense. 49ers linebackers Navarro Bowman and Patrick Willis made sure that life on the ground was going to be tough for Baltimore.

On the other side of the ball, the Ravens played smart and out witted Kaepernick for much of the game. Especially on Colin’s first half interception. This was a typical Ed Reed performance where, he made deep passes a dangerous option for the opposing quarterback. Reed tracked the play from beginning to end, and as he often does, found himself in the perfect position to make a play on the football.

After the power outage the Ravens had trouble with the mobility of Colin Kaepernick. However, on crucial plays the found ways to hold firm.

Officiating

The referees let the players play in the big game. There were only 7 penalties committed on Sunday by either team.

The most notable officiating moment is the no call on Ravens defensive back Jimmy Smith who made contact with receiver Michael Crabtree at the end of the game. A no-call, that in my opinion, was a good one. Both Smith and Crabtree made contact prior to the ball being thrown and Crabtree pushed off after the ball was thrown.

The Aftermath 

After the Super Bowl 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (obviously) took offense to the game ending no-call.

Joe Flacco called himself “a Raven for life” which is important because this is the end of his contract. The Ravens can re-sign him or slap him with the franchise tag. He also learned that the MVP of the Super Bowl wins a car.

Colin Kaepernick took blame for his teams’ loss, citing early mistakes as a reason.

John Harbaugh said his brother was the best coach in football as he won a brotherly rivalry for big brothers everywhere.

Ray Lewis did one last squirrel dance after the parade for all of the Baltimore fans, and it was as epic as you thought.

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