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2009 Breakdown: What A Difference A Year Makes

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This week is an anniversary of sorts for me as I celebrate my second year here at Ravens Gab, which is a proud part of the NFL Gridiron Gab Network. I have to thank Matt Leode for the opportunity to continue to rant and rave about the purple and black for another season. As you can imagine it’s a lot of fun.

So I started looking back at some of the work that I did over last season’s unexpected AFC Title run and it’s quite amazing how far the team has come and how expectations have changed drastically.

I picked the Ravens to go 5-11 last year at this same time. I don’t have dyslexia to speak of since they finished the reverse of that prediction I just saw way too many questions to have a lot of confidence for success.

But as I looked around cyberspace NO one else had high hopes for Baltimore either. I think the best win total was seven. So I guess that should make me feel better. It’s tough to try and predict the future otherwise I’d have won the Mega Millions by now.

So, here I go again- on my own. I’ll give my initial thoughts on each Ravens regular season contest for 2009. As we all know things can change drastically from week to week in the NFL so I’m sure these predictions will change.

Week 1-9/13/09 vs.Kansas City Chiefs: “Change is hard, change is painful, change is not easy,” quotes new head coach Todd Haley. He’s not kiddin’. I’m only expecting the Chefs to be slightly better than last year. Cassel should be out for this one with a sprained MCL and Tyler Thigpen doesn’t scare me. So KC will have to run the ball and that usually doesn’t work out for most teams. The purple will be out in force for the home opener.
WIN

Week 2-9/20/09 @ San Diego Chargers: The Bolts are the trendy pick for the Super Bowl, but aren’t they every year? They have an explosive offense, with plenty of weapons around Phillip Rivers. But they never can seem to put it all together. They lack the Big D word- discipline. Look no further than Merriman’s tabloid actions this weekend. Norv Turner has never impressed me and he should be out the door after they get to the playoffs and come up short again. But make no mistake, any time you travel West it’s a tough call.
LOSS

Week 3-9/27/09 vs. Cleveland Browns: I have still yet to truly buy into the genius of Eric Mangini no matter what Tony Soprano says. How do still have Derek Anderson in the mix for the starting QB job? Jamal Lewis is out of treads on his tires and Braylon Edwards can’t catch a cold.
WIN

Week 4-10/4/09 @ New England: Tom Brady is the key to their whole season. I’m sure all over Beantown there was a collective gasp when Haynesworth did his best Siragusa Big Splash a few pre-season games ago. I think all it accomplished was for Belicheck to list his quarterback as probable the whole season. I think he’ll still be fine to play but if he doesn’t its a whole different story.
LOSS

Week 5-10/11/09 vs. Cincinnati Bengals: While I’m on the topic of quarterbacks I don’t have a good feeling about Carson Palmer. A player of great promise who has never been the same since Kimo crashed his knee in the playoffs. They haven’t been back since. The only real question for me is when does Ocho Cinco get fined for Twittering about wanting a trade? What a mess.
WIN

Week 6- 10/18/09 @ Minnesota Vikings: Does Bret Farve give this team a chance at the Super Bowl? NO. Of course he’s better than Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels but more than two thirds of the league’s signal callers are too. Viking fans will learn just as Jet fans did. He get the offense moving early and then make that slow fade down the stretch. Bret will just be Bret which means he’ll try and make plays where there are none and lose games they shouldn’t. They do have a fantastic defense and the Dome is a tough place to play but I think they win the purple battle.
WIN

Week 7 – BYE: I’m sure it’ll feel good to actually get a Bye week this year. (I’ve got them 4-2 at the break)

Week 8-11/1/09 vs. Denver Broncos: How many teams have fired a Hall of Fame coach,traded their quarterback and have their number #1 receiver demanding to be moved in the same season? Josh McDainels needs to hire 24 hour security because these Denver fans are used to a thing called -winning. Better luck next year.
WIN

Week 9-11/8/09 @ Cincinnati Bengals: Marvin Lewis goes insane due to Mike Brown’s inane boobery and calls the Coast Guard to rescue him from this prison that is Paul Brown Stadium.
WIN

Week 10-11/16/09 @ Cleveland Browns: I’m still bothered that this game is a Monday Night Game. This will take on the feeling of a Super Bowl contest or a College rivalry game for the Cleveland faithful. Last season Joe Flacco and Ray Rice rallied the team down 17 on the road against the Brownies but I don’t like B-More’s record in the National spotlight.
LOSS

Week 11-11/22/09 vs. Indianapolis Colts: This team and especially Peyton Manning have been Baltimore’s nemesis for years. They never seem to match up well and if Manning is given time he can pick apart any defense. Some fans think the Colts are in for a down year without Dungy. As long as they have the underexposed Manning they are always dangerous.
LOSS

Week 12-11/29/09 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh matches up very well with us. Each game was close but they got the best of Baltimore each time. One play can change a game. It’s Flacco’s turn at home to not just manage games but to win them.
WIN

Week 13-12/7/09 @ Green Bay Packers: The frozen tundra has a mystique to it that will play well on Monday Night again. The real issue here isn’t Aaron Rodgers but rather the defense who couldn’t stop anyone last year. If they are as improved as people think they are this is another tough get. I’ll believe it when I see it.
WIN

Week 14-12/13/09 vs. Detroit Lions: Jim Schwartz returns home and he won’t be pleased with the outcome. The Lions will be better but how could you not be after last season’s performance.
WIN

Week 15-12/20/09 vs. Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler brings his sunny disposition and cannon arm to Crabtown. I still haven’t figured who he’s throwing it to and while Matt Forte is a great young back he can’t do it all can he?
WIN

Week 16-12/27/09 @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Round Two. Another hard fought game. Bodies are broken and players are stretchered out. This should have implications for the division.
LOSS

Week 17-1/3/09 @ Oakland Raiders: Al Davis slowly slips away from reality and trades his second and third round picks for a Kenny Stabler blow-up doll and a month’s supply of Metamucil. Maybe Tom Cable will have a Cage match with Lane Kiffin after the game? Anything would be better than what the fans are subjected to by this joke of a franchise.
WIN

Ok, so the math tells me that I have it at 11-5. Oddly enough that’s the same number of wins they had last season.

I do think that they should be able to make the playoffs with this record but then again the Pats missed the cut with the same numbers last year.

Unfortunately I think the Black and Gold take the division. They only lost Nate Washington and if Limas Sweed can stop from dropping sure touchdowns he’ll probably be a better option.

But as we saw last season you only need to get into the show and then anything can happen. Just remember the last time the Ravens went 4-0 in pre-season it was 2000.

That was a memorable year.


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4 Responses to “2009 Breakdown: What A Difference A Year Makes”

  1. lafdoc says:

    agree with most of your picks but think the second division loss will be to cinn not cleveland because carson palmer will get hot one of the two games esp if frank walker is playing nickle

  2. mindpinball says:

    I agree with the overall record, as well as the Steelers winning the division. There’s a good chance the Ravens may be a better team than last season and not get as far as they did last year.

  3. Ravenssoldier22 says:

    only division loss we will have is the steelers on the road…cmon guys our defense hasnt lost much…we shut down the browns and the bengals last year…gonna do the same this year..i got em at 12-4..gonna come down to the last game against pittsburgh to decide the division…who knows we may get em this year…all depends on what side makes that critical mistake…or huge play…time will tell…have some faith…lol

  4. Wants Brandon Marshall says:

    There is a difference between faith and reality. Reality leans more towards 10-6 while faith leads to 12-4. Reality says that Indy owns us, we will hope to split with Pittsburgh, and we cannot beat New England. With those three said, we are bound to loose another divisional game (probably the Bengals). Road games in Green Bay, San Diego, and Minnesota are all going to be tough. Minnesota is going to bring the first 100 yard rusher against the Ravens in over two years.

    I still have the hope that we will end up the 12-4 or better.

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