It's time to once again hear from the opposition's point of view. This week, Rexx from Baltimore Beatdown joins us to answer my Raven-related questions. And as always, you can head on over to his site and see my responses to his Dolphin-related queries.
Billick said he will be back earlier in the week and the owner, Steve Bisciotti confirmed it yesterday. Bisciotti said he doesn't hold Billick responsible, as he puts the blame on the overwhelming injuries and poor player performance (I thought the coach was responsible for this!). Unfortunately, Billick signed a four year $20 milllion extension after last season, and still has 3 years and $15 million left, so you can believe whatever reason you want. In my opinion, Billick has made so many poor calls in specific critical game conditions that I actually hold him personally responsible for three losses this season, and would prefer to go in another direction.
I think it's safe to say Steve McNair's career is coming to an end. And it's probably safe to say Kyle Boller will never be as good as many, including myself, thought he would be. So where does that leave the Ravens at the QB position and how do you think they will upgrade at that position?
Kyle Boller signed a one year extension earlier this season, so he will be back and probably as the starter. My thought is that we drafted the Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State, Troy Smith, in the fifth round last season and before we spend our first pick on another QB, we need to give him the same chance Boller's had to rule themselves out of the running.
What are your thoughts on Willis McGahee's first season in Baltimore?
McGahee has been one of the few bright spots this season, as he's been a huge upgrade from Jamal Lewis, who was strictly one dimensional. There were times throughout the season that I was left scratching my head on Billick's play calling, as he spent over $40 million on McGahee, but waasn't giving him the ball enough. Now he's pretty much carrying the offense, and will be a better player once we get some sort of air attack.
How would you gameplan to try and beat the Ravens if you were Miami's head coach?
The Ravens shutdown cornerback, Chris McAlister, has been placed on IR. The other starter, Samari Rolle may or may not join him shortly. Their replacements have been absolutely clueless in coverage. Both starters missed the Steelers and Colts games, and you see what happened in both contests! I would abandon the run, as nobody has been successful on the ground all season, and neither will the Dolphins. Despite Miami's offensive woes, they should go to the air and challenge the defensive backs with double fakes and long passes, both of which have been hugely successful against the Ravens.
How will this game on Sunday play out? Who wins and by how much?
Despite the poor play of the Ravens and how disappointing their season has been after finishing last year 13-3, the Ravens are still a better team than the Dolphins. Miami seems to be a team in as much disarray as my Ravens and never were expected to be that good even before the season started. That said, Miami's best chance at avoiding history comes this Sunday, as the ravens have played even worse on the road than at home. However, I just don't see Miami escaping their destiny of going 0-16, and will join the New England Patriots, albeit at opposite ends of the spectrum, at making history. Ravens 23-13.
PS- No offense to the Dolphins fans, but if and when the Pats go undefeated, their place in history will be way above Miami's, as this achievement in this day and age totally blows away anything Miami did in their 1972 season, and New England will take its place atop the football world as the greatest team of all time (mind you, I'm not a Pats fan, but it's hard to argue against this opinion of mine)!
Here's all I'll say about the Patriots thing that Rexx brings up. The Dolphins had to play their 5th game to their 13th game with their backup quarterback because Bob Griese was injured. Can you imagine if the Pats had to play that many games without Tom Brady? Would they still be undefeated? Also, the Dolphins, despite going 14-0 in the regular season, had to play the AFC Championship game on the road at Pittsburgh. This is because, at that time, the home field for the conference title games were based on a rotating schedule. So the Dolphins had to travel to Pittsburgh on New Year's eve and defeat the Steelers. These Pats will never have to leave New England in the playoffs until the Super Bowl. I think those 2 facts really make the casual fan understand how impressive it was for that '72 team to do what they did. And there's no way at all anyone can say the Pats' place in history will be "way above" Miami's.