Tag: betting on NFL
They say that in real state it’s all about location. Well, when it comes to negotiating your quarterback contract with an NFL team, it’s all about timing. Joe Flacco played last season knowing quite well that he was on his last year of his freshman contract with the Baltimore Ravens. It was clear to him that the longer he could keep his team alive in the postseason, the more leverage he could have when it came time to negotiate his next big deal. Well, he kept on winning down the stretch and when the road games came, he proved that he could deliver and that perhaps all he needed was a championship ring to make it into the elite group that includes the likes of active quarterbacks such as Eli Manning, Andrew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. These last two quarterbacks, elite players who Flacco managed to defeat in his way to the Super Bowl game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Once he walked out of that matchup holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP honors, Joe Flacco had moved to a whole different category. He not only had the leverage to get a great deal when negotiating his new contract, he was now in one of those rare situations where he could name his own prize, and it would go his way. That´s why, earlier this weekend, sources close to the negotiation spread the word that both Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens had reached an agreement. The details of the contract are still to be disclosed, but for what we can make, Flacco would agree to a six-year, $120.6 million contract that will make the quarterback the highest-paid player in NFL history. The Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has been quoted saying that both sides have settled on the parameters of the deal and that the fine print and the legal language should be defined over the weekend.
Now, that’s a huge contract. Just to put this into the right perspective, let’s go ahead and consider this few facts. This last season, when Flacco guided his team to the Super Bowl, he was playing the end of his rookie contract that went for $6.76 million. Now, based on the $120.6 million deal, he will make an average of $168,908 each day of the regular season for the next six years. How’s that for a salary change? Sure enough Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three first-half touchdowns in his Super Bowl debut, guiding the Ravens to a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Truth be said, his regular season performances where nothing out of this world. The 28-year-old Flacco threw for 22 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in the regular season. But his numbers in the postseason where like nothing we had ever seen from a 5th-year-pro and that could had made all the difference when negotiating his pass. So far, Flacco has thrown for 17,633 yards, 102 touchdowns and 52 interceptions in 80 career games with the Baltimore Ravens. Let’s only wait and see what the next six years may bring his way.
If you ask them, they will tell you that the secret to beating Robert Griffin III is to stay true to what you are. Sure enough, other teams have tried to get creative and make things work differently when facing the talented rookie quarterback who has proven to be as effective with his running game as he is with his passing. But the Steelers new better and they opted to stay true to their style, to their game, and the results came. The Steelers proved to be too much of a challenge for the younger and less-experienced Washington Redskins and the Steelers took a 27-12 win at home against Griffin III.
The Steelers came out to the field, wearing throwback Jerseys that made them look like a bumblebee or a character of Dr. Seuss, it was hard to say. Truth is, I don’t think the Steelers are wearing that ugly looking thing again anytime soon. What matters is that Ben Roethlisberger and the folks from Pittsburgh played their home court advantage card well and outplayed rookie Robert Griffin III to improve to 4-3 for the season.
The Steelers haven’t been a team known for not making things right when needed. Let’s not forget for a moment that they have a brilliant track record of making life really hard for rookie quarterbacks. As a matter of fact, Pittsburgh is 14-1 against 1st year quarterbacks since 2004, and it comes as no surprise that they gave Griffin the same treatment they gave the likes of Joe Flacco and Eli Manning. “It is very frustrating,” Griffin said in the postgame press conference. “You want to go out, be successful, execute plays and have everything work for you and then when you have a day like today when you have almost nothing work for you.” And he had good reasons to complain.
His receivers were a mess. To call them butterfingers would be nothing short of simply been too nice. The Redskins dropped 10 passes including a pair in the end zone that would had made this quite a different story. But it wasn’t only about the receivers. Truth is that the third best-ranked offense in the league just couldn’t make it work all game long. The Steelers kept the NFL’s top rushing team under wraps despite playing without injured safety Troy Polamalu.
It was just not going to happen. Usually it’s the Redskins defense which disappoints. This time it was the whole lineup. The visiting team ran for a season-low 86 yards while Griffin’s longest run came on a 7-yard sprint in the first quarter. But that was it. RG3 finished the game with 16 of 34 passing for one hundred and seventy seven yards with one touchdown pass and no interceptions. It was a good game, but it was by no means enough to rival Big Ben’s play. Roethlisberger finished his performance with 24 of 33 passing for two hundred and twenty yards and 3 touchdown passes. “It’s fun having so many weapons and being able to throw to anybody,” said Roethlisberger proud of his teammates. After all, he had certain luxuries Griffin could only dream of such as spreading 24 completions to nine different receivers.
Andrew Luck finally managed to win two games in a row for the Colts as he guided a brilliant come-from-behind effort by Indianapolis on the road. Things couldn’t had been better for the rookie quarterback that at 4-3 for the season, already has got more wins than his predecessor, Peyton Manning, in his rookie year where he pretty much got chalked all season long. The Colts have had a very emotional year since their head coach, Chuck Pagano, was diagnosed with Lukemia and had to take a leave of absence to undergo surgery and radiation therapy. Still, under the leadership of interim coach Bruce Arians, this young squad has managed to prove themselves once again. Sure they lack experience; sure they are coming back from their worst season ever, and a huge change in their paradigm, since letting go of Manning. But Luck has come in to fill the void and so far, he has done quite a job.
Luck finished off the night with 26 of 38 passing for 297 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He connected with the acrobatic Vick Ballard on a 16-yard pass in overtime with 4:49 left in overtime to close the deal and give Indianapolis a 19-13 win over the Tennessee Titans. Ballard finished off the drive taking a screen pass while running towards the left end of the field. The Titans’ defenders managed to get the rookie’s feet knocked out from underneath him in an attempt to get him out of bounds. Ballard responded with a fascinating and acrobatic twist in the air. He crossed the goal line upside down with his head hitting the pylon for the winning TD. After the review, officials opted to stick with the initial call and ruled it a score.
None of this would had been possible had Andrew Luck not completed two brilliant 80-yard touchdown drives. On the first one ha managed to set up Delone Carter’s 1-yard TD run that tied it at 13 a piece with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter. On his second drive the No.1 overall pick in the draft managed to set up the play with Ballard that would give them the win. “Andrew, I thought, was fantastic,” Colts interim coach Bruce Arians said in the postgame press conference.
Matt Hasselbeck, the Titans quarterback, guided his team with 22 of 29 passing for 236 yards and one touchdown pass with no interceptions. After the game you could really tell that he was very disappointed in how things had worked out. Truth is that the Titans looked as if they were going to have a chance to close the deal. “It’s a huge play and huge time of the game,” the Titans head coach Mike Munchak said. “You wish it had gone the other way where you let the play go, and they can decide if the guy is down by contact. When you rule forward progress, then you can’t review the play.” After all Hasselbeck had managed to get the Titans back in contention, but Tennessee opted to punt with 56 seconds left rather than let Rob Bironas, who beat the Colts with a 60-yarder on this field in 2006, try a 58-yard field goal with a stiff wind at his back. This was by no means Muchak’s finest coaching moment.
We all know that football is a dangerous sport. That sometimes players get hurt, and that because of this, sometimes you need to go deep into your reserves to try to find the players to keep the boat afloat. And that’s exactly what the Steelers did on Sunday night. It was looking very thought for a moment or two for this experienced squad to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Pittsburgh’s top two running backs were goners, so were two of their finest offensive linemen. Even their star safety, Troy Polamalu, was sitting on the bench. So one could only wonder what could Mike Tomlin, the Steelers’ head coach, put together for Ben Roethlisberger to figure out on the offensive end. At the end, with the help of a couple of reserves and with the big help that comes from a solid and determined defense, the Steelers took a 24-17 win on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Going into the game with a 2-3 record, a win here was of vital importance for the Steelers. Particularly because this was a win on the road, their first road victory of the season, and it came under very difficult and challenging conditions. Still, the big win moved them into second place behind the Baltimore Ravens (5-2), which lost to the Houston Texans 43-13 earlier Sunday. It was a good learning experience for the Steelers. For once now they know that their backups can actually play and work well under pressure. Fans were thrilled to see that never before heard players such as third-year running back Jonathan Dwyer could actually deliver. Dwyer made his first career start on Sunday night and ran for a career-high 122 yards, including a 32-yard gain in the final minute that seal the deal. Shaun Suisham kicked field goals of 42, 47 and 42 yards that made a big difference down the stretch. But big credit has to be given to the defense. They sure enough came up with a game-turning interception in the fourth quarter that shut down Andy Dalton as he was trying to get his team back in the fight.
The Cincinatti Bengals failed once again to make any impact against their division rivals. In the last two seasons the Bengals have lost all of their 6 games played against both the Steelers and the Pitsburgh Ravens. Andy Dalton’s finished the night with 14 of 28 passing for 105 yards and one touchdown. But his performance also included a slip-out-of-the-hand interception that would set up Big Ben’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller and a tying 2-point conversion to the tight end with 24 seconds left in the half. It got all uphill from there on for the Bengals.
Ben Roethlisberger, on the other hand, guided the Steelers efforts with 27 of 37 passing for 278 yards with 1 touchdown pass and one interception. He had to take on the leader role for this one, but at the end, he delivered. “On the road, which is big for us, in this hostile environment — I can’t say enough about it,” Roethlisberger said about betting the Bengals in Cincinnati. Let’s see if they can keep it up next week when they face the Washington Redskins on Sunday. As of press time the Steelers are a 5-point favorite in the spread.