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Thoughts on Week 4: The Travesty at Buffalo

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Damn. Okay, few points.

1. Yes, I have my favorites, but when it comes to football, its a bunch of guys in helmets to me. I've been the one bashing Ray Rice, and who keeps coming to his defense? Oh yeah, that would be you!

2. You keep mentioning the 15 yards needed yesterday. So lets say instead of the bomb, Joe threw to one of the helmets who couldn't catch a cold, and they dropped a 16 yarder that would have been a first down. I guess that would have been Joe's fault for not elevating them?

3. This was a regular season game against a much improved Bills team who could easily be 3-1 or 4-0 right now. And we lost and Joe played bad. But was he elite when we won the friggin SUPER BOWL 9 months ago, in a game that mattered? Yes, I think he was. I'll take a SB win over a bad game in September. And as I pointed out in another post, even your "elite" quarterbacks, Hall of Famers, have crappy games.

No, that would be Joe making the correct throw and his receiver letting him down. Had that happened, I would not be upset with Joe on that play. Joe made some nice throws and plays yesterday, but driving teams late is a hug part of being an elite QB. Being unable to drive 15 yards is incomprehensible to me. Throwing a bomb off his back foot in that situation is even more incomprehensible. Math is apparently not one of Joe's strong points because he does not take into consideration the typical completion percentage in tight situation. Joe likes to throw deep, and that's fine because we need to be able to go deep, but when you need 15 measly yards, the game plan must be better. Why not a screen to Rice? A comeback route from Brown and Clark when Torrey went deep. Why not cross Clark into the zone opened up when Torrey went deep?

Regardless, Joe's decision to just throw it up there looked amateurish and something you would not see from Rodgers, or Manning or Brady.

BTW, are you honestly giving credit to that Bills team? They are terrible and the only reason we still had a chance to win that game in the 4th quarter was because they played terrible as well in the second half.

You are right, occasionally elite guys have bad games, but they don't do it against teams they should stomp and they certainly don't come up short when they need 15 yards against 2nd and 3rd team defenders.

Joe is a good quarterback who can make any throw on the field, but he still has deficiencies that were on full display yesterday and if he steps it up, he could have gotten his team a win. Instead, we're 2-2 and we have to have this discussion about our $200 million QB. Once Joe signed that contract he lost any excuses from me.

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No, that would be Joe making the correct throw and his receiver letting him down. Had that happened, I would not be upset with Joe on that play. Joe made some nice throws and plays yesterday, but driving teams late is a hug part of being an elite QB. Being unable to drive 15 yards is incomprehensible to me. Throwing a bomb off his back foot in that situation is even more incomprehensible. Math is apparently not one of Joe's strong points because he does not take into consideration the typical completion percentage in tight situation. Joe likes to throw deep, and that's fine because we need to be able to go deep, but when you need 15 measly yards, the game plan must be better. Why not a screen to Rice? A comeback route from Brown and Clark when Torrey went deep. Why not cross Clark into the zone opened up when Torrey went deep?

Regardless, Joe's decision to just throw it up there looked amateurish and something you would not see from Rodgers, or Manning or Brady.

BTW, are you honestly giving credit to that Bills team? They are terrible and the only reason we still had a chance to win that game in the 4th quarter was because they played terrible as well in the second half.

You are right, occasionally elite guys have bad games, but they don't do it against teams they should stomp and they certainly don't come up short when they need 15 yards against 2nd and 3rd team defenders.

Joe is a good quarterback who can make any throw on the field, but he still has deficiencies that were on full display yesterday and if he steps it up, he could have gotten his team a win. Instead, we're 2-2 and we have to have this discussion about our $200 million QB. Once Joe signed that contract he lost any excuses from me.

That was the look of a gunslinger, like Brett Farve or Jim Kelly.

Kelly was always good enough to get his team to the SB, but never won one.

Heck even Bradshaw was a gunslinger like that from time to time, he would put it up there and pray his HOF receivers would come up with it.

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That was the look of a gunslinger, like Brett Farve or Jim Kelly.

Kelly was always good enough to get his team to the SB, but never won one.

Heck even Bradshaw was a gunslinger like that from time to time, he would put it up there and pray his HOF receivers would come up with it.

I was going to say Flacco has a LOT of Favre in him as a decision maker. Live by the gunslinging, die by the gunslinging.

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No, that would be Joe making the correct throw and his receiver letting him down. Had that happened, I would not be upset with Joe on that play. Joe made some nice throws and plays yesterday, but driving teams late is a hug part of being an elite QB. Being unable to drive 15 yards is incomprehensible to me. Throwing a bomb off his back foot in that situation is even more incomprehensible. Math is apparently not one of Joe's strong points because he does not take into consideration the typical completion percentage in tight situation. Joe likes to throw deep, and that's fine because we need to be able to go deep, but when you need 15 measly yards, the game plan must be better. Why not a screen to Rice? A comeback route from Brown and Clark when Torrey went deep. Why not cross Clark into the zone opened up when Torrey went deep?

Regardless, Joe's decision to just throw it up there looked amateurish and something you would not see from Rodgers, or Manning or Brady.

BTW, are you honestly giving credit to that Bills team? They are terrible and the only reason we still had a chance to win that game in the 4th quarter was because they played terrible as well in the second half.

You are right, occasionally elite guys have bad games, but they don't do it against teams they should stomp and they certainly don't come up short when they need 15 yards against 2nd and 3rd team defenders.

Joe is a good quarterback who can make any throw on the field, but he still has deficiencies that were on full display yesterday and if he steps it up, he could have gotten his team a win. Instead, we're 2-2 and we have to have this discussion about our $200 million QB. Once Joe signed that contract he lost any excuses from me.

I'll just make one last comment on this and then I'm done...

We are going to lose in Miami and home to Green Bay, and neither game will be because of Joe. We're gonna lose because we're a team with a lot of holes right now, on the field and in the coaching staff. But even knowing this, there will be many who will still blame Joe for the losses, regardless of his play on the field. I'm calling it now.

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I was going to say Flacco has a LOT of Favre in him as a decision maker. Live by the gunslinging, die by the gunslinging.

That's actually a pretty good comparison. He doesn't move around like Favre could, but he shares some of the same mentality and of course the same questionable game management decisions. I love the gunslingers, as long as they know when it's time to dink and dunk it for the betterment of the team. Both Farve and Flacco share the same struggles in that regard sometimes.

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I'll just make one last comment on this and then I'm done...

We are going to lose in Miami and home to Green Bay, and neither game will be because of Joe. We're gonna lose because we're a team with a lot of holes right now, on the field and in the coaching staff. But even knowing this, there will be many who will still blame Joe for the losses, regardless of his play on the field. I'm calling it now.

Well that is a defeatist attitude. Look, I think Joe stunk it up yesterday but that doesn't mean I don't think he could come out next week and light it up. This team has holes no doubt. I don't think anyone would argue that, but Joe has had some success with those holes when he's on his game and his decision making is better. Hopefully this game was a bit of a wake up call for him. Now, if he continues to shrink in these games, then more people will start coming out.

Don't take my critisisms out to be Joe bashing. I'm not calling for him to be benched or anything like that. Joe gives us a chance to win ball games and has the potential to take over a game. The problem is right now, he's either putting too much pressure on himself because of the contract and lack of weapons or Caldwell's offense is just that terrible. I'm not 100 percent sure which one it is but I have major questions over Caldwell's offense at this point.

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Oh, and for that BS call on Suggs, I had to love Harbaugh's stand. Can't remember it exactly, but essentially it was "I wish he hit him harder and forced the ball out, this conversation would be completely different." Watch Suggs get a fine, too. For what should've been a sack. Rules committee should look long and hard at this. If a QB is just killing time and BEGGING to be hit, he should be fair game. That was a sack and it wasn't like the helmet FLEW off. It just sorta came off. I wouldn't have put it past Manuel to have loosened his strap a bit, or even "helped" it off some. But if you're going to crouch there to kill time and NOT take a knee to actually give yourself up, you're gonna get rocked.

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Well that is a defeatist attitude. Look, I think Joe stunk it up yesterday but that doesn't mean I don't think he could come out next week and light it up. This team has holes no doubt. I don't think anyone would argue that, but Joe has had some success with those holes when he's on his game and his decision making is better. Hopefully this game was a bit of a wake up call for him. Now, if he continues to shrink in these games, then more people will start coming out.

Don't take my critisisms out to be Joe bashing. I'm not calling for him to be benched or anything like that. Joe gives us a chance to win ball games and has the potential to take over a game. The problem is right now, he's either putting too much pressure on himself because of the contract and lack of weapons or Caldwell's offense is just that terrible. I'm not 100 percent sure which one it is but I have major questions over Caldwell's offense at this point.

Well, I always get this way the day after a tough loss. I'll be okay by HUMP DAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

As for whether its Joe's play or Caldwell's offense, I'd say its a little of both, but when Rice and Pierce COMBINED have 7 carries, well, I think I know where my finger is pointing, and he doesn't wear a number 5 on his back!

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Was it Joe's fault for throwing three of the five interceptions? yes! Was it Joe's fault that he threw a bomb off his back foot when he needed 15 yards for a game tying FG? Was it Joe's fault he took a sack when the rusher came off the blocker from the front right of Joe? You really need to think a little more critically. I know you always side on the players side (you do this with the Orioles as well), but soemtimes you need to look at things critically and not just make excuses for your "favorite" players.

Maybe It's because I don't have "favorite players," but I refuse to sit back and think up excuses for a guys getting paid to be elite. When you are elite, you drive your team 15 freakin' yards and get the game tying FG. Joe failed yesterday with giant "F" no matter how many excuses you come up with. He was not the only reason we lost, but he sure as hell contributed with his poor play. Elite guys figure out how to win with what they got, not throw five interceptions into a Buff

alo secondary that was starting 2nd and 3rd stringers.

I understand your point fully, Tony, especially the salary cap implications of Joe's contract. Flacco, like Brady and Manning, needs

some kind of running game to be effective. Unfortunately, Harbs ego and loyalty have ruined an offensive line that was dominant last post season. You would think that Harbs would learn his lesson after the Cam fiasco. But no, again he has to hire a buddy (Castillo) to screw up the offense! How long until Bisciotti steps in again this year??

And your point about Flacco not elevating others game. Again, come on man! It was Flacco who pushed for Marlon Brown to get reps in the preseason to see what the kid has. And the guy has stepped up big time for being an undrafted rookie coming back from an ACL tear in November. I'm not sure what Flacco is suppose to do with Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson. Maybe you can give us all an idea on how Flacco can elevate their games?

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Oh, and for that BS call on Suggs, I had to love Harbaugh's stand. Can't remember it exactly, but essentially it was "I wish he hit him harder and forced the ball out, this conversation would be completely different." Watch Suggs get a fine, too. For what should've been a sack. Rules committee should look long and hard at this. If a QB is just killing time and BEGGING to be hit, he should be fair game. That was a sack and it wasn't like the helmet FLEW off. It just sorta came off. I wouldn't have put it past Manuel to have loosened his strap a bit, or even "helped" it off some. But if you're going to crouch there to kill time and NOT take a knee to actually give yourself up, you're gonna get rocked.

I couldn't agree more. What a terrible call. Terrible. If they want to try to waste time, then hand it off and let the running back run around with it. If you're gonna do it yourself as a QB, then don't be such a "kitty" when you get hit for your troubles. Suggs shoulda got a sack and we shoulda got the ball back with 15 seconds, so that Joe could have sent a bomb into Torrey's hands for the win. Then Tony and I would be smiling and drinking together instead of at each others throats! ;)

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Look at what Brady or Manning can do with guys. They can take no names or under achievers and make them into 90+ catch guys. Sure, Joe does not have a lot of weapons to go to, and that's a huge problem for this team. Losing Pitta was HUGE because it was Joe's last security blanket.

Let's get this out of the way. Joe was terrible yesterday, it was not his game. He was bad. But before we go talk about elite vs non-elite and Joe vs Peyton we're lucky we've got a comparison match.

Brady beat this same Bills team 23 - 21. He got exactly 3 more points than the Ravens did. In this game his team ran the ball 34 times for 4.6 per carry. The Ravens had 9 carries, for 24 yards. Do you think this ended up having a negative impact on Joe? If the Ravens carry the ball 34 times for 4.6 per carry, do you think the Ravens win? Brady didn't do anything to help the running game. Brady wasn't toting the rock 5 yards per carry. But what about when he did.

He was 29 - 52 and had a QB rating of 78.4. During this game Amendola had at least 4 ridiculous circus catches. He had 10 catches on 14 targets. He threw mainly to 4 guys, one of which was his RB who had 10 targets (Vereen). Say what you will about the caliber of the receiver but Amendola, Edelman, Thompkins, Vereen (14, 10, 9, 10), are infinitely better than Smith, Doss, Clark, Brown (12, 9, 9, 8). Can you imagine why his receivers got more targets? No it wasn't because Brady just magically threw those guys open. The fact that Clark and Doss combined for 18 targets to be the 2nd/3rd best options for Joe should really tell you something.

Do you really think that Brady wins that Buffalo game without Amendola? Do you think he busts up all those records without Randy Moss? Do you think he plays behind a better offensive line? Are Hernandez and Gronk as a tandem the last few years just lucky to be playing with Brady or would they have made us all better?

Throw on top of that, Welker, Decker, Thomas, Thomas. You think those guys are anywhere in the same universe as Smith, Clark, Doss, Brown? What about Reggie Wayne, and Marvin Harrison. Did Peyton make those guys? Or is what Luck is doing with Wayne, just a mirage of my imagination and Harrison was just a world class receiver?

I'm not saying Joe is Brady or Manning. But I am continuing to say, that until the Ravens get Joe and this team a real offensive coordinator that actually plays to his strengths and weaknesses Joe will never look like what he's capable.

I'm placing this team and the blame for this offense right now squarely on Caldwell and Harbaugh (and Castillo). The game plans have been a mess. The run game has been a mess. The route calls have been a mess. John has them motivated, but good lord, I've seen high school coaches put together better game plans.

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OH and as for the Favre to Joe comparisons.

First 5 years in the league, Favre: 13, 24, 14, 13, 13. That's 19 total more INTs.!! After that for fun, 16, 23, 23, 16, 15.

Flacco: 12, 12, 10, 12, 10.

Don't forget in one of those years, I forget which one he had a 4 INT game too. I'll be shocked if he ends this year with more than 12 INTs.

Come on guys, Joe Flacco is not Brett Favre.

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OH and as for the Favre to Joe comparisons.

First 5 years in the league, Favre: 13, 24, 14, 13, 13. That's 19 total more INTs.!! After that for fun, 16, 23, 23, 16, 15.

Flacco: 12, 12, 10, 12, 10.

Don't forget in one of those years, I forget which one he had a 4 INT game too. I'll be shocked if he ends this year with more than 12 INTs.

Come on guys, Joe Flacco is not Brett Favre.

All I said what at that one point in time, in yesterday's game, he did look like a gunslinger.

BTW, some would argue Favre is a HOF QB.

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I was going to say Flacco has a LOT of Favre in him as a decision maker. Live by the gunslinging, die by the gunslinging.

The only similarity is they have strong arms, but Favre's arm was unreal. If you watch tape of him in the 90s the NFL has never seen lasers like that since.

Favre in his prime was good at avoiding INT's especially in that era of football. But the INT's came when for some reason when he lost it as a QB and was frankly just meh in the backhalf of his career. Flacco yesterday is rare. He usually only throws around 12 INT's. I'd say he's the opposite of a gunslinger. He tends to curl up into a ball when facing pressure or nobody is open and just take the sack like a girl. Favre would have chucked that thing or ran around.

Also, Favre was a TD monster when he approached nearly 40 TD's three years in a row which was unheard of in the mid 90s. Flacco is not the type of guy to force the ball into the endzone, he's a much more conservative and game mangage type of QB. 20 TD's is typical for him and in this era that's not gunslinging.

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Let's get this out of the way. Joe was terrible yesterday, it was not his game. He was bad. But before we go talk about elite vs non-elite and Joe vs Peyton we're lucky we've got a comparison match.

Brady beat this same Bills team 23 - 21. He got exactly 3 more points than the Ravens did. In this game his team ran the ball 34 times for 4.6 per carry. The Ravens had 9 carries, for 24 yards. Do you think this ended up having a negative impact on Joe? If the Ravens carry the ball 34 times for 4.6 per carry, do you think the Ravens win? Brady didn't do anything to help the running game. Brady wasn't toting the rock 5 yards per carry. But what about when he did.

He was 29 - 52 and had a QB rating of 78.4. During this game Amendola had at least 4 ridiculous circus catches. He had 10 catches on 14 targets. He threw mainly to 4 guys, one of which was his RB who had 10 targets (Vereen). Say what you will about the caliber of the receiver but Amendola, Edelman, Thompkins, Vereen (14, 10, 9, 10), are infinitely better than Smith, Doss, Clark, Brown (12, 9, 9, 8). Can you imagine why his receivers got more targets? No it wasn't because Brady just magically threw those guys open. The fact that Clark and Doss combined for 18 targets to be the 2nd/3rd best options for Joe should really tell you something.

Do you really think that Brady wins that Buffalo game without Amendola? Do you think he busts up all those records without Randy Moss? Do you think he plays behind a better offensive line? Are Hernandez and Gronk as a tandem the last few years just lucky to be playing with Brady or would they have made us all better?

Throw on top of that, Welker, Decker, Thomas, Thomas. You think those guys are anywhere in the same universe as Smith, Clark, Doss, Brown? What about Reggie Wayne, and Marvin Harrison. Did Peyton make those guys? Or is what Luck is doing with Wayne, just a mirage of my imagination and Harrison was just a world class receiver?

I'm not saying Joe is Brady or Manning. But I am continuing to say, that until the Ravens get Joe and this team a real offensive coordinator that actually plays to his strengths and weaknesses Joe will never look like what he's capable.

I'm placing this team and the blame for this offense right now squarely on Caldwell and Harbaugh (and Castillo). The game plans have been a mess. The run game has been a mess. The route calls have been a mess. John has them motivated, but good lord, I've seen high school coaches put together better game plans.

I'll make this short and sweet. Tom Brady, 3 super bowls with Deion Branch as his best weapon. Enough Said. Flacco is not Brady.

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