Late For Work 10/2: National Media Picks Ravens, Local Doesn’t

Plus what to expect Sunday, trick plays, Joe Flacco’s contract and long-term power rankings.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Friday, October 2nd, 2009 at 9:11 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

National media picks Ravens, local doesn’t

I’m generalizing here, but it seems a majority of the national media believes the Ravens will take down the New England Patriots this Sunday, while six out of seven local experts picked the Patriots to win. The two local experts who picked the Ravens this Sunday? Baltimore Sun’s Ken Murray and WJZ’s Mark Viviano. I’m not hating on the local media members; they are giving their honest, objective opinion. And they can’t pick the Ravens every week. I wonder if the local media knows something about the Ravens the national media doesn’t, or vice versa.

To be fair, I’m basing these statements on my quick swoop of the web this morning. I would like to know more local media’s picks – 105.7 The Fan and others didn’t seem to have picks listed on their websites. So if you find other picks, please list them. I’d be interested if my theory holds true. Also, what are your predictions?

Baltimore Sun writers: five of six pick the Patriots
WJZ’s Mark Viviano: Ravens
Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager: Ravens
Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer: Ravens
ESPN: eight of eight pick the Ravens
NFL.com: two of three pick the Ravens
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King: Patriots

Expect Flacco to outperform Brady

Fox Sports’ Adam Schein believes that Joe Flacco will be the star of a game that features up to five Hall of Famers.

“You still have to game plan for the Ravens running attack first and foremost. But these are not your older brother’s Ravens. Flacco, Derrick Mason, Todd Heap and the rest of the players in Cam Cameron’s passing attack will pose problems for the New England defense.”

Ravens-Patriots: Defensive battle or offensive shootout?

John Clayton of ESPN wonders if the Ravens-Patriots contest will be a physical, defensive game or an offensive shootout. He finds the question ironic because historically both teams have been known for their defense and for running the ball. Of course Clayton mentions the emergence of the Ravens offense, but he also sees a problem with New England’s defense:

“Aren’t these teams known for defense and running the football? A Bill Belichick game against the Ravens and Ray Lewis figures to be all about defense, right? But the Patriots aren’t the same on defense without Richard Seymour (trade), Jerod Mayo (injured), Tedy Bruschi (retired), Mike Vrabel (trade) and Rodney Harrison (retired).”

Will Cam run trick plays against the Pats?

In an online Q&A, a Ravens fan asked Baltimore Sun’s Jamison Hensley if he expects Cam Cameron to run any trick plays this Sunday. Hensley’s reply:

“I really do. I love the wrinkles that he puts in. And all those trick plays are set up throughout the game. It’s not like he just puts them in. My over-under for trick plays against the Pats is two.”

I’ll take a touchdown any way the Ravens can get it, but just the thought of the Ravens scoring off a trick play makes me smile.

Flacco is underpaid?

Yahoo! Sports Blogs ranked the 10 most underpaid athletes in sports, with the understanding that the word underpaid is all relative.  Ravens QB Joe Flacco was listed at No. 9. According to Yahoo!, he is making $1.3 million this year but could make upwards of $17 million. Yahoo! believes that’s a pretty good deal for a quarterback who has more playoff wins than the high-priced Tony Romo and Matt Schuab.

Rating the organizations

Instead of the usual week-to-week power rankings, Dave Goldberg of Fanhouse presented organizational rankings for the long-term. Goldberg says that if you look at the last decade, the same teams usually make the playoffs because of continuity in the front office and coaching staff and good drafts.

The Baltimore Ravens are listed as the third-best organization.

“The continuity comes from Ozzie Newsome, who has been running the personnel operation since 1996 after going straight from a Hall of Fame career on the field to the front office. Twenty-five teams passed on Ray Lewis before Newsome took him and 23 passed on Ed Reed. Joe Flacco looks like the next great QB.”

Samari Rolle update

Veteran CB Samari Rolle, who was put on the physically unable to perform list, had neck surgery last week, according to Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston.

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