Late For Work 10/7: Moss Trade Helps Ravens’ Playoff Chances

Plus an answer to yesterday’s poll and the percentages on Sunday’s outcome.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, October 7th, 2010 at 8:54 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Moss Trade Helps Ravens’ Playoff Chances

The Vikings got a bargain deal when they were handed Patriots receiver Randy Moss and a 2012 seventh-round pick for a third-round 2011 draft pick.

Reports are that a locker-room “outburst” at halftime last Sunday between Moss and Patriots Quarterbacks Coach Bill O’Brien may have impacted the Patriots’ decision to make the move.

Well, Head Coach Bill Belichick’s low tolerance for headaches pays off for the Ravens.

The two teams are scheduled to face off in Foxboro on Oct. 17 after the Ravens host the Broncos this Sunday. The Patriots will look to avenge last season’s Wild Card loss to the Ravens without the receiver who led them in touchdowns in 2009.

While he doesn’t have the flashy numbers of seasons past thus far, Moss’ 6-4, 210-pound frame creates matchup problems and poses a real down-field threat. He is a thorn in any defensive coordinator’s side.

But now the Ravens can forget about Moss and narrow their focus to Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate.

More importantly, trading Moss to the NFC improves the Ravens’ playoff chances.

“New England’s passing game is not nearly as dynamic without Moss,” said ESPN’s James Walker.

“This trade definitely hurts the Patriots (3-1) in their quest to reach the Super Bowl. The AFC is deep, and the AFC North also has at least two teams — Baltimore (3-1) and Pittsburgh (3-1) — considered strong title contenders. It could only help teams like the Ravens and Steelers if one playoff contender makes itself less formidable with a huge in-season trade.”

The Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck found one potential downside of the move from a Ravens point of view.

“This is a good news/bad news situation for the Ravens,” wrote Schmuck. “They’ll be happy to play the Patriots next week without having to worry about one of the best receivers in the league, but none of the power players in the AFC can be happy that the Pats are amassing enough early-round picks to dominate next year’s draft.

Fans: Baltimore’s WRs Are Not Selfish

The court of public opinion has made its ruling. The Ravens wide receivers are not selfish, they simply are competitors.

Thank you for satisfying my curiosity yesterday. I was interested in knowing fans’ perceptions of the Ravens’ bolstered receiving corps after headlines focused on T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s call for more balls and emotional sideline reactions from Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin.

Of 3,667 votes, only 7 percent of the voters said they interpret the three receivers’ actions as selfish.

The other 93 percent seem to side with Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron’s point of view – Housh, Mase and Q are competitors who are confident in their abilities and want the ball in clutch situations. Cam believes that is a prerequisite for successful players.

Ravens 73 Percent Favorites Over Broncos

ESPN’s Countdown Daily AccuScore reports the Ravens are heavy 73 percent favorites to beat the Denver Broncos Sunday.

There are a few things that Denver can do to improve their chances, however.

If quarterback Kyle Orton has a pair of touchdowns and no more than one interception AND the Broncos force two Baltimore turnovers, then Denver jumps to a 56 percent chance of winning.

That’s a lot of “ifs” and a 56 percent chance of winning after all those “ifs” still isn’t building confidence in Denver.

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