Late for Work 11/11: 20 Bucks If You Can Pick Tonight’s Winner

Plus Rex Ryan’s antics take aim at his twin brother and projecting the 2011 Draft, already.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, November 11th, 2010 at 9:50 am | Categories: Sarah Ellison

20 Bucks If You Can Pick Tonight’s Winner

Baltimore Sun columnist Kevin Cowherd exemplified the difficulty of picking a winner for Thursday night’s contest.

"I tried to pick the winner of tonight’s big Ravens- Atlanta Falcons game and my fat little fingers seemed to hover over the keyboard forever," wrote Cowherd. "Finally all 10 beefy fingers landed on the keyboard with a thud and I wrote: Ravens 24, Falcons 21. And you can take that to the bank.

"In fact, if the Ravens lose, I will jump in my car the next day and personally hand-deliver a $20 bill to every one of you who takes gas in your office pool. (Note to editors: Please run the usual legal disclaimer that gets me out of that. Thanks.)"

Boooooo to the disclaimer!

But, Cowherd isn’t the only one on the fence.

In fact, analysts are split down the middle in predicting a winner between two of the best teams from each NFL conference. So far (as of 9:20 am, some are behind with their picks since it’s a Thursday night game), I have found 11 analysts siding with the Ravens and 10 siding with the Falcons.

After 10,000 simulations, ESPN’s AccuScore gives the Ravens a 59 percent chance of winning. But if quarterback Matt Ryan, who owns a 17-1 home record, doesn’t throw an interception, the Falcons tip the scales in their favor with a 56 percent chance of winning.

The Ravens rush defense has not been as dominant as years past, allowing 4.21 yards per carry. So if running back Michael Turner can pull off 4.5 yards per carry and a touchdown, the Falcons become 59 percent favorites, says AccuScore.

Week 10 Picks: Ravens vs. Falcons

The Baltimore Sun: Four of six pick Falcons
WJZ’s Mark Viviano: Ravens 26, Falcons 23
USA Today: Five of eight pick the Ravens
Yahoo! Sports: Two of three pick the Ravens
Sporting News: Two of three pick Falcons

Total: 11 Ravens picks, 10 Falcons picks

Ryan Sports a Wig; Places Bounty on Twin Brother’s Head

I couldn’t resist the latest from Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan.

Rex donned a wig and Browns hat and wore a Browns shirt with a pillow stuffed under it to imitate his brother, Rob, at a press conference Wednesday.

The twins’ father, Buddy, was accused of putting bounties on opposing players’ heads back in the day. Now, Rex has put a bounty on his brother’s head for when the two face off in Cleveland Sunday.

"There’s a rumor floating around there’s been a bounty placed on (Rob Ryan’s) head," Rex said. "I don’t know. … All right. Let’s be honest. There is a bounty on his head. There’s no question."
Rex didn’t give his players much of a motivation, however. He is only offering five bucks to the person who takes out his brother.

Words don’t do this video justice…

Kiper’s 2010 Draft Analysis, 2011 Projection

The Ravens Class of 2010 –  Sergio Kindle (non-football injury), Terrence Cody, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta, David Reed, Arthur Jones and  Ramon Harewood (Injured Reserve) –  hasn’t as loudly impacted the Ravens as rookie classes of the past.

Ever since Baltimore’s inception in 1996, the Ravens’ first round pick has started at least one game. The Ravens didn’t have a first-rounder this year, but the closest they’ve come to what could be considered a start is Reed’s leading role at kickoff returner in Week 9.

With half the season behind us, Draft guru Mel Kiper gives his mid-season progress report of the Ravens rookies.

"A draft I loved in terms of value hasn’t helped much early," Kiper wrote. "Sergio Kindle is hurt, and elsewhere the players higher on the depth chart are simply too talented to let the current crop make a dent."

And I suppose it’s never too early to make projections for the 2011 Draft. Todd McShay envisions Ravens brass selecting UCLA’s safety Rahim Moore at No. 30.

"If Moore elects to leave school early, he could be the top safety off the board," wrote McShay. "While he’s not an elite talent like [Tennessee's Eric] Berry or [Texas' Earl] Thomas, Moore does have excellent range and ball skills in deep-zone coverage. The time has come for the Ravens to plan for life after Ed Reed."

Police Confirm Rice’s Autograph Came After Warning

While conceding it was "unusual," Baltimore County police will not discipline the officer who received an autograph from running back Ray Rice during a traffic stop.

The police confirmed the officer accepted the signature after a warning was given to Rice for a windshield that was tinted darker than the law allows.

Lt. Robert McCullough told the Baltimore Sun’s Anica Butler, "we determined that the officer didn’t give Mr. Rice special treatment. He treated Mr. Rice no differently than he would have treated any other motorist.

"It is unusual but this was not a quid pro quo. Mr. Rice offered his autograph for the officer’s son."

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