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November 19, 2009

Going rogue

Okay, you all know I'm not a negative guy. Just ask the unwashed horde of angry baseball posters who have been accusing me of shilling for the Orioles all year. But three days shy of the Ravens' upcoming showdown with the Indianapolis Colts, I just don't see how this team can walk out of M&T Bank Stadium with a win.

I suppose it's possible I'm being too pessimistic, because the Vegas oddsmakers opened wagering on the game Tuesday with the Ravens a slight -- very slight -- favorite. The line has moved back in favor the Colts, but it's still being bet as a surprisingly even game. I can't see it being particularly close. Sorry. I hope I'm wrong and everyone gets to take a shot at me here Sunday night for jumping off the bandwagon.

In the meantime, here's my full column on the subject, which appears in today's print edition and is up on the Web site.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:05 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Just football


Could not agree with you more. The only conceivable way the Ravens win is that Peyton Manning does not play or is taken out of the game early by our once "vaunted" defense. Other than that, good luck. Bookies all around town have to be shaking in their boots awaiting the onslaught of money that's going to come in on the Colts. For all the gamblers out there, this looks to be Christmas coming just a little early.

To win, the Ravens would have to:

(1) On defense, drop 8 guys in coverage and get pressure with a 3 man rush; with our CBs we'll probably need to go cover 3 and not man-to-man 2 deep safety;

(2) On offense, keep the ball, keep the chains and the clock moving and keep Manning on the sidelines as much as we can. Win the time of possession battle;

(3) No turnovers; no penalties.

The only way the Ravens can win this game is to score early and often. The Colts secondary is as suspect as the Ravens. They need to come out throwing on offense and not let up. If the Ravens win I expect the score to be very high say 41 to 38.

Of course, I do not expect the Ravens to recognize this. They will fall behind early by relying on their defense. They will mount a furious 4th quarter comeback and fall short.

Time of possession means nothing in this game. With the secondary the Ravens have Manning will be able to score in 6 plays less than 2 minutes.

When the schedule comes out, I circle the Colts game as a loss. The Colts own the Ravens pure and simple. However, how long do you have to watch the NFL before you realize that anything can happen. I would certainly not bet on the Ravens winning, but the 49ers and the Texans almost beat this team in recent weeks. They were completely dominated Sunday night in their own building and only won because of two turnovers by the Pats in the endzone(had these not occured, the 4th down play would not have been relevant). The Colts are not unbeatable. Will the Ravens win? Doubt it. But to say you can't see how it could happen is a stretch. By the way, the last time the Ravens beat the Colts was the last time these two played at 1 PM at M&T so I am hanging my hat on that. All the games in Baltimore since then have been prime time or later starts. Ravens last win was 39-27 in 2001.

The Colts haven't been lighting it up against everybody. And their secondary has been hurt so the fact they have a stingy defense may not come into play as strongly.

A strong mix of power running and passes to the seems could produce scoring drives that also eats some clock.

If the Ravens revert to their bend, don't break defense, they could keep Indy in check or reduced to FG's. There have been games this year where Peyton was held to zero TD passes.

My indicators show IND with the advantage. However, most are close and it's not unanimous.

BAL 31 IND 26

I would dearly love to be wrong, but I agree with you Pete. After the embarrassing showing against the Browns, it's hard to imagine the Ravens offense putting up enough points to win this one. Manning is going to shred the Ravens defense, and their only hope is to outscore him. A month or so ago I would have given them a chance to do that, but lately the Offense is just pathetic.
Of course anything can happen in the NFL, so it's not impossible, but a Ravens win would be pretty stunning.

A pinch of vodka in the purple kool-aid this morning Pete ?
Actually I hope you're right !

Pete's reply: Vodka? What do you take me for, man, some kind of commie?

If the Ravens can play decent D and the offense shows up like it did with San diego then its do able. But Flacco's got to have a great game

The oddsmakers are clearly out of their minds with the Ravens as favorites, but don't forget that our secondary is NOT as bad as it seems. We get called excessively for pass interference. Sometimes it's deserved, but I'd say about half of the time it isn't deserved. In cases of incidental contact or even offensive PI, it's usually our guys getting called. We have a legitimate shot at winning because our corners aren't bad... they just haven't played well. Still, it takes a decent team to shut the Bengals out for a half of football, and we have a 6 quarter scoreless streak going. We've also seen the emergence of Lardarius Webb who might even get a chance at starting corner? The Colts also aren't looking too hot without Bob Sanders, and Dwight Freeney missing practice yesterday. Who knows, maybe this year is the year we can pull out the upset?I'm drinking the purple kool-aid heavily here, but I don't see the outlook as grim as everyone else does.

I'd expect a 10-point Colts win, but keep the hope alive!!!

hopin' for a little Peyton Manning Face Sunday!

Of course the Ravs can win. The Sports Illustrated cover jinx (Manning, last week) will just be delayed one week.

And, there's NO WAY Harbaugh goes for it on 4th and 2 at his own 25 in the last 3 minutes.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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