Philly Fantasy Sports Top 10 Super Bowl XLVII Commercials

After the phenomenal Super Bowl XLVII with the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh and his quarterback Joe Flacco overcame the surge — and the 34-minute blackout at the Superdome — to win the game 34-31.  With the San Francisco 49ers mismanaging the clock and Colin Kaepernick‘s inability to run a two-minute drill effectively, the Ravens scraped one out in the final minutes of the game.  After all that commotion, the commercials were much the same.  Close to the second half, the real commercials decided to show up, and with that, these are Philly Fantasy Sports Top 10 selections for best Super Bowl XLVII commercials:

Oreo “Whisper Fight”

I enjoyed this one. Subtly funny.

M & M “Love Ballad”

What are friends for when you have friends like Ms. Chocolate

Taco Bell “Viva Young”

Not funny in a funny kind of way but charming in a Taco Bell kinda way.

Toyota RAV 4 “Wish Granted”

The Rock Milk “Morning Run”

Volkwagen “Get In. Get Happy.”

Minnesota people. Represent.  Not just about Harley Davidson motorcycles and bratwursts.

Bud Light “Journey”

I liked this one. Perhaps the voodoo dolls caused the power outage. Or not.

Deion Sanders NFL “Leon Sandcastle” 

Funny. Very funny. Kind of a jilt on Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and others.

Kia Motors “Hot Bots”

Kia Motors got double honors this Super Bowl.  I think the advertising people left Volkswagen and came here.

Kia Motors “Space Babies”

This one had lots of charm to it — and the babies faces were priceless as they rocketed to Earth.

This is Philly Fantasy Sports Top 10 commercials for Super Bowl XLVII.  What do you think?  Do you agree?

 

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NFL 2012-13 Season in Review: The ABCs of the NFL

Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco After the Super Bowl Win Over the San Francisco 49ers

With the Baltimore Ravens winning Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers 34-31, the NFL season has offiically come to an end, and Ravens Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis finally got their rings.  With it, the 2012-13 season of the NFL brought in some interesting twists and turns as the free-agency system has finally matured and transformed the NFL into a season of instability and chaos.  The inclusion of the 2011 rookies also helped as they have created a NFL, a mixture of the old guard and the new.

  • A is for Andy Dalton. Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton may have the Donovan McNabb curse.  For the second time in the playoffs, he once again fell flat with the Houston Texans.
  • Y is for Young Guns.  Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck, Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III, Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson and San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick all changed their teams for the better.  At least for this season. They all have potential to become elite quarterbacks in their own right in the future.
  • A is for Adrian Peterson. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has always been a a workhorse for the team like the St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson.  But this season he proved himself more than ever.
  • P is for Peyton Manning.  Even though he’s not with the Indianapolis Colts anymore, he is still an elite quarterback who makes something out of nothing.  While he’s with the Denver Broncos, he’s going to keep the team competitive, if not better.  He’s already taken advantage of Demaryius Thomas, Denver’s equivalent to Reggie Wayne.
  • R is for Rex Ryan. For the most part this season, he stayed out of the news this year. Surprisingly.  No more supposed Super Bowl parades, and the quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow was kept to a minimum.  However, there was some questionable choices during the mid-season involving his roster of injured quarterbacks.  
  • R is for Read-Option. With the Wildcat formation going the way of the Tim Tebow comes the resurrection of the read-option in the NFL.  This is not a long-term gimmick for the NFL as the Super Bowl showed, but it has served well this season.
  • E is for Elite. The New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers earned their spots in the playoffs. Again.  With both Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay and Tom Brady of New England, both quarterbacks are performing at a high standard.
  • S is for Second Tier. The Atlanta Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens, the Houston Texans, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks all earned their spots in the playoffs this season as well.  These teams don’t have elite quarterbacks, but they are excellent as a team. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco did rise above when it counted against New England Patriots Tom Brady….
  • D is for Defense. Like in previous seasons, stout defenses win games when the games remain tight. The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers have proven that.
  • F is for Fundamental. Those teams who planned ahead finally got their due — the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks.
  • A is for Andrew Luck.  Well, the Indianapolis Colts got their Andrew Luck, a quarterback that is decisively better in the long-term than Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III in my opinion.  However, he buckled under the Baltimore Ravens defense and rookie jitters.
  • R is for Robert Griffin III. Robert Griffin III has proven himself to be Washington Redskins’ franchise quarterback.  But with him participating in the Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks with an injured knee was a bad idea transformed into a worse idea.  
  • C is for Coaches. This was a dismal season to be an NFL coach. The firings of coaches from some teams, like the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs, was expected.   These teams don’t have a record of keeping coaches — and keeping their teams in competitive shape.
  • H is for Harbaugh. The Harbaugh brothers are remarkably intelligent, and neither of them particularly cater the media.
  • J is for Joe Flacco. Despite winning the Super Bowl, in my opinion, he is still a second-tier quarterback.  He is lucky to have a stiff defense helping him when he needs it most.

This season was indeed intriguing as the elite fell to some of the second-tier teams.  Now onto next season…

Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots: AFC Championship Playoff Post-Game Analysis

After the snow that cruised through the Northeast yesterday, New England Patriots Gillette Stadium finally got cleared as they host the Baltimore Ravens.  The Baltimore Ravens defense has their work cut for them as they are facing the first-ranked post-season quarterback in rating with 137.6, New England Patriots Tom Brady. Can the third-ranked Ravens defense during the regular season stem the second-ranked offensive juggernaut?  Can we have a post-drug-filled rock star in Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler not sing the national anthem in a post-season game?

Now to the post-game analysis:

  • With receptions to his wideout Julian Edelman, establishing the run with running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and an unfortunate penalty for the Baltimore Ravens, Tom Brady’s drive stalled on the Ravens 11-yard line, and kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 29-yard field goal to bring the score 3-0 at 5:52 in the first quarter.
  • After an interception of Tom Brady by Ravens cornerback Ladarius Webb and a hearty 40-yard pass to his wideout Torrey Smith, Joe Flacco‘s drive stalled on the Patriots 3-yard line.  Their kicker Billy Cundiff booted an easy 2o-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3 with 14:23 in the second quarter.
  • After a 20-yard pass to his tight end Rob Gronkowski and a facemask penalty on the Baltimore Ravens, BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran in for a 7-yard touchdown to bring the score 10-3 with 10:40 in the second quarter.
  • After a 20-yard pass to Lee Evans and a 37-yard pass to Anquan Boldin, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco established rhythm against the Patriots defense and threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to his tight end Dennis Pitta to tie the score 10-10 with 6:11 until halftime.
  • With yet another drive stalled for the New England Patriots, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 35-yard field goal to bring the score 13-10 with 3:04 left in the second quarter.
  • Continuing the same theme from the second quarter and much of the game, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 24-yard field goal to bring the score 16-10 with 9:09 in the third quarter.
  • With a quick 29-yard touchdown reception from wideout Torrey Smith, the Baltimore Ravens took a one-point lead 17-16 with 3:48 in the third.
  • With a fumble by running back Danny Woodhead on a run-back from the Ravens kickoff that is recovered on the Patriots 28-yard line, kicker Billy Cundiff kicked a 39-yard field goal to bring the score 20-16 with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.
  • After a slow and steady drive to the Baltimore 1/2-yard line, Tom Brady finally got into the endzone with a rushing touchdown to bring the score 23-20 with 11:33 in the last quarter.
  • With the interception by linebacker Brandon Spikes and a 19-yard return and tip-interception to Ravens rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith in the endzone, these two interceptions were a show of defenses with eight minutes left in the game.
  • With a 4th and 6 at the Patriots 33-yard line, Patriots nosetackle Vince Wilfork snagged Joe Flacco and forced him to throw the ball away with 2:53 left in the game.  What a gamechanger!
  • With the clock ticking away and Joe Flacco at the helm, the drive led by the 29-yard reception by Anquan Boldin stalled at the New England’s 14-yard line, and surprisingly, Billy Cundiff missed the 32-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the game.

With the first half in tow, the Baltimore Ravens were seemingly ready for New England Patriots Tom Brady had an interception.  Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco demonstrated that he can throw against the porous Patriots defense and keep up with Tom Brady.  It was a great first half as both teams traded blows without letting up. Surprisingly though, Joe Flacco outperformed Tom Brady as Flacco had a 122.4 quarterback versus Brady’s 58.7 into the half.  The Patriots had the lead 13-10 at halftime, but the Patriots could not dominate the Ravens like they did with the Denver Broncos previously.

The stiff Baltimore Ravens defense imposing itself on New England Patriots potent quarterback Tom Brady and their offense in the second half.  Despite the tide turning in the Ravens favor several times, the New England Patriots kept it close, and the defense clinched down when it counted most with 2:53 left in the game on Ravens 4th and 6 on their 33-yard line.  Tom Brady and his New England Patriots squeaked this one out past the Baltimore Ravens 23-20.  However, Brady’s difficulties with the Ravens defense won’t go any easier with the San Francisco 49ers or the New York Giants.

The next game is already up as the New York Giants face the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship game.  Tom Brady will have will the Super Bowl win past either defense in Indianapolis.  With 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and his clutch tight end Vernon Davis on one end and the Giants quarterback Eli Manning and his talented wide reciever corps on the other, this upcoming Super Bowl will be one to watch.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: AFC Divisional Post-Game Analysis

After the Winter Classic held at Heinz Field not so long ago, the AFC Divisional Playoffs began with two tough teams — the Pittsburgh Steelers against the incoming Baltimore Ravens. This should be one of the better games into the playoffs, and it certainly did not disappoint.  This was a physical, smash-mouth, in-the-trenches game and an intense rivalry game.

Now to the post-game analysis of the game:

  • Both running backs scored in the first quarter. The Steelers Rashard Mendenhall sc0red the first touchdown for his team and the game mid-first quarter, and the Ravens Ray Rice answered in the close of the first quarter with his 14-yard touchdown.  However, neither rushing game of the Steelers or the Ravens was particularly effective as both running backs were held under 50 yards rushing and shut down.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin‘s loss of challenges into the half was about as bad as Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid’s mishandling of timeouts. Luckily, the Steelers made adjustments into the half.
  • The fumble that was caused by Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and picked up by tackle Cory Redding shifted momentum in Ravens favor tremendously. The Steelers offense imploded as the costly errors, turnovers and a missed field goal by Shaun Suisham changed the face of the game.
  • Rashard Mendenhall’s fumble mid-second quarter was costly for the Steelers.  Joe Flacco connected with Todd Heap for a 4-yard touchdown and the Ravens third touchdown of the game.
  • The Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense switched their focus from tight end Todd Heap in the first quarter to running back Ray Rice in the second quarter. It was an interesting chess game on the Ravens part, and the Steelers couldn’t find an answer for either in the second quarter.
  • Ray Rice’s fumble early third quarter was costly for the Ravens, as it led to a Steelers touchdown from Roethlisberger’s tight end Heath Miller from 9 yards out.
  • Joe Flacco’s interception by Ryan Clark late third quarter was as costly as another Steelers touchdown to Hines Ward for a tie game of 21-21.
  • Terrell Suggs of the Ravens caused great interference in the backfield and tacked a couple of sacks on Ben Roethlisberger. Cory Redding created as much trouble.
  • On the other side, James Harrison of the Steelers caused trouble in the Ravens backfield persistently.

One of the greatest rivalry games and one of the best playoff games of the 2010 playoff season ended with the Pittsburgh Steelers winning 31-24 at their home field. The Steelers fans did their part, and the stalwart defense did theirs. This was a game of penalties, turnovers, sacks, mental errors and team tackling. The Steelers are off into the AFC Championship game, and let the rally towels fly for now.  Their next opponent, the New England Patriots, given current odds, won’t go down any easier.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: AFC Divisional Pre-Game Analysis

The Baltimore Ravens capitalized on the mistakes of the Kansas City Chiefs and won the wild card game 30-7. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco improved into the post-season, and the Ravens defense lit up the Kansas City Chiefs offense by sacking Matt Cassel three times and forcing five turnovers.

This is a rematch of the week 4 matchup during the regular season in which the Baltimore Ravens won 17-14 and a week 13 rematch in which the Pittsburgh Steelers won 13-10.  Now to the pre-game analysis of this rubber-band match:

Quarterbacks

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had 3,622 yards passing, 25 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a respectable 93.6 rating during the regular season.  On the other side of the ball, Steelers Ben Roethlisberger had 3,200 yards passing, 17 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and a 97.0 quarterback rating.  Both are going to have difficult times ahead in this game, but Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers get the very slight edge on pure numbers.

Wide Receivers

The Ravens wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason had a compiled total of 1,639 yards receiving, 14 touchdowns and averaged 13.1 yards per reception during the regular season.  On the other hand, Mike Wallace of the Steelers had 1,257 yards receiving, 1o touchdowns and averaged 21.0 yards per reception.  He was ranked 5th overall in terms of receiving yards and 3rd overall in terms of touchdowns in the league by season’s end. Opposite of him, Hines  Ward had 755 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns and averaged 12.8 yards per reception.  The Steelers get the edge overall, with the power of Mike Wallace. 

Running Backs

The Ravens will have to rely on both Ray Rice and Willis McGahee in this matchup. During the regular season, Ravens Ray Rice had 1,220 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns and averaged 4.0 yards per carry. He was ranked 10th in terms of total overall rushing yardage.  On the other hand, his partner Willis McGahee had 350 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns and averaged 3.8 yards per carry.  On the opposite side of the ball, Pittsburgh Steelers Rashard Mendenhall had 1,273 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns and averaged 3.9 yards per carry. He was ranked 7th overall in terms of rushing yardage but he was ranked 2nd in terms of rushing touchdowns. His reliever Isaac Redman had 247 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry.  Rashard Mendenhall and the Steelers get the significant edge.

Tight Ends

This is going to be one of the most interesting battles.  The Baltimore Ravens Todd Heap had 599 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns and averaged 15.0 yards per reception.  During the post-season so far, he has 108 yards receiving and averaged 10.8 yards per reception.  On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Steelers Heath Miller had 512 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns and averaged 12.2 yards per reception.  The Ravens get the edge in this one as Heap is leaned on far more.

Defenses

This is going to be one heck of a trench battle.  The Ravens defense was ranked 21st against the pass and 5th against the rush during the regular season.  Their star linebacker Ray Lewis had 139 tackles and was ranked 6th during the regular season.  Lewis did tack on one more tackle during the post-season.  Most notably, however, their cornerback Ed Reed led the league with 8 interceptions by season’s end.  Both are forces to be reckoned with. The Steelers defense was ranked 12th against the pass and 1st against the rush during the regular season.  Their star Troy Polamalu was 3rd in interceptions overall with 7 by the season’s close. The Ravens defense was ranked 10th overall during the regular season whereas the Steelers defense was ranked 2nd. The Steelers defense gets the edge by a moderate margin, although Ed Reed and Ray Lewis can be gamechangers.

Coaches/Intangibles

Coach Mike Tomlin of the Steelers has been inconsistent with his coaching at times during this season, relying on Ben Roethlisberger too much instead of their running back Rashard Mendenhall to win games.  But he’s been favoring Mendenhall a bit more during the regular season.  Coach John Harbaugh has been relying more on the pass with Joe Flacco recently, although a bit more balanced with Ray Rice and Willis McGahee being used to tire defenses out.  Unfortunately, John Harbaugh has never won against Ben Roethlisberger.  The Steelers get the edge in this one, although the win last week should boost the Ravens morale.

The Edge

By numbers alone, the Steelers should get the significant edge with a score of 27-17, but numbers haven’t proven themselves against this matchup.  Realistically, I imagine it to be close again with the Steelers get a slight edge over the Ravens 20-17.

Fantasy Football Quarterback Quick Picks for Week 5

Matt Schaub (Houston vs. New York Giants): He’s a far better quarterback than Jay Cutler. I would rank him a solid QB1 since Arian Foster should be able to temper an inspired New York pass rush.

Kyle Orton (Denver vs. Baltimore): Compared to Joe Flacco, I would rather take Kyle over Joe Flacco simply because he himself is not facing Champ Bailey and the Denver passing defense. He should be worth a borderline QB1 in my opinion.

Joe Flacco (Baltimore vs. Denver): Joe Flacco is talented, but against the Denver defense, I wouldn’t take that risk.  He’s at best a QB2 in this situation.

Brett Favre (Minnesota vs. New York Jets): Hard to bite on him without Sydney Rice in this game.  Minnesota should resort to running Adrian Peterson on this defense – a lot.  He’s at best a QB2.

Mark Sanchez (New York Jets vs. Minnesota): He should be worth a QB2, at least, with the way the offense has been running literally.

Matt Ryan (Atlanta vs. Cleveland): He should do okay, but I won’t count him beyond a borderline QB1. Cleveland appears to better than they are, despite having an erratic defense.

Eli Manning (New York Giants vs. Houston): Eli should be generally considered a QB2 by default, and this is no exception. Until I see Eli click with his offense, he won’t make me a believer.

Kevin Kolb (Philadelphia vs. San Francisco): He’s at best a QB3 in most situations, but for this game, he should be able to qualify as a QB2. Growing pains and quarterback controversies don’t make things easier.

Alex Smith (San Francisco vs. Philadelphia): He should remain a QB3 in this game. Vernon Davis is the only reliable receiver he can count on.

Sam Bradford (St. Louis vs. Detroit): He should continue to shine in this game. I would use him as a borderline QB1.

Shaun Hill (Detroit vs. St. Louis): Even though he has a favorable game, I wouldn’t count him as a borderline QB1/solid QB2. Javhid Best and Kevin Smith will be used more, I expect.

Matt Cassell (Kansas City vs. Indianapolis): Matt has become a solid QB2 since his defense arose to the occasion and having a solid running back.

Peyton Manning (Indianapolis vs. Kansas City): Well, Peyton gets to put this defense to the test. With no apparent running game with the Colts, it’s up to Reggie Wayne at this point. He’s a borderline QB1.

Drew Brees (New Orleans vs. Arizona): Without a running game, this passing has quieted down.  However, Drew Brees should be the top QB1 against Arizona.

Max Hall (Arizona vs. New Orleans): Max should be a low-end QB2 against New Orleans. I wouldn’t put him anything above that at this point.

Donovan McNabb (Washington vs. Green Bay): McNabb will be under tremendous pressure from the Green Bay pass rush all day. Solid QB2.

Aaron Rogers (Green Bay vs. Washington): He should have a pretty good day.  Still should be a QB1 in this game.