2 Key Ravens, Playoff MVP (So Far), Sunday Picks

Featured, Sports and Bets — January 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm by

This years playoff run has been nothing short of spectacular.  The Ravens are a focused team who seem hell-bent on doing the impossible. This team is led by none other than Ray Lewis, a national figure who justifiably garners much of the national and local spotlight.  A motivating and spiritual gridiron warrior, Ray Ray is the ultimate leader, a player who makes everyone around him better. On the other side of the ball Joe Flacco and Ray Rice are the focus.  The Ravens’ stoic quarterback has been a lightning rod for debate and has been slowly winning over media members with his recent post season play.  Ray Rice is one of the games top running backs, a force out of the backfield in both the running and the passing game.  But football is the ultimate team game, and today we here at Charm City Wire are going to give props to 3 special players whose recent play has helped bring the Ravens back to the AFC Championship.  Oh, and remember these guys come Sunday, they help hold the key to a Raven victory.

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LG Kelechi Osemele:  Our resident handicapper Cliff B and I had a long discussion about the  rookie offensive lineman.  The Ravens really got a gem out of the second round with this guy.  Big and athletic, KO has proven to be versitile and physical.  He played well at right tackle most of the season and has had no problem switching over to left gaurd.  He gives the Ravens another big mauler inside, and he could be the key Sunday in helping to contain the Patriots best defensive player, Vince Wilfork.

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Will LB Dannell Ellerbe:  The Will linebacker is usually the most athletic backer of the group, and without Ellerbe on the field, the Ravens corps looks slow.  59 brings speed and toughness to the defensive side of the ball.  Ellerbe played lights out against the Broncos, and was all over the field in the second half and overtime.  Even when he was beat by a perfect TD throw by Manning, Ellerbe had Moreno draped in coverage.  Ellerbe will be essential Sunday in zone coverage against the TE and the slot, and look for him to be phsyical and fast against New England’s talented RBs.

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Playoff MVP (So Far):  LT Bryant McKinnie:  The picture above says it all.  Since McKinnie has been inserted into the lineup, Joe Flacco had stayed clean.  With big 78 on his left Joe has had the ability to go deep often, something that is essential to the offensive system the Ravens run.  Mysteriously buried on the bench most of the year, McKinnie’s sudden resurgence has allowed for Oher to move to RT, where his mauling style is more suited.  The move has also allowed KO to move to LG giving the Ravens more size and athleticism inside.  McKinnie has been the key to the offensive line playing at a high level and if his great play continues, the Ravens will punch their ticket to New Orleans.

Sunday Picks:

Ravens +8 over Pats:  The Ravens were favored by 2.5 at home against New England earlier in the year.  A 10 point swing seems like a lot.  Besides, it would be impossible for me to pick against our boys.  Take the points and buckle the proverbial seat belt.  This is gonna be another wild one.

Atlanta+4.5 over San Fran:  The Falcons are the largest home dog #1 seed in history.  They just beat Seattle, who may have been the best team in football.  Seattle blew out the 49ers a few weeks ago.  Colin Kaepernick is the flavor of the week, but I’m not sold yet.  Atlanta wins outright.

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