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Manning and Rodrigo

The Colts average 26.6 points per game. The Ravens' defense allows 12.6 per game.

Something's gotta give.

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You want to contain Peyton Manning? Don't give him the football.

The Ravens must put together long, sustained drives. Need four yards? Get five. Need 10 yards? Get 11. And force Manning to stand on the sideline, helmet in hand, glancing nervously at the clock.

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Manning will perform his usual theatrics at the line of scrimmage, as if he's changing every play. The Ravens estimate that at least half of the time, it's purely for show, and they won't be fooled.

Man, I can't wait for this one. Whatever the result, it's the matchup I wanted. Bring it on.

Best line I've heard in a long time, from Ravens special teams ace Gary Stills on MASN Playmakers: "I want to marry football. I've been engaged to it for too long. I want a ring."

A fan e-mailed the Playmakers show last night and pointed out that Maryland's men's basketball team beat Indiana to win its national championship. The football team beat Purdue in the Champs Sports Bowl. And he predicted a Ravens victory over the Colts because "we own that state."

Then he added: "Hoosier-Daddy?"

It appears that Rodrigo Lopez is headed to Colorado, and the reasons have everything to do with money.

He'll likely command $4 million or slightly more in arbitration despite losing 18 games this past season. In today's market, that's a relative bargain for a starting pitcher who's had past success. It's a little steep for a long reliever, especially one who doesn't want to be in the bullpen and won't keep his unhappiness a secret.

Make the trade. Accept the mid-level prospects. And wish him luck.

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Barbaro's not doing well.

Wait, Barbaro's doing well.

Stay tuned.


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