Baltimore Ravens

Mike Preston's observations on Patrick Mahomes, the Super Bowl and more

There really shouldn’t have been much of a contest or challenge for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, which went to Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes over the weekend.

There had been some speculation about New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees receiving the honor but Mahomes is now the standard for the new-wave quarterback in the league.


The Ravens think they have one in Lamar Jackson, who recently completed his rookie season. But until he proves he can win a game by making consistently good throws from the pocket, there will always be doubts about his future in the league.

There are no longer any questions about Mahomes.


His versatility is his strength. He threw for 50 touchdowns and more than 5,000 yards this past season, and 14 of those touchdown passes and 996 yards were made from throws outside the pocket.

He was smart and strong enough to make every throw from hash mark to hash mark, but quick and athletic enough to throw on the run by design on run-pass option plays.

Brees is fun to watch. His timing on routes where he throws before a receiver comes out of his break is unbelievable. But Mahomes took this quarterback position to another level, especially with the no-look passes. It’s like former Lakers point guard Magic Johnson is playing quarterback.

Class act

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was named the offensive Rookie of the Year, beating out Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield.

You can argue back and forth about which player has the better statistics but everything you hear about Barkley is that he is nice, hardworking, polite and very respectful of others.

And then I think of Mayfield and how he disrespected former Browns head coach Hue Jackson with a stare down when they played against the Bengals late in the 2018 season.

Mayfield might be the answer to Cleveland’s quarterback problems but the way he treated Jackson was out of line.

Congrats to Barkley.


Low ratings

According to numerous outlets, the Super Bowl ratings from Sunday were the lowest since 2009 when the Pittsburgh Steelers played the Arizona Cardinals. Sunday’s game drew a 44.9 rating.

Part of the problem is that the Rams, as well as the Chargers, have no solid fan base or following in Los Angeles. More importantly, football fans are tired of seeing the New England Patriots every year regardless of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady combination.

I think NFL officials should remember that the next time they come up with a phantom roughing the quarterback call on Brady, which helped him get into Sunday’s championship game.

Empty Bowl

And by the way, it was a boring Super Bowl.

Both defenses were good. The Rams played well enough to win while the Patriots smothered Los Angeles’ offense. New England controlled the middle of the Rams offensive line; they shut down all the cut back lanes and stymied the short passing game with variations of zone defenses.

But Brady struggled and Rams quarterback Jared Goff was even worse. Many halftime adjustments were expected by the Rams, especially since they had the ball for only about 10 minutes in the first half, but the game plan didn’t change.


It seemed like former Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was calling their plays.

Remember, it was Mornhinweg who failed to make any changes against the Chargers at halftime in the Ravens Wild Card playoff loss to Los Angeles.

Waiting on Bisciotti

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Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has yet to determine a date for his end-of-the-season news conference. The Ravens have held those for head coach John Harbaugh and new general manager Eric DeCosta, but nothing for Bisciotti.

An announcement should come soon. During the last two times when I chided the Ravens for not doing enough with Harbaugh’s contract, they responded with some sort of decision within 24 to 48 hours.

Ok, ready, set, go.

The clock is ticking…..


Gurley must be hurting

After watching Rams running back Todd Gurley in the NFC championship game and later in the Super Bowl, he had to be playing hurt.

He was a non-factor with limited carries in both games yet was the central figure during the season as a major weapon in the play-action passing game.

There had to be an injury that the Rams weren’t willing to report. It will come out soon.