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This blog was born out of a Dynasty Rankings thread originally begun in October, 2006 at the Footballguys.com message boards. The rankings in that thread and the ensuing wall-to-wall discussion of player values and dynasty league strategy took on a life of its own at over 275 pages and 700,000 page views. The result is what you see in the sidebar under "Updated Positional Rankings": a comprehensive ranking of dynasty league fantasy football players by position on a tiered, weighted scale. In the tradition of the original footballguys.com Dynasty Rankings thread, intelligent debate is welcome and encouraged.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Game Notes | Divisonal Round Playoffs: Ravens @ Titans

A lot of people sleeping on the Titans today. The Ravens are a great football team, no doubt, but that Titans defense is getting zero respect this week. If only they had someone other than Kerry Collins behind center. . . .

In obligatory Full Contact news, I decided to start Mark Clayton over Todd Heap and Brent Celek. I actually like Celek to outproduce both Ravens, but I'm trying some strategy here. If the Titans win, I'll have Chris Johnson moving on to the next round. If the Ravens win, I'll need at least one player to try to offset Ravens on other teams. I already have Westbrook and Carney for the Eagles and Giants, so I'm covered with a player going to the next round no matter who wins that matchup.

Game-time temp of 53 degrees with a light rain, and the Titans faithful are going crazy. Bironas nails it deep for a touchback. McClain gets six yards on the first carry. Tony Brown jets in and blows up the next run for a 3-yard loss. Third and long for Flacco. McGahee on a draw, stopped by Haynesworth and the Ravens will punt.

Titans come out passing, McCareins picks up the first down with a 17-yard gain. Chris Johnson is swallowed up on his first carry, and center Leroy Harris is no Kevin Mawae. Johnson makes a cut on the next carry, but he's swallowed up again for a one-yard gain. Delay of game, then Collins has all day to throw but Collins can't hit Gage. Deirdorf says Gage was slow out of his cut. Titans will punt, and it's a touchback.

Starting to see more clouds and a heavier rain. Flacco pressured heavily, and he does a nice job to pick up two yards. McClain stuffed on the next play, and its another third and long. An illegal shift call takes away a tipped circus catch by Marcus Smith. Another draw play, and McGahee stopped for a short gain once again. Willis being used in a straight third-down back role so far. Ravens will punt. It's a battle of defenses and ultra-conservative playcalling.

Collins goes to Chris Johnson in the flat, and Johnson puts a move on Bart Scott on his way to a 28-yard gain. Big play. The Titans need to keep finding a way to get him the ball in open space as opposed to running right at Haloti Ngata, Justin Bannen, and Ray Lewis. Collins too tall for Gage on 3rd & 6, but there's an illegal contact call and an automatic first down. BakeSale into the game, and he goes nowhere on his first carry. Collins hits Justin Gage inside the 5-yard line, and I gotta tell ya, Kerry Collins is standing tall in the pocket, getting outstanding pass protection, and looking very good throwing the ball. Chris Johnson, first and goal, breaks a tackle, shows great balance and somehow makes into the end zone. It's 7-0 Titans after a helluva run by Johnson.

Bironas just nailed the kickoff out of the end zone and almost into the stands. Flacco gets it to McClain, and the Ravens actually have a third and short this time. Flacco pushes forward for the first down. Willie Anderson down and limping off, and Flacco hits Mason for a short-gainer. Jason Jones called for a blow to the head on Flacco. Mason comes back with a penalty of his own, and it's 1st & 18. Clayton catches one for 19, but he can't keep both feet in. McClain just flat out drops a Flacco pirouette screen pass, and it's 3rd & very long. Flacco finds Mason deep for the touchdown, and it's 7-7. Great play by Flacco, and Mason toasted Pro Bowler Chris Hope.

Titans come back, and Johnson gets back-to-back nice runs of 9 and 32 yards. Collins tries to hit LandWhale, but it goes right through his hands. Collins rushed by Bart Scott and no touch on the pass. Third & 3 at the Ravens 25. Horrible tight end screen attempt loses five yards, they're going to go for it on 4th & 8 instead of trying a 47-yard field goal into the wind. Low snap gets away from Collins, and it's the Ravens ball.

Great drive by the Titans after getting the ball at their own 1-yard line. Johnson narrowly avoids a safety, and then breaks off a couple more tough runs. Collins standing tall and moving the Titans through the air. Titans stopped and Collins throws a pick deep in Ravens territory.

LeRon McClain down and limping off the field with an ankle injury. The official word from the Ravens is that his return is probable.

Titans are moving the ball once again, and they're well over 200 yards on the Ravens defense in the first half. Collins is enjoying more pass protection than you'll ever see against the Ravens. They better get some more points on the board because there's no way this should be a 7-7 game right now. LenDale picks up a key first down, but he coughs up the ball at the end of the play. Get his fat ass on the pine, pronto!

Flacco takes a knee, and it's knotted at seven despite the Titans taking the ball up and down the field throughout the entire first half. All of those missed scoring opportunities are going to come back to haunt them in the second half.

Titans go three and out on the first possession of the second half. Flacco finds Heap for a first on 3rd & 11, but it's ruled an incomplete pass. Heap doesn't get back up. LenDale White with a nice 19-yard catch and run as Chris Johnson looks on with a bum ankle. Bironas pulls a 51-yard field goal attempt, and it remains 7-7.

Flacco in third & long again, completes a short pass to Dan Wilcox. It's worth noting that it's the first completion to anyone besides Derrick Mason all day. Titans offense is done with Chris Johnson standing on the sidelines in a cape. Whoever scores next is gonna win this game.

Screw it, I'm done with live blogging for the day. ISP Comcast is killing me. My internet connection has slowed to a crawl both on wireless and straight from the modem, and I'm gonna go off on whoever answers the phone. This crap has been going on all week . . . and my hair is all pulled out.

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