I usually wait a day to write something like this, but I know right now my opinion isn’t going to change by this time tomorrow.
So, I might as well just go ahead and get it over with, right?
I fully understand the Ravens are 6-2. If we were playing “coulda, shoulda, woulda”, they could be 7-1 or they could be 4-4. In fact, they’re probably much more fortunate that they’re not 4-4 than they are rightfully disappointed to not be 7-1.
Now that I have that out of the way — recognizing that the Ravens are, indeed, 6-2, I can go ahead and fire away.
If this is the best we’re going to see from the Ravens over the last half of the season, they’ll be fortunate to win 10 games. I’ve been waiting for them to “fix things” for the better part of two months now, and while they did manage to win 6 of their first 8, there’s no doubt nothing seems to be improving.
The team’s main issues, namely the play on the offensive and defensive lines, haven’t improved one iota. There’s zero pass rush on the defensive side. Even with Terrell Suggs back in the fold for his second game of the year at Cleveland on Sunday, the Ravens did little to make life uncomfortable for Browns QB Brandon Weeden. And when he did manage to throw it, more times than not our defensive backs were nowhere to be found. Despite pitching a “TD shutout” for the second time this season (at KC, also), the Ravens “D” looked more suspect as the game went on. Thank God that Weeden guy isn’t any good or who knows how that thing might have ended in Cleveland.
Offensively, it continues to be a mystery with each game, each half, each quarter and each series. Baltimore’s offense makes Jekkyl and Hyde both look sane. One minute, they’re buzzing down the field like the 49’ers of the Montana era. The next series, it looks like Kyle Boller and Frank Sanders have reunited.
No one can figure it out, including the Ravens.
They ran the ball all over Cleveland in the first 20 minutes of Sunday’s game.
Suddenly, the Browns added an extra defensive lineman and the Ravens had no answer for it. One player can make that much of a difference when you’re talking about a 2-win team vs. a 5-win team? I don’t buy it.
The powderpuff portion of the schedule is over. No more Cleveland’s or Kansas City’s to feast on between now and the end of December.
And that’s why I think it’s going to get ugly over the next 8 weeks.
Next Sunday’s visit by Oakland should be one final brief reprieve before the varsity teams start showing up week after week. Pittsburgh (twice), the Giants, Denver, Washington, San Diego and Cincinnati. (Well, OK, maybe the Redskins aren’t the varsity, but you know what I mean…)
I hope I’m wrong on this.
Really, I do.
But this Ravens team looks the same week after week after week. As strange as this sounds, they’re very similar to the 2012 edition of the Orioles. You have no idea how they’re actually winning, but winning is what they do nearly every Sunday.
I think that’s going to come to an end, though, unless they figure out how to be more productive on offense and less vulnerable on defense.
The Giants might score 45 points on the Ravens in December.
Peyton Manning might throw for 400 yards against this Baltimore secondary.
Phillip Rivers never plays well until the Ravens come marching in to San Diego. Then, somehow, he becomes Dan Fouts for a night.
Oh, and that guy Roethlisberger, who has singlehandedly knocked off the Ravens a half-dozen times in his career, always figures out a way to play a major factor when Baltimore and Pittsburgh get together.
I hope I’m wrong.
But I think ten wins might be a reach for this Ravens team unless they get their act together.