Can this Ravens team win 10 games? I’m not so sure anymore…

November 04, 2012 | Drew Forrester

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.


22 Comments For This Post

  1. Keith Says:

    I’m still sure they’ll get to 10 wins. If I had to put a number on it, I would guess 11, but 12 wouldn’t shock me. I’m watching the Giants vs Steelers game, and neither team looks that impressive. No reason the Ravens won’t split with the Steelers and be competitive with the Giants. The Bengals, I believe have lost 4 straight. The Ravens can win that game in Cincinnati. The Redskins still aren’t that good. They play th Raiders at home. The Broncos are pretty good but don’t scare me with just 1 victory vs. a team with a winning record (Steelers week 1). That’s also a home game. The Chargers on the road will be tough, but I wouldn’t expect them to play nearly as well as last year. Remember this article when the season ends and we’ll see who’s right.

  2. Paul Says:

    I think you can take wins against the Raiders, ‘Skins, and Bengals to the bank. (I guess it’s possible the Bengals game will be meaningless one way or the other, but I have a feeling it will be important to the Ravens).

    If they continue their home winnning ways, they’ll split with the Steelers and beat Denver. That’s 11 wins. Even dropping one they should win or dropping a home game they will be at 10.

    I think 10 wins could win the division. The big question will be, as always, what team shows up in the playoffs; home field games will be a big deal, too. I don’t see this team beating the Pats, Texans, or Broncos on the road.

    But there’s a reason they play the games, right? They are 6-2. Enjoy it.

  3. troy Says:

    I agree totally with Keith…well said!!

  4. Eric Says:

    This station should be re-named WNEG for all of its negative viewpoints on everything Baltimore sports! (DF: Sorry, I didn’t realize I wasn’t allowed to have an opinion other than just “go team go!”. You people are hilarious…)

  5. Bill Says:

    You win the award for biggest pessimist. How many people complain about their team when they’re 6-2? (DF: You’re right. I should have just written the kind of stuff you would find in Reader’s Digest. You know, “Go team go!!”. Lord, you people crack me up.)

  6. eric Says:

    Everything is breaking well for us. Skins and Bengals will both have quit by the time we play and Oak sucks. So the question then becomes do you really think we’re going to lose home games to Pit,Den AND NY?Drew: Maybe. That’s why I said, “Can they win 10 games? I’m not so sure…” Not so sure means I’m not convinced one way or the other.)

  7. Unitastoberry Says:

    Hard to get a good Super Bowl vibe with these guys. But I’ll take a win. (DF: Be careful. You’re going to upset some people if you’re even remotely critical.)

  8. Christian Says:

    The Ravens just look so awful on the road, I agree with you Drew, they do remind me of the 2012 Orioles with their performances. And why are you people getting on Drew, so you think if you criticize or say something negative about the team you are suddenly a hater? Please people, they are just observations. (DF: It’s unreal, isn’t it? The team BARELY beat one of the worst teams in the league and somehow we’re all supposed to just write “A win is a win” and that’s it.)

  9. OVER40DON Says:

    Drew, It’s funny how people can’t comprehend your point of view from post to post. I agree completely. If the Browns had a QB that wasn’t afraid to pull the trigger and throw the ball the Ravens lose todays game. I believe, in the 2nd and most of the 3rd 1/4’s, the ravens O’ had 10 yards or so total offense. That won’t get it done against a lot of teams, especially Pitts.,Den., N.Y., and on the road in S.D. If Palmer and RG3 play just decent , those games could be problems too unless the Ravens can play at LEAST 3 1/4’s of solid offense.

    No pass rush and the Jeckyl/Hyde offense will do them in if not fixed.


  10. sal Says:

    drew you suck go os

  11. PghSteve Says:

    Says Keith: “I’m watching the Giants vs Steelers game, and neither team looks that impressive.”

    Yep, holding the 4th ranked offense in the league (averaging 397 yards/game) to 182 yards ain’t very impressive. That Steelers’ defense is really getting old and slow.

  12. matt Says:

    keith: yes… yes i will reference this article. because you are very, very wrong. because the ravens have had SOOOOOO much success against the manning brothers. and SOOOOO much success against the steelers.

    and THAT was when our defense was elite. whats going to happen now when we cant stop the run OR pass? do you not remember ravens/giants 08? afc championship game 06? flacco at bengals? flacco at chargers?

    i said on here before the season started that the ravens schedule would only allow them to be 9-7 or 10-6, and fortunately or unfortunately i was right

    drew has been the champion of ‘all you fans stop being so pessimistic, everything will be fine when it washes out’. so for him to write this blog speaks volumes to how true it is. him and nestor both.

  13. PghSteve Says:

    Also Keith says:, ” The Broncos are pretty good but don’t scare me with just 1 victory vs. a team with a winning record (Steelers week 1).”

    FYI, as of the time of this post, the Ravens also have one win vs a team with a winning record (Patriots in week 3). As do the Steelers, by the way (Giants in week 9). The power house Texans have 2 wins vs teams with winning records, and so doe the Patriots.

  14. RJ Says:

    Pessimistic Drew is Not, just pragmatic! 10-6 is possible imo, but not likely. Steelers will win the division; Ravens wild card. Has Harbaugh’s message gotten lost already?! Maybe Billick will consider returning after Harbs gets the ax…..just being facetious, I think.

  15. Dan Says:

    I am in agreement with you about the Purple Birds! Also I don’t know if you caught any of the steelers and Giants Game yesterday, but the steelers looked pretty impressive to me, they are actually running the Ball well, and it goes without saying that Big Ben will find a way to beat us more times then not,I have to believe Ben will carve our secondary up since we have no pass rush to speak of,two teams headed in different directions if you ask me.

  16. The Armchair QB Says:

    Considering the fact they’ve only beaten one team with a winning record and have struggled in all but their early games against the Bengals and Patriots, it’s realistic to believe they’ll win maybe 3 more games at best! This team is seriously flawed on both sides of the ball and, while blaming coaching may be too simplistic, they MUST share a significant part of the responsibility for an offense that has been characterized by analysts as “inconsistent”, “dysfunctional” and “out-of-sync” for the past 4 1/2 years! From my perspective, it’s asking a lot of personnel to perform consistently in such a system………

  17. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Hey Drew, don’t forget to vote, even if you don’t like the top two, there are other offices people are running for. So step up to the plate and vote, people died for that right !!! (DF: I’m not voting. And to say, “people died for that right” is silly. They DID die for that right…but it’s to vote or not to vote. I choose NOT to vote until I see credible candidates. And there aren’t any.)

  18. Such Says:

    Drew, I was thinking similarly while watching yesterday’s game. After taking some time to think, maybe it’s in the best interests of the entire team to scrap the no-huddle offense. After being a league leader in time of possession over the past several seasons, it seems the fascination with a “quick strike” offense is hurting the defense. There is clearly a drop-off in terms of personnel defensively. One way to protect that is to limit the opponents’ opportunities, especially on the road. I understand that Flacco and company like the no-huddle, but with the coming cold weather games and the better QB’s they’ll be facing over the second half, winning time of possession could mean winning more than 10 games. Because this team cannot afford a first-round playoff road game. They won’t survive that.
    Regardless, as Bill Parcells preached, “You are what your record says you are.” And 6-2 halfway through in a mediocre AFC isn’t half-bad.

  19. Eric Says:

    I believe that the Browns are the most improved team in the division, regardless of their record. Doesn’t say much about the division, but don’t be shocked if the Browns knock off the Steelers in one of their 2 games. While nothing is certain, it’s hard for me to believe that the Ravens won’t go at least 4-4 to get to 10 wins. While the Ravens aren’t playing good football right now, it doesn’t mean that they won’t improve.

  20. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Well, than maybe you should run for office, you are creditible are you not, you would make a good politician and be able to get all of the Glen Burnie vote. (DF: I don’t have any political affiliation. Without one of those you can’t win.)

  21. Jason Manelli Says:

    I agree Drew, this is the shakiest 6-2 Ravens team I can ever remember. The 2007 version that opened 4-2 and then finished 5-11 is comparable – another Ray injury season too. I don’t think it’s being negative, I’ll be in my seats cheering for them win, lose or draw just like I have since 1996. The flip side I see is that if by some chance we start playing better, which is possible, we’ve salted away some wins that could earn us a bye. I agree with Drew though, we’re not going to beat good teams playing the way we did at Cleveland and at Houston. And yes despite earlier appearences to the contrary, Pittsbugh is a good team.

  22. BudIce05 Says:

    Another uplifting article from Drew”The Glass is half empty”Forrester. You are still rightfully disappointed the Ravens are not 7-1 (Ravens losing in week 2 to the team in your favorite city)….if Flacco was a 1/4 of the QB you guys claim him to be the Ravens win that game by two TD’s.Yesterday, it took a fine play from Torrey Smith and a bone head decision by Cleveland to go for the 1st instead of punting to get that win yesterday On the road…playing against good teams..Flacco is brutal. (DF: I love when Steelers fans chime in like this. No one heard from you people after you lost to the Titans. Too bad it didn’t stay that way.)

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