It would be easy to also lay some blame on Dean Pees but he can only create schemes and systems for players that match the abilities the situation calls for on the field.
The Ravens have ZERO interior pass rush, save for the occasional foray into the backfield by Haloti Ngata, who is suffering through his worst season as a pro and appears badly in need of a bye-week-break and a few extra sit-ups. Even the addition of quarterback-chaser-extraordinaire Terrell Suggs, while good to see, didn’t seem to faze the Texans offense.
Week after week, particularly on the road, it turns out to look the same as it did the last time the Ravens played on foreign turf. No one chases the quarterback, the cornerbacks play “soft”, and the other team’s pass thrower and pass catchers have a Sunday feast moving up and down the field like they’re on jet skis. Oh, and when the situation calls for a running play, the Ravens defense gets sliced and diced for chunks of yardage.
I keep trying to think of something the Ravens does extremely well and the only thing I can think of is that they all catch the team bus on time.
Other than that, it’s pretty ugly.
It’s one thing to go to Houston and fight and scratch and fall behind early 17-3 before battling back to make a game of it before falling 27-20.
It’s another to go there and get embarrassed by 30 points.
Some folks thought the Baltimore defense would “be okay” without Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis. It’s a small sample size, obviously, but the first 60 minutes of “Life without 21 and 52” doesn’t look so promising, especially if Jimmy Smith is going to continue his Frank Walker act in the secondary.
And that Ravens offense, normally reliable and productive at home, has suddenly turned into a group of imposters when they have to get on an airplane Saturday at 3pm and travel to another NFL city.
I can’t explain it.
Neither can they, truth be told.
Believe me, there are some things in life that will always be a mystery. How come the meter maid is always near your vehicle at the very moment the parking meter expires? When you’re in a hurry at the grocery store, why does the person in front of you need to write a check – which needs the manager’s approval, of course – for $8.75 worth of pasta and canned green beans? And why can’t athletes play *somewhere* near the same level on the road as they can when playing at home?
No one knows the answer to those three questions.
But the Ravens better figure out their problems before they head to Cleveland in a couple of weeks or — I can’t even believe I’m saying this — the Browns might give them a run for their money.
Losing to Houston is nothing to be ashamed of…they’re 6-1.
Losing to the Browns on November 4 would be…well…I’d rather not even think about it.
I’m not one to worry all that much about one game and one bad performance. They happen at least once a season to most teams, like the 49’ers a week ago at home and even the Texans in Houston last week when the Packers blew them out.
But November 4 is IN Cleveland.
That means the game is away from Baltimore.
That, unfortunately, means the Ravens have the capability of laying a smelly, stinky egg.
As if Cleveland needs another foul odor.