Here’s Part 2 and a reality check…

November 03, 2008 | Drew Forrester

So while we continue to bask in the glow of a huge road win, let’s blow out the candle and sit in the dark.

Just for a few minutes.

I promised you Part 2 of “Ravens beat Browns” and here it is.

Consider it the balancing act that’s necessary when someone (ahem, that would be…me) puts the team in the playoffs 8-games into a 16-game season.

I’m thrilled to death with 5-3 and equally ecstatic with how the Ravens have done it (code word for: we’ve won a few games with OFFENSE), yet I continue to see things that leave me puzzled.  And with our playoff hopes alive and well, I’m hoping none of these fears are realized late in the season when one loss, one series or one play could leave us home in January.

Here comes the balancing act.

Enough with the Troy Smith experiment already.  I’m not sure why it is that we have to get him in there on a handful of plays each game.  Is this the CYO Summer League, where all the kids have to play at least 7 minutes or 5 innings?  If Cam Cameron thinks Troy Smith is the better QB for the Ravens, he should just play him.  If Flacco is the QB, he should be the QB.  No more shuffling Smith in there to either appease him or Terrell Suggs. No more pissed-away time-outs.  No more confusion.  Stop the Smith-Shuttle-Bus already.  

Is Willis McGahee IN or OUT?  Financially, I know, he’s IN.  In a big way.  They can’t cut him next spring. He’d be an $8mm salary cap hit.  If he’s NOT healthy enough to play right now, make him inactive and give his spot to a kick-off/long field specialist.  If McClain and Rice are going to carry the load, that’s fine.  But McGahee sitting on the sidelines is a waste. If he’s hurt, fair enough.  Just don’t put him on the sidelines to watch.

Are we philosophically against challenging calls?  Why not throw the red flag yesterday when Jason Wright scampered (supposedly) into the end zone?  I know, I know…when you’re on the road, the replays don’t come as fast and furious as they would if you were the home team.  That’s all the more reason to pay attention to the FIRST replay that is shown.  I’m not 100% sure that Wright touchdown would have been overturned, but it was awfully, awfully close.  The TV crew thought he stepped out before the end zone.  So did I.  

Last but not least, I hope the team doesn’t listen to sports radio goofs who have already situated them into the AFC post-season.  Stay focused, move ahead to the next week and take care of business.

Some are already calling this game in Houston a “trap game”.  That’s a gambling term with which I’m not familiar.  OK, maybe I’m “somewhat familiar” with that term, but I’m not buying it.

Ravens 30-Houston 20.

The playoff train rolls on.