Now THAT was a ‘mistake by the lake’

October 01, 2007 | Drew Forrester

Somewhere in “The Flats” tonight – in downtown Cleveland – Jamal Lewis is still giggling to himself.

He didn’t even have to beat the Ravens today.  The Ravens beat themselves.  And Lewis, other than that one scamper in the 2nd quarter, was as quiet as a church mouse.  And why shouldn’t he have been?  He knows the old adage:  “let sleeping dogs lie.”

There were some real sleeping dogs on that Ravens sideline today.  What on earth got into C-Mac?  Brutal.  Ray-Ray?  Other than a whopping hit in the final 6:00 or so, I don’t think I saw him involved in one play on his own all day.  As an aside, what sense does it make for #52 to smack someone and then dance around like Kevin Bacon in “Footloose” while his team is losing 27-13?  Anyway — another week, another big mistake from Steve McNair, who has engineered exactly 3 offensive TD’s in his 3 games to date in ’07.  Memo to Steve:  We expect better.  Another week, another slew of failed trips in the red zone, resulting in two Matt Stover field goals and two rare misses from the legend.  When the Ravens get inside the 20, they might as well just call it “The Dead Zone”.  Stephen King’s book by the same name is far more exciting than anything the Ravens can produce in that portion of the field.

Is Trevor Pryce that important to the team that without him, the Ravens don’t have any ability at all to pressure the quarterback?  I like Pryce and all, but he’s not THAT good, is he?  T-Sizzle?  T-Fizzle, again.

And those mistakes in the 1st half — the offsides or whatever that call was on McAlister when Dawson missed the field goal, which gave them back the ball.  And Figurs fumbling the kick-off.  You just can’t do those things and win.

And, of course, we mustn’t forget about the challenge on Jamal Lewis’ supposed TD jump in the 2nd quarter.  First, what on earth was the referee looking at it who said he was in the end zone?  But then, how can Brian Billick not get the challenge flag out on the field in time?   The blame can go many places – “the booth didn’t get the word down to me quick enough” (valid) – “the referee didn’t see it when I threw it” (valid) – and, “I should have thrown the damn thing right away just to throw it…no sense in waiting around…” (VERY valid).

Everyone had an off day on Sunday, including Billick, who faces a must-win 3-game stretch now against the 49’ers, Rams and Bills.  5-2 through 7 games will be a welcome sight given today’s turn of events in Cleveland.

After last week’s Houdini act against Arizona, I wrote, “something’s not right with our team”.  Well, today proved it.  Something is definitely wrong.  You don’t lose to Cleveland like that on a lark.  The Browns aren’t very good.  Right now, neither are the Ravens.

We’ll know much more by this time next Sunday night.  Was THIS a wake-up call?  I’m not sure why you would need one of those four games into the season, but some players are leaning on the “wake-up call” crutch in their post-game analysis.  Fair enough, if losing to one of the worst teams in the AFC is, in fact, a wake-up call, the Ravens will reap the benefits of that next Sunday in San Francisco.

I’m skeptical, at this point.  Something’s wrong.

It might be time for a “shake-up call” instead of a “wake-up call”.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  But, at some point, you’ve got to start breaking a sweat.  The Ravens just about failed to do even that today.