At least once or twice a season, I have to sit down and pound out one of these blogs to give everyone a dose of reality as it relates to the Ravens and the NFL campaign.
I’ll cover a bunch of topics here, so please pay attention.
Let’s start with the obvious. The Ravens defense isn’t all that good. Their biggest problem of all? They don’t really do anything in particular very well. They can’t stop the run. They surely can’t defend the short throw over the middle. And if the other team has two or three different legit wide receiver options, there’s no way they can stop an elite quarterback, mostly because they don’t put any pressure on him. Most teams with a “sub-par” defense at least have one element they consider “their specialty”. The Ravens don’t really have anything we’d consider a specialty.
But…and yes, there’s a balance to this, hence the word “But” in there — their offense is virtually the exact opposite of their defense. The Ravens can run it and throw it. They can use Ray Rice’s feet or his hands. They can focus on either Pitta or Dickson. They can send Torrey Smith long or they can have Boldin run the slant and let Flacco feed him that all-world ball he throws to the sideline. As bad as Baltimore’s defense is, their offense is probably just as good.
You people wanted offense. Well, you got it.
You might see a lot more 31-28 games and a lot less of the 17-10’s and 20-14’s.
What will that get them?
Well…so far, it has them at 5-1, which is impressive on its own – except for that 9-6 stinker in KC that they won… a game they likely would have lost a season ago for whatever reason.
And do you know what the Ravens are focused on now, six games into the season?
The same thing they were focused on back on September 10.
The Ravens have one goal in front of them. They simply want to make the playoffs.
As one long-time staffer said to me today, “You have to look at this like it’s a marathon. You can’t finish 26 miles until you’ve reached the 5 mile mark, the 10 mile mark, the 15 mile mark, etc. Eventually, the 26 mile mark comes into view, but not until you’ve completed the first 25 miles. And that’s the NFL, too. We need to get to at least 11 wins in our mind. We have five already. We have six more to go. If it takes less than that and we get in, that’s fine. If we have the best record overall, that’s great. If we win the division, we’d be thrilled. But our big thing is to make the playoffs. After that, we’re 0-0 like everyone else.”
(Please see next page for more)