Ravens aren’t facing an uphill battle…they’re just facing a battle – like everyone else in the NFL

October 15, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Ravens aren’t facing an uphill battle…they’re just facing a battle – like everyone else in the NFL

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.

So…here goes.

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.”

Class dismissed.

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10 Comments For This Post

  1. Unitastoberry Says:

    There is no more d in the NFL. If you don’t practice tackling you can’t expect to do it good on Sundays.

  2. dave hittinger Says:

    Spot on Drew, the season is a marathon and virtually every team struggles with devastating injuries. Truth be told it was time to replace Ray anyway, they just may get better with someone else taking his place.

  3. tsnamm Says:

    Great summary Drew, I especially agree with the last point about the big free agent losses…while those guys weren’t the stars, they were the brick and mortar that helped keep the D a strong as it has been. Plus throw in Pagano leaving and Sizzle’s injury, and now these 2 from Sunday, and there are a lot of question marks as you pointed out. However like you also pointed out, if things could really come together at the end of the season, the Ravens could get on a hot streak ala the Packers and Giants that could carry them to the Super Bowl. There’s time and plenty of room for improvement, lets see if they take advantage of it.

  4. P-dubs Says:

    Tsnamm giants and packers had a dominant pass rush we dont

  5. Marcus Halberstram Says:

    This may be short sighted but the defense has been horrible and really couldn’t be much worse. This is a “circle the wagons” moment for this defense and time for Suggs to take the torch from Ray and proclaim this HIS defense.

  6. Phil Says:

    I hope this isn’t the end for Ray, he deserves a better ending and I would like to see him back next year.

  7. Robert Says:

    Before the season started, I wagered the 2012 Ravens would miss the playoffs. I did so not out of any prescience but figuring the odds were long to make the playoffs 5 years straight especially considering the loss of Pagano, Johnson, Redding et al. The injuries on Sunday make me wish I’d doubled-down seven weeks ago. Cheers.

  8. Ralph Says:

    You make some good points, Drew. I had to switch over to the fan for a few minutes the other day after listening to you all the time. A friend of mine said they heard Steve Davis speak with sincerity and came across as genuine for 12-15 seconds. Weird.

  9. The Armchair QB Says:

    The one area that the Ravens “D” does seem to excell at is, “takeaways”! But, that’s about it! Kruger and Cody appear to be “busts” and, if Kindle can’t help this team NOW, time to cut him and make room for someone who can! Both the “O” and “D” need to start playing with reckless abandon if they hope to get to the playoffs, particularly the woefully inept defense. Time to start sending the “house” after opposing QBs ’cause the secondary can’t cover anybody! At least if the passer is hurried, he might miss a few open receivers! But, your obsevations are right about teams in general. Winning with defense is DOA and teams who expect to get to the playoffs had better put up points or…else! The Cowboys demonstrated Sunday how a big play or two ruins a ball control offense…….

  10. tsnamm Says:

    P-dubs…absolutely true, more so the Giants than the Pack… if Sizzle gets back that may help Ngata, so we don’t have to blitz all the time to try and bring pressure… we see what needs they have to fill this next off-season if this team can’t step up. There should be some pretty good pass rush guys available in free agency this off season( Umenyora,Freeney). I’ll be interested to see if the Ravens have any cap space, and if they’re willing to spend some on the defensive side of the ball.

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