Hobbled Ravens Looking Towards 2008

December 24, 2007 |

Quick question–is the 2007 season over yet or has 2008 already begun? 
To put it mildly today, the Ravens offense was for the most part awful.  The injured defense not much better.  Other than one Troy Smith to Derrick Mason 79-yard bomb and couple of nice runs by Mike Anderson, they were about as ineffective as they come with the ball.  Sam Koch has to have a tired leg after all that punting. 
 
In the spirit of giving, the Ravens gave us nothing except turnovers, poor pass protection, and an ineffective running game. I don’t think this should come as any surprise when you count who is on the field for the team right now. 
 
Drew Forrester is right regarding his comment about the team they had on the field in the fourth quarter last week and again this week–this team probably doesn’t win a game over the course of a full season.  By the way, it got worse this week with the injury to Willis McGahee.
 
No Ray Lewis, Trevor Pryce, Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle, Steve McNair, Todd Heap, Demetrius Williams, or Willis McGahee and Jonathan Ogden on one leg.  That adds up to no chance.
 
As for Troy Smith, a couple of good plays, a couple of bad ones, and most importantly a good lesson on how to play quarterback in one of the toughest places in the NFL.  The good news, I don’t think his height is an issue, and he hung in there and never gave up or got down on himself.  He can only be better for the experience.
 
Some will ask next week if the team quit or mailed it in.  The answer is no; they just can’t compete with what they have available right now.  The players who are playing are giving it their all.  Did Mike Flynn quit? Derrick Mason, Haloti Ngata or Ed Reed?  They are simply outmanned in all phases of the game right now. 
 
The only positive from this nightmare season is that young players are gaining valuable game experience, and the front office is getting some film on them.  It should give them a heads up going into 2008 off-season camps and into Westminster next year.  I have a feeling roster spots will have to be earned next August. 
 
I have faith that the Ravens will make changes, both on and off the field, to give this team a chance to compete next year.  For the Ravens, the 2008 season has started in earnest.  The evaluation has begun, and thankfully with it, 2007 is almost over.

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