I will admit it. I was concerned. For reasons that have been very well documented over the course of the past couple weeks, I came into yesterday’s game against the Miami Dolphins (4-4), worried at the bad matchups the ‘Fins presented to the Baltimore Ravens (6-2).
After all, this is the NFL. ANYTHING can happen. Just ask Bill Belichick.
So as the game came on yesterday, I sat back and just kept the mindset of whatever unfolds, unfolds. When the Ravens took the opening kickoff down the field and scored, thanks to Willis MacGahee’s 32-yard touchdown scamper after a screen pass, I cheered and carried on like the good fan I am. When the Dolphins went down the field on the very next possession and scored to tie the game, I shrugged it off…there was a lot of game left.
As the game unfolded, I watched and cheered, but I never got that feeling in the pit of my stomach that impending doom was on the horizon. Hey, I’m a Raven fan. Our glass is always half empty. Even during the Super Bowl run in 2000, you always expected that other shoe to drop. The point here is, that for once, instead of allowing myself to think the worst, I sat back, and enjoyed the ride. I did the same thing in 2006 when Steve McNair led the team to a 13-3 record, and a first round playoff bye. Coming off a 6-10 season, watching the Ravens rack up wins that season, I decided early to sit back and enjoy. Win, lose, or draw, I knew that anything was going to be better then 2005.
This year should be no different. The Ravens are 6-2 at the season’s midway point, headed into a VERY difficult turnaround matchup with the equally 6-2 Atlanta Falcons, in Atlanta. But, as I told my wife last night, I’m not going to worry about it. I’m not going to worry about the lack of a pass rush, or the pass protection at time, or the fact that our defense isn’t the defense that we used to know. Our offense is very good and getting better, they’re 6-2 and in control of their own destiny in the AFC North. How many other teams in the league can say that right now? The answer is three. The Patriots, Giants, and Falcons.
Like every other team in the league, the Ravens are where the Ravens are. They’ve gotten to 6-2 through a myriad of circumstances. But at the end of the day, that’s where they are. This season is setting up to be a pretty special one. Just like 2008. Just like 2009. Both were playoff seasons. This one will be too.
It’s up to us as fans to sit back, and enjoy the ride. Because it just might take us into Arlington in early February.