Ravens, Capitals…Oh dear God!!

October 14, 2009 | Paul Hoke

First and foremost, I would like to apologize to morning show producer Glenn Clark. After he acknowledged me on the show as a blogger, I really haven’t come up with anything worthy of reading. But, I have a great excuse….our local professional teams haven’t given us anything to write about. When I say “our local teams” I’m of course speaking of the two that are playing regular season games right now. The Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Capitals. The Ravens have lost two games in a row, the most recent being an embarrassing home loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Say what you will about the Bengals, that was a game the Ravens had, and should have won. Can’t blame the refs for sloppy play and poor execution fellas. And of course our Capitals have now lost 4 games in a row. Not a back breaker by any stretch, given the face that the season is only two weeks old, but a disturbing trend has emerged in each loss. The Caps haven’t been able to put together 60 minutes of good hockey in any of their last 4 games. And it’s a little troublesome, if you ask me.

Look, I love this hockey team. On paper, they are one of the most talented teams in the league. Alex Ovechkin may be the greatest hockey player of my lifetime, while Alex Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, captain Chris Clark, Mike Greene, and Tom Poti provide a stellar supporting cast. But they can’t seem to play their best hockey when it matters most. The defense takes about 5-7 minutes off during any given period, and the offense seems to sometimes play “not to lose” as opposed to “win now”. Not to mention the fact that net minder, Jose Theodore, will make the highlight reel saves with ease, while the little dinkers will find their way to the back of the net each and every time. That is what will keep him from being an elite goaltender in this league….mark my words. I love the Caps, but until they play up to their full potential when it matters most, they will always be the best team that can’t get out of the second playoff round.

Now comes the Ravens. If I hear one more person cry about the officiating, I think I may jump off the Towson Town Center parking garage. The Ravens could very easily be 5-0 right now. The Bengals game should have been a romp. God knows Carson and company gave the Ravens plenty of chances to put the game away, they just didn’t take advantage of it. I’m not going to dwell on the specifics, that horse is proverbial glue. What I will say, is that if this team wants to be a viable contender come January, there are three things they need to fix. And they are:….

#1: Pressure the quarterback
#2: DEFEND the pass
#3: Tell Joe to stop throwing crucial red zone interceptions

You will notice that nowhere in there did you see, “get favorable calls from officials”. I’m tired of hearing the Ravens complain, and I’m tired of hearing the fans complain. Should Tom Brady wear a tutu??? Sure, he’s a wimpy premadonna. But it wasn’t the refs who cost us that game. Nor did they cost us the Cincinnati game. What cost us those games was the Raven’s lack of ability to put those teams away, both offensively and defensively. Had the Ravens taken care of business through the course of those two games, the upcoming matchup would be a battle of the undefeateds.

As it is, it is a matchup of a good Ravens team, and a pretty good Vikings team. They better bring they’re A game this Sunday, because AP and the Vikings, are smelling blood….and it’s in the form of the Ravens’ secondary.