What can we possibly say that hasn’t already been said? If you’re a Ravens fan, part of you wants to hang yourself because you had a chance to win a division game at home and you lost. If you bet on the Ravens, part of you wants to hang yourself because the line moved to +1.5 and you lost. But Browns fans lost something too. Any belief that Cleveland was a viable playoff team is gone. Viable playoff teams shut the door on opponents. The Browns let the Ravens back in the game and last week, against the Steelers, they not only let Pittsburgh back in, the ended up losing altogether.
Take solace in knowing that, when fully healthy, the Ravens are still clearly a better football team than the Cleveland Browns. QB Derek Anderson may have had better overall numbers than Boller but he also proved himself to be young and very mortal. Don’t believe me? Ask Ray Lewis. He won the first half but Kyle Boller won the second … and very nearly the game.
So who’s the better quarterback? I can’t tell you. Right now, it looks like a tie. However, consider for a moment what Boller was able to accomplish with far less to work with.I mean, his offensive line played like they hated him, or like they might’ve all pooled their paychecks and bet on the Browns. The poor guy took some of the most vicious hits I’ve seen this side of “The Sopranos” and managed to keep smiling. And when the Ravens needed points, he delivered. You can’t ask much more from a relatively young quarterback than that. He makes mistakes but he also can make some big throws. I know one thing for sure, when it counted he looked a hell of a lot better than the current version of Steve McNair.
Better special teams play (can you say “fire the special teams coach?) and an inch or two difference on a field goal kick and we’re all comparing Boller to Beowulf. There’s something good about that. The 2007 season is now officially dead. The Ravens won’t make the playoffs and might not even get two more wins. But, over the remaining weeks, you’ll get to see what Boller can bring against some of the best defenses in the AFC. It might be ugly, really ugly, or we might just discover that, in fact, the Ravens have a quarterback they can trust and next year, with a presumably high draft pick, the Ravens can draft a true No. 1 wide receiver and then in ’08 — who knows?