Are you still smarting after Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots? Umm …. let me change that …. are you still pissed-off about the Ravens blowing a double-digit lead in the 4th quarter?
Let me assert that I’m not the kinda guy who dwells on things or refuses to build a bridge, while facing the inevitability of getting over unchangeable circumstances.
At some point, you gotta let it go.
Put it in the rear view …..
Toss it in the trash …..
Flush it down the toilet …..
Choose your rightful path of persuasion. Sum it up in a sensible way and face the sobering reality of losing a game. But, for God’s sake, don’t lie to yourself. Don’t dismiss an obvious wound or vulnerability – just to see it reemerge a few weeks later.
Alas, putting hardship behind us is always productive ….. if we learn from the misgivings and find a way to improve on the things that inhibit success.
That’s all I really ask.
Maybe it’s me, but I’ve grown to expect a lot from the Ravens. They’re an organization that expects an awful lot from themselves. In a roundabout way, I guess they’ve rubbed off on me.
And, I think that’s a good thing.
It’s also the exact factor that prohibits me from simply saying “they lost to a very good team on the road …. no big deal.” To hell with that. It’s an excuse, and excuses are for LOSERS.
Something went wrong on Sunday. Steve Bisciotti knows it – did you see his face after the game? And, I have no doubt he’s refusing to buy the old worn out “we lost to a good team” reason.
After all, if that’s really the cuplrit, we can justify upcoming losses in Atlanta and Houston, right? The Falcons are a damn good team; arguably better than the Patriots. Wait, I know ….. that loss will get pinned on the short week and travel to Atlanta, right?
As for the Texans, if the Ravens surrender a two score lead to Tom Brady, Deion Branch and that little running back from THE WIZARD OF OZ, I’m assuming they won’t fare much better against Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster.
As I said yesterday, I’m a huge fan of Brady’s success. But, we’re talking about the reincarnation of Deion Branch. Wasn’t he scoreless in Seattle? And, Danny Woodhead needs platform cleats to get on most roller coasters.
Did they really beat the Ravens on Sunday? Maybe not …..
According to the COACH, Bill Belichick, the Patriots switched things up against Joe Flacco in the 2nd half of the game. During his Monday conversation with the folks at WEEI radio, Belichick uttered those words we’ve heard when teams talk about their gameplans against Joe Flacco.
That’s right, when asked what the Patriots did adjustment-wise, Belichick stated “we played alot more COVER TWO in the 2nd half.” “We knew he (Flacco) was looking inside for the tight end and slot receiver.”
Don’t take my word for it, go HERE and listen to the conversation for yourself. Those very telling words begin at 10:30 of the conversation.
What do we know about Bill Belichick? Aside from being that charismatic, personably-engaging guy, he’s also known for his knack to find the opponent’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. On Sunday, he decided to employ his 2nd half defensive attack in the same way the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts feast upon a Flacco-led offense.
Heck, he admitted it during a Monday phone conversation !!!!
My translation is he saw what the Bengals did to the Ravens, just a short month ago. And, he used the most crucial part of the game to switch up and see if the Ravens young quarterback has improved on past transgressions. That’s TEXTBOOK BELICHICK …..
He attacks and exploits a weakness AFTER halftime, when there are no opportunities to re-collect composure.
This is a PROBLEM.
It’s not tied to playing a very good team on the road. That’s bunk. Every game is its own animal. Every game stands on its own merit. Every game is defined by 60 minutes, in two separate halves, between the sidelines.
Accountability is key, and to simply suggest that it’s no big deal to lose a road game against a very good team, is nothing more than a mechanism for accepting a loss. The Patriots found a way to shutdown the Ravens offense, late in Sunday’s game. They simply did.
And, yes, it’s the very same Patriots team that won a close 38-30 game against the Buffalo Bills in the most recent home contest before the Ravens came calling. You got that? The BUFFALO BILLS SCORED 30 POINTS ON THE SAME FIELD, just a few weeks earlier.
Perhaps, the underlying message to this blog is DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE BILLS, THIS SUNDAY. They’re scrappy, and they’re looking for their first win.
Do I think Buffalo comes to Baltimore and wins, on Sunday? No, but they’re not going to simply walk in and walk out, either.
The greater emphasis of this message is that the smoke continues to get thicker and thicker when it comes to the signals regarding Joe Flacco’s production as a starting quarterback. As much as many of us believe the team needs to let the guy lead the offense, we must also face the prospect that the coaching staff still sees the very vulnerabilities Bill Belichick admittedly exploited in Sunday’s late stages.
I’m always willing to admit the depth (or shallow void) of my football knowledge. That’s why I do what I do …. and Cam Cameron does what he does. I’m an ignorant man, when it comes to such intricate measures.
But, I’m not naive. I don’t simply follow the group or herd, and blowoff a loss to good team, because “it happened on the road.”
Something went wrong, Sunday.
And, if you don’t fix it, it will happen again, and again, and again, and again. It will continue to happen, until it is fixed.
Perhaps, the real difference is the VERY GOOD TEAMS find a way to exploit Joe Flacco’s vulnerabilities. At the same time, the lesser teams don’t find a way.
Look back at the Pittsburgh game …..
Joe Flacco hit T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the back of the end zone to wrap up the win. But, ask yourself where Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark found themselves on that play. They were blitzing – which left the cornerbacks alone and responsible for the downfield, inside threats. Boom …. touchdown.
That didn’t happen Sunday.
And, Bill Belichick has told us so …..