“But when it matters, we play very well, no matter where we are.”
That quote came from Joe Flacco last Sunday in the aftermath of the win over Oakland when media members launched into “Steelers week” by asking the Ravens quarterback about his team’s lack of crispness on the road this season.
Flacco was referring to the fact that over the years, four before this one, his Ravens team has won some pretty significant games away from M&T Bank Stadium. They’ve also won some big home games, too.
“But when it matters, we play very well, no matter where we are…”
Well, Joe, this Sunday night in Pittsburgh MATTERS. A lot.
Both Flacco and his offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, are the weekly scapegoats anytime the Ravens either squeeze out a road win or lose on foreign turf. Some weeks, honestly, that criticism is warranted. Other weeks, it’s not. But fans are fans…they grab hold of an issue and refuse to let it go. Ray Rice only carried the ball 13 times last Sunday and Baltimore trounced Oakland. I thought the Ravens couldn’t win – EVER – unless Rice touched it at least 25 times. Right…
Let’s be fair, though. And Joe and Cam both know this is true, even they don’t like to talk about it — and I don’t blame them for not wanting to. The Ravens are a different offensive team away from Baltimore. It’s been that way for a while now, give or take a an exception or two. For some reason, they’re a keg of dynamite at home and a fizzled out firecracker on the road. All of the offense gets blame for that – or should – but Flacco and Cam are the ones everybody picks on about the good at home/bad on the road formula.
Well, this Sunday night gives both of them a real chance to shut everyone’s piehole here in Baltimore.
“When it matters” is what Flacco said after the game on Sunday.
What he meant, of course, is this: “Yeah, we’re not always hitting on all offensive cylinders every single Sunday, but if you’ve been paying attention, when the games are really important, we’re usually on point.”
And for the most part, he’s right.
Look, we all know every game matters when you only have 16 of them, but the game in Kansas City in October doesn’t matter nearly as much as the game in Pittsburgh in December. The game in Philly in week #2 was important, but no one will confuse it for a game against the Steelers.
“When it matters, we play very well, no matter where we are…”
OK, Joe. We believe you.
Now, show us one more time that it’s true.
And bring your offensive coordinator along and let him shove it up the backside of the Doubting Thomas’s in town.
One more thing…be ready to prove it again the following Sunday in San Diego. And the following Sunday in Baltimore against the Steelers.
Oh, and the Giants and Broncos come to Baltimore in December. Prove it then, too.
“When it matters…”
Sunday night in Pittsburgh matters. Big time.
Let’s hope you’re right, Joe.
If you’re wrong, we’ll let you know about it.