I’m dusting off one of my old features from the sports blogging days for this post. Sadly, I wish I could write this one with better news than what I am about to present.
Let’s get it out in the open shall we? I am a fan of the Baltimore Ravens football team. That team, as presently constituted, is not very good. If you’re only as good as your won-loss record, these Ravens are a last place team. Though they have yet to lose any game this season by more than 6 points, the losses all count the same. And they have pretty much gone down to the wire in every game they have played so far in what is quickly becoming a season to forget.
Everything we have seen in the five games so far was brought to light in preseason. The momentum killing penalties. The defense that can’t get off the field, or defend in the passing game. The offense, that while has its moments of good, has just enough bad to not get the job done.
Yesterday’s loss to Cleveland, the one-time factory of sadness, was particularly galling. For one thing, the Ravens started fast. Rather than trailing from the beginning of the game, the team took a 14-0 lead. By halftime, that lead had shrunk to 14-9. By the fourth quarter, the sense of dread had grown into a full-blown monster. And when the Ravens went three and out in overtime, you just knew they were going to lose. Or at least I did. I compared the game to when you turn on a faucet and water comes gushing out as soon as you turn it on, only to see it dry up moments later. By the end of the game, the Ravens had dried up.
30 points is usually enough to win most games in the NFL, but that won’t hold up when Josh McCown is carving up your defense to the tune of 457 passing yards, and the tight end—some man named Gary Barnidge—is having a career day, running free in the back end of the defense. Joe Flacco did what he could with his best receiver injured on the sidelines and throwing to a bunch of guys people had never heard of. Before Justin Forsett went out injured, he was beginning to find the open holes and gain huge chunks of yardage that might have helped the Ravens had they not run out of gas.
Nevertheless, it’s another loss in a season that is becoming full of them. Most fans of the team are not accustomed to this type of season. Maybe we’re spoiled. Maybe the Ravens have been so good for so long, we don’t know what a season like this is like. There’s still time to turn it around, of course. But the forecast doesn’t look good right now.