Ravens Review: They Tried

At what point do you chuck the 2015 Baltimore Ravens season in the wastebasket? I know there are ten games left. Only the most optimistic fan sees playoffs for this team this year.

I wear glasses. My four eyes don’t see that outcome.

Oh, I’m sure it’s somehow mathematically possible. I mean, if they were to win out the rest of the season, their record would be 11-5; and that would be good enough for a playoff spot. Most seasons, anyway.

If they don’t go to the postseason, are they rewarded with participation trophies? I mean, they did try out there yesterday, but a good result just wasn’t in the cards.

Even the last losing season the club had (that would be the one that sent Brian Billick out the door), they didn’t start out quite this bad. Let’s review the results so far, shall we? I hope you haven’t eaten anything you can’t hold down if you are a fan of the Ravens and are reading this:

Week 1: A six-point loss to the Denver Broncos (19-13).

Week 2: A four-point loss to the Oakland Raiders (37-33).

Week 3: A four-point loss to the Cincinnati Bengals (28-24).

Week 4: A three-point overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers (23-20).

Week 5: A three-point overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns (33-30).

Week 6: A five-point loss to the San Francisco 49ers (25-20).

If you’re counting at home, that’s a 1-5 record, with the five losses by a combined twenty-two points. Even the win could have been a loss, if the Steelers had a kicker who could make field goals that night. Then again, with a few more fortuitous bounces, some of these losses could have been wins.

Yeah, OK. That last comment was a glass half-full statement. Have you seen this defense—especially the secondary? Last week, Josh McCown (of the quarterbacking McCown dynasty) carved up a Ravens secondary at home for 457 yards. Four. Hundred. Fifty. Seven. Yards. Listen—if Josh McCown can throw for that many yards, how many do you think the Carson Palmers, Ben Roethlisbergers, Philip Riverses and Russell Wilsons will get? (Yes, those quarterbacks are on the schedule. Thank the football gods that Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers aren’t on the docket this year). I don’t know who plays quarterback for the team called Bye on November 8th, but they probably could roll out of bed and throw for 300 yards against the Ravens on just four hours of sleep.

This week, Colin Kaepernick got his turn against the Ravens secondary. All I had been hearing this season is how badly Colin Kaepernick had been struggling this year. Well apparently, having the Ravens on your schedule is the medicine to cure all your ills. While he came down to earth a little in the second half, in the first half he looked like an all-pro. For the game, he threw for 340 yards with two touchdowns. By comparison, Joe Flacco threw for 343 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Flacco also threw almost twice as many times as Kaepernick did for the whole game.

The Ravens were victimized by the big play. Former Raven Torrey Smith hauled in a 76-yard touchdown pass in the first half. Former Raven Anquan Boldin had a 50+ yard catch in the second half, on his way to a 102-yard receiving effort. (Apparently it was a very good day for former Raven wide receivers). The defense did have some positive plays, as they did sack Kaepernick three times and held the 49er offense to 15 first downs. But when a stop was needed, they couldn’t get it often enough.

Kicker Justin Tucker almost was swallowed up by the Levi’s stadium turf on a field goal attempt. Of course he missed it; and San Francisco scored on the next series. That was the kind of luck the Ravens had in this game.

Next up: a Monday night game against the Arizona Cardinals at their place. Hopefully this won’t be a chance for the Ravens to embarrass themselves on national television. Though if the season history so far means anything, the Ravens last won on a night when they and their opponent were the only teams playing. So there’s a chance…I mean, they gotta show up and they have to play almost lights out to do it. The Steelers beat the Cardinals yesterday with their third-string quarterback. So they can be beaten, right?

Yeah OK. Glass half-full again.

One Reply to “Ravens Review: They Tried”

  1. Excellent. I love your line: “If they don’t go to the postseason are they rewarded with participation trophies?” The visuals of grown men in the NFL lined up to receive a participation trophy. Now that is funny. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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