Wednesday, October 3, 2007

THE AIRHEADS: Time for Ravens to panic or not?


Now & Zin, by Mark Zinno

So the Ravens 27-13 loss this past Sunday was nothing to be excited about. In fact, most people are frightened by it. And after dissecting the numbers through four weeks, well, there could be reason for alarm. I mean, look at things … one sack for the defensive linemen … five touchdowns in 14 red zone trips … a minus-three turnover ratio. These seem more like the marks of the team that just beat them, the Cleveland Browns, not the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens were supposed to be winners of the AFC North once again, not tied with the Cleveland Browns after four weeks. Well, Ravens fans, have no fear. It isn’t time to push that red detonation button on the season just yet. Good teams over come bad starts … and professional organizations like the Ravens, NEVER panic. There’s no reason to!

Look at things in a big picture kind of way which to me means the playoffs. The Ravens and five other teams are 2-2. Two other teams are 2-1. Do you mean to tell me that you have so little faith in the Ravens organization and players that you feel they won’t be there come December? Isn’t this the team that won 13 games last year? My, we fans are fickle.

Let’s forget about statistics and numbers. Forget about the schedule. Forget about the quarterback play. Leave all of that up to the week ahead, not the week behind. Stats and numbers can improve, but the only one that really matters is wins and losses.

The schedule is the same as it was going into this season, when everyone thought the Ravens were a lock for postseason play. There is no need to assume that everything will hold true to form between weeks six and 14 and the Ravens will get beat by the Colts because they are undefeated right now. As we’ve seen, things change in the NFL

And lastly, no one ever complains about Ozzie and Company on draft day, but we have no problem complaining about players on Mondays?? This team is made up of savvy veterans who know how to win. Trust in their abilities and their judgment.

Can you really give an honest answer as to when they let you down last?

I realize that with just 16 games, everything is magnified in the NFL. Every game counts and every week is important. With one-quarter of the season gone, things haven’t gone exactly as planned, but then again, not many thought the Ravens would have been 4-0 last year given their road woes and the opponents they faced, and look how the season finished out.

Don’t hit the panic button just yet.

There is more football left and plenty of dog in the Ravens fight.

You’ve read the Pro, now here’s The Conn, by Jeremy Conn

Normally I would say it’s early in the season and that it isn't time to panic. But in the case of the Ravens, I think it is.

The way the team has played against inferior opponents makes me wonder how good this team is? Do they miss A.D.? Does Trevor Pryce being out really affect this defense that much? Why aren't they blitzing as much as they did last year?

A lot of fans complained about Samari Rolle getting burned, but they clearly miss him in pass coverage. For the Ravens this early portion of the season should have been a cake walk. Six turnovers against the Bengals and still they had a chance to win; a collapse in the fourth quarter against the Jets and then against the cardinals but still they eek out victories.

It’s funny to me when fans say, “We won the game what more do you want?”

And then there’s the debacle in Cleveland. I talked about this all last week. The Ravens have not played well in Cleveland in 4 years. Giving up big plays on defense, special teams woes, and the offense sputtering against a sub par defense. Now the Ravens have to go to San Francisco, the second of back to back road games which takes them all the way to the left coast. Don’t look now but it’s another bad spot for the Ravens.

After this game they do get St Louis at home, then Buffalo on the road. After that it’s the bye week. Then the tough games come rolling in.

The second half of the season consists of 4 divisional games, including 2 with the Steelers. On the heels of those divisional games is the trilogy that some have called murders row: the Colts, Pats, and Chargers in consecutive weeks. After that the Ravens are looking at back to back road games again including another left coast trip to Seattle.

The schedule gets very difficult. You don't want to get too far ahead of yourself by thinking about it, but I think most sports are all about splitting the games with the good teams and beating the bad teams you face.

So let’s hope the Ravens right this ship quickly. I don't know if anyone noticed but there are two juggernauts in the AFC, and they have been winning in dominating fashion.

1 comment:

Mike in Grasonville said...

The Ravens have given us reason to worry, Brian Billick especially. This team is hurting right now but the lack of depth is something we haven't seen in a while. This team always had players who rose to the occasion, but this year there seem to be none. Not Corey Ivy, not Justin Bannan, and certainly not Dwan Edwards. Ed Reed is still gambling too much, Chris McAlister is getting blitzed in Fells point bars on the Friday before a game and it shows. It seems this team lacks that killer instinct.

Brian Billick should turn over the reigns on offense to Rick Nuehiesel, as he couldn't do a worse job in play selection. If you look at the Ravens offense over the years, the numerous quarterbacks, 3 different offensive coordinators, and too many receivers to mention there is only one constant, Billick!

His outright refusal to give Willis McGahee a decent amount of carries in a game shows him to be stubborn beyond reason. Someone needs to smack the shit out of him, and I'd be glad to perform that service.

This coach, and these players had better start making these games into life or death scenarios. Anything less won't cut it. It's only 16 games, and if you don't have that killer instinct then you aren't going anywhere. Period!