An NFL season, like a game, can be divided into quarters. After the first quarter of the Ravens’ season, we are looking pretty good at 3-1. But when you look even closer, our start is even more impressive than even the 3-1 record would indicate.
Reason #1: Three of their first four games were on the road. Only 5 teams started out the season with this disadvantage. The other four teams with three away games, and their records after 4 games, are as follows:
· Cincinnati Bengals: 2-2
· Detroit Lions: 1-3
· Arizona Cardinals: 1-3 (assume losing 28-7 in 3Q stands up)
· San Francisco 49ers: 0-4
Reason #2: The hardest quarter of the schedule is behind us against two play-off teams from last year plus the Steelers in Pittsburgh. There are still some tough match-ups to go, but looking ahead it is not unreasonable to predict we can match or exceed our record in the next three of the season’s quarters. This translates to, at worst, a 12-4 record.
Reason #3: Ed Reed has not played a down yet this season. The lack of turnovers and the overall turnover ratio has been the biggest concern so far this year. Ed’s return should be a big factor in reversing this trend, as is having Lardarius Webb back looking healthy and in his intimidating form.
Reason #4: Flacco. Bouncing back from the Cincy game against Cleveland was one thing. Beating the Steelers at Heinz Field in a last minute comeback was a statement. Joe looks primed to have the season we all expected of him.