Coming into the 2010 NFL season, the Ravens had some high expectations and arguably our most balanced and well-rounded team since being established in 1996. Before the season started some fans would have been content with our 8-4 record at this point of the season. In my opinion we handled 4-5 of our 12 games without too much stress related hair loss or wall punching. The other games were the type of games that drive us all crazy, when all it takes is one play to decide whether we get the "W" or a "L." This last game against the Steelers was as expected, just another one of those "why-the-hell-do-I-need-nail-clippers-when-I-can-just-watch-Ravens-play-football" games.
If only I were a fan that was able to make an excuse as to why my team lost, would losses like this past one be that much easier to deal with. I could blame injuries or bad officiating and just look to next week. But no, I understand that there are far too many "buts" and "if onlys" to be able to say that my team didn't deserve to lose. It really makes me sick to say this, but the better team won this past Sunday. Our Baltimore Ravens need to do something different if we want to be able to be successful in the playoffs this year.
But right now, I need to cope somehow. So what better way to do that than to be an ass and act like my excuses for my team matter, and any excuses or counters for/from the other team are total Bull Sh*t. So Steeler fans shut up and re-read what I wrote above over and over again as many times as you want. See you guys in the playoffs.
If only all our players were healthy:
Our offensive pass protection and other line play is streaky at best. We have been playing without Jared Gaither all year. The Chris Chester starting at RG experience makes me want to vomit. How many times did we see him get tossed around and often into our runningback? Todd Heap and Le'ron McClain absences were felt too. Our Blitz pickup was nowhere near as effective as it was the last time we played the Steelers. Also, Dickson wasn't as reliable as Heap would have been. I'm placing the blame on our back-ups and the other shifts of responsibilities brought on by injury.
If only the refs called everything in our favor:
There were a handfull of questionable ball spots. Many uncalled offensive line holding penalties on the Steelers, and Steeler defensive backs seemed to be getting away with early contact time and time again. Also, just because Mr. Oher has the quickest step off the line, doesn't mean you have to flag him for a False Start all the time or at all. He got away with more the last time we played the Steelers. Flacco's arm was definately going forward on that fumble.... maybe not, but you could have at leasted called it that way. Come on refs, call the game for just the Ravens next time.
If only our players were clutch on each and every play:
We need to make that clutch tackle to stop the go ahead touchdown. Suggs should have stripped that ball from Ben and took it for a touchdown... or at least sack that crooked nosed fool. TJ, catch the ball in traffic, just because there is tight coverage doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to grab that ball. Come on Ed Dickson, being a rookie doesn't mean your allowed to make mistakes. Flacco... he was wide open, you're supposed to be perfect. Cundiff, you know you could have made a field goal to tie the game make Harbaugh know that you can.
If only our coaches made the right calls all the time:
We started too many drives with a 2nd and over 10 to go for the next first down. If I didn't know the Ravens were so predictable I would have thought the Steelers defence was in our huddle. Mixing in a stupid reverse doesn't make a good case for being an offensive mastermind. Use plays that work, Boldin seemed uncoverable and Ray Rice was under-used. Where were the screens that worked the last time we played the Steelers?
If only the game ended at 50 minutes, then I wouldn't have needed to write this.