In week one we saw the Ravens play their best game in years. They dominated every facet of the game, forced seven turnovers, and truly embarrassed the Steelers. Week two, we were embarrassed by Matt Hasselbeck. Really? Hasselbeck? It was his second game with a new team following no real offseason programs. He absolutely shredded the Ravens secondary and looked like an all pro who had been in that system for years.
It’s always nice to hold a back like Chris Johnson in check, but as we would see through the rest of the first half of the season, it might have been easier than we thought. That said, it’s hard to give up 358 yards passing to a quarterback you know you SHOULD be holding in check and expect to win.
This performance, while extremely frustrating, really wasn’t all too surprising. We came off an enormous win with so much emotion attached in week one, it’s hard to come out and be equally as motivated to play a team you know you should beat.
While that was most likely the case, if this team wants to reach the heights it can and should, those letdown games need to disappear, and it needs to start this Sunday at Seattle.
Much like Tennessee, this game has all the makings of a trap game. Seattle isn’t very good and the Ravens should absolutely take care of them with ease. That said, traveling to the opposite coast is no easy task. On top of that, Qwest Field is one of the toughest and loudest places to play in the NFL. The biggest factor of them all though; we are coming off a huge win.
I don’t think it can be overstated how big that win was for this Ravens team. Getting over the proverbial hump in anything isn’t easy, especially when you have to go to war for what you want. Certainly there is a pretty good chance we run into them in January, but it SHOULD be in our house if business is taken care of.
So it seems that the word of the week, and really the rest of the season is should. It doesn’t appear there is a team left on our schedule that should beat us. I don’t believe Cincinnati is there quite yet. They will be tough and their future is bright, but as for this year we are simply better than them. San Diego is a mess right now and I still believe after several years of saying this, Norv Turner is top 3 worst coaches in the league. San Francisco will be our toughest test left. You just know both teams are going to do everything possible so their coach has bragging rights over his brother. Jim is unquestionably coach of the year to this point, but hopefully we show up on Thanksgiving night and John is on top. Outside of those four games, we have Cleveland twice, the abysmal Colts and of course Seattle this week. Will we go undefeated the rest of the way, probably not, but we SHOULD.
It starts on Sunday, though, at Qwest Field in Seattle. We need to come out fired up and play like the team that just swept the Steelers and is fighting for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. A loss Sunday will completely undo what we went to war for last week, and that simply cannot happen.
We are lucky to be playing arguably the worst starting quarterback in the NFL (Curtis Painter doesn’t count because I don’t think anyone actually thought Peyton would miss games) in Tarvaris Jackson, but we can’t get complacent. We were beat by Blaine Gabbert already this year, and as a fan, I refuse to loose to T-Jax.
While Playing a T-Jax led team should be a celebration Sunday for any defense, let’s not forget, this team made the playoffs last year and have already knocked off one of the NFC’s top teams, the New York Giants.
We need to look for consistency and growth from Flacco and the offense and the defense simply needs to show up. If those happen, we should avoid the let down. I truly believe that final drive against the Steelers will give Torrey Smith and more importantly Flacco the confidence to become grow and be better than we expected and have seen thus far in their careers.
Let’s hope Sunday isn’t any given Sunday for the Seahawks and Ravens fans can enjoy a fruitful and stress free T-Jax day. Happy early T-Jax day to all Ravens fans. It SHOULD be a good show.
In the mean time, I leave you with a highlight of one of the most memorable games I have ever attended. The Anthony Wright miracle of 2003.
Top Ten Comebacks:Baltimore makes the Wright Moves (via DerrickMcReary)