The Ravens looked bad last night in San Diego. Really bad. The defense could not get any pressure on Philip Rivers, our corners were exposed as young, inexperienced players and our offense could not convert on key third downs that could have kept them in the game. It was exactly the scenario most Ravens fans had in the back of their mind as the worst case. However, Baltimore still has a 10-4 record to hang their hat on. They have won a lot of big games this season and parity is running rampant in the NFL this year.
Had you told me at the end of last season that Baltimore was going to release Derrick Mason, Willis McGahee, Todd Heap, Kelly Gregg, Jared Gaither, and had you told me they would have a rookie out of Maryland starting as their number two wide out and a rookie corner starting as well, I would have been quite happy with a 10-4 record going into the final two weeks of the season. Yes, it is hard watching the team try and find themselves as Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are playing their last few seasons, but let's face it, this is the Ravens version of a rebuilding year.
It could be a lot worse. there are teams out there like the Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins that have been rebuilding for many years and still can't get it right. Isn't it nice to be a fan of an organization that continues to put a quality product on the field as they rebuild for many more championship runs? Look around the league at all the teams that thought they had championship rosters only to fall apart all season. There is the dream team in Philadelphia, the Cowboys that have more questions than answers, the Giants are getting a Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde performance week by week. All of these teams were considered Super Bowl contenders at the beginning of the season and now most of them won't even make the playoffs.
Good teams have been losing to bad teams all season though. The Seahawks beat the Giants and us. Atlanta has lost some head scratchers. The Rams beat the Saints and the Chiefs beat the Packers, with Kyle Orton at quarterback no less. The San Diego Chargers are not a bad team by any means, it just took them a bit to figure themselves out as well and the Ravens got them at a bad time of year on the road. Maybe it is because of the lock out and shortened training camp or maybe it is because the salary cap is finally creating the parity this league had been hungry for for so long but in any case it is not just the Ravens struggling with inconsistency this year.
Baltimore has a very strong team. a team capable of beating any other team in the NFL on any given day. The Ravens have a lot of young talent to be excited about and a front office that is committed to winning. So' let's take a step back from that ledge Ravens fans. The season is not over and we are in the playoffs. Once you're in the tournament anything can happen. If the Ravens make it to the AFC Championship or the Super Bowl I can guarantee that this Chargers game will be nothing but a late season hiccup for fans to laugh about while they sit back and soak up the the glory of our second world title! If we do not make it that far, no worries, we have a good enough core of guys that we will still be highly competitive for years to come.