The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Congrats to the Ravens as they completed a home sweep for the first time. What we learned: not much new beyond what we already know- the Ravens are very good at home and they have inconsistent lapses. Somehow, without Boldin, and with the drops, the Ravens were able to move the ball through the air, but nobody really assumed the role as the "go-to guy".

The issue is, Cleveland is not a very good measuring stick. Yes, they are a divisional rival, but they are just not a very good team so it is hard to get a good gauge as to how the Ravens stack up.

The Good

Ray Rice. He runs, he catches, he scores, he slices & dices! Yours for only $19.95 plus shipping and handling! I know there is Rodgers, but in terms of pure value to a team, how can Ray Rice not be in the conversation?

Kruger had some good pressure and registered a sack.

Cam Cameron. He devised a balanced game plan and called a great game. And before a bunch of folks get upset, remember this: Cam was missing a few key ingredients- Boldin, Yanda; and Dickson developed a case of canoe paddle hands which didn't help Cam or the offense.

Ozzie. Have to give some props to The Wizard. Late in the season, kicker goes down, Ozzie opens up his rolodex and voilà, instant field goal kicker. Kickoffs notwithstanding, nevertheless, it is amazing that Ozzie can keep pulling rabbits out of his hat like this.

The Bad

Only Houston losing. Pittsburgh, Cincy could have lost and New England darn near lost. Makes week 17 very difficult. Would have like to have created some separation between us and a few other teams. The Jax loss is really looming large right now. That one hurts the most.

Just the lack of instilling confidence in the fan base over the past couple of weeks. How good do we feel going into the playoffs? Heck, how good do we feel going into Cincy into what is essentially a must-win game for us? We win, we get a #1 or #2 seed but more importantly a bye and at least one home playoff game. We lose, we are the #5 seed and most likely will travel out West. With our injuries, we could really use a bye right now. And a home playoff game would be super sweet!

The Ugly

The continuation of As the Ball Drops. At least four I counted and maybe one or two more. I think if we reduce the drops to one or two max, drives will be extended, we will not be punting as much, and everybody will be saying how great the Raven offense is finally coming together...

Ravens injures. They are really starting to mount up. The Ravens could be reaching a critical point in which we start to see a noticeable downgrade in on-field performance.

Cleveland coaching. Wow, to not kick a field goal right before halftime and a few other blunders on top of the sketchy way they handled McCoy a few weeks ago. Sometimes NFL staffs "have it" and they belong on an NFL sideline (as much as we gripe about various elements of the Ravens staff, they are obviously an NFL-caliber staff), other staffs don't pass the NFL sniff test and this Cleveland one does not.

And now the regular season finale in Cincy. We are very dinged up and Cincy will be catching us at home, while they seem to be getting on a bit of a roll heading into the playoffs. They are home, the playoffs are on the line for them. This is their "home playoff game". They are going to be pumped. Question is, with us being several men down, will we be able to match them, on the road, in a playoff type atmosphere? This will be, by far, the biggest challenge the Ravens will have faced up to this point this season, including the road game in P-burgh. Will we be able to meet that challenge and surpass it?

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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