We saw it in week two. Was our confidence too high, our expectations of a "sub par" Tennessee team too low, or was our week one high just too high? I was as disappointed and surprised by the loss as I'm sure most Ravens fans were. But then I got to thinking. I began to look at it more objectively after a few days. One thing I remembered was all of the things I had read about our gameplan prior to the Ravens trip to meet the Titans. I remembered how I heard that we "must stop Chris Johnson". And I thought, "good plan". As it turned out, we were very successful in stopping Chris Johnson but that was about all we did.
So what does this tell us? Did we plan the game one dimensionally after we proclaimed that we beat the Steelers as a team? That the importance of the team as a whole cannot be stressed enough, but we failed to follow our own philosophy? Did we forget that the Titans wanted to win and that they belong to a football team of talented players with NFL emblazoned on their jerseys just like ours? Did we forget that it was their home opener and they would be pumped?
I saw a Ravens team with around seven minutes left in the fourth quarter with no sense of urgency. Where was the hurry up offense? I didn't see a Ravens team willing to fight for that game no matter how far out of reach it seemed. Sure you can blame the football Gods. The ones who lay down the universal rules of "sometimes you win and sometimes you lose", and "whoever gets the momentum wins". You could blame the excellent coverage by the Titans defense. Do we not realize that NFL teams watch film? That Tennesee planned this game for a whole week and the wanted to win in their house and win they did. The Titans deserved to win that game, because they came to the field as the most prepared team. Hats off to the Titans!
So what does all this ranting mean? It means that we should throw the twenty four hour rule out the window sometimes. That there are things we should take from all games both good and bad, and that there are things we should never forget. We should always remember that this league of thirty two teams is made up of talented players and coaches and front offices who want to win every game every week. And they CAN! We should remember going into St. Louis on Sunday, that the Rams CAN WIN! And they want to. They feel they need to. Those two things alone can be a great jump start to St. Louis setting the momentum.
So lets forget about the statistics and the experts. Forget that we usually win coming off a loss. In week one , Flacco NEVER beat the Steelers with Ben under center. Until he did! By the logic of statistics, we are likely to lose to the Steelers when we see them again. Should we just fill in the W for Pittsburgh ourselves, or are we gonna fight for it in week nine? Will we go into St. Louis pissed and win only to relax again in week four?
I love my Ravens like a child. And sometimes they make me mad like a child because I know they can always do better. I know this because I've seen how great they can be. It's funny how after week one I heard more about how bad the Steelers were than how good the Ravens were. In spite of a poor performance by Pittsburgh, the Ravens still played a great game.
So now I say to the Ravens, remember the Titans, and the Steelers. Remember every game you've ever played in. Always remember to play sixty minutes win or lose. Always remember to fight to the end. True fans can handle most losses as long as you fought hard.
Please remember these things as you go into St. Louis and beyond. Please remember that all teams are good teams, that any team CAN beat any other team on any given Sunday.