You hear all of this talk about how Sunday's match up between Baltimore and Texas will come down to which quarterback has a better game. All of the "expert" analysts have fueled the debate, and here on Baltimore Beat Down, there are tons of posts and comments, which mirror the stats presented as evidence by these so-called experts.
I do not possess the stats on this, but I am sure that if everyone really thought about it, the experts seem to be wrong about things collectively at least as much as they are right. Some of them are wrong more often than they are right. I guess here in Baltimore we are accustomed to this as our weathermen make their living being wrong about half the time and get paid handsomely for it. So I guess its human nature to attempt to predict the future, and cite the past as "evidence" in this endeavor. I do not totally disagree with the use of stats as evidence to predict a game, and I am as guilty as the next guy in my attempts. Unfortunately, I too am also wrong a significant amount of the time. To draw a conclusion and develop a stat using all of this as a basis; guessing the outcome of a future event is not an exact science as there are too many variables to be acuurate enough of the time. Unless, you use the important stats rather than the ones that fit your desired outcome of the future event.
In this case I will use why we are 12-4 this season. The experts continually stated that it was a mystery that we could rout Pittsburgh in the first game only to lose to a sub-par team the following week. But experts need to sound intelligent so rather than mysterious, they used the word inconsistent. And the same goes for the other losses as well which in my opinion, two of them were legitimate losses to teams that simply out played us. The last time I looked, every team we played wore NFL jerseys and were comprised of professional football players who wanted to win those games. I think our losses boil down to these simple facts and something more;
Nobody mentions the obvious stats, rather they compare the quarterbacks about to meet Sunday when we face Texas in the divisional round. I think the most obvious stat is this; In the last 21 games where Ray Rice touched the ball 20 or more times, we are 20-1! I am not saying as many people are that Ray Rice IS the offense, but I am saying that in those games, we played as team. As a balanced offense that gave the defense the rest they needed to defend, while burning the clock and opening up the passing game. It's a simple recipe, when we do this we win. I'm still not the biggest Cam Cameron fan, but I do think that he finally realizes that the above is true and that he was wrong in starting out the season in an attempt to be a team that passes all over the place. If we stick to the plan that works, we will usually win, especially at M&T. If we stick to the plan, we can also beat any team anywhere.
We have a fine quarterback in Joe Flacco, but throw away your QB comparison in Sunday's game. This game will not be about quarterbacks, it will be about teams. I would rather have Joe on my team when it is playing like a team than a super star QB that IS the team. Look at the Manningless Colts. Joe has shown that he can be everything that an "elite" QB is, and most importantly, he can do it at the right time. Any QB is going to look stupid under pressure. Did Big Ben look like an elite QB in week one when he was put on his butt seven times?
When you watch Sunday's game, or any Ravens game, I believe that the questions to ask are; do we play as team for sixty minutes or don't we? Did Ray Rice get his touches? Did we win the turnover battle? Hey, in games where we win the turnover battle by at least two, we are 56-1! How is that for a stat?
Do not buy into the hype of the QB battle, or you will miss the purple elephant in the room.