The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Odds Catch Up

Rob Carr

Ravens let another winnable game slip through their fingers.

When your entire season can be described as one ugly game after another, and you win all but one of those ugly games, eventually statistical probability catches up- win by the ugly, die by the ugly. Two weeks ago the Ravens were at 9 - 2 and despite getting blown away at Houston, were sitting pretty good. But the Ravens have now dropped two straight. It's been like since the Bush administration, the first one (actually the second, but it seems like since the first), since the Ravens have last lost two games in a row. The injuries have caught up as the defense was down Suggs, Ray-Ray and Ellerbe today. That is just too many of your prime players to be absent to be competitive against an NFL team.

What is even more maddening is that the Ravens dominated the second quarter- shut RGIII down, scored two touchdowns. But why did it take Baltimore twelve minutes into the game to wake up and then why did they slowly and inexorably fall apart during the second half? No consistency with this team-!

The Good

Pierce. Can now see why we traded up to draft him. But when the backup running back is leading off The Good, that is probably not good news.

Ray Rice. He averaged six yards a carry and had a touchdown. Touched the ball 23 times. About the quietest 20-for-121 with a score I think I have ever seen. When both your running backs average over six yards a carry and the rush it 28 times between the two of them, and get a rushing touchdown, you should win, right?

Boldin. Had two really solid touchdown receptions. Still had a bad drop, though.

Pitta. Prior to OT, he was used they way he is supposed to be used and he produced.

The Bad

The penalties. Again, it wasn't so much the quantity, just at the most inopportune times. This is getting ridiculous.

A slumping Torrey Smith. Wondering if he is showing signs of fatigue -he doesn't have yet two full NFL seasons under his belt and am wondering if he is hitting a wall. Two weeks in a row he has dropped a ball he should have caught. And he looks lost with his downfield blocking.

The Ugly

The team. This was a compete team loss through and through. When the defense gives up two consecutive touchdown drives to start the game doing their best bull-fighter impression, that is ugly. When the offense has a bit of momentum, they go and cough up a fumble; or when they need to get back a little momentum they turn it over again -ugly. How can you let a cold rookie come off the bench and convert a 2-and-20 late in the fourth quarter?!?!

When you get the ball in overtime, and call an ill-advised deep pass to a tight-end which has zippy chance of working, that is completely and utterly unnecessarily ugly. No offensive coordinator can be this tone-deaf and lack this much game-feel. Mitt Romney's campaign was less tone-deaf and had more deftness than Cam. No tight end should be trying to catch the ball deeper than fifteen yards past the line of scrimmage -unless you are Antonio Gates in his prime or an unbroken armed Gronkowski. And then your Special Teams, which has been rock solid all season long, gives up a punt return in overtime, by a rookie...

More coaching head-scratching: a rookie QB is coming in for the injured starter, late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line- BLITZ THE SNOT OUT OF HIM!!! What the heck was that three man rush, with, an excuse me fourth man running a very slow developing stunt. Whoopee-do, -that's putting pressure on a rook-! (not)

So now we have will have to face Peyton, who has been our kryptonite over the years down Webb, with a lost a step, one-armed Ray Lewis, a gimpy Suggs, and a whole slew of other defenders who would feel right at home in a M*A*S*H unit (Ngata, Reed, Ellerbe -take your pick there's plenty).

Right now, if the playoffs started, the Ravens would have the #4 seed. Which would mean no bye and if they were to beat Indy in Baltimore, they would then most likely have to go to New England (assuming the Patriots win at home Monday night).

The Ravens have to figure out a way to play a complete football with a bunch of understudies against a very good football team that is on a roll having won eight in a row and whose only loses are against arguably the top three teams in the league- Houston, Atlanta and New England. At this juncture, I don't know what kind of rabbit the Ravens will be able to pull out of a hat next Sunday, but it better be a darn good one- like Jim Craig during the medal round good.

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