USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Ravens built their reputation on the strength of their defense. With aging veteran leadership, it is now a mere shell of its former self.
With injured starters Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs watching helplessly from the sidelines, not even All Pro safety Ed Reed could stop another backup quarterback from driving his team downfield for the tying score for the second week in a row. The once-mighty defense of the Baltimore Ravens is now ranked at the bottom of the NFL and "earning" that ranking on a weekly basis.
The days when a poor Ravens offense could still exist and win games through the hard work of the defense are long over and now that same poor offense is proving they cannot cover up the deficiencies of the defense in return. Over the past decade, the defense could create turnovers to give the offense the ball on the short field or even better, score enough points on their own to take the pressure off of the offense to win the game on their own.
Now the Ravens are in the unlikely position of having to outscore the opposition because this year's version of the defense cannot stop anyone, which has been clearly evident in the closing minutes of the last two games, both lost on field goals on the final play. At times, the potential of the offense shines through with a flurry of scores, but to expect that trend to continue for a game's full sixty minutes appears to be more of a fantasy than a reality.
If the Ravens hope to hang in there to get to the post season, either one side of the ball or the other is going to have to make major adjustments and step up. If both fail to meet expectations, the best they can hope for is to back into the playoffs while the worst is to see their season fall apart over the past four games, yesterday's debacle included.