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It is literally a tale of two cities when it comes to short weeks for the Ravens- hometown cooking vs. sleeping in a strange bed.
Under the current regime of Harbaugh, Flacco and Rice, the Ravens have compiled a regular season record of 6 – 5 during a short week. A “short week” is defined as a Thursday game, a Saturday game or a Sunday game after a Monday game. They are 5 – 2 at home and 1 – 3 on the road. Obviously the home cooking and familiar surroundings help when the Ravens are forced out of their routine. But when they have to sleep in a strange bed, it just seems to compound the issues of being off schedule.
Some of the Ravens more memorable short week home wins include last year’s “Harbaugh Bowl” on Thanksgiving and the “Bounty-Gate Flacco-Stomp” game versus the Saints in 2010. The Ravens lost their game in Philly this season on a short week. Some of the more memorable short week road games include the Roddy White push-off loss in Atlanta in ’10 and of course the closing of Texas Stadium in 2008 when the Ravens ran away from the ‘boys 33 – 24 where it was rumored that none other than Jerry Jones himself picked the Ravens to be the patsies for the closing ceremonies. Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain never received the memo from Jerry as they each rattled off back-to-back long touchdown runs to seal the victory.
The Ravens in the past four seasons are 1 – 1 on Thursday games. Winning the Harbaugh Bowl at home and losing in Atlanta to Roddy White and the refs.
Now normally I wouldn’t be all that nervous welcoming the Browns over tonight. But we have an exceptionally young O-line probably not used to NFL short weeks yet, and a geriatric Birk whose old body probably is not recovered from the Vince Wilfork “pancakes are served” encounter. In addition there is some history with the Ravens coming off of emotional games against the Patriots. In 2010 the Ravens lost a heartbreaker to New England in overtime. The following week the hapless and winless Bills came to town. It took some heroics to fend off a frenetic fourth quarter Buffalo rally in which the Ravens eked out a victory in overtime. So I am concerned not that this is a trap game, but a letdown game. Hopefully the Ravens are still a little geeked up from Sunday night to prevent a letdown.