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It doesn't matter whether it's a crucial or unimportant game, because as far as I'm concerned, I want my team to win every time they play, even in pre-season.
The Baltimore Ravens play four exhibition games and 16 regular season games, and I want them to win every one every time. I'm sorry, but I can't stand losing and while I am a good sport about it, it just turns my stomach to come out on the losing end.
Make no bones about it, I would much prefer a beatdown like the ones that the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos put on my team, than the gut-wrenching last minute, or in two cases, the last second losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins.
There is no question in my mind and it should be met with agreement by everyone reading this, that the Ravens should have gone into Sunday's game at the Cincinnati Bengals with a 13-2 record and the #1 playoff seed on the line. That would have had the Ravens starters playing their best to make sure the road to the Super Bowl went through Baltimore.
Regardless of who played in this past weekend's game, the Ravens dominated the game in every statistical category other than the one on the scoreboard. Take away that one Taylor mistake that made the difference in the game and you would have had a Ravens victory.
I don't care if it is Joe Flacco or Tyrod Taylor, Ray Lewis or Josh Bynes, I want and even expect the Ravens to win every time. In fact, other than the Broncos game, I predicted the Ravens would win every other game this season, including Sunday's 23-17 loss to the Bengals. Yeah, I did think Baltimore could go to Houston and upset them back in week 7, as I wasn't overly impressed by the level of competition the Texans had faced up to then.
Admit it, you agree Baltimore should have beaten Pittsburgh, Washington and even the Bengals last week. Against both the Steelers and Redskins, the Ravens had leads late in the game and refused to put the final nails in the coffin despite "promising" to get that killer instinct over and over in John Harbaugh press conferences.
Against backup and even one third-string QB, the Ravens defensive coordinator inexplicably refused to blitz the QB and both times made them look like All-Pro's, standing back there waiting for receivers to finally break open. Every single QB in the NFL can it open receivers when given time. They get that chance in Training Camps but should never be afforded the same opportunity in a regular season game, much less at crunch time.
You blitz every single time and force them to beat you under pressure and if they do, you tip your cap to them. With five or six pass rushers in the face of Steelers QB Charlie Batch and Redskins QB Kirk Cousins, they never would have done what they did at the end of the games to bring their teams back and win.
That's on not only the Ravens DC, but also the head coach both times. They always say in regards to players off-the-field behavior, "Nothing good happens after 2 a.m.," the same goes for on-field-behavior in the same vein of saying, "Nothing good happens when you only rush three players."
Losing any game sucks but losing a game you know you should have won tears you heart out. This has to stop and these Ravens just cannot do that in this year's playoffs after losing that way last year. Win big or lose big. Put the opponent away long before the game winds down or lose to an obviously better team.
Let's start this weekend. Go Ravens!!!