After the Baltimore Ravens big comeback win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, media, including Baltimore Beatdown along with the national so-called "experts" were heaping praise on the team as the best in the AFC and perhaps the only team in the league that could offer up a good game against the undefeated Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl. The problem with all the praise and hype was that the Ravens players themselves believe it so much that all they thought they had to do was show up for a game and that would be enough to win.
Three times they have done that and all three times they have returned home to Baltimore with their collective egos shattered from another frustrating and embarrassing road loss. One would have thought that after the first, perhaps the second and now definitely the third time this season, that they would finally figure out that they just might not be as good as they think they are.
Forget about how good we fans think they are. If the players buy into it, they will not and have not put forth the effort to be mentally prepared to win the game, regardless of the wonderful and motivating speeches in the locker room, on the sidelines and in the press conferences during the week and after the game. What it all comes down to is that the team needs to admit that they are just fooling themselves.
If you read my previous post on Baltimore Beatdown this morning, 'Ravens Not Alone With Inconsistency,' you can see the trend of mediocrity not only with Baltimore, but around the rest of the AFC North and entire conference. However, when you look specifically at the Ravens, an alarming trend shows up as a common denominator in their recent past.
This is the fourth straight game that the Ravens have had to play from behind in the fourth quarter. The last loss in Jacksonville Jaguars, the last second wins against the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers and the most recent failure at the Seattle Seahawks all saw the Ravens heading into the final 15 minutes trailing in the game. A disturbing trend indeed. In fact, you can add the loss to the Tennessee Titans and the win over the Houston Texans and that gives you six of the Ravens nine games where they trailed in the second half at some point of those games.
With all the boasting from the team, it's individual players, the fans and media, the reputation that has proceeded this team in most of its games has seemed to impress everyone except for the opposition. Opponents may show respect for the Ravens prior to the games, but once on the field it is obvious they they find out they can not only hang but beat the Ravens if they stay out of trouble and force the Ravens offense to play from behind and the defense to stop their offense.
At some point, one of two things will happen. The Ravens as a team will wake up and realize they are fooling themselves if they continue to think the league fears them and will lay down when they step out onto the field with all their bravado and fanfare. Or they will continue to perpetuate the "myth" and continue to fall behind and these road letdowns will continue.
With road games at the Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers and a season ending contest at the Cincinnati Bengals, let's hope it is the former and not the latter and this season can continue well in January and not end with the words to the song in the Styx YouTube video above.