While the Baltimore Ravens loss to the San Diego Chargers is just one game, it continues to be disconcerting to see the trend repeating itself for the fourth time this season. Whenever the Ravens seem to enter the discussion as the best team in the conference, they go on the road and wipe away whatever respect they had just earned the prior week or weeks.
The good news is that the Ravens have always responded well whenever this happens, going on a run of victories to get back into the discussion once again, only to fail in a similar fashion the next time the situation presents itself. That situation is playing a losing team on the road, where the Ravens have lost four of seven times under those circumstances.
The bad news is that once the Ravens reach the playoffs, there will be no chance to respond to losing, as the post season is one-and-done if you don't get it done.
The good news is that there are no losing teams in the post season, as the Ravens still have not lost to a team with a winning record in 2011.
The bad news is that most likely, if the Ravens do end up on the road for the fourth time in four straight post season trips, they will probably be playing a team that is considered inferior to them.
The Ravens are also one of the best home teams in the league, undefeated at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium this season. If they get a home playoff game, they will be tough to beat here regardless of who comes into town to face them. The difference is that prior to last night's debacle, the Ravens controlled that opportunity. Now they have to root for another team to help them out.
The best chance for that will happen tonight. If the San Francisco 49ers can defeat the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, then the Ravens hop over the Steelers back into first place in the division and into the all-important #2 seed, which gives them at east one home playoff game. If the Steelers go on the road to the west cast and can beat what is now the #2 seed in the NFC, then they all but wrap up the AFC North and at take the lead for the #1 seed in the conference by virtue of their win over the New England Patriots earlier this season.
Quite frankly, like it or not Ravens fans, if the Pittsburgh can go across the country and win in San Francisco, they did what Baltimore couldn't and thereby have earned the right for the road to the Super Bowl to go through Heinz Field.
The good news is that the Ravens have proved twice that they can beat the Steelers.
The bad news is that they may have to do it a third time this season, on the road again.