The Baltimore Ravens are a bad football team. Period. End of story.
We were fooled to believe that this team would rebound after a 5-11 season a year ago. Actually, the Ravens fooled the Ravens. They took last year as a fluke, they took it as an aberration instead of looking at the big picture and realizing that changes had to be made. The phrase "continuity" came out of their mouths during the end of the year press conference and they pretty much told Ravens fans, "Don't worry guys, its all good." When the reality was completely different. The Ravens were arrogant. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees should not have been brought back for this season, but he was. The team considered letting go of offensive coordinator Marc Trestman after last season, but gave him a mulligan due to injuries. It didn't work and Trestman was fired a few weeks ago. Maybe a bigger question - why is Juan Castillo still on this coaching staff?
Yet even without Trestman, quarterback Joe Flacco, who had an injured throwing shoulder entering last Sunday's game against the New York Jets, threw the ball 46 times. 46! I was at the game on Sunday and I had the thought in my head of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin shouting "What?!" every time Flacco threw the ball when he didn't need to. It was downright sickening. Even more sickening was watching the defense give up a long touchdown to Jets wide receiver Quincy Enuwa on 2nd and 18. This defense made Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick look good. This team has made numerous mistakes throughout this four game losing streak, the same mistakes that plagued them a year ago. From questionable coaching decisions, to penalties, to a defense with no pass rush and can't cover a soul, to an offense that has no identity.
But hey, continuity.
The Ravens enter this Bye week much differently than they would've hoped. They are down, sad and just not a sound program. Everybody on this team from Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta, John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Steve Smith Sr., Marshal Yanda, Eric Weddle, Terrell Suggs, Brandon Williams, and everybody else have to look in the mirror during this Bye week. They have to ask themselves what team do they want to be and how can they finish this season strong. The Ravens blew a golden opportunity to get off to a good start to the season and they should've been entering the Bye week at least with a 5-2 record, maybe even 6-1, but they blew it. A combination of errors that resembles a bad Saturday Night Live skit has resulted into this situation the Ravens find themselves in.
The Ravens have to think long and hard this week, and maybe even watch some of the games that are on. See what these teams are doing differently and what is helping them succeed. Maybe, just maybe, Ozzie Newsome could watch these games and see the talents he could have had in the draft and passed for others. Maybe he can learn his lesson because its sad knowing that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has surpassed him when it comes to drafting players. Ozzie is a Hall of Fame executive, but that is the truth. Maybe Harbaugh can take this week to learn his lesson because, to be honest, his seat is getting warm. Actually, they just lost to the 1-5 Jets, his seat just got hot.
The team has to take this week to truly find themselves because they have a date with the Pittsburgh Steelers coming up. A team that, despite not having quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, gave the New England Patriots a run for their money last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Even if the Steelers don't have Roethlisberger and start Landry Jones, do you really think the Ravens will beat the Steelers? Absolutely not. Its laughable to think they stand a chance. That's how sad of a situation the Ravens are in right now and they have no one to blame but themselves.
It time for the Ravens to look deep down inside and realize the problem. The team got off to a good first step of their soul searching on Monday as they held a two-hour and 20-minute tough love session, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley. It featured the coaches and players watching all 123 plays from that game. Head coach John Harbaugh also had a talk with wide receiver Breshad Perriman.
The only way we'll find out if the Bye week helped the Ravens is to watch and see how they perform against the Steelers. Either they show heart, guts, and a will to win, giving the fan base a much needed boost and hope for the 2016 season. Or they show up and get destroyed by their archrivals as they watch M&T Bank Stadium become Heinz Field East.
The ball is in your court Baltimore Ravens, show us something.
It is time to adapt or perish.