Welcome to the Monday Hangover, a weekly column where Jake is here to answer any lingering questions you may have about the Ravens (or the rest of the league) coming out of the weekend, and take a quick look around the division/league. Enjoy, and power through your Monday with some light Ravens reading, and leave a comment with your thoughts down below!
Well, this is awkward. After a long lead up to a highly-anticipated divisional game between the Browns and the Ravens, it’s Cleveland who comes out on top with a big time 40-25 win in Baltimore to tilt the scales of the division back into their favor.
There are a lot of questions lingering after what was, unquestionably, an embarrassing loss for the Ravens. And honestly? I’m not sure there are many answers.
Oh well. Let’s see:
What the hell is up with this defense?
In a pretty simple summary, I just think the talent isn’t there. Maybe I’m wrong and being a bit pessimistic, but the constant harping on “communication,” and things being “fixable” can only go so far.
At a certain point, you are what the numbers say you are, and the Ravens have surrendered over 1,000 yards in the last two weeks. What does that say they are?
Bad on defense.
Can they fix it?
Maybe, but I really don’t see it happening this season, at least not to any significant extent. When you have a lack of talent, the only thing you can really do is grin and bear it; with two tough divisional games on the docket, they’re going to have to put up or shut up quick.
Ultimately, it’s a big time issue at the moment and will be for 2019, but they’re still very talented in the secondary. They’ll have time to infuse talent into the front seven this coming offseason, but for now it’s pretty clear that Baltimore’s usually stout D is going to be the weak point of the squad for the first time in a long time.
What did you think of the offense?
Nothing special, but it seems like they did their part when they got the chance. That was part of the problem of the defense playing so poorly - they could never get off of the field and the offense didn’t get a ton of opportunities to put points on the board.
Ingram’s fumble was a bit of a back breaker, but only because the D was so bad today. Something like that wouldn't typically be so demoralizing, but with the defense playing like they were, it certainly was.
Through four games, Lamar Jackson now has 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions; even with a 2-2 record, I think some of us might’ve signed up for that. It’s a pretty nice start for the Ravens young signal caller, though he’ll certainly need to keep it up (and even turn it up) for them to compete in this division in ‘19.
Can Harbaugh do anything to right the ship?
As grim as I’ve been so far, I think the answer is yes. As much as the scarcity of players in the front seven hurts the secondary, the talent is still there on the back end to at least make some plays.
Like I said, I don’t see this defense being a top unit at all, but Harbs has shown himself to be a good leader of men in seriously adverse scenarios. That’s what the Ravens are looking at right now, and knowing John, he’ll likely appeal to his veteran leadership to impart some leadership of their own into the situation and try to get the things on track.
With the way they’ve managed to do so at times in recent years, it wouldn’t at all shock me if they turned things around to some extent. Like I said before though, this is a talent issue as well, and nothing can really be done about that during the year.
Where do they go from here?
You have a pretty good offense, and (thus far) a bad defense. We’ll see how that ends up playing out for them, but it’s also worth noting that there are two winnable games coming up on the schedule.
If they can make it happen in what will be a tough game next week in Pittsburgh, they’ll face a home game against the struggling Bengals. Things seem to be at their lowest in Birdland right now, but a few things end up swinging their way, and they’re right back into it.
Hang in there, and keep the faith - it’s a long season Ravens flock.