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There are still some good fans, smart fans that believe that the NFL has an ax to grind with the Ravens and that Paul Tagliabue, his henchmen and disciples still exert their subtle influences on NFL employees to turn the screw on Baltimore whenever they get the chance. I find that pretty amusing and to me itâ€™s just further evidence of the deep-rooted inferiority complex held by some in this city that is passed on seemingly by genetics.
I suppose DNA can kick sensibilityâ€™s butt every now and then.
The Ravens are approaching their bye week that is conveniently scheduled after Week 6. Upon the conclusion of Sundayâ€™s game against the Panthers, the Ravens will report to Owings Mills, be praised and scolded for their Sunday performances and then they will be off through Saturday, October 21.
A well needed rest, an intermission from the demands of the NFL season.
If you think about it, the break couldnâ€™t be more strategically positioned. It comes after a home game and before a road game during Week 8 in New Orleans. It comes at a time when the players and coaches can not only hit their own reset buttons, but that of the Ravens offense as well.
So much for that NFL conspiracy against the Ravens and Baltimore.
Iâ€™m not expecting miracles or some grandiose metamorphous of Jim Fasselâ€™s unit during the respite. I see and have seen the Ravens offense as a gradual work in progress that has been a little too gradual this season. Itâ€™s time to accelerate the retooling â€“ time to crack that w.i.p.
Should the Ravens win on Sunday, it will be a prideful rest as the team can enjoy their 5-1 record and no worse than a share of the AFC North lead. A loss could cut deep. The Ravens could return from their break back a game should the Bengals take care of business against Tampa tomorrow and then Carolina next week. They will have two weeks to wait to cleanse the stench of a home loss from their psyche and the bitterness from their mouths.
For two weeks they will have to answer questions about a struggling offense. And chances are if they do lose, it will be due to the struggles of that offense on their home Momentum Turf.
Not much momentum there, eh?
The running game or lack thereof will be questioned. Folks will wonder more about the acquisition of Steve McNair and theyâ€™ll ask if the investment in him has further delayed the development of the offense and if those dollars will place unnecessary burdens on the teamâ€™s salary cap.
Questions about Brian Billick and Fassel will abound. Questions about the worthiness of their then 4-2 record will make their accomplishments to date seem as meaningful as an Orioles win against the Devil Rays.
Oh this one today is an important game.
A win and a chance to regroup could set the stage for the balance of the season and the Ravens could become a very dangerous team. A loss could set the stage for a season in decline.