Many believe that the Ravens are one bad pass interference penalty away from being 5-0. And while that may be true, you could also flip the table and say that John Harbaugh’s troops are a couple of plays removed from 1-4.
Justin Tucker narrowly escaped being the goat in the Ravens 31-30 win over the Patriots when he barely connected on a 27-yard field goal.
The Cleveland Browns were one dropped pass away from potentially sending the Thursday Night contest on September 27th into overtime.
And the Kansas City Chiefs were one offensive pass interference call or Matt Cassel fumbled snap at the goal line away from beating the Ravens at Arrowhead.
Of course that’s what happens when you play close games – winning teams find a way to win. It might also be an indicator that the NFL is really a watered down product devoid of truly dominant teams.
Consider ESPN’s Power Rankings, a media creation no doubt that has absolutely no bearing on any game ever played. The point here though isn’t to give such rankings credence, but rather to focus your attention upon the list to see just how weak it is.
Does any team on this list actually scare you as a fan? The Texans at No. 1 on the list were one score away from falling to the No. 25 team on the list, the New York Jets.
So while they occupy the top perch on most of these lame lists, would you consider the Texans dominant?
I don’t think so.
Clearly dominant doesn’t describe the Ravens. The team simply has too many holes and they just aren’t strong enough up front on either side of the ball to earn such a description.
But what description does fit the Ravens?
How about above average team in a very average league?
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing in order to achieve the preseason goal – to win the Super Bowl.
Just ask the New York Giants.
With each practice, each game there’s a new opportunity to get better individually and collectively as players, coaches and front office personnel. And if teams embrace that approach it can define their seasonal journey. As long as a team keeps itself in position to make the playoffs, in this mediocre league they will always have a chance to win it all.
The Giants took that journey twice, in 2007 when they finished second in the NFC East with a 10-6 record and again last season when they finished first with a 9-7 record. Each of those trips ended with a Lombardi.
- Improve each week.
- Exploit your opponent’s weaknesses more than they exploit yours.
- Stay in the hunt.
- Capitalize on the opportunity.
The Ravens don’t have to be perfect. They really can’t be given the obvious flaws. They just need to be better than their opponents during critical moments of close games.
And the wins and another championship will follow.
The plan is simple.
Execution of the plan is anything but.