Remember Week One? Ravens fans were excited for the regular season unveiling of the new No Huddle Offense and looking forward to seeing which young Ravens defender would become a budding star in the absence of Terrell Suggs.
The offense started off with a bang as Torrey Smith burned the Bengals secondary for a bomb. Although the defense started off slow, by game’s end Andy Dalton had added to Ed Reed’s Hall of Fame resume and Courtney Upshaw had recorded his first Ravens sack.
All was well in Ravenstown.
But then came Week Two and the Ravens looked like a different team.
The offense was inconsistent, stagnant at times. Flashbacks of Jacksonville and Seattle were running through my head. The offensive line couldn’t block, the receivers couldn’t get open, and Joe Flacco was a bit erratic. The defense came in with a game plan that should have been left at the team hotel in Philly.
The Ravens failed to win their second game for the third straight year and the same questions remained. Why couldn’t the offense perform on the road? Where could we get a pass rush? Nail-biters against New England, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Dallas did nothing to answer these questions. Lardarius Webb and likely, Ray Lewis, were lost for the season in the Dallas game and the utter collapse at Houston was reminiscent of 2007.
Fortunately, the Ravens were blessed with a bye… a much-needed break from the rigors of the NFL schedule to rest, regroup, and refocus.
Shockingly, the Ravens Coaches have acknowledged that the offense is flat out broken on the road. For a coaching staff that wouldn’t willingly divulge what they ate for breakfast I find it comforting to see Cam Cameron coming out to say that they see a problem and they know they need to fix it.
Who knows what is going on behind closed doors at the Castle?
There has been talk of Kelechi Osemele getting work at Left Tackle and Joe Flacco has said that there is a possibility of the offense reverting to a more traditional huddle on the road. One thing is for sure, the offensive performance on the road from here on out will be heavily scrutinized and Cam Cameron will be held to blame if it does not improve. A Jekyll and Hyde offense will not win the AFC North.
Who do you want to blame for the Ravens defensive woes?
The truth is that every member of the defense, coaches included, deserves blame for the porous play. The defense has been undisciplined and outmatched. I’ve never turned on my television on a Sunday afternoon and been 100% sure that the opponents running back would go for 100 yards like I have this season.
I hope that players like Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata have used this bye to their complete benefit because this is their defense to sink or swim. The fact that the team has to lean on a player who has just recovered from a torn Achilles is telling. No one is expecting this defense to be great or even good at this point. We just need average.
Despite looking pretty mediocre the Ravens have positioned themselves well in the AFC. Here’s hoping that our team has used this week well and that there are a few less nail-biters in the second half of the season.