Reality: The NFL Trade Deadline is 4pm EST tomorrow.
Perception: The NFL Trade Deadline usually passes with no one knowing that it even happened. But the NFL pushed back the deadline 2 weeks to create more opportunity for a trade to happen. There are a lot of names that are said to be “available”… Jared Allen, Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks, Josh Gordon, Anthony Dixon, Kenny Britt, Jarius Byrd, Greg Little, Jon Baldwin, Jason Babin.
But the chances that many of those “big” names get moved are slim. Contracts and the Salary Cap will really hurt team’s chances of making a move. The Ravens might like to get Nicks, or Britt, but they only have about $1.5M in cap room left. Fitzgerald isn’t an option as it would take way too much to get him. I know the Ravens are looking around the league for a Wide Receiver, but I don’t see fans being happy with the name they might get… because more than likely most fans will say “who?”
Reality: In games decided by 4 points or less, the Baltimore Ravens are 1-3 and the Cincinnati Bengals are 3-1.
Perception: The Ravens have turned into this year’s version of the Baltimore Orioles. Last year, the O’s couldn’t lose a 1-run game. This year, they couldn’t win them. The Ravens need to find a way to win the close games if they want to make the playoffs. However, in 2009, the Ravens were 1-4 in games decided by 3 points or less, and they still made the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
Reality: The Ravens are averaging 2.8 yards per carry, which is worst in the NFL.
Perception: It seems a lot worse than that! Last year, the Ravens averaged 4.3 yards per rush. But it’s not any one person’s fault. The O-line is not creating space for the running backs. Bernard Pierce is nowhere near the guy we saw last season. He is dancing around, instead of running hard. Ray Rice seems slow to come back from injury, but did look better against the Steelers than he did at any other point this season. Let’s hope that means he has turned the corner. The Ravens signed Bernard Scott today, which could help a floundering offense, but it does nothing if the offensive line doesn’t create holes.
Reality: Last season, Joe Flacco attempted a pass of 20 yards or more on 17% of his drop backs. This season, Flacco has attempted a pass of 20 yards or more on just 13% of his drop backs.
Perception: Of the 17% in 2012, Flacco had 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. This year, on his 13% has delivered 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Torrey Smith is a true #1 receiver. Last season, they took advantage of his speed and threw the ball downfield to him. But this year, it’s been a struggle. Part of that is not trying and the other part is the lack of other receivers, so Smith isn’t getting open as often. Last year with Boldin and Jones also running routes, Smith got a lot of one-on-one coverage. This year, without Boldin and with Jones hurt, Smith is being bracketed, preventing Flacco from going long to him. This needs to change.