Last week was… well, not as bad as Week 3, overall. Still some crazy going on around the league, and truth be told the whole NFL looks like a total cluster right now, with no true front-runner (unless you consider the Chiefs at 4-0 a sure thing).
Here’s a quick recap of a Crazy Week 4:
-The Panthers stormed into Foxboro and took out the Patriots with a field goal in the final seconds. Two home games for Brady, two losses. Better get the ball boy to grab the needle again…
-The lowly Jets beat the Jags. I don’t wanna talk about it…
-Also big fat losers of the weekend: Matt Ryan & the Falcons lost to the re-Bill-ding team from Buffalo, the Raiders lost QB Derek Carr for 2-6 weeks with a back injury, the Vikes lost rookie RB Dalvin Cook to an ACL tear, and the Cowboys fell to the Rams, who are a shocking 3-1.
Then there’s the team from Baltimore…
Last Week: Steelers 26, Ravens 9
Where to start… well, we’ll start with the scoring. The Ravens forgot the game started until after halftime, and were down by a score of 19-0 at that juncture. While they were able to finally find pay dirt in the 2nd half, Baltimore’s game was far too riddled with miscues and mistakes to possibly recover from a 19-point halftime deficit. Here’s the low-lights:
— Joe Flacco threw multiple AWFUL picks. Like right at the defender. Once behind the defender who was trailing the receiver, so like two bodies behind his spot.
–A failed 2-point conversion that was literally called good, then rescinded upon review. After it was called good, the crowd went nuts… then got confused upon review… then went salty nuts after the ‘no good’ signal.
–The Ravens defense was unable to get pressure on Big Ben whatsoever. At one point, I think he bent over and tied his shoe in the pocket. Read the fine print disclaimer on his phone contract. Built a tiny model ship in a bottle. Then threw a completion to [insert anybody- they were all open by then].
— Nobody was able to set the edge, allowing LeVeon Bell to take a stroll through the park at his leisure.
That was the gist of it, really. It was a second ugly week in a row, and this time I’m placing much of the blame on the coaches who don’t adjust, don’t have the players’ ear, and have no clue how to fire up a team. Not being able to fire up a team leads to a fanbase that is relatively chill and complacently quiet. Which is ineffective for home field advantage.
But that’s a whole different convo for a whole different occasion…
This Week: Ravens @ Raiders
Sunday 10/8 @ 4pm
The Ravens come in reeling, losing 2 straight games by a score of, like 732-16 or something like that. Flacco looks like David Carr. The receivers can’t get separation. Everyone is being fitted for air-casts as an added precaution before the games.
In short, everything is awful.
The Raiders, while overall a more complete team, enter Sunday with their own issues. The biggest cause for concern comes under center, as they will start backup quarterback EJ Manuel, after losing starter Derek Carr to a back injury that’ll cost him between 2 & 6 weeks.
Oakland is also facing a two-game losing streak of their own, in which they’ve scored but 10 points in each game. Their overall offense is a bigger issue, Carr aside, as they’ve averaged only 280 ypg- good for 28th in the NFL.
So who thrives and survives? Who crumbles under the weight of failure en route to a 3rd consecutive loss?
I’m going pessimist this week, if only because I’ll either be a) correct in my assessment, or b) pleasantly surprised by a Ravens win.
The Ravens will do only slightly better this week than they did last week against Pittsburgh. Despite Manuel being under center, the Raiders offensive line will hold up strong all day again Dean Pees’ vanilla defense that’ll only rush 3 or 4 on every snap, giving Raiders receivers ample time to find space. But of course none of that will matter, as the Raiders will spend the day getting to the edge against Baltimore via Jalen Richards, much like the Steelers did with Bell.
Marshawn Lynch won’t do a ton up the gut. Maybe a junk TD for a yard after doing nothing for an entire drive.
On the offense, the Ravens will struggle finding time to let routes develop, as Khalil Mack is still a force and rides Flacco all day long.
Could Marty Mornhinweg dial up some quick routes to get the ball out of Joe’s hands? Could he run more plays out of shotgun knowing time is a factor? Could Flacco try to not throw behind his receivers, or perhaps feel backside pressure for once in his career?
If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, please see yourself to the door.
Here we come, 2-3. The pink slip rumbling for the coaching staff grows louder by the minute, as fans clearly see they were sold a false bill of goods in the offseason by Steve Biscotti & Co.
Rest of the Slate
The Ravens play at 4pm this week, so your 1pm is open! Enjoy an early game before the stress of yelling at Flacco through your TV.
Chargers @ Giants- Sunday 10/8 @ 1pm. Two 0-4 teams, meaning one will come out with a better record than the Browns- even if they tie.
Chiefs @ Texans- Sunday 10/8 @ 8:30pm. The Chiefs come into the game as the only undefeated team in the NFL. The Texans are coming off a victory featuring 5 touchdowns by rookie QB Deshaun Watson. Somethings gotta give…
Vikes @ Bears- Monday 10/9 @ 8:30pm. Rookie QB Mitch Trubisky makes his NFL debut, and I just want to hear Jon Gruden gush over him for 3 straight hours.
Football season in Baltimore has gone from awesome in Weeks 1 & 2, to total frustration in recent weeks. In an effort to help some of those on the verge of a mental breakdown, we offer this Top-5.
Top-5 “It Could Be Worse!” Scenarios for the Ravens
5-“At least our defense isn’t as bad as the Patriots!”– literally dead last in the NFL in every facet. Scoring, yards, passing- yup all 32nd.
4-“At least it’s still more exciting than the last month of Orioles baseball!” Chris Davis whiffs more than the Ravens O Line.
3-“At least we’re only stuck upside on Joe’s contract through 2018!” If you’re still fully behind him, we need to have an intervention…
2-“At least our new coaching staff in 2018 will be hungry!” Too soon?
1-“At least we aren’t the Browns!”– Eternally grateful.