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We all had high hopes for the 2007 season. On the heels of a 13-3 2006 we were all led to believe that a Steve McNair more familiar with the Billick System and the addition of the versatile Willis McGahee would inspire a potentially more explosive offense. And with the return of 10 starters on defense how could the Ravens fail to defend their AFC North Crown?
Those hopes flamed out like a Mike Tyson comeback.
Steve McNair could use some Geritol.
The defense needs fix-a-flat for all the holes in the secondary.
Ed Reed needs to check into Gamblerâ€™s Anonymous.
And the Billick System is about as cutting edge as an abacus and is screaming to be the crash test dummy for Saddam Husseinâ€™s weapons of mass destruction.
All this and itâ€™s only the seasonâ€™s twelfth game.
A look at the remaining schedule and itâ€™s hard to find more than one more win on it. Gee, I bet the Buffalo Bills are pretty happy about getting the Ravens third round pick in 2008.
That said itâ€™s time to pull something out of this season. We waited far too long. We suffered through the insufferable Orioles again and now the Ravens could be staring at a 5-11 finish and a top 10 draft pick.
Who wanted that? Who expected that? Is this what J.O. came back for?
The reality is the dismal finish will probably happen but until it does, thereâ€™s no sense wishing the season away. No one is offering a refund because the product that the supplier promised isnâ€™t what itâ€™s supposed to be. Itâ€™s time to get something out of the season and that something is a win this Monday Night against the Patriots.
I know, I knowâ€¦put the crack pipe downâ€¦
Look, I realize that there is virtually no chance for the Ravens to upset the Patriots. If the Ravens rush only four against Tom Brady, he can stand there until Mississippi 10 before heâ€™ll have to throw. Can we expect our secondary to stay with Messrs. Moss, Welker and Stallworth forever?
If the Ravens blitz Brady, is there anyone out there who thinks he wonâ€™t be licking his chops and pick on the islands of Martin, Ivy or Prude?
The Patriots could score on each possession and theyâ€™ve made it very clear that they will try to do exactly that whenever the offense takes the field.
Remember Buster Douglas?
Remember the â€™69 Mets?
Remember Super Bowl III?
How about Rudy?
Winning on Monday is not impossible but it will take a superior effort from the Ravens and it will take a superior effort from the fans.
Together, letâ€™s make a statement. Letâ€™s tell our team that we are behind them and that like some of the players, we view this as our Super Bowl. We can make history. We can be that team that was the fly in the ointment of perfection for the New England Patriots.
For one cool December night before a national TV audience we can be the NFLâ€™s Buster Douglas. But weâ€™ve got to take our best shot and that best shot has to include YOU!
The Ravens are 20 Â½ point underdogs. Isnâ€™t that a slap in the face of our city; of our home field advantage? Letâ€™s do what we ask the Ravens to do each week â€“ leave it on the field!
Itâ€™s better to have tried and failed than to sit passively and go down without a fight.
Instead of being remembered in 2007 as the NFL city of underachievers, letâ€™s be remembered as the city whose team spoiled perfection for the leagueâ€™s biggest bunch of cheaters.
Remember the scene when Mike Tyson couldnâ€™t put his mouthpiece back in as he crawled on the canvas? Remember it?
Now picture No. 12 doing the same on the turf at M&T.