For the Baltimore Ravens to be 5-2 in their current state, they should consider themselves incredibly lucky.
The Ravens have been decimated with injuries this season, losing Terrell Suggs for the first six games, Lardarius Webb and most likely Ray Lewis for the season, in addition to an MCL injury to Haloti Ngata, and a labrum tear to Ed Reed. That’s an injury to the Ravens’ best pass rusher, corner, linebacker, defensive lineman, and safety all coming in within a matter of two weeks (with the exception of Suggs).
While the 5-2 record is not ideal, the Ravens could easily be on the opposite end of that record, as they have won their last four games by a grand total of 13 points.
This bye week comes at a perfect time as the Ravens can rest and take care of their injuries as they gear up for their intimidating second-half schedule which includes the Pittsburgh Steelers twice, the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, and the Peyton Manning-led Broncos.
During the bye, the Ravens have a ton of issues to sort out with the majority of them relating to the defense. The last three games have featured an atrocious run defense in which they allowed two games of 200+ rushing yards and one of 180+. Additionally, the Ravens’ corners are starting to look like an easy targets for opposing offenses as Cary Williams has had trouble covering bigger physical receivers like Dez Bryant and Andre Johnson, and Jimmy Smith has been caught biting on double moves numerous times.
The Ravens will also need to spend some time sorting out their offensive line. Kelechi Osemele suffered an ankle injury against the Texans that may affect him in the future. Osemele missing time means the Ravens will need to figure out a lineup that will keep players in the position they’re most accustomed to. For example, Michael Oher switching from left to right tackle multiple times in one game usually does not produce great results – as we saw against the Texans.
The Ravens have always been a great team coming off a bye so let’s hope they can get healthy, fix their issues, and get back on the winning track during their week off.