The Baltimore Ravens this season have looked much like the old Ravens we’re used to, with their only consistency being their inconsistency. The Ravens have adopted this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde mentality and continue to leave many Ravens fans dumbfounded when it comes to predicting their performance in any given game. Whether they’re breaking scoring records or finishing with less than 200 yards of total offense, this year’s Ravens have been unable to provide their fans with any sort of stability, which makes many doubt their chances every Sunday.
While injuries to defensive stars Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and Terrell Suggs are definitely huge factors that have greatly hurt the Ravens, there’s even more problems on the other side of the ball.
This year, we’ve seen Ray Rice’s touches per game range from a low of 13 twice to a high of 30, an extremely large and inexplicable gap for a guy many consider the best running back in the NFL. This stat should come as no surprise as every Ravens’ fan has heard their fair share of play-calling gripes over the years. Rice’s number of touches per game has little consistency and follows no logic. Many have pointed out the obvious correlation between his touches and Ravens wins. However, the Ravens coaching staff must be seeing something we’re not because Rice continues to get a diminished amount of touches.
The other main problem for the Ravens has been the up and down play of quarterback Joe Flacco. While Flacco has received his fair share of criticism throughout his career, I still firmly believe that Flacco is the Ravens’ franchise quarterback and can be an “elite” quarterback. Joe has showed us how good he can be numerous times during his career and I stand by my assertion that those games were no flukes. It’s what happens after those games that has damaged Flacco’s stock. While this irregular play can be attributed to a lot of factors, the obvious one remains the play calling
Apparently, I’m not the only one that has taken notice of the Ravens’ inconsistencies. Odds from Vegas have the Ravens as 1.5 – 2.5 underdogs against the Washington Redskins, a team which looks inferior to the Ravens in many categories including their overall records. The following week, the Ravens are listed as underdogs again at home versus the Broncos. This is unheard of as the Ravens are usually always large favorites at home, no matter who the competition is.
While I always expect the Ravens to come out of a game with a W, I’ve had my fair share of doubts this season. There’s still plenty of time for the Ravens to fix their erratic play, but until then, I’ll remain skeptical about their chances each Sunday.