I don’t think I’m breaking any news here, but yesterday’s game was awful. The Ravens couldn’t get their pass rush going, and it doomed them. A late Will Hill interception almost saved them, but was called back due to defensive holding (and if it wasn’t he had a colossally stupid fumble on top of it, which the Ravens appeared to recover, but it doesn’t change how stupid it was). Joe Flacco had an opportunity to provide a touchdown instead of a field goal, too, but overthrew an open Steve Smith in the front right corner of the endzone.
Any way you slice it, the loss puts the Ravens in a bad position, with two of their toughest games of the year coming in the next two weeks. Now, on to the links.
The Ravens haven’t exactly had the best experiences when they pack everything up and move their practices this year. Along with this 0-2 West Coast trip, the Ravens also had one of the worst preseason games in recent memory while away in Philadelphia. When it comes time to decide whether to move their base back to the West Coast again in October when they play San Francisco and Arizona in consecutive weeks, Harbaugh may want to come back home to practice.
As Mike Preston says, “Maybe the players are fresher when they are at home being around their families, sleeping in their own beds and eating home-cooked meals.” LINK
Deciding NOT to activate Jason Babin proved to be a poor decision. With Za’Darius Smith active instead, he along with Courtney Upshaw, Elvis Dumervil, and Albert McClellan repeatedly failed to get pressure on the quarterback, as Bo Smolka of CSN Mid-Atlantic tells us. He says that the Ravens need to go back to the drawing board, because “the three-man pass rush was completely ineffective.” No kidding. LINK
Having two teams head to the locker rooms from the same tunnel is stupid. Unfortunately, in that dump of a stadium out in Oakland, there is no other alternative, and it apparently led to an altercation between Justin Tuck and Steve Smith at halftime. As Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun says, it “doesn’t surprise me that Smith is one involved.” Eric Garland of CSN Mid-Atlantic has the full story. LINK
If you’re not into masochism and want to read about something other than yesterday’s wretched performance, David Drew of Michigan Live discusses Tom Flacco’s, Joe’s younger brother, performance in his appearance in Western Michigan’s game on Saturday. He came in mop-up duty, but he showed off his athleticism. Tom gave up the opportunity to play professional baseball to play football – he was drafted in the 32nd round by the Phillies. LINK
Starting Sunday, the Ravens will have a 5-day stretch that could either save the season or ruin it, according to Peter King of SI’s MMQB. Without getting a win after staying on the road for consecutive games, the Ravens will need to get wins against Cincinnati at home and then Pittsburgh on the road in order to make it back to .500. While some teams (i.e. the Seahawks) shouldn’t panic about their 0-2 start, the Ravens have a much tougher road ahead. The part of the blog about the Ravens is under the second heading, the third point titled “Broken Baltimore”. LINK
Ravens dejected by 0-2 start