Ravens Lay Another Egg
In a league that is ripe with parity – a watered down balance of power leaving nearly all of its participants with a chance to win The Lombardi, the Ravens, with their quality of style-less play and God-awful execution, are simply a parody.
A bad imitation of a real team in the National Football League.
When the Ravens weren’t a parody and resembled a good NFL team, they choked opponents’ running game. One-hundred-yard rushing efforts were rare against the vaunted Ravens defense. Now, they give up 145.3 yards PER GAME on the ground – a league-worst average. Their offense is ranked 31st in the league and they own the NFL’s worst passing “attack”.
One could understand why the offense is as cutting edge as a rotary pay phone. Their current starting offensive line has 3 undrafted free agents. One of their tight ends will be 37 in December and the other is a 2015 fifth-round pick with 38 career receptions and 2 suspensions. The posse of wide receivers that was most prominent in yesterday’s 24-16 loss in Minnesota, consisted of a fourth-round pick, a seventh-round pick and an undrafted free agent recently signed off the NFL’s scrap heap who has bounced around among five teams in 5+ seasons.
And that defense…
The Ravens invested their first four picks on defense. None of them has been prominent – a couple barely noticeable. They added free agents Tony Jefferson and Brandon Carr. Carr has been decent while Jefferson looks like a fish out of water. Today Dean Pees’ unit ranks 18th in overall defense despite having face substandard signal callers like DeShone Kizer, Case Keenum, E.J. Manuel and Mitch Trubisky.
Yet John Harbaugh continues to defend both of his coordinators. He continues to tell us that all they need to do is go to work and get better every day.
Instead they just get worse.
It probably doesn’t help the defense that they face the Ravens offense in practice. They might be challenged more on the practice field if they squared off against The Crimson Tide.
Look, changes have to be made. This is a (3-4) team spiraling out of control. The challenging thing for the club is that their problems don’t reside on the back of any one individual. It’s an organizational problem from top to bottom.
At what point do the coaches whose futures lie in the balance, start to complain about a lack of talent? At what point do the scouts and front office who believe in the players they’ve signed, drafted and recruited, start to put the team’s struggles on the coaching staff? At what point do the players destined for free agency, shut down and opt not to risk their future for a team that is circling the drain?
When will Steve Bisciotti step in?
“You have to trust me that if there was a weak link, I would extricate myself from that problem,” Bisciotti said this past Wednesday during The Ravens Rap at The Original Greene Turtle in Ocean City, MD, hosted by 105.7 The Fan’s Mike Popovec.
“This is, unlike my business, a collaboration of everything going right. You really have to understand it before you start pointing fingers.”
Bisciotti is right. There isn’t a weak link.
The whole chain is rusted and ready to fall apart.
The next time Bisciotti speaks it will be during the State of the Ravens presser in early January.
BaltimoreRavens.com better get some added bandwidth for that presser.
Brandon Carr was targeted six times, allowing just three catches for 22 yards. He also intercepted Keenum’s first pass at the Ravens 2 following a 46-yard punt return from the Vikings’ Marcus Sherels to the Baltimore 36…Justin Tucker was 3 for 3 including a 57-yarder that could have gone for 65+.
Joe Flacco had 11 plays during which he didn’t have adequate time to set and throw. On those plays, according to Pro Football Focus, Flacco had just SEVEN yards passing and was sacked 5 times. Yes, pre-snap reads remain a problem, exacerbated by the patchwork receiving corps. Flacco looked frenzied throughout the afternoon and just as he has all season and last, he prematurely checked down, often forced to make pinpoint throws that have little upside. It’s getting really old watching risky throws for a gain of 1…With no receiving options that threatened the Vikings secondary, Minnesota stacked the box and forced the Ravens into uncomfortable down and distance situations. It was a very predictable game plan for which Marty Mornhinweg had no answer. Shocker!
Mornhinweg’s colleague on the opposite side of the ball, Dean Pees, did what he usually does. The Ravens prematurely showed blitz rendering their packages useless. The great Case Keenum was only touched 3 times yesterday and was never sacked. Last week Pees claimed the Ravens played well defensively if not for a few big plays. Right, and Ubaldo Jimenez would be an ace for the Orioles if not for those regular 3-run jacks. SMH! So, what happened yesterday Mr. Swiss Pees? …So, this guy wearing No. 23, is that really the safety that the Ravens paid $34 million to for 2017 and the next three seasons? …Punt coverage was rather pathetic. Sherels averaged 27.7 yards on 3 returns.
Joe Flacco is ranked 31st among the NFL starting QB’s, and there aren’t that many good QBs in the game today. He’s played poorly, perhaps he’s still hurt. It’s hard to believe he’s this bad. But that said, he gets next to no help from a sub-standard starting lineup and a clueless coordinator, despite what the head coach thinks. And would you please just delete all screen plays from your iPad Marty. Or maybe just change your title to “Ravens Offensive Uncoordinator” …The Ravens had 208 yards of offense yesterday, 78 of them coming on 14 plays during their final dink and dunk drive that ended with a Chris Moore TD reception. Their first 50 plays produced just 130 yards. That’s 2.6 YPP! Why don’t they try up tempo before they reach the point of desperation? …Jermaine Eluemunor v. Linval Joseph looked like me going up against a 23-year old Mike Tyson.
Patrick Onwuasor was an absolute sieve against the run. He looked lost and was regularly caught in the wash. He’s a big liability and will be targeted week in and week out. He’s a regular reminder of another failed second round pick of the Ravens, Kamalei Correa.
During our visit with Steve Bisciotti on Wednesday, he said, “All our planning comes down to the bounce of the ball.”
I so wish the Ravens troubles were that simple.
THE MEGAN FOX AWARD
We’re trying to confirm this, but rumors are swirling that the Megan Fox may have retired.