Baltimore’s season began well, with the 24-10 victory over Cleveland seeing them move to 2-0. But things have turned sour since September 17 with just one more victory at Oakland in early October.
The London thrashing at the hands of Jacksonville was the catalyst for a reversal of fortune and the Ravens have now slipped to 3-4 with Sunday’s loss at Minnesota.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what has gone wrong when nothing seems to be going right on either side of the ball.
Injuries have hit the club hard while the aging offense cannot seem to get anything going, with minimal protection for quarterback Joe Flacco who has come in for some serious flak from fans and pundits alike.
It is true that the 32-year-old is not enjoying the best of fortunes at the moment and his five touchdown passes this season just don’t cut it. That said, it is tough to find receivers when the pocket is continually collapsing and forcing him into releasing under pressure.
Add to that 17 sacks and it is obvious that there are serious issues that need addressing, but do the Ravens have the resources to plug the holes?
James Hurst is enjoying a decent season after switching from tackle to guard but Flacco needs more help from his offensive line.
The man from New Jersey remains philosophical about the situation and, when asked about the problems offensively, told reporters: “it just is what it is”.
Unsurprisingly, the team’s receiving stats do not make good reading either, with running back Javorius Allen leading the way with 31 receptions.
Tight End Benjamin Watson is next with 29 while the wide receivers are just not making enough yardage after catching the ball, and only Mike Wallace of those who have 10 or more catches, has double figures in yards per reception.
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The defense has been unable to bail out the offense although Brandon Carr, who leads the club with three interceptions, and rookie Jaylen Hill, were solid against the Vikings last time out.
Attendances have been down this season, with many disillusioned fans also drifting away before the end of the game, and the main problem is that there is no spark on the field to bring them to life.
A team devoid of any superstar names needs to pull together to create a siege mentality which in turn will feed through to the supporters, but the way the Ravens are performing at present, that is unlikely to happen and things will probably get worse.
Those who had a wager on the Ravens going all the way this season might have done their money in already, but Bethut’s free bet selection is worth checking out for punters who fancy trying to get their money back elsewhere.
The old cliché states that ‘there is still a long way to go’ but unless John Harbaugh can instill some confidence back into his ailing squad, it is going to be a slow crawl towards week 17 and a long off-season.
Article submitted by John Webb