5 Stages of Grief: Bye Week Blues

Street Talk 5 Stages of Grief: Bye Week Blues

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Hello darkness, my old friend…

I’ve come to talk to you again…

You get me, Simon and Garfunkel. You really do.

With every glimmer of hope the Ravens have offered in the 2017 season, we get excited once again; yet, despite the resounding amount of evidence supporting an immediate faceplant being inevitable, we still hang on…

Just hoping…

“Maybe this time is different! Maybe they’ve got it figured out!”

Only to be back in the same disappointing rut, addressing our 5 stages of grief…

Denial

I can’t believe they did it again… No, not lost a game. I can’t believe the Ravens shot themselves in the foot multiple times in the game, leading to a loss! Tyus Bowser with a special teams penalty, leads to a replay of the 4th down, only to have Sam Koch absolutely shank a punt, put the Titans inside the Ravens red zone, then turn it into 7.

Breshad Perriman drop another catch – a catch any NFL receiver needs to make – only to see a deflection to the defender for a pick. Flacco struggling with clock management. Misuse of timeouts in the game. Poor game planning by the coaching staff on 10 days rest.

10 DAYS

I just don’t understand how this team continues to operate on a daily basis knowing how the walls are closing in on them, yet they do nothing to promote change.

How can an owner be so stubborn? How can a GM be so awful at drafting players? How can a coaching staff be so terrible and still have jobs?

I just don’t get it… any of it…

Anger

Honestly?

At this point, I hope they lose to more second-rate NFL teams to skyrocket their 2018 draft pick up the boards! And it’s not that far-fetched really – do you have any faith that the Ravens can even beat these upcoming teams on the schedule with backup quarterbacks? Brett Hundley and Jacoby Brissett are probably looking at their schedules like “well, at least I know we can beat Baltimore this season!” 

I only have one request of this coaching staff: please don’t change anything!

I’ll enjoy these final Sundays (Saturdays, Mondays, etc) watching you come out after another close loss due to self-inflicted wounds, deferring blame, and trying to excuse it with “we saw some good things” or “making progress” and how about a “officiating didn’t help us” for good measure?

Keep on squirming… you don’t deserve to see another W added to any of your ProFootballReference pages, at least not in Baltimore!

Bargaining

If only these 2017 failures and shortcomings would lead to actual change in the Ravens organization, then the purple portion of my soul would be willing to take the beating.

For most franchises, losing culture promotes change, right? So another losing season to pile on recent seasons of coming up short can only help push that agenda in Baltimore. And typically these changes start at the top, and work their way down.

If the Ravens keep on losing in all facets of the game – offense doesn’t show up, defense gives up key drives, coaches can’t put together a cohesive game plan – perhaps the changes will come sooner than later.

Like this coming offseason.

If this losing season (assuming things don’t suddenly change post-bye week) results in the possibility of Ozzie stepping down and Eric DeCosta taking over the GM role? An entirely new coaching staff? Drafting a quarterback? Focusing the entirety of a draft on offense? Trading away a few vets to alleviate cap issues and increase draft picks for future years?

I can accept the fate of the 2017 Ravens, as well as the potential for a few more years on the outside looking in coming January, knowing that the team is rebuilding into an eventual playoff caliber team – something they haven’t been for years.

Depression

All of my hope for a better future – the lose now, force change, brighter tomorrow theory – is likely all for naught.

NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

Let’s be honest folks, we thought this would be the case after last season, didn’t we?

Then Steve Bisciotti came out at the State of the Ravens address, gave his full support to Joe Flacco, John Harbaugh, Dean Pees and Marty Mornhinweg and… well, the rest is history.

So what’s to say this won’t happen again? You know he’s already planning this speech, constantly referring back to injuries and how the team would’ve been so much better without key injuries, all the while blatantly ignoring the fact that the Ravens schedule would’ve been a million times more difficult if the opponents didn’t have the same issues: this season the Ravens avoided/will avoid a ton of game-changers due to injury: Sam Bradford, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Derek Carr, Stefon Diggs, J.J. Watt…

But let’s disregard those players. Instead it will be more of the same. More votes of confidence, more deferring money to future years to fill holes, more lackluster Flacco, more defensive draft picks, more deferring blame, and a never-ending cycle from this Ravens team that can’t seem to get out of their own way…

Acceptance

I guess at the end of the day? You have to play out the final 7 games, hope that some of your young players continue to improve, and regardless of the record (not that it will be any better than 8-8) there’s a recognition at the top of the food chain that changes are necessary in order to keep fans invested in this Ravens franchise, and if that means a coaching change? Drafting a quarterback? Reassigning GM duties?

So be it.

We have to hope that Steve Bisciotti is in a constant state of evaluation from Ozzie Newsome all the way down to the water boy, and that he’ll be willing to do whatever is necessary to improve this team in 2018 and beyond. Hopefully he can admit when he’s wrong – he’s done it before when firing Brian Billick after giving him a multi-year extension, drafting Kyle Boller, etc – and hopefully the end result is a Ravens team that promises for a brighter tomorrow in Baltimore, puts butts back in the seats, and turns this current lackluster product back into a perennial playoff contender looking to hoist their 3rd Lombardi!

Worst case scenario, liquor sales continue to spike north on Sundays around town, so hooray for bar and liquor store owners!

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Adam Bonaccorsi

About Adam Bonaccorsi

Known by his fellow 227ers at M&T Bank Stadium as “Are You Kidding Me?” Adam is a vocal and opinionated Baltimore sports fans, who appreciates thinking outside of the box and offering far-fetched perspectives that tend to leave readers left wondering ‘what if?’ or sometimes 'seriously bro?' and occasionally, 'I'll have what he's drinking!' Or just 4-letter expletive-laden responses. Those are the best. More from Adam Bonaccorsi

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