Perception is Reality
REALITY: When the Ravens lead at halftime, they win (and vice versa).
4-5 Ravens are telltale by halftime:
Led at half all 4 W's (72-17 total)
Trailed at half all 5 L's (12-77 total)
Not a comeback team.
— Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) November 6, 2017
Perception: The way the Ravens have played on offense, they aren’t going to win a shootout with anyone. A few years ago, Joe Flacco had the ability to throw the ball to his receivers all over the field and score 25+ points per game. But that is definitely not what this year’s offense is going to do. Flacco is having trouble getting the ball to his receivers and his pass catchers are having a hard time catching the balls that he does get to them.
The Ravens have a solid running game, but it can’t do the job when the team is trailing in the second half. They need to find a way to score quickly, and this offense is not built for that. The Ravens coaching staff needs to set the team up for success by getting them the ball first, and developing a game plan that gets them down the field in the first quarter often, putting up points early.
REALITY: The Ravens defense has failed this team just as much as the offense has.
"They were gassed by the 4th!"
It's coming. https://t.co/Fi1GJOTs9D
— Derek Arnold (@BMoreBirdsNest) November 5, 2017
Perception: Whenever you mention that the Ravens defense let the team down, the first response you’ll get from some fans is “Well, if they weren’t on the field all game, they would be rested and able to make some stops.” That is a false narrative.
For the season, the Ravens average 30:29 time of possession (17th in the NFL). That means the defense has been averaging 29:31 on the field per game.
The defense just needs to do a better job at stepping up to the plate, especially when the game is on the line.
It’s obvious to so many people who write about the Ravens that the defense is not holding up their end of the deal, so other fans need to look beyond the offense when considering what’s gone wrong this season.
REALITY: There is no hurry-up in the Ravens hurry-up offense.
Perception: I have talked about this over and over again in this column… the Ravens have absolutely no sense of urgency and they have no clue what a 2-minute offense is.
I don’t understand why everyone in America, including the TV announcers, can see that the Ravens lack a hurry-up offense, but week after week, nothing changes about it. If you saw the game on TV this past Sunday, you may have noticed that John Harbaugh actually looked like he wanted to the offense to pick-up the pace, but it still didn’t change anything. So, does Flacco just not want to rush things along?
Who oversees that offense, and who is to blame when it comes to a lack of a hurry-up offense? No one is taking control.
REALITY: The Ravens are 4-5 as they take a break this weekend.
Loss drops Ravens to 4-5 but hope springs eternal amid NFL parity/mediocrity: will be favored in 6 of remaining 7 gms. Favorable schedule.
— Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) November 5, 2017
Perception: Four wins, 5 losses is not where the Ravens should have been, entering their bye week. They had many opportunities to be above .500. I think the Chicago Bears game sticks out the most. Losing by three at home to the Bears is not something a team wanting to the get to the playoffs should do. Losing to the Titans in Tennessee last week was another that shouldn’t have happened. Change those two results and the Ravens are sitting pretty at 6-3. But they aren’t, so they have to do with where they are now.
It’s hard to look ahead with a team that has lost 44-7, and won 40-0 in the same season, but we’ll try anyway. Next week, Baltimore travels to Green Bay to take on a back-up quarterback. At the start of the season, I might have looked at that game as a definite loss. But with Aaron Rodgers out, it turns into a game the Ravens should win.
Then the Ravens get the Houston Texans at home for Monday Night Football. A few weeks ago, when Deshaun Watson was leading the Texans, I would have said that would be a real tough game for Baltimore. But with Watson out, and Tom Savage as the potential quarterback coming to Baltimore to face the Ravens, it would appear that is another game they should win.
A tough 2-game stretch follows, with the Detroit Lions coming to Baltimore, followed by a trip to Pittsburgh. The Lions game will be a tough one for the Ravens to pull out, playing the way they currently are. The Lions looked solid on Monday Night against the Packers. That could be a loss. The Steelers game could also be quite difficult for the current Ravens to win.
But then the Ravens finish up with the Browns, Colts, and Bengals… three more winnable games.
If things fall that way, the Ravens are looking at 9-7 and a dog-fight in the AFC for the wild card… that is, if things fall the right way for Baltimore. They haven’t fallen that way in the first half of the season, so it’s tough to think they will fall that way in the second half. BUT… the Ravens are starting to get a little healthier and that will help, especially if Danny Woodhead can help out on offense.
As they say, though, you take one game at a time. Right now, the Ravens get a week to rest before they take on a beat-up Packers team.