I think it’s safe to say we’re all bummed with the Ravens’ loss on Sunday. It was a weird one, no doubt. The team only lost by five on the road against what I believe to be the best team in the NFL. Yet, the loss felt like a back-breaker.
Last week, I wrote about how fans could take good from a loss at Arrowhead depending on a few different results. Honestly, with the game finishing close despite the threat of a blowout for three quarters, I don’t even know how I’m feeling about it.
Except for one thing.
Weirdly, as my attention’s turned to Cleveland, I’m actually wondering if it might have been a good thing for the Ravens to lose against the Chiefs.
Hear me out. I’m serious.
I’m thinking back to that first game against the Browns last year. It was Week 5, the Ravens were 3-1 and fresh off an exciting win in Pittsburgh, getting ready to take a stranglehold on the division.
That is, until they laid an egg against the Browns and lost in overtime.
Interestingly, that game situation would have been eerily similar to the one the Ravens would have been facing had they upset Patrick Mahomes in KC.
The Ravens are still sitting atop the AFC North at 2-1, but now face the reality that a loss means forfeiting their spot as the leader to Cleveland.
Knowing that, it should be impossible to lay an egg or take the team for granted.
It should be.
Now, there’s an argument to be made that Lamar Jackson hasn’t really lost a bad game yet. The three times he’s come up short were against great teams that were favored, so losing to Cleveland this week would be new territory for him. I’m hoping, unlike Joe Flacco, he gets the job done every time he’s truly supposed to.
The Browns are certainly improved on paper, but haven’t looked like the juggernaut they were made out to be this offseason. Thus, this week is one of those times where Jackson – and the Ravens in general – should get the job done.
Another aspect of last week’s loss that’s concerning was of course the defensive performance. We heard so much from both the media and the team itself about how strong this defense was going to be. Well, they didn’t look good on Sunday.
Hopefully, by being blown out of the water and having a bit of a reality check in a loss, they’ll get their heads together and play the way they should.
Baker Mayfield has thrown five interceptions in three games. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t see at least two more Sunday. And, I’m not afraid to call out the man who was labeled the big signing of the year, Earl Thomas. I need to see him improve, because he looks lost and overconfident thus far.
No. More. Big. Plays.
In every facet, the Ravens should take their loss at Kansas City and use it as fuel for a strong, inspired performance against Cleveland this weekend.
And let me remind you, if the Ravens are sitting at 3-1 at 4:30 on Sunday, with a two-game lead in the division, we’re still sitting pretty.