Bring on the Rain! Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

The Chicken Box Bring on the Rain!

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It feels like this week went by really quickly. Perhaps it’s a byproduct of having the Ravens game on Monday, and the holiday eating up the end of the week. Either way, it’s time for another Chicken Box, a collection of thoughts from happenings around the league. So while you’re still working off all the food you ate on Thursday, take a moment and enjoy the article.

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Garrett should’ve been fired by now.

The Dallas Cowboys started the season with three straight wins. They are now 6-6, and will likely only make the playoffs if they win the division – and then they’ll lose their first game. 

I tend to agree with Jerry Jones as to where the blame should lay. The team is talented. Dak Prescott isn’t terrible. They have one of the best running backs in the game, albeit behind a banged-up offensive line. They have talent at almost every single position on the offense, and an above-average defense on paper.

So why have they lost six of their last nine games? It’s coaching, and it starts with Jason Garrett and his extremely punchable face. The Clapper is too conservative in his coaching, and it’s come back to bite the Cowboys more than once this season. He’s only aggressive when he’s told that he has to be, not when he actually should be, as evidenced by his chaotic decisions in the Thanksgiving game against the Bills. 

So why haven’t the Cowboys made a change in coaching? If I had to guess, it’s because he’s the best of the bad options. That alone speaks to how badly the team has been managed. Maybe it’s time to hire an actual GM and get the team back on track.

If that means a rebuild, so be it. It’ll be fun to watch Cowboys fans cry while it happens.

I’m not cocky, I’m confident.

My tweet is a brief summation of what I’m trying to say here. I’m not knocking the pride that Ravens fans have in their team right now. What I am saying is that while it’s fun to be the best team in football, it can all change in an instant. Humility while winning is more important than humility while losing.

Take heed of how Lamar Jackson reacts to praise. While national pundits and analysts are calling the Ravens the best team in football, and Lamar the best quarterback in the game right now, he’s maintaining his cool, and devaluing the praise. He’s accepting while not being prideful.

We all love the Marcus Peters style of play. Brash, mouthy, talking a mess – and that has its place on the field. But that can quickly turn into Jalen Ramsey, who got absolutely dragged after he got too cocky in post-game interviews.

I realize I’m rambling a bit, but the underlying point is, you don’t want the fan base to be viewed in the same light as the Patriots, or the aforementioned Cowboys.

Be happy that the team is winning. Be proud of what they’ve done. But remember that it can all come crashing down and that energy can be thrown back at you.

Rain, rain, go…..away? Maybe not.

The forecast for tomorrow’s game is less than great. They’re calling for a 100% chance of rain – a lot of rain – and highs in the 40s. The Ravens have been practicing with soaking wet balls, with an emphasis on ball control and protection ahead of the biggest game of their season (again). 

However, I don’t think the weather is as much of a disadvantage for the Ravens, as it is for San Francisco – who aren’t used to cold-weather football. 

It rained in Seattle when the Ravens visited the Seahawks. Baltimore still put up 30 points as a team. Lamar had his worst passing game of the season (9-for-20, 143 yards) but the ground game was still incredible, putting up almost 200 yards and controlling the tempo of the game. 

While the Niners have a scary defensive front, the Ravens have shown that they can handle nasty athleticism (Rams) and still be productive on the ground (285 yards). That’s the key to this game as well. Keep the ball low, control the clock, wear out the San Francisco defense, and finish drives. 

On the other side of the ball, I trust Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, Earl Thomas, and Jimmy Smith to make the day even more miserable for the 49ers pass catchers. Matthew Judon and Brandon Williams just need to do their parts to make sure Jimmy G doesn’t get too comfortable.

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AFC North cheering section.

Look, I hate to say this, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Ravens fans should be pulling for the Steelers tomorrow when they face the Browns. 

Think about it. Pittsburgh is on their third-string quarterback. James Conner is banged up. Juju Smith-Schuster has been banged up. Would you rather have a banged-up Steelers squad in the postseason, or a Browns squad with momentum that has guys like Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry on the team?

Sign me up for option one. The Steelers, if they make the playoffs (much like the Cowboys), will lose their first game. Then they’re watching on the couch, with the rest of the have-nots. 

Rooting for a tie is like rooting for snow in Phoenix. It just isn’t realistic, but it’s awesome when it happens. So if you’re going to root for anything, as a Ravens fan, root for the Steelers.

It’s not like we want the Browns fans to get any more obnoxious than they already are, anyway.

In Closing…

That’s it for me this week. I’ll talk at you fine folks early next week, on a (hopefully) victory Monday, in the next Good, Bad, and Ugly article. Be sure to follow all the Russell Street Report guys on Twitter, if that’s your thing, and leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Also, I don’t know who needs to hear this, but Christmas trees shouldn’t be up before Thanksgiving. December 1st is Sunday – do it after that. 

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About Michael Telford

I have been an avid Ravens fan since their inception, and have written about them for a little over seven years. I live in Florida with my wonderful girlfriend Kelly nowadays, and keep up all year with all things Ravens. You can follow me on Twitter (@LateRoundCorner) where you can argue with me about all the takes that you won't agree with. Sarcasm is my first language. More from Michael Telford

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