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The Ravens Won’t Quit, So Don’t Quit on Them!

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Original Photo: Joey Pulone/Baltimore Ravens
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By now, we’ve all lamented the loss from Sunday, and I won’t belabor the point: it sucked.

Between adding an L in the standings when we had an opportunity to separate ourselves from Cincy and the sheer heartbreak of the way the game ended, it feels like we lost about two or three different times in a single weekend. Don’t even get me started on the postgame injury report. The road ahead definitely appears to be a brutal stretch, and you’d be justified in pessimism.

But from the beginning, this season has been an uphill battle. It’s been gut punches over and over again from the start of training camp. The team has weathered those gut punches to an 8-4 record through Week 13 against all odds. Let’s touch one more time on the controversial final play.

I’m a huge numbers guy. At times, I think I’ve even been hyper-fixated on statistics. By the numbers, the decision to go for the extra point to keep the game going would have made total sense. But the game flow showed that the defense was gassed, and I completely understand the decision to try to end it then and there. Marlon Humphrey was down, and Diontae Johnson was beating Anthony Averett soundly. Coach Harbaugh made a gutsy call to put it on the back of his offense, and the execution just wasn’t there.

We can all critique the final play in hindsight, but how quickly we forget what boldness can mean in a game balanced on a razor-thin margin.

We all know how that decision turned out, and there were VERY few detractors from that decision since it ended up on the best side of history. Boldness is a double-edged sword, and while you’re going to lose some gambles, this team is in a position where the only way they make the rest of this season count is by being bold.

That’s why, going into the final few weeks of the season, my position is this: numbers be damned. Show me character. Show me a locker room that embodies “next man up” the way the Ravens have all season. Show me guys who come back after a game like this pissed off because they hate to lose.

The execution the last few weeks has needed work, for sure. But we’ve seen what Lamar Jackson has done at times this season, even when he’s been running for his life. The defense has shown flashes of being stifling, including in the first half this past Sunday. They have the tools – we’ve seen them work against Minnesota, Indy, Chicago, KC, and they can damn sure work in these last five games. At the end of the season, no one is going to ask “how”, they’re going to ask, “how many?”

Last year’s Niners and Eagles had more injuries than any other teams in the league. The Ravens have already surpassed their numbers with five weeks left in the season.

And they’re 8-4.

Could they let this loss be the beginning of the end? Sure. The temptation might be to call it a year and say that it was fun while it lasted. But that’s just not in the character of this year’s team. As hard as it might be, Flock, do your best to keep the faith, because there’s not an ounce of quit in a single guy in that locker room. Let’s choose to stare down the challenges ahead and say…

“GOOD!”

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