Reporting Rob Long
The Baltimore Ravens are not a team that is “happy” to have a winning record. They are a team that’s made it to the post-season four out of the past five years. They’ve seen all of the success over that time that comes along with winning except actually winning a championship.
Think about it, in 2006 they were 13-3 and had a home play-off game. The San Diego Chargers were the number one seed and lost in the first-round. All the Ravens had to do was win their home play-off game and they would have had home field advantage for the AFC Championship game.
Even after holding Peyton Manning out of the endzone, they could not win to advance. All during that season, listeners would call my show and voice their concern. I would say, “I’m not apologizing for a win.” Now, I think back on that and I was blinded by the fact that the team was coming off of a losing season and the Ravens had Steve McNair, a guy who’d been there before. I kept thinking he would fix things and everything would be okay.
Fast forward to today. I don’t have that “a win’s a win” mentality anymore. I’ve watched enough teams lift the Lombardi Trophy to have a good idea of what should not happen for a championship team.
First off, hats off to the defense for making plays and winning that game last night. Cam Cameron and Joe Flacco tried their best to give it to Rex Ryan and company but the defense locked on and would not let it go. Everytime the New York Jets got back into the game, the defense would make a play to widen the gap.
This is a quarterback’s league. True, there are so many ways to win games, but quarterbacks are winning championships. How many of the championship quarterbacks are going 0-for the entire quarter unless the team just pounds the ball on the ground for an entire period.
Enough with the “I like or don’t like Joe Flacco stuff.” We get so use to having to defend the guy that we often take a stance on one side or the other and refuse to budge, regardless of what happens from game to game. Sunday night was a bad game all the way around.
First of all Cam Cameron called a game that resembled a stubborn kid saying, “I’m gonna throw the ball and no one’s gonna stop me.” That aside, this is supposed to be the year Flacco has the right to call audibles to get the team out of bad situations. I’m hoping he didn’t exercise that right last night because they were constantly in bad situations and it seemed he just ran the play. Read the defense, pre-snap, and take what they give you.
Now, bad playcalling and all, you have to make good throws and Flacco made some last night. I’m chalking his bad completion percentage, as a whole, to the fact that he has nearly an entirely new receiving corp. However, that had nothing to do with some of the horrible throws that were made last night. I don’t want to hear that no separation speech. That was not the case Sunday night. He missed Ed Dickson twice with separation and Torrey Smith on a deep ball. Dickson did drop one but a good quarterback has to do something to stop the bleeding and Flacco did not do that.
Yes, the Ravens are 3-1 going into the bye, but this win will probably get scrutinized as much as the loss to the Tennessee Titans. John Harbaugh has to be alarmed by somethings that transpired on Sunday night. The good news is that they have two weeks to fix it. Matt Schaub is a good quarterback. You can’t give him the opportunities you gave Mark Sanchez.