Jerry Coleman: A Code Red
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Just last week, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs declared the Ravens in a “state of emergency” after their AFC North foe defeated them in Pittsburgh 19-17, heading into the bye week. It might be at “Code Red” now. The team had an extra week plus two days to practice and prepare to face the Browns. It didn’t appear that way. Seems that the Ravens still lack confidence, and attitude, much less a run game. They are having the same old problems every single week and then you can almost count on the players responding by claiming, ”it’s frustrating – or we have to get better”. After losing 24-18 to the Browns yesterday, it certainly puts a target on key players to step up and try to savage this season, which has them in 3rd place in the AFC North at 3-5.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said, “I know our players are good enough.” Yet his club continues to struggle with the same aspects that have been hampering them all season. Those issues include getting off to a fast start on offense, and recording early stops on the defensive side of the ball. The Browns were a different group than the first that faced the Ravens in Week 2; especially QB Jason Campbell who had three passing TD’s on the day and threw for 242 total yards. With the loss, chances for a sixth consecutive playoff performance for the Purple and Black are slipping fast. Quarterback Joe Flacco has never missed the postseason and after the game admitted “It’s not easy on Sundays when your not getting the job done, but you get back to work, put your down, and look forward to the next one.”
If there is anything positive that could be taken away from this game it was the play of young undrafted WR Marlon Brown who had two TD catches. He now leads the club with 6. Up next for Baltimore is a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals who beat the Ravens 23-17 on the last game of the season in 2012, due to the team resting its starters for the playoffs. The AFC North duel will be another challenge as Cincinnati is coming off a tough loss to the Dolphins on Thursday. If the Ravens can’t win against the Bengals on Sunday, forget any playoff chatter. Though some are dismissing that already.