By Samuel Njoku

There’s an old saying in the NFL that doesn’t make too much sense: You never want to go into a bye week with a loss.

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 20: Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens walks off the field after the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Ravens 19-16 during the fourth  quarter at Heinz Field on October 20, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Vincent Pugliese/Getty Images)

Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens walks off the field after the Pittsburgh Steelers (Credit, Vincent Pugliese/Getty Images)

It’s not hard to figure out why that may be the case. Imagine coming off a huge win against your bitter rivals and then getting to stew in that joy for two weeks. No practice. No pads. No worries. Sounds like bliss doesn’t it? Of course, the other side of the coin isn’t quite so nice. Losing to your rival can be quite a devastating experience. Having an extra week to sulk is never any fun. You literally are forced to sit and marinate in a stew of second guesses and regret.

But wins often times blind teams to the truth and losses can reveal issues that were once never even a thought. This may be the case of the Baltimore Ravens. There may not be a more spoiled organization in all of sports. Five straight trips to the postseason accompanied by three trips to the conference championship game and a Super Bowl title. That’s one heck of a resumé. The consequences of success are usually feelings of content and arrogance. That may be exactly the case with this unit.

Of course it’s not as if this team steam rolls through opponents on a regular basis. This is a team of grinders. They know how to bounce back. So after the Week 1 embarrassment to the Denver Broncos, that’s exactly what many of them expected to do – bounce back.

“No concern here,” Ravens FB Vonta Leach said after the game against Denver. “We played a good football team and they beat us. It’s not time to panic or jump off the ship. We got all our goals in front of us.”

Fast forward seven weeks to the loss against the Steelers and the tone is the direct opposite. “We know what we got to fix,” stated a passionate Terrell Suggs after the loss to Pittsburgh. “[It’s] special teams, offense, and defense. We’re at a state of emergency now.”

Wins over division rivals the day before a much-needed bye week doesn’t get you practice on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday – but losses do. That’s exactly what Ravens head coach John Harbaugh gave his Ravens players. They received some much-needed practice. They learned how to block, run, pass, catch, and tackle a little bit better than they could last week. They marinated in a stew of second guesses and regret. And they’ll be better for it.

For more Ravens news and updates, visit Ravens Central.

Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.


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