If this was a pass/fail test the grade is fail. Three losses in the first four games with a shaky come from behind overtime win in Pittsburgh was not part of coach Harbaugh’s master plan. We get it, the Ravens are in the midst of a hellish schedule that has them playing 5 of their first 7 on the road but a win at Oakland or a home win over the Bengals sure would have made things more palatable.
Losing to the Bengals at home and going 1-3 while Marvin Lewis’s guys have won their first 4 doesn’t bode well for pursuit of an AFC North title. NFL coaches like to break the 16-game schedule into four quarters and the Ravens first quarter failure leaves them with little wiggle room for the remaining three quarters.
History tells us that 10 is usually the number of wins a team needs to qualify for the post-season. My brilliant math mind tells me that 10 minus one is 9, so the 1-3 Ravens would need to go at least 3-1 in each of the remaining 3 quarters to get to 10 wins and the playoffs.
The second half schedule gives the Ravens an opportunity to do that, but the real question, is this football team good enough to do that? Here are some Ravens ups and downs from the first quarter.
Crockett Gillmore — He had a big game in Oakland catching 6 passes for 88 yards and 2 TD’s. He’s battling a calf injury but has shown why the Ravens invested a third round pick in him in ’14. With Gillmore and rookies Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle the tight end position is in good shape.
Steve Smith — The Ravens first quarter MVP. A non-stop bundle of heart, toughness and ability wrapped in a 5’9”, 36 year old package. Who knows what impact his back injury will have the remainder of his season but right now he’s on pace for 116 catches for nearly 1,500 yards.
Justin Tucker — His fellow NFL kickers voted him second best in the game. The AFC Player of the Week is #1 with the Ravens and their fans. He’s long, pin-point accurate and young and for bonus points he can sing!
Terrell Suggs — It’s not TSizzle’s fault his Achilles blew up in the first game of the season but the Ravens D isn’t the same without him, just ask linebacker Elvis Dumervil, with Suggs last season he had he had a team record 17 sacks, this year he’s on pace for just 8.
Breshad Perriman — The Ravens first round hasn’t been able to get on the field due to a knee injury. Without him the team’s wide receiver group has become Steve Smith and the question marks. It’s probably unfair to question what’s in Perrimann’s heart but it’s fair to wonder if he can help in the season’s second half.
Kyle Arrington — The Ravens were excited to grab the former Patriots cornerback but like many of his teammates Arrington is off to a slow start. The Ravens defense is giving up 26 points a game and they have trouble getting off the field ranking 28th in 3rd down defense.
A lot bad horses have the lead at the quarter pole while some of the best sit back in the pack. In this 2015 NFL race the Ravens look like a bad horse, but the Racing Form says they’ve got a chance to be strong down the stretch, but so far so bad.