By Samuel Njoku
The Ravens are essentially in do-or-die mode with their season hanging in the balance in Week 6. A loss will virtually eliminate them from any hope of reaching the postseason. But a win would be a much needed step in the right direction.
Ravens Have A Huge Bug Problem
Lorenzo Taliaferro is lost for the season with a foot injury. Will Davis tore his ACL. Terrell Suggs tears his Achilles Tendon for the second time in his career. Michael Campanaro is out for the year too. And the list goes on, and on, and on, and on for the Baltimore Ravens. The team can’t seem to stay healthy. Baltimore has promoted practice squad members, picked up members off the street, and may have even asked your favorite sports writer behind closed doors for a quick tryout. All kidding aside, the Ravens are hurting in one way or another at almost every position. Kudos to the front office for doing the best they can with the little that’s available. The core players in the Ravens locker room will have to step up in a big way for the remainder of the season if they have any chance of playing in January.
Ravens Head Out West To Visit Old Friends
Anquan Boldin caught the game clinching touchdown to send the Ravens to the Super Bowl against the Patriots in early 2013. A week prior to that, Torrey Smith blew past Pro Bowl CB Champ Bailey on multiple occasions to help upset the red hot Denver Broncos. Now, both of these men play for the San Francisco 49ers. They’ll essentially go from helping the Ravens reach the Super Bowl to becoming the proverbial nail in the coffin for the purple and black.
Torrey Smith has been a fan favorite for along time. He made sure to let the media know the feeling is mutual.
“When you’re in Baltimore, you see fans that have the same season tickets, people’s faces you know,” stated 49ers WR Torrey Smith. “To be honest, that’s the thing I miss about [Baltimore]. In terms of playing with the team and stuff, there’s nothing like looking across the huddle and seeing [Marshall] Yanda, [Kelechi Osemele], the big fellas in there. I loved playing with them.”
With the recent surge of injuries and the lack of playmakers on the offensive side, the Ravens surely miss Smith just as much as he misses them.
Contrary to popular belief, Injuries Is a Perfectly Good Excuse For Failure
Fans have been clamoring for the release of coaches since the sport of football was invented. With such a slow start, it was bound to happen for the coaching staff of the Baltimore Ravens. Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman and Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees have taken some of the heat for the Ravens current (1-4) record. But issues like the one currently plaguing Baltimore are rarely so black and white.
This case is no exception.
Injuries have taken a monumental toll on a team with Super Bowl aspirations. It started early with rookie WR Breshad Perriman. The Ravens bet the house on Perriman being the proverbial speed demon and lost. Similar to most of Baltimore’s receivers, Perriman’s knee has been “slow” to heal. Terrell Suggs pass rush ability has probably been missed more than anything. Couple that with the piles of injuries that have come after him and it’s easy to see why Baltimore is struggling. In front of the media, the Ravens leaders will hold true to the next man up mantra. But in a league where the difference between winning and losing can literally be determined by a missed kick, playmakers are necessary. Most of Baltimore’s playmakers are hurt, so it’s no surprise that they struggle. That’s the truth, even though many will have you believe otherwise.
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 Examiner.com 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 Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.