BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Ravens are headed into their bye week with a 5-1 record. It’s a record that many teams in the league would like to have through the first six games of the regular season.
But does the Ravens record reflect how good the team really is?
Although the Ravens are winning, their competition has been below average, to say the least. The teams the Ravens have played through the first six weeks of the season have a combined record of 13-21-2. They have played just two teams with a winning record, the Cleveland Browns (4-2) and the Kansas City Chiefs (5-1). Certainly, Ravens fans don’t need to be reminded of what happened when the team played the Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
What’s more concerning is the Ravens defense has regressed. Headed into Week 6, the Ravens ranked sixth in total defense. After Sunday’s high-scoring affair with the Philadelphia Eagles, it plummeted to 15th. As for the Ravens offense, a slight improvement, up three from 21st to 18th. However, nearly halfway through the season, the Ravens offense does not seem to have any sort of identity. The ground and pound style of football the team played so well last season has been non-existent. The Ravens rank 18th in rushing with 654 yards. And the team’s leading rusher? Lamar Jackson. The current numbers are a formula that does not bode well for the team’s long-term success.
Digging a bit deeper, the Ravens’ competition gets tougher as the season progresses. The team’s next six games include matchups against the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0), Indianapolis Colts (4-2), New England Patriots (2-3), Tennessee Titans (5-0). Those teams have a combined record of 21-5. A bit of a step up from 13-21-2.
But, make no mistake about it, the Ravens know what’s at stake in their upcoming games.
“We’re still a really good football team and we have a lot more room to grow,” Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith said. “We know where we want to get. Ten more games left before that happens, until we get to the playoffs. We know what we’re trying to achieve.”
The Ravens will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, November 1, at M&T Bank Stadium. It’s the first game the Ravens could see fans in the stands. In a message to season-ticket holders Tuesday, the Ravens said they have gotten approval from Gov. Larry Hogan to bring fans back to M&T Bank Stadium but the team is still in discussions with the city of Baltimore. If approved, capacity would be limited to 10%, meaning there could be around 7,100 fans, players and employees in the stadium.