The Baltimore Ravens to a man will tell you….they were “pummeled” in their 43-13 beatdown to the Houston Texans on Sunday. It was the worst loss of the John Harbaugh era and it was UGLY. The special teams was bad, the offense was horrible, and the defense was just down right terrible. The only “bright spots” were the play of kicker Justin Tucker and the much anticipated return of LB-Terrell Suggs.
The Ravens couldn’t move the ball offensively. Joe Flacco had balls batted down at the line-of-scrimmage all game long (one of those tipped passes was intercepted). Ray Rice was covered like a blanket all afternoon and the wide receivers couldn’t get separation from the defenders; when thet did find a window to work with, Joe Flacco couldn’t deliver the ball (partly because the offensive line let pressure get through all day long).
Baltimore’s defense couldn’t stop the run, they couldn’t stop the pass; basically, Houston scored at will and they scored often. This marks three consecutive weeks in a row that the Ravens defense has been man-handled by the opposing offense. We were fortunate to have won the first two, but this one wasn’t even close.
This is a frustrating team to watch. The Ravens have the fire-power to score 30+ points per game, but they play too conservative on the road. They have used many of their draft picks these last three seasons to address the offensive side of the ball and they have tried to change their identity and they want to be known as an offensive team; BUT, you have to be consistent to consider yourself a good offensive team. I think Cam Cameron has to do a better job getting this team ready for road games. This isn’t anything new, they have played poorly on the road for two straight seasons now.
The Ravens need to use their bye week to regroup and get healthy. They need to figure out what combination of players to use defensively and figure out how to stop the bleeding…and they need to do it quickly. Ozzie Newsome may want to swing a trade for a veteran cornerback and/or a linebacker. The trade deadline is this week and the Ravens have a lot of holes that need to be filled. I hate trading draft picks for veteran players, but the 5-2 Ravens are at a crossroad. Either bring in veteran players through trades or due nothing and run the risk of missing the playoffs all together.
I love the Ravens and I hate being negative about a 5-2 team. The reality is that they have played in (and won) a lot of close games, but this was different….this was a blowout. Teams watch the game film and now know where to expose the Ravens both offensively and defensively. Cam Cameron and Dan Pees need to get creative with their respective units and help them find an identity before it’s too late.