Baltimore Ravens: Good Can Come From Bad Year
There are no moral victories in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean the Baltimore Ravens can’t learn from a bad year:
The Baltimore Ravens 2015 season was an absolute disappointment. That’s not exactly breaking news. By now 5-11 is deeply implanted in the darkest corners of our minds. The Ravens were due for a bad year. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that losing miserably eleven times is a good thing. I’m also not going to join a Ravens Nation pity party. We expect the Ravens to move forward and so must the fans.
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Sometimes winning makes you blind to the things that aren’t so good about yourself. I think the Ravens went into the 2015 season thinking they were going right back to the Playoffs. I think John Harbaugh and company expected to march right back into New England and get another dose of playoff revenge.
The truth is the Ravens were awfully close to missing the playoffs for a second consecutive season. If the Chiefs did not beat the Chargers, the Ravens don’t go to the playoffs in 2014. It was a 9-7 season and luck pushed the Ravens towards the playoffs. While the playoffs were compelling, the 2014 Ravens got away with their flaws.
In the show How I Met Your Mother, the character Lilly has a saying. When something doesn’t sound quite right she asks “Where’s the poop?” It would have behooved the Ravens if somebody asked them that question when people were touting them as potential Super Bowl 50 winners. The Ravens came into the season with a tough schedule, bad luck and an oblivious nature to their problems.
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The good news is now the Ravens can answer Lilly’s question. The Ravens went into the offseason knowing what didn’t smell right. The Ravens signed Eric Weddle and Jerraud Powers to help their secondary. They added Mike Wallace and Ben Watson, knowing they lacked enough weapons last season. The Ravens added depth to key positions such as outside linebacker and the offensive line.
The Ravens focused on adding weapons and defensive talent to the roster. They know that playing catch up and passing the football constantly is not what they want to do. A deeper and improved defensive roster will lead to defensive success. Defensive success will allow the Ravens to stick to their game plan. The run game will set up the passing attack. The improved arsenal of weapons will let that passing attack thrive.
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The Ravens have been winners for a while. They know what they want to do. They got off the right track. But it is only by falling off the track that they knew where it was. Now the Ravens come into the season like a freight train on a mission. They know the kind of football they have to play. They now have the players to do it.