Baltimore Ravens perspective check: Stop asking for perfection

Sep 20, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh talks with quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh talks with quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

It may sound counter-intuitive but Baltimore Ravens fans should probably stop looking for the Baltimore Ravens to be perfect:

The Baltimore Ravens are 3-1 after beating the Washington Football Team in the fourth week of the season. Things just don’t seem as exciting as they did a year ago when they steamrolled over 12 straight opponents, with almost no worry of regular season defeats. 12 game wins streaks are hard to come by. The Chiefs beat the Ravens and lots of Ravens fans freaked out.

Then the Ravens beat the Washington Football Team. It’s a bad spot to be in when you’re supposed to win the game easily. If you win, it’s hard to win by enough to be impressive. If you lose, you’re in absolute peril and the panic button will be pressed. The Ravens beat the team they were supposed to throttle. They beat a team they were supposed to win, but they had a laundry list of plays they’ll want back and kinks to work out. So how do you go on thinking about the Ravens?

Think about the positives. In each of the three wins, the Ravens have scored over 30 points. The Ravens won the first game by 32 points. They beat the Houston Texans by 17 points. Baltimore took down Washington by 14 points. While there has been plenty of things that have gone wrong, the Chiefs game was the only time in the first quarter of the season where Baltimore wasn’t fully in command of a game.

Think about more positives here. Don’t do it because you’re determined to wear purple tinted glasses, do it because things really aren’t that bad. The Ravens rookie class looks phenomenal. Patrick Queen racks up tackles every single week. Devin Duvernay has shown very exciting flashes of raw talent. Tyre Phillips has started at right guard and it could clearly be worse.

The fact that the Ravens won a game without their All-Pro left tackle, Ronnie Stanley is a big deal that is seemingly being under-looked. Stanley is considered by many to be one of the best offensive linemen in football. That’s a big absence and it could’t have helped the offense. Don’t discount how different it is not to have Stanley in there. Let’s also note that it was a promising day for Orlando Brown Jr. playing on the left side of the offensive line. The fact that he looked even adequate at left tackle is a win.

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Matt Judon showed up for the first time of the season, at least in terms of sacking the quarterback. Judon got two sacks while Jaylon Ferguson had one himself. Tyus Bowser didn’t sack Dwayne Haskins, but he had a solid day at the office and has by far had the best season at outside linebacker. If the outside linebackers heat up the defense will look different

The expectations for the Ravens are too high for anyone to be happy. It’s that simple. The Ravens are supposed to be one of the best teams in the NFL. They are supposed to be legitimate contenders for the Super Bowl. The fact of the matter is that everything is still on the table. This team looks more put together than the 2012 team did that won it all. They have more going for them than the 2000 Super Bowl team did during their touchdown drought.

Last year the Ravens beat the Rams on Monday Night Football 45-6. They beat the Miami Dolphins 59-10 in the season opener. They crushed the  New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks after a tough fight. On top of that they got past the eventual NFC Champions, the San Francisco 49ers and for the most part they made it look easy. It wasn’t ever going to be this smooth.

It’s also important not to overreact to the Washington Football Team offering some legitimate resistance. Remember Baltimore barely beat the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals when they came to Baltimore in 2019. Perfection has become the expectation. That’s not happening, especially without a normal training camp and without the NFL preseason.

Every year is a new year. The 2020 Ravens are still figuring themselves out to a certain degree. They have a good chance of going into their new bye week with five wins. Then they get another big game, a shot to take down the Pittsburgh Steelers. Things are still on track for a great year and they may have to win a little uglier than they want to until they become a truly get on a roll.

The bottom line:

The Washington Football Team isn’t good. I get it. You wanted a more compelling win. I get it. Yet negativity isn’t what fans of this team should be focused on right now. There are more reasons to be excited for the Ravens than there are reasons not to be.

The Ravens may have been hung up on the Monday Night Football loss to the Chiefs. If you went into the Washington game still sour and stuck on it mentally, imagine how hard it would be for the Ravens themselves. If the Ravens dismantle the Cincinnati Bengals next week, they are back on track. If they don’t do well in that one, there may be more problems than you want to admit at the moment.

Ravens beat the Washington Football Team: The good, bad and the ugly. dark. Next

Let’s get to a rough spot against a team that’s not the Kansas City Chiefs (The world champs for a reason), before we lose confidence. Until then, enjoy wins no matter how they come. The Ravens are 3-1 and in their wins it hasn’t really been that dramatic.