We’ve reached the Baltimore Ravens bye week with plenty to digest from the team’s first six weeks of play. Here’s some food for thought about this team.
The Baltimore Ravens are 5-1 heading into their bye week. Six weeks into the NFL season and the Ravens are second in the division and third in the AFC. The Ravens have sustained success from the previous two seasons. The most overlooked aspect of the Ravens has been their ability to play with the same intensity sans 71,000 people screaming at the top of their lungs. This tells me that there is leadership in the locker room and that the team has bought into the coaching staff. Most importantly this tells me that they still have the winning culture and championship mentality.
Going into the bye week it’s important not to get too high on the wins or to low on the losses during the regular season. For the moment we should stop and smell the roses (and boy do they smell good).
Even amidst the hot start some Ravens faithful are still concerned about the Monday night performance against the Chiefs. To that I say… Don’t you worry the Ravens are talented and young? The Ravens have playmakers on both sides of the field who can shift the momentum at any time.
While talent isn’t everything it should be noted that championship teams are full of talented players, and the Ravens can check the box off. Some of the youngest players on the Ravens have to make the largest contribution. Players like Lamar Jackson (23), Marquise Brown (23), Mark Andrews (24), Marlon Humphrey (24), and Patrick Queen (21) are expected to play a lot of snaps and make a lot of plays. Even DeShon Elliott is being asked to fill the role of Pro Bowler Earl Thomas.
When watching these young players we must remember that they are not hardened NFL veterans and should be allowed room to grow. With rookie contracts about to reach their expiration date, many fans feel a sense of urgency to be great and not squander the talent on this team. However, the Ravens faithful should remember that many of these players have not reached their peak and that with each game comes more experience, swagger, and cohesiveness as a unit. Meaning that by the time the playoffs come around this year the Ravens should be poised to secure their first playoff win in the Jackson Era.
I say all that to say that patience is a virtue! In the first six weeks of play, there was a lot to like and some things that needed fine-tuning. However! The good far outweighed the bad and should be reflected upon.
Honestly, there were a lot of winnable games leading into the week seven bye and by winnable I mean games that we were supposed to win. In games like these, it’s important to see playmakers make plays. It sounds simple but big plays are not easy to come by unless you’re one of these gentlemen.
For example, rookie linebacker Patrick Queen was named week five AFC Defensive Player of the Week after he recorded nine tackles and a sack, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery for a touchdown against divisional rival Cincinnati Bengals. Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey is continuing to make his presence felt by amassing four forced fumbles in six games. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t speak about Calias Campbell’s three-sack performance against Philadelphia.
Making plays and executing are the most important things when facing a subpar team. The Baltimore Ravens youth comes into play when playing under pressure or against legit contenders. However, Lamar Jackson and company are right where they want to be, and during the bye week, they should have ample time to rest and make the necessary adjustments to finish out the season strong.
As currently constructed the Ravens are as good as any team in the NFL and should gain more chemistry and confidence to face legit contenders in the postseason