Baltimore Ravens: Dead in the Water?
Atop the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens look awfully bewildered and defeated for a five-win ball club. Last Monday, the across the NFL was a season-ending injury to the Ravens future hall of fame linebacker Ray Lewis. In addition, the Ravens top cover corner Lardarius Webb went down with a season-ending ACL injury. Now, the top story is about an embarrassing thirty-point loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Joe Flacco opened the 2012 campaign with a staggering 299 passing yards, two-touchdown effort to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals week one. However, the inconsistent quarterback has been subpar ever since a week four outing against the Cleveland Browns where Flacco threw for 356 yards. Furthermore, Flacco was 21 for 43 pass attempts versus Houston, throwing for only 147 yards. The blame should not all rest on the quarterback, but that is how the NFL works and Flacco has to make his presence felt behind center for this team to succeed.
With an aging wide receiving core the Ravens seem to be one big play receiver away from being an offensive force, much like the Atlanta Falcons were prior to acquiring playmaking wide receiver Julio Jones. For now, the running game should be more of a focus as pro-bowl RB Ray Rice had only nine carries on Sunday.
The NFL stops for no one, and anyone in a Raven uniform would not want to use the recent defensive injuries as an excuse. Nonetheless, coach Jim Harbargh has the daunting task to return this depleted team back to its winning ways. In my mind, the Ravens lack the talent to compete in the AFC this year.