The trip home from Seattle was just as long for me as it’s been for the Baltimore Ravens. They’ve had several hours of reflection now, and so have I, as the purple tour of North America continues with intermittent ugly losses and long plane rides.
The Ravens, as I’ve written and said many times since the initial debacle in Nashville back in September, have been become quite consistent in their inconsistency and unpredictability. We all know that there’s a very good football team someone in there based on the sweep of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the steely resolve they’ve used to overcome deficits like the hole they dug against the Arizona Cardinals.
But, when will the “real” Baltimore Ravens of 2011 stand up and define their season?
This latest smelling, wretched turd in Seattle will not sit well for the next six days as head coach John Harbaugh will go back to the drawing board – or maybe that’s Cam Cameron’s job? – as the Ravens attempt to game plan for a first-place showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday for the most recent “really important game” of 2011.
The Seattle game had all of the hallmarks of a lost game amidst the promise of an elite team and a still-potential Super Bowl year for the Ravens.
Sure, kick returner David Reed will be the fall guy for the two obvious field possession swings and the 22-17 loss to the Seahawks but as Ray Lewis told me at his locker last night it goes far deeper than a few fumbles or turnovers.
Some random questions and observations as the Ravens return from Seattle at 6-3 and still fully in control of their own destiny in the AFC race for a No. 1 seed, a January bye week and some home-cooking to start the 2012 Festivus season:
Is the defense aging?
The otherwise stingy Ravens defense began every stand yesterday in Seattle from a position of obvious weakness. When Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed lead their defense onto the field and the first mumble is: “I hope we can hold them to a field goal!” that’s never good.
The turnovers yesterday killed the spirit