I’m just like you watching the games – tweeting, Facebooking, reading the ongoing barstool dialogue during games and I hear all of the purple noise regarding the inconsistency of the 2011 Baltimore Ravens and tonight in Pittsburgh it will be outlined in Technicolor on every barstool and social media place in the cyberuniverse.
Fire Cam Cameron! Bench Joe Flacco! Get new offensive line! Bring back Todd Heap and Derrick Mason! I have the pleasure (or is it the pain?) of being subjected to every stupid thing every fan ever says about the Baltimore Ravens. I’m not the only one who hears it – here’s Steve Bisciotti’s humorous take on the state of the purple nation after every loss:
But I get it and as Ravens fan No. 1 – I feel and live your pain every Sunday.
We’ve all seen it: beat the snot out of Pittsburgh at home one week, can’t stop the likes of Matt Hasselbeck and the lowly Tennessee Titans the next week. And we’ve all seen the last 120 minutes of frightful football during Halloween week with six quarters of ineptitude that would make even the Ravens of 1996-97-98 blush with embarrassment.
And there is plenty of fret and gloom and doom regarding this week’s annual little meetup amongst the NFL’s Hatfields and McCoys as the Ravens return to Pittsburgh.
I hope it goes like this…
And not like this…
We’re pushed our WNST Miller Lite bus up to Pittsburgh quite full today and we’re always hoping for a happy ride back down the mountain on I-70 .
But part of the deliciousness of this 2011 season for any Ravens fans has to be the maddening inconsistency and unpredictability of this team.
Look, they rallied from 21 points down seven days ago so ANYTHING now becomes possible.
So, what’s going to happen in Pittsburgh tonight? And where do you begin to categorize the Ravens play in 2011 other than consistently inconsistent?
This current offense is perplexing. Coach John Harbaugh says he’d be open to more shotgun for the offense, which sounds fine for home games when you can hear a pin drop in Baltimore when Flacco is under center. However, tonight in Pittsburgh when the Steelers start the first few strains of Styx’s “Renegade” on the P.A. and those clowns start waving their yellow snot rags, it’ll certainly work to alter the Ravens’ offense and cadence in a shotgun.
Who will step up and be a consistent receiver for the team? Who is really going to replace the likes of Todd Heap and Derrick Mason on a week-to-week basis with first-down receptions to move the chains?
Will Torrey Smith get behind the Steelers secondary?
Of course, the offense will only go as the offensive line goes and protects Flacco to pass and creates holes for Ray Rice.
The secondary is a weekly collection of the remainders of the walking wounded.
Some of the young guys are going – Paul Kruger and Terrence Cody being the latest pair to pitch in a little more regularly. Of course, the lack of productivity of Sergio Kindle and Jimmy Smith is evident and the Ravens have used their most valuable commodity – the last two first-round draft picks – on this pair.
The Steelers are surging after an impressive defeat of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots last week. The Ravens are – well, I’m not sure what they are but I’m following the soap opera live from Pittsburgh tonight.
I’ve witnessed and been subjected to long trips back from ugly losses in Jacksonville and Nashville. Hell, last Sunday in Baltimore was an ugly win, if there is such a thing.
It’s quite inspiring that no one in a purple sweater uttered the “Q word” against the Cardinals and certainly it speaks to the leadership and coaching of the Ravens that they didn’t turtle up to Arizona amidst a home fan base that broke out boos far worse than anything I ever heard during the Ted Marchibroda or Kyle Boller era.
But tonight will tell the tale of the tape under the bright lights at Heinz Field. The Ravens are going to Pittsburgh. The winner will take the front seat in the AFC North – with all due respect to any of you who might believe the Cincinnati Bengals are a factor but my sniffer calls them a pretender in 2011 because they still have four games left with Sunday’s contestants.
Enjoy the game.
We’ll be Tweeting, writing, blogging, reporting and hitting the locker room tonight from Pittsburgh.
As always, your thoughts are welcomed below…