This was supposed to be a year of celebration for the Baltimore Ravens. The 2015 season is the 20th in franchise history since moving to Baltimore and they have been honoring the great players over the years. This has been a franchise that has enjoyed a lot of success in 20 years, headlined by two Super Bowl victories. Entering the season, there were many people who thought this team was one that could be a factor come January.
What were we thinking?
The loss to the San Francisco 49ers was rock bottom. That horrible second interception by Joe Flacco is a microcosm of the season: lost.
John Harbaugh keeps telling us that things will be fixed, but we are not seeing it on the field. The penalties are killing this team. The play-calling has been bad. The turnovers are inexcusable. There is very little to hang your hat on with this current team.
So I am going to say it. This is the worst Ravens team in the 20 years of existence.
The Ravens have only had six losing seasons in franchise history, and three of those came in the first three seasons. The franchise’s worst record was 4-12 in 1996, the first year in Baltimore. The way this current team is playing, the first and 20th year will be the worst.
Flacco has played pretty well most of the season, but then he has a game like Sunday that leaves you wondering what the heck he was thinking. Both interceptions were inexcusable, but then he wows you with another throw. There is no question that Flacco is the quarterback of this team for the foreseeable future, but his contract is a large reason why the Ravens are having salary cap problems. That is an issue the Ravens need to address in the offseason, but he is not the reason why the Ravens are 1-5 right now.
When opposing teams used to see the Ravens on their schedule, they always knew that the defense was going to be one of the best units in football. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs brought fear into their opponents and consistently made plays for their team.
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Now when teams see the Ravens on their schedule, they know the defense can be had. This defense is lacking a star. Suggs would have been that guy, but he is out for the season with a torn Achilles. C.J. Mosley had a phenomenal rookie campaign and a good start to this season, but he has been atrocious over the last two weeks. We keep saying that the secondary has good individual players, but they are not making any plays as a team.
I am already on the record of saying that Dean Pees needs to go. On Sunday, he let the 49ers pick apart Shareece Wright for two touchdowns and made no adjustments. He kept leaving Wright on an island and it did not matter what Niners receiver was lined up opposite him, Colin Kaepernick was attacking Wright. Give the guy some safety help every now and then please? Time after time, no adjustments are made and these average offenses look like the Greatest Show on Turf – or grass, or a baseball infield in Oakland.
The makeup of this defense just does not work in this day of the NFL. The Ravens are s stout team against the run, but teams are running less in this era of football. You need guys who can get after the passer and others who make plays in the secondary. This Ravens team has none of that.
The misery does not end there as even the special teams has not played up to its standards. Justin Tucker has already missed three field goals this season, with two of them coming in the past two weeks. Jeremy Ross has had a couple solid returns, but the special teams has not made any noteworthy plays so far. I am pretty sure a flag has been thrown on just about every single special teams play in every game this year. That’s actually been a problem throughout the NFL.
All is not lost, however. We are witnessing one of the greatest final seasons by a wide receiver every time Steve Smith takes the field. He is playing hurt, but he is leaving it all out there. He has 510 yards and three touchdowns and that is after missing a game and a half with those broken ribs. On defense, Brandon Williams has been everything the team had hoped for when they traded Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions.
We knew the schedule was going to be tough to start the season, but not many people expected this to be a one-win team through six games. Should we be surprised, though? We knew going into the season that the offense was lacking a deep threat with Torrey Smith going to San Francisco. We knew that the team never found someone to replace Pernell McPhee as a pass rusher. They brought in a bunch of new guys for the secondary, but none are making any plays.
The outlook does not look great from here. I have heard some people say that the Jacksonville Jaguars look like the only team on the remainder of the schedule that could be beaten. I would question if that is even possible with how this team has been playing. The Jaguars are no longer a pushover like in years past.
The last time the Ravens finished with a record under .500 was the 2007 season in which they finished 5-11. That was the end of the Brian Billick era as no Harbaugh-led team has finished with a losing record. That is looking likely to change at the end of the season unless they can somehow miraculously turn this season around.
You have to wonder what Ray thinks of this current team. He played on so many strong teams, but has since seen his mark, the defense, go from one of the greatest ever to average. The Ravens were a Super Bowl caliber team just 32 months ago.
Now, they are the worst team in Ravens history. They have not shown us anything to make us think otherwise. Four wins might be asking for a lot from this team.
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