Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Ravens in a great spot as they turn season's quarter pole

The Ravens 3-1 start is pretty decent start under any circumstances but even more impressive when you consider that:

* Three of the first four games have been on the road

* They've played without the services of Pro Bowlers Ed Reed and Brendon Ayanbadejo and at least Reed is expected to return by October 24 (the first game either is eligible to come off the PUP List)

* Starting offensive tackle Jared Gaither has missed all four games

* Of their 2010 draft picks only David Reed has had a marginal impact

* The passing game has been inconsistent (Joe Flacco ranks 25th in the league with a passer rating of 70.5)

* The running game is ranked 23rd in the league

* Starting corners Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb are just beginning to round into playing shape

* Speedster Donte Stallworth lies in wait and should return in a few weeks

* The pass rush is rather anemic producing just 7 sacks in four games

* The return games have yet to get untracked (ranked 29th in punt returns and 24th in kick returns)

* The Ravens are dead last in the league in turnover margin with -7

What this all says to me is that the Ravens are collectively resilient and they have the will to overcome adversity. Perhaps they can't correct all of these issues yet all are correctable with the possible exception of Jared Gaither who is plagued by a hard to diagnose back injury.

The schedule sets up well for the Ravens during the month of October and early November which presents perhaps the least amount of travel of any team in the NFL. This week the Ravens host the Broncos then head to New England on October 17. They follow that game up at home on October 24 and then comes their bye on October 31. Following the bye the Ravens then host the Miami Dolphins.


Jerry B said...

Gaither's "injury" is hard to diagnose because they're looking in the wrong place. They should be looking at his....head!!! Conventional wisdom is that a guy doesn't improve his contract chances by not playing, but in Gaither's case one has to wonder since it's well known that he prefers LT to RT where he can probably make more money..... Hopefully, the Ravens offense will shift into high gear and provide the kind of production everyone had expected heading into the season because they'll be facing better QB's which will create more pressure on the secondary who, while playing extremely well to date, hasn't really been tested....

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS 29 Oct 6th
... Jerry B, you stole my thunder again. GOOD JOB. Its in Gaither's head: not his BACK
..If I'm coach Harbaugh: I ask OZZIE to shift JARED to the IR and tell him and his agent to take 12 months to get his (HEAD) back straightened out!
..As a fan, I am delighted with the 3-1 record.
..Coach Harbaugh has a problem coming up..a pleasant one; When Reed and Stallworth are eligible to come on to the ACTIVE Roster. A problem many coaches would love to have....

Harryos29 said...

Harry OS29 Oct 8th
I had to go back and look at this BLOG , once again.
...All things considered, the Baltimore Ravens are in great shape for the next quarter of the season. I predict that the INTERCEPTION Drought will end Sunday with Kyle Orton coming to Town. Jameel McClain was close to picking one off Sunday, and I think Washington would have had one...."If he hadn't seen his life flash before his eyes as both HE and HLOTI were going for the same ball: Smart move Fabian: live to fight another day"
...Again, barring any major injuries, with Brendan and Ed returning soon, the Ravens should be in good, no GREAT position for the stretch run to the playoffs. One problem on Offense: What do they do when Stallworth is healthy. All four of the wide receivers WANT the ball! As long as our offensive line continues to jell, and keeps JOE upright and healthy, I think the offense will be fine. One thing that has bothered me so far, is the lack of a running game. The old adage is true that, that when the weather gets cold, the strong teams are able to run the football.
...I never take any opposing team lighly, but I see the Patriots and Steelers games as the two biggest games on the schedule: Winning them both will be a difficult task, but true winners are up to the task and make a statement when the games get tougher!