Watching the Ravens against the Browns on Sunday, I felt something I haven’t truly felt watching the Ravens in a long time. It didn’t entirely strike me as I was watching the game, but I certainly realized as I reflected a bit on the trouncing of the Browns.
There was never a moment, not even an instant, during that game where I thought this Ravens team would not complete the blowout. There wasn’t even a fleeting thought in the back of my head that it could even be a close game. It simply didn’t exist.
And looking back on the game, the Ravens seem to have been filled with the same emotion.
They were relaxed; they were just playing football. And playing it well.
It’s an indescribably weird feeling. There is supposed to be some kind of drama, some kind of suspense, in football. There are supposed to be big plays on both sides and “What if…” moments. There’s supposed to be that any given Sunday, any given play mentality. But it simply didn’t exist.
Both on offense and on defense, the Ravens looked like a team in absolute control. Not necessarily in control of the Browns, but in control of what they were going to do. It wasn’t so much swagger, as we saw in 2000 under Billick. It was that subtle, simple, understated confidence in their ability - their ability to drive 90 yards on 16 plays or drive 70 yards on just three plays, their ability to make a stop on 4th and goal or their ability to make an interception at any moment.
But comfortable can be a bad thing sometimes. We’ve seen the Ravens get complacent before - we’ve seen them give up little plays expecting to make big plays. We’ve seen them settle for a run expecting the defense to pick up the slack.
Personally, I don’t see that with this Ravens team. I see their comfort as having a soothing effect, relieving the anxiety that “the only way to win is to be perfect.” In reality, there’s not a lot you can do about how the other team is going to perform - you can only impact how you are going to perform.
So what do you think? Are you seeing the same thing? Are you worried that this team might get too comfortable, too confident? Is it giving you hope or worry with a big game in New England on the docket?