Despite the title of this post, I do believe that the Ravens will still make the playoffs as a wild card team.
At which point they will be promptly throttled by their opening round opponent, likely the Denver Broncos.
Out of sorts doesn’t begin to describe this team, and the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the coaches.
Most of the positivity that the Ravens have enjoyed despite reverting back to Brian Billick-esque offensive mediocrity is on the strength of last season’s overachieved regular season. People keep waiting to see glimpses of what Joe Flacco and Derrick Mason were able to do and hoping that it will sustain through the remainder of this season.
The problem is that opposing coaches have figured out what the Ravens want to do, and week to week, they are able to take away yet another portion of the Ravens’ offense to the point of being downright unwatchable.
Okay, so yesterday was an anomaly because the Green Bay Packers are what the Ravens used to be on defense, and what the Ravens should be on offense. They were overmatched from the jump, and they knew it; it’s the reason why Flacco was so driven to make plays by himself and so exposed for the three interceptions he threw.
As for the defense, pick a reason for why they can’t keep points off the board. Old age? Injuries? Poor personnel moves in the secondary? You name it, it’s biting the Ravens harder and harder every week. Ray Lewis doesn’t move or tackle like he used to. Ed Reed needs to retire to preserve his physical health. Haloti Ngata still isn’t fully recovered from his injury.
And the secondary is just plain bad.
Add to this mix a defensive coordinator in Greg Mattison that is conservative when he should be exotic, and balls-out when he should be covering and coughing, and you have a volatile mix of ineptitude.
Basically, this team can hang its hat on Ray Rice, Le’Ron McClain, Derrick Mason, and Jarrett Johnson. Everybody else, for whatever reason, doesn’t have it in gear.
Mercifully, the Ravens have four winnable games remaining, two of which they will actually win. Games against the Lions and Raiders are in the bag. The Bears and the Steelers are ripe to be beaten, but not when the opponent fields the same possibility of self-destruction.
The Ravens will get into the playoffs. And that’s about it.