Ravens-Dolphins: Week Seven Is a Must Win for the Birds

Lawrence BarrecaAnalyst IOctober 16, 2008

The Baltimore Ravens seemed to be flying high after three games into the NFL regular season after they took down the rival Bengals and Browns in back-to-back weeks, then took the Pittsburgh Steelers into overtime before losing on a Jeff Reed field goal.

Much has changed since then. In the past two weeks, the Ravens have seen losses to both the undefeated Tennessee Titans and the newly-rejuvenated Indianapolis Colts. The Ravens just don't seem to have the same swagger as they expressed in the first two weeks, and for them to get it back, a win is needed in Week Seven.

In Week Seven, the birds will travel to Miami to face off against Tony Sparano and the new "Wildcat" offense of the Dolphins. This task will be a different one for both sides of the ball, one that should not be taken lightly.

With starters Ed Reed, Dawan Landry, Samari Rolle, and Fabian Washington hurt, the Ravens' defense must step it up against the Fins' new style on offense. This also puts a new load on rookie quarterback Joe Flacco's shoulders.

So far this season, Flacco has thrown for a mere 844 yards, one touchdown, and seven interceptions. These stats have given Joe a 60.6 QB rating, something that the Ravens' usually weak offense does not need. However, this could all seem to change as early as this weekend if the Ravens play their cards right.

Joe Flacco will be facing off against Miami's 29th-ranked pass defense on Sunday, something that Baltimore Offensive Coordinator (and former Dolphins' head coach) Cam Cameron needs to turn his attention to.

Last game against the Colts, the main objective should have been to pound the football; however, the gameplan seemed to be the exact opposite, as it lead to an embarrassing 31-3 defeat. 

Hopefully for Ravens fans, Cam Cameron will not make the same wrong decision twice. This week, the main plan for the B-More offense should be to pass the football. Let me say this again: PASS THE FOOTBALL! I know it sounds a bit crazy, but it's true. In order to get a quarterback's confidence up, you must allow him to prove to himself that he can complete the task at hand: lead his team down the field, score points, and ultimately win the football game.

This matchup in Week Seven gives not only Flacco, but the Ravens as well, the opportunity to attempt to redeem a season that seems to be pouring down the drain. 

Terrell Suggs said it himself, "We know this is our season," Suggs said yesterday. "It's got to be taken that this could make or break our season. Everybody thought maybe it was the Pittsburgh game or the Tennessee game. But this is it."

Obviously, the team realizes that a win this week could be a turning pivotal turning point in the young season. 

I guess we will just have to wait and see how it all turns out.

Now, the main questions are this:
1) Will Flacco pass efficiently during the game? Or will continue to throw the INTs?
2) How will the defense hold up after being picked apart by Peyton Manning and the   Colts?
3) Will Cam Cameron learn from last week that in order to win a game on offense, you must attack your opponent's weaknesses?

Only time will tell.