The Baltimore Ravens have been known for their stout defense over the past ten years. This squad even “rode” that defense to a Super Bowl title a few seasons ago. But, in the National Football League (NFL) as in all professional sports, nothing lasts forever.
The players that were responsible for the tough defense the Ravens put on the field have mostly moved on to other teams or retired. As a result, Baltimore in the 2015-2016 Season is just a shell defensively of what it was in the squad’s very recent past.
That helps to explain why the Ravens, a very proud franchise, have a poor Won-Loss record of 4-7 and find themselves in third place in the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC), five games behind the first place Cincinnati Bengals with just five games remaining to be played.
Divisional honors are no longer possible for this still-rugged team and it will take a miracle for the Ravens to win one of the two available Wild Cards. So the reality is that this team has little left to play for except professional pride and the chance to be “a spoiler” against an opponent fighting for a chance to play in January.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this because Baltimore has been a postseason contender and participant for several years now and the hope and expectation was that the positive trend for this squad would continue this season.
It hasn’t happened because the team’s franchise quarterback, Joe Flacco, has had a “down year” which has caused the squad’s offense to flounder and sputter and the team’s defense has performed well below what was expected.
In truth, the defense that Baltimore puts on the field has been allowing opponents to score twenty-five points per game and average nearly five-and-one-half yards per offensive play. Those are the kinds of negative numbers that produce losing records.
And, when you add in the fact that the team’s opponents are amassing nearly two hundred sixty yards per game passing the football, it becomes easy to see why this year’s version of the Baltimore Ravens has been losing far more frequently than they win.
However, the Ravens have a solid core group of players that will help them succeed in the years ahead. That includes quarterback Joe Flacco who is still young and in his prime, CJ Mosley who is turning into one of the NFL’s best young linebackers, and an elite pass rusher in Terrell Suggs who has been out for the season with an injury. But the team’s front office, specifically its General Manager, will have to add missing pieces to the defense so that it can once again “play the role of stopper” and keep foes from reaching the end zone.
It may take more than one offseason to fix what is wrong with this proud team’s offense, but a commitment to excellence and a desire to be competitive will drive management to make decisions that positively impact the Baltimore Ravens and help this team return to its glory days.
Courtesy of Yahoo