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2012 Ravens Look Like 2011 Version So Far

2012 is Starting Off Just Like 2011

On the opening night of Monday Night football  in front of a national audience the offense of the Ravens led by Joe Flacco put on a stellar performance. Six days later Joe and his newly developed offensive firepower were led into the abyss with help from offensive coordinator Cam Cameron under the supervision of head coach John Harbaugh.

Years from now the season opener of the 2012 season will be remembered for the quality displayed by the offense. The road game the following week that was a train wreck will hopefully soon be forgotten.

The combination of these two games gave me pause as I recalled the first two games in 2011. They opened their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers and then traveled to Tennessee to play the Titans. Joe threw for 3 touchdowns and the defense recovered four turnovers and picked off the Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger three times on the way to a 35–7 rout. After a brilliant performance the Ravens followed up the next game with an abysmal display against the Tennessee Titans in a 26–13 loss.

The Ravens are repeating the same scenario as a sloppy execution in week two follows up a high-powered offensive display in week one against the Bengals. A portion of the blame resides with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron for not having a feel for when to shift direction of the offense to slow down or speed up the tempo. In this instance Joe did not have the touch on his throws, as they were sailing on him and Eagles secondary seemed to have found their touch. This is where Cam made an ill-advised decision to stay with the passing game, when running game at the time appeared to be driving the momentum for the Ravens.

Many fans, including myself have little understanding for what the brain trust of this team was doing with the offense. After years of trial and error with a variety of signal callers, a multitude of receivers the Ravens have finally found that the future success of this team rests with a good solid quarterback, a core of quality receivers, and tough, fast running backs that can also catch and hold onto the ball out of the backfield. The day has arrived. I know because I’ve seen it. The roster is now stocked with these kinds of players. The philosophy that we as Ravens fans have been waiting to see implemented was erroneously deflected by Cam with the approval of head coach John Harbaugh.  The philosophy that we, as Raven’s fans have been waiting for years to see implemented has already been launched. The time when the team lacked the quality personnel to carry out such a plan should remain in the past. For the most part, those days were behind us, but from time to time  situations would take hold and when they did, we had now finally found the resources and the opportunity to begin to make a change.

Well, not so fast. When some of your weapons are not firing on all cylinders you reach for one that appears to be carrying the day. The Ravens receivers were not getting open while Ray Rice appeared to be eating up yards on the ground. Cam should’ve taken the focus of the defense of the Eagles off the receivers for the Ravens and concentrated their attention on Ray Rice and then after a series of plays gone back to focusing attention on the receivers. It’s possible that the defense for the Eagles would begin second-guessing themselves, which could possibly lead to missed tackles and blown coverage downfield, and the end result is a possible six points for our team.

The Baltimore Ravens face the New England Patriots at M and T Bank Stadium on Sunday night. At this point in the season a victory or defeat would not be so meaningful, except for the fact that there are no soft spots on their schedule. Since the Patriots defeated the Ravens in the AFC Championship game last year to go on and lose in the Super Bowl, there is much symbolic value to the outcome of this contest.



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