The Baltimore Ravens were electric a season ago, winning a league-high 14 games. This season, they’ve taken care of business, but they haven’t won the tough games, losing by 14 to Kansas City and most recently to Pittsburgh.
The one thing that teams with high potential hate the most is losing, and it certainly had tempers flying on Sunday.
With a 1:00 pm EST kickoff, the Ravens took the field against the 6-0 Steelers. The two teams tied the first and final quarter with 14 points each. The middle two were won by Pittsburgh as they finished up four.
One Raven, star receiver Marquise Brown, wasn’t so happy about the team’s performance. He was more upset with the game plan, one that included over 45 rushes — J.K.Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Lamar Jackson split 47 almost perfectly.
That said, Brown did score, but that three-yard reception was one of his mere two targets, tied for fifth-most on the team and tenth-most in the game. The now-deleted tweet Brown had says it all.
Having put up under 25 points in both their losses, the Ravens haven’t been good against good teams. While Brown’s frustration could be an issue, the bigger issue for the Ravens may be the loss of All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley is out for the season with an ankle injury.
Typically very dominant in the run game, having an elite front five has been important for Baltimore, and now that unit will take a step back. It’ll be interesting to see if that forces reigning MVP Lamar Jackson to throw more than 28 times per game (the amount he had against Pittsburgh).
Knowing a thing or two about injured offensive lineman and disgruntled receivers, maybe the Ravens want to look at Cincinnati’s determination and energy this past week against the Titans for an example of how to play through the distractions.
Then again, they’re still sitting at 5-2 and firmly in the playoff picture, so the Ravens should be just fine moving forward.