The Ravens' season comes down to one game this Sunday. Win and they are in the playoffs. Lose and they could be sitting at home reflecting on their up and down season. Going on the road to Oaktown to play the Raiders, a team that has a knack for knocking off contenders, will not be easy, especially for a team that has become Bubbles from The Wire.
If we are to truly examine the troubles of what plagues the Ravens, the only honest comparison we can make for them is Bubbles from The Wire. Bubbles made it through five seasons as a one of the most dreadful characters on the show. It was painful to watch Bubbles hustle to get his next hit and struggle to stay alive. The Ravens are just as painful to watch: racking up countless and defeating penalties that negate touchdowns; an offense without an identity; and a secondary that gets beat like it is in a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
It's time to accept that the Ravens are a shadow of themselves from last season. The secondary gets eaten alive by quarterbacks with arms and receivers with quick steps. QB Joe Flacco, who started off with a bang in his sophomore campaign, has hit the skids succumbing to the pressure to make plays. Safety Ed Reed has been out with a groin and a hip, which is exposing an already suspect and gimpy secondary. CB LaDarius Webb is out with an ACL joining CB Fabian Washington. It's not pretty with Bubbles this season, but we continue to watch in the hopes that they can turn it around in time for the playoffs.
The yellow penalty flags are the equivalent of crack to Bubbles and the Ravens. Ranked 2nd in the league behind the Raiders in penalties has taken the teeth out of the Ravens defensive and offensive attacks. Beating the Raiders won't be a cakewalk, but the game could look like Hamsterdamn with the refs/officials playing Bunny Colvin.
The Raiders cannot stop the run, so RB Ray Rice should rack up yardage in the fairways. The Ravens defense should be able to contain a team that is coming off a beat down by the Browns. The prescription is easy for the Ravens, but if they cannot read the warning label, then a stint on A&E's “Intervention” is where this team is headed.
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Written by Lea Anderson