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Ugly Loss

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

So here we are, at 6-3. Beat Steeler twice. Beat the Jets and the tough Texans. But lose to Titans, Jaguars, and Seahawks. Huh?

The topsy-turvy season of the Ravens continues. And we won't mention the egg they nearly laid to the Arizona Cardinals.

Special teams - pitiful. Offense - pretty woeful. Defense - just tired out.

I don't know what kind of tricks Coach Harbaugh has in his bag, but it may be time to use them. We still have four division games left plus contents against the 49ers and Chargers.

Preseason hopes are starting to sour. Not sure what this franchise has left in the tank, but they better get it in gear quick before the season is gone.

2011 Season with a Thunderous Boom

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

The NFL lockout scared me but that is now over. After going 3-1 in the preseason (the only hiccup being a loss to the highly overrated Iggles) I had a feeling the Birds of Baltimore would have another great season. Yes, I was saddened by the loss of Mason, Heap, and McGahee but I figured Ozzie Newsome knows what he is doing, as his track record clearly indicates.

I am not fortunate enough to be able to go see Ravens games in person. I was close to M&T Bank Stadium yesterday and witnessed the flyover prior to kickoff from a rooftop deck. Then I ran inside to watch the game, and what a game it was!

After some early big gains given up by the Ravens defense, I was impressed with all the turnovers they caused. Looked a lot like the dominant D of 2000 and other squads under Rex Ryan. Awesome showing guys. Made the Steelers look like preschoolers out there.

Throw in a Flacco and a Rice who did not make any errors and you had the perfect recipe for success as the NFL season began in full. Yesterday was important to 1) remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy of 9/11/01 and; 2) smash a hated division rival with a major statement victory. Mission accomplished on both counts.

Not a lot to say that has not already been reported in the press and in the cheers of purple/black fans all over the region. So we look forward to seeing the Ravens on the road for the next two weeks. If that is how we deal with a Super Bowl contender, this could be a VERY good season here in Baltimore.

Will There Be A Season?

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

The Green Bay Packers are world champs (and my brother is grinning). The hated Steelers got beat to the delight of the Baltimore faithful. And now we look forward to the 2011 season.

There have been a few changes made to the coaching staff since the Ravens existed the playoffs and the rumors about which players will remain or go are abundant.

The biggest concern is the CBA which expires on March 3. If a new agreement is not in place, a long lockout could ensure and perhaps shorten or even end the 2011 season.

I have no control over such things and therefore I am not going to get upset. Right now I have baseball to look forward to and the NFL currently is an afterthought.

Not sure when I will post again. But in the football off season, if you want to read a good story, pick up Michael Oher's I BEAT THE ODDS which is available now. It is the true tale of his life and his rise to prominence in professional sports.

Until next time...

Sun Sets on Another Season

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

I have had a few days to simmer and stew, but it does not help. There were 4 divisional playoff games last weekend and all the teams I wanted to win (Bears, Packers, Jets) won except the game that mattered most. Ravens infuriated their fans with another postseason meltdown and worse - a loss to the hated Steelers who now have a 3-0 record against this Baltimore franchise in the playoffs.

Yes, the cheating Patriots are gone although it means I had to swallow my disdain and root for the Jets. Classic franchise rivals Chicago and Green Bay advance too, with crybaby Favre home looking like a fool while is old team keeps moving forward. So there is a certain satisfaction seeing New England, Philadelphia, and other franchises I despise now sent home, but the pain of seeing the Ravens blow it again is difficult to bear.

First off, we had a huge lead. Huge. And then the mistakes came, again and again. Interceptions, a fumble, and a D who could not prevent the scores.

Is it no coincidence that since Rex Ryan left following the 2008 season our DEF has gotten progressively worse? Is it all him? Or did Father Time play a role too? And for the 2nd year as Jets head coach, his team is going further in the playoffs than the Baltimore Ravens.

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Cam Cameron as OC for the Ravens but that was muted when Harbaugh announced his retention. Funny that with all the weapons and with Cameron, Saunders, and Zorn all on the offensive staff we still were worse than 2009. Is it the play calling or is it the players?

I for one am still not convinced that Flacco is your future. Maybe have him compete for the job next year with Bulger. Despite winning a lot of regular season games, he seems to crap out at the most inconvenient times. A Dan Marino or Joe Montana he is not.

And then we have the aging defense. Should the DC be the scapegoat for the dip in excellence? If Rex was still here could they be better? Honestly, I do not know. Age and injury take their toll on anybody over time and maybe the time in the sun for the glorious Ravens D has passed.
I am not a coach or a trainer, so I do not know for certain.

Losing never sits well. If you are a real fan, you hate to lose and for the end to suddenly arrive. The Ravens have done very well as a franchise since 2000. 7 postseason appearances in 11 years. Not bad at all. Throw in a Super Bowl win and you have a very elite franchise.

But when you fall short of expectations, the questions are always going to linger. Do you still have it in you? Can you bounce back? The offseason for the purple and black begins now with roster and coaching staff evaluations and overhaul. It could be a very different-looking team come August.

PS - Baseball spring training opens in a month. That should take our minds off the NFL for a while.

Ravens Mix blog featured writers Robert Braun, Ben Butanis, Tyler Springs
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