Nobody was more shocked or disgusted by the Ravens loss in Carolina than I was. As you know, I had predicted a statement game from Baltimore, one that reaffirmed their identity as a contender and one that got them rolling on – what I thought would be – a winning streak. Now, the Ravens have little-to-no room for error, and this game against Pittsburgh is an absolute must-win.
Sitting at 4-4, the time is now for the Ravens to get on a roll and put themselves back in position to make the playoffs. For me, the objective is pretty clear: they have to win the next three games, which are all at home. Obviously, the most challenging of those three will be the Steelers, so if the Ravens can find a way to pull this one out, they might be in decent shape. Anyways, it’s not worth looking ahead to Cincinnati or Oakland, because if they lose on Sunday, their season is likely over.
The Ravens caught Pittsburgh in the mud the last matchup, running out of Heinz Field in convincing fashion. I, and many others, expect that this week will be very different. Having lost two in a row, Baltimore is reeling. Having won three in a row since their defeat to the Ravens, Pittsburgh is soaring. But, when these two teams meet, you can throw away records, momentum – if that’s really a thing – and anything else. It’s going to be a dogfight.
I expect the Ravens to play with a sense of urgency, backed by a home crowd that does not want to be watching 12 other teams in January. Setting the tone early will be important, just as it was in Pittsburgh. If the Ravens get up early and can avoid turning the ball over, I believe that they can win. My hesitation, however, is that I think teams are starting to figure out Wink Martindale’s defense. Hopefully, that isn’t the case, or Big Ben may light us up.
For this blog, I’m going to give my final score now, as I think it’s a score that will change the course of Ravens football forever. Something big is coming, Baltimore.
Ravens – 24, Steelers – 30
Yes. The Ravens are going to lose to Pittsburgh on Sunday. It’s not going to be pretty, either, as the Steelers will move the ball with ease and Joe Flacco will play his second-worst game of the season. The Ravens will be outcoached and outplayed, and Steve Bisciotti will tire of these Same. Old. Ravens.
After this week, the Ravens have their BYE week, which gives them plenty of time to make adjustments. As a result, the pitchforks will be back out and John Harbaugh will be out as the Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens. Similarly, Marty Morninhweg will be fired as the Offensive Coordinator. In their stead, Greg Roman will take the OC duties and Jerry Rosberg will coach the team, as well as fulfilling his role as Special Teams Coordinator.
This decision might seem rash, but the Ravens are a team that needs to get ahead of its downward spiral and start fresh. Now is a perfect time, too. They have a new General Manager, Eric DeCosta, stepping in for Ozzie Newsome at season’s end and they have the quarterback of the future in Lamar Jackson. After falling to 4-5 with games remaining at the Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Chargers, Bisciotti will recognize that this team will not be playing in January. With that in mind, Harbaugh will be out, Morninhweg will be out, and Lamar Jackson will be under center by Week 15, at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.