Bye comes at the right time for struggling Ravens


— Few teams are happy to go into the bye week with a loss, but this might work in the Ravens' favor.

They need a break to solve a lot of problems, and they can't be settled with the normal five to six days in between games.

In fact, the Ravens haven't solved them all year, and they may not for the rest of the season, especially on defense. After Sunday's 43-13 loss to the Houston Texans, the Ravens tried to find something positive, but there wasn't much.

"I think the bye is always coming at the right time," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. "It's always frustrating when you lose, period. When you lose like that you don't feel good about it. But like we said in the locker room, they all count the same no matter how you lose."

Nice try, Joe.

It wasn't just another game or another loss. Most games in the NFL go down to the last 4 or 5 minutes and a lot of them are decided by a touchdown or less.

The Ravens got destroyed. They got blown out.

On a day when they were trying to make a statement that they were the best team in the AFC, they looked like the old Ravens of 1997.

Worse than that, they smelled like the Cleveland Browns.

You want some positive spin?

Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs played for the first time since tearing his Achilles in April, and the Ravens play in the AFC North, which is becoming one of the worst divisions in the NFL.

And thank goodness the Ravens have a bye this week. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

"We have to take a long look in the mirrors this week and get things corrected from this game," Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe said. "We just have to move forward."

After watching the loss Sunday, the Ravens need some other things like self control and discipline. Early last week, Ravens safety Ed Reed went on the radio talking about his hidden shoulder injury.

In Sunday's game, safety Bernard Pollard bumped an official after he was called for a penalty, and then late in the game he was screaming uncontrollably on the sideline and had to be calmed down by an assistant coach.

There was safety Christian Thompson getting an unsportsmanlike conduct , and then later reportedly tweeting at halftime which he later denied.

The madness has to stop. The Ravens need to slow down the world. They need this break.

There are some who will say the outcome would have been different if team leader Ray Lewis had been on the field, but this meltdown had been brewing for two weeks when Kansas City and Dallas each rushed for more than 200 yards.

The Ravens gave up only 181 rushing yards to Houston, but the Texans carved up the secondary for another 256 yards passing. Of Houston's 12 offensive possessions, four ended in touchdowns and the Texans had a nearly 17 minute advantage in time of possession.

"We've got to coach better and we've got to play better to accomplish what we want to accomplish," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a good time to have a bye week to work those things out."

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