Bye comes at the right time for struggling Ravens

"I'm concerned about everything," he said. "What aren't you concerned about? Sometimes you get tossed out of the bar. We came in with hype, with good intentions and ready to battle. I thought our guys fought. We kept running back in and they kept throwing us back out."

It ended in a knockout.

Unfortunately, there is no sign the Ravens will improve. Seven games into the season, the front seven still can't get off blocks, and the cornerbacks still can't cover or tackle. There would be a sense of hope if these were older players not performing well, and there were good, young players coming off the bench. But a lot of these guys are in years three, four or five, when they should be having break out seasons.

It is a bad day when the Ravens best defensive player is Suggs, who had more rust on him than an old steel mill in Sparrows Point.

"Potential, it's just the little things," said Suggs in addressing the young player. "They have tremendous potential and believe me, they [Houston] will see us again."

OK Sizzle, stay positive. At least during the bye week, you'll get a few more days to keep dreaming.

That's the beauty of the bye. Most teams like to go into it with a win, but for big losers like the Ravens, maybe they can fix some things.

They have problems on offense as well. Basically, if you have speed rushers on the outside and can play the Ravens man to man, you have a good chance of winning.

Philadelphia and Houston created those matchup problems for the Ravens, and both won. Kansas City had a similar game plan, and the Chiefs almost pulled the upset.

In Sunday's game, the Texans pounded Flacco. He was sacked four times as the Ravens were beaten soundly up front. But Flacco also turned in another poor performance on the road including a 4.2 QB rating at the half.

That's sounds more like an earned run average.

He under and over threw receivers. He got nervous feet.

On a day when the Ravens needed him to carry the team, he didn't, and neither did running back Ray Rice who became an afterthought once the Ravens got behind.

We've seen that act before, too.

But as the Ravens pointed out, they are still 5-2 and one of the top teams in the AFC. That's a great bottom line, but you never feel really confident about this team. There appears to be more smoke and mirrors than substance.

Maybe in the next two weeks, they can do something about that. Maybe they can make some adjustments and cover up some weaknesses, if not physically, at least cosmetically again.

At least they have time now for some kind of face lift. It's great they are heading into a bye because too many weaknesses have been exposed.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

 
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