Mike Preston's midseason Ravens report card
Rush linebacker Terrell Suggs was correct when he said after the Ravens' loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday that the team was in a state of emergency.
It's not what team officials over at The Castle wanted to hear, but it could serve as a wake-up call for the Ravens (3-4), who have lost three of their past four and are trailing the Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) in the AFC North race.
Coach John Harbaugh has tried to be patient, hoping his team would return to its form from last year's postseason, when the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, but that hasn't happened. So as the Ravens near the midseason mark and go through their bye week, it’s safe to assume changes will be made.
The Ravens can't remain status-quo stuck and stuck in periods of inconsistency. There will be some new wrinkles added, maybe some wildcat formation sprinkled in with some trick plays on offense. Maybe the Ravens will add a few run blitzes to aid their struggling rushing defense, or modify their coverages to patch up the communication issues and gaping holes in the middle of their pass defense.
But before we jump ahead, we'll take a look back at the first half of the season and dole out midseason grades for each position group.
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Joe Flacco has been hampered by the absence of receivers Dennis Pitta and Anquan Boldin, the offensive line hasn't provided much protection, and the Ravens also haven't had a running game to complement the passing attack. But still, the team hasn't gotten much bang out of the $120.6 million contract awarded to Flacco. That put Flacco in the elite classification as far as highly paid QBs, but he hasn't elevated his performance or that of his teammates. He has been average.