Five Things We Learned from the Ravens' 34-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals
Childs Walker shares the ultimate lessons he learned about the 2013 Ravens after their season-ending loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati.
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5. We don't yet know how this season will be remembered( Andrew Weber, USA Today Sports / December 17, 2013 )
So how does 2013 fit into the overall story of the franchise?
It's hard to say, right?
This season featured some of the most breathtaking individual games in franchise history, from the overcome Hail Mary against Cincinnati to the wild finish in the snow against Minnesota to Justin Tucker's 61-yard game winner in Detroit.
Will we forget those simply because of the end result? I hope not. Such in-the-moment thrills are as big a part of sports as the rare championship season.
We know Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh are very likely to remain in their jobs. We know each carries a track record too long to ignore and that both have already begun planning for a better 2014.
We know the season solidified our views on a number of key young players, from Jimmy Smith to Tucker to Matt Elam to Marlon Brown.
But there are just as many things we don't know.
Can Newsome and Harbaugh redesign the offensive line in one offseason? Can they find more receiving weapons to help Joe Flacco regain his form? Can they inject new blood into the defensive front? Can Ray Rice return to being an elite running-receiving threat?
The Ravens always knew 2013 would be an experiment in trying to contend while simultaneously rebuilding. They fell short of the desired result and uncovered some weaknesses they probably didn't expect.
History tells us to bet on this being a blip for a perpetually well run franchise. But there are enough potential holes in the roster that we can't be sure.