The Ravens should be sending flowers and candy to the Arizona Cardinals today because the Cards' wholly unexpected win over Pittsburgh is the only thing that kept Baltimore's Sunday from being a total disaster.
The Ravens' performance in yesterday's 27-13 loss in Cleveland was about as wretched as anything Baltimore fans have seen since 2005 and perhaps worse when you consider that the club that took the field two years ago was frequently operating with key players hurt. With the exception of cornerback Samari Rolle, the Ravens basically fielded their A team yesterday.
You could discuss the Ravens' problems until you ran out of breath -- lack of pressure on the quarterback, lack of turnovers (those two usually go hand-in-hand), lack of a deep-strike on offense, lack of red-zone production, and what was palpable in yesterday's game, a lack of urgency.
Quarterback Steve McNair said he wasn't bothered by the groin injury. I'm not inclined to believe that, mainly because I'd prefer not to believe that his passing wasn't affected by something physical. On defense, there is another concern. Around here, folks considered the fourth-quarter problems on defense against the Jets and Cardinals "lapses." Now you have to worry that they were symptomatic of a more severe problem.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Malby/Baltimore Sun