This may sound like blasphemy, but the more I think about the controversy over the rescheduling of last week's game against the Houston Texans, the more I think the Ravens will end up benefitting from the NFL's decision.
Maybe if the game had been played at a neutral site, the Ravens would have won and come into today's game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium healthy and undefeated, but that's a big maybe. The Texans were a 4 1/2-point favorite (albeit assuming the game would be at Reliant Stadium) and the Ravens were still recovering from their rash of training camp injuries. They just as easily could be coming into today's game against a division rival with a 1-1 record and a few more bumps and bruises, but they will take the field much better off for the unexpected weekend off.
No doubt, the lost bye at midseason will be lamented if they fall off the map during the span of five road games in six weeks that resulted from the insertion of the Houston trip into that November weekend, but there is no substitute for a fast start, especially for a team that was never projected to be more than a very marginal playoff contender.
If the Ravens win today, they've got a decent chance of being 5-2 when that tough run on the road begins Nov. 2. And if the defense stays healthy, who knows where they could go from there.