Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens reporter: I'm not sure an NFL team could need its bye week as much as the Ravens do right now. But while the week off could allow the Ravens to get a few of their prominent players back from injury, it's not going to cure everything that ails this team right now. Right now, the Ravens are a mess. Even when they do make a big play, such as Terrance West's long run or the forced fumble on Matt Forte, they nullify it with a penalty or mistake. The Timmy Jernigan fumble after the Ravens forced a fumble, and the C.J. Mosley fumble against the Washington Redskins after his interception are perfect examples. The offensive line is probably the biggest problem of all, but that's not to minimize Joe Flacco's role in the four-game losing streak. Ravens coach John Harbaugh says every week that the team is not playing winning football. That starts with the quarterback.
Mike Preston, Ravens columnist: The Ravens played the worst team in the NFL but they are now close to that designation after losing 24-16 to the New York Jets. The Ravens couldn't run the ball and they couldn't stop it. They lost to not just one, but two quarterbacks the Jets no longer want. The Ravens have dug a hole and it will be hard for them to climb out. They are 3-4, and the second half of the schedule gets tougher. Looks like this is going to be a long season.
Edward Lee, Ravens reporter: The bye comes at a perfect time for the Ravens, who are reeling and in dire need of a break. In a repeat of their loss to the Washington Redskins a couple weeks ago, the defense came away with a significant turnover, but gave it right back, and the New York Jets converted that gift (this time, from Timmy Jernigan instead of C.J. Mosley) into a touchdown that led to the final score. The second half of the schedule will not get easier for the Ravens, but maybe some time off will help clear their minds and get their players healthy.
Mark Selig, Ravens editor: This loss leaves little ambiguity about where the season is headed. The Ravens, now losers of four straight following three unconvincing wins, will agin miss the playoffs. It might be premature, but it's realistic. After a much-needed bye, they will likely be favored in just one or two of their final nine games (home against the Browns; maybe home against the Dolphins). Sure, the team could turn things around a bit in the second half, but somewhat improved play from what we've seen so far this year won't be enough to make this a 10-win team, given the remaining schedule.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: This is simply one of the worst Ravens teams I've seen in my 10 years in Baltimore. Where do we start? How about dumb mistakes, terrible penalties, horrible tackling and an offensive line that can't block anybody. This game would not have been close if the Jets weren't so bad. A bye week isn't going to fix this. The biggest problem? Ozzie Newsome's last three drafts. No help anywhere.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens finally unraveled for real in a game they badly needed to win. Their offense in the second half was as pathetic as we've seen it all season. The line could not open any running lanes or protect quarterback Joe Flacco, and Flacco looked genuinely rattled, throwing two interceptions and sailing numerous other attempts. It's hard to find any real reason for optimism heading into the bye week and looking ahead to a schedule that will get tougher in a hurry. Even the dregs of the league — and the Jets were about as bad as it got through six weeks — get well against the Ravens these days.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: Wecome to John Harbaugh's nightmare. In a game that defied explanation, the Ravens found a bunch of new ways to lose and now are officially in crisis. The only saving grace is the fact that nobody in the AFC North has taken control of the division, so they can continue to hope and pray that they get healthy during the bye week and stay viable. That's a nice thought, but if they cannot beat a 1-5 team that lost its starting quarterback in the second quarter, it probably won't matter whether Ben Roethlisberger is available to play when they face the Steelers in two weeks.