3-and-Out: Can Ravens turn it around?
1. The Ravens need to run the table at home.
This is the best part of the schedule for the Ravens – four of their next five at home, starting with Sunday’s game against the Bengals. If the Ravens simply take care of business at home during this next stretch, they will be no worse than 7-6 with three games remaining. The Ravens are 2-1 at home, but their current three-game losing streak began with a home loss to the Packers. The Ravens can’t afford to let anyone else leave M & T Bank Stadium with a victory.
2. This may be a rebuilding year, whether the Ravens admit it or not.
The Ravens signed a host of veterans before the season like Elvis Dumervil, Michael Huff, Marcus Spears, Chris Canty, Daryl Smith, Dallas Clark, and Brandon Stokley. Some of those additions clearly have not worked out. Huff and Spears are already gone. Stokley and Clark have not contributed much.
The Ravens thought they had done enough to offset losing starters like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, Dannell Ellerbe, Bernard Pollard and Paul Kruger. But through eight games, the Ravens are clearly a team in transition. And that transition may include missing the playoffs for the first time in John Harbaugh’s tenure.
3. Eugene Monroe can’t catch a break this season
Monroe started the season playing for the winless Jaguars. But after four games, he was traded to the Ravens, a team that has made the playoffs five straight years. Monroe figured he was joining a playoff team. So what happens? The Ravens have lost three straight since Monroe became the starting left tackle. It’s not Monroe’s fault – the Ravens were playing poorly before he showed up. But as they say, timing is everything. Excuse Monroe if he celebrates the Ravens’ next victory a little harder than his teammates.
Extra point: Ravens punter Sam Koch is not having a good season. On a team with many issues, Koch’s problems have been someone overshadowed. But he needs to punt more consistently before it possibly costs the Ravens a game.