3 & Out: Questions for Ravens bye week

3 & Out: Questions for Ravens bye week
October 21, 2013, 4:45 pm
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Ravens are in a state of emergency

1. Terrell Suggs is right - the Ravens are in a state of emergency.

The Ravens are not finished, but it’s getting late. When you are 3-4, and two games behind the division-leading Bengals (5-2), you are in trouble. That’s where the Ravens stand. Suggs is a former Defensive Player of the Year, a team leader, and he has been around the block plenty of times. He knows a good team from a bad team. Suggs thinks the Ravens need to start winning, instead of just talking about winning. Suggs is right.

2. Ray Rice could be the key to the second half. 

Is Rice showing wear and tear from all of his carries since college? I don’t buy that. Running backs take a pounding in the NFL, and they can lose their legs quickly. But I think Rice has looked more nimble the past two games, compared to earlier this month when he was first returning from a hip injury. Only Rice really knows how he feels. But I think the bye week will help him get closer to 100 percent. After the bye, if Rice becomes the effective multipurpose back he has been the past four seasons, it could kick-start the offense.

3. Give the defense credit.

No, the run defense has not been great. But the Ravens’ defense has given them a chance to win every week, except for Week 1 against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. How many times have we seen the Ravens’ offense go three-and-out, sending the Ravens’ defense right back onto the field? Yet, the Ravens have not fallen apart defensively. That bodes well for them in the second half, if the offense starts carrying more of its weight.

Extra point: The game at Cleveland after the bye is the biggest of the season. 

Who knew that Nov. 3 at Cleveland would be so crucial when the schedule was first released? After a bye week, the Ravens can’t afford to lose their first game once they return. That would be crushing. The Browns (3-4) won’t be a pushover. They are tired of losing to the Ravens, and they have a physical defense that is fully capable of making Baltimore’s offense one-dimensional. If the Ravens are going to make a second-half run, it needs to start in Cleveland.

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