And now comes the second half of the season.
The Ravens are going to start the back end of the 2012 season. They came into the break with a 5-2 record and a lead. Now, they'll start on Sunday in Cleveland with a one-game lead over the Steelers and a two-game edge over the Bengals.
As mentioned before, the Ravens really needed a break due to all of the injuries they've battled in recent days. The defense gets some time to refocus for the final part of this year.
With all of the problems they've dealt with, the Ravens still remain in first and that's something a lot of fans have forgotten. It will be interesting to see how the Ravens react on both sides of the ball. Coach John Harbaugh has talked about everyone needing to stay patient while the second half starts.
The Ravens are going to need to see how players fare when filling for guys like Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb. That's one reason the team did so poorly in Houston. They had a lot of guys jumping in with little notice. The week off will help everyone get settled in.
On offense, the Ravens are going to need bigger performances on the road, especially from guys like Ray Rice and Joe Flacco. Here's betting Rice gets the ball a lot more than in the first half. If Rice can make more noise, it will give the offense more punch and power.
This is just a time of change for the Ravens, especially on defense. That's why the defense is going to stumble in the first few weeks after this break. It's going to be interesting to see how the new players connect and help the rest of the team.