On Now
Coming Up
  • Tue., Feb. 13, 2018 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST Cheerleader Prep Clinics The 2018 Cheerleader prep clinics will allow you to get a leg up on the competition. You will get to know our current squad, our dance/stunt styles, and some tips for how to have a successful audition. You will leave these classes feeling more prepared and confident for the approaching auditions.
  • Sat., Mar. 03, 2018 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM EST Cheerleader Tryouts Become a member of the best cheerleading program in the NFL! Tryouts for the 2018 Baltimore Ravens Cheerleading Squad will be held the weekend of March 3rd at the Merritt Club Downtown.
  • Sat., Mar. 10, 2018 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST Playmaker Tryouts The Playmakers are the Ravens promotional team that travels around Baltimore on the days leading up to Ravens home games. At each event they attend, they give out free gifts and tickets to Ravens fans, getting them excited for the upcoming game. Become a member and help get Baltimore ready for gameday!
  • Sat., Mar. 24, 2018 8:45 AM - 3:00 PM EDT Marching Band Tryouts Come join us and become part of the best marching band in the NFL! Baltimore's Marching Ravens are committed to bringing quality musical entertainment and a "traditional football atmosphere" to all Ravens home games. Comprised of more than 150 musicians and equipment crew, Baltimore's Marching Ravens is the largest musical organization associated with the NFL.
  • Thu., Apr. 26, 2018 8:00 PM EDT NFL Draft Follow the Baltimore Ravens through the 2018 NFL Draft.
  • Thu., May. 31, 2018 5:00 PM EDT Beach Bash Flock to the Beach with the Ravens for our annual Ravens Beach Bash presented by Miller Lite.

News

Print
RSS

Eisenberg: Ravens Don't Owe Anyone an Apology, But Must Adapt to the New Normal

Posted Jan 6, 2018

There's always going to be swings and misses in life, so the Ravens don't need to apologize for falling short of the playoffs. But fans are understandably upset and won't be satisfied until something is done to change the situation.


Let me start with a simple declaration: I don’t think the Ravens need to apologize for missing the playoffs for three straight years.

Yes, it’s disappointing. And yes, the most recent miss was beyond frustrating. Never again will a Baltimore fan utter the phrase “fourth-and-12” without experiencing a frightening flashback.

Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals dropped the Ravens’ record to 40-40 since they won the Super Bowl in February 2013. Fans are upset. It’s tough to reconcile.

But apologize? Please. There’s a big picture to consider. The franchise has forged quite a tradition in 22 years here. Two Super Bowl triumphs. Ten playoff appearances. A 6-0 record in the wild-card round since the current playoff format was instituted.

Of the NFL’s 32 teams, only the New England Patriots, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Ravens have won as many as two Super Bowls in the new century.

Fans cracking wise about the Ravens not knowing a pass from a pompom might want to take that into consideration.

Unlike some of the 28 teams that have failed to win multiple Super Bowls since 2000, the Ravens probably do know what they’re doing.

But that doesn’t mean their time-tested methodology is always going to work.

They’re now experiencing one of those fundamental lessons everyone eventually confronts. No one is perfect. You’re going to swing and miss sometimes. There’ll be times when your plans go awry, the breaks go against you and you’re left disappointed.

It’s called real life, which is full of ups and downs, especially in the NFL, a league that is insanely competitive and legislates parity.

It’s humbling, no doubt. And that’s where the Ravens are now, caught in one of their lowest ebbs. Not since the end of the 1999 season could they look back and say they’d missed the playoffs for three straight years. (The streak was four years at that point.)

The organization has accomplished too much over the years to have to apologize. But a very wise person who happens to be my mother once told me that a key to getting by in life is understanding that you’ll encounter a “new normal” all the time, and you’d better be ready to adapt. The Ravens aren’t asking for my advice, but if they did, I’d suggest they recognize they’re encountering a new normal.

Here are the facts: 24 teams have made the playoffs at least once in the past three years. The list of those who haven’t made it is small and hardly impressive. The Cleveland Browns are on it, as are the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Bucs and Chicago Bears. None of those teams won more than five games in 2017.

The Ravens won nine, but they’re still on the list with the others. That’s the pool they’re swimming in. And I think the sample size is too large to suggest it’s some sort of freakish occurrence, an outlier bound to go away. The Ravens actually have missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons. We aren’t counting in dog years just yet, but that’s quite awhile.

I’m not advocating sweeping changes as a response, and even if I was, the Ravens simply aren’t wired that way. They preach continuity as a bedrock philosophy. For the record, I’m generally good with it, especially when a team comes as close to a playoff berth as the Ravens did this season. Staying the course tends to work better than consistently shuffling through changes.

But it wouldn’t hurt for the Ravens to acknowledge that they’re facing a new normal. Few teams can fall back on a better modern history, but that buys less confidence every year. I would go so far as to suggest a crisis of faith might soon exist.

It happens. In all pro sports, you have to win or face consequences that don’t necessarily fit your narrative.

The Ravens have amazing fans, but they’re upset. They aren’t ungrateful. They just care, and really, all they want is to see and hear that the organization is just as upset, that stomachs are churning madly, that no one inside the walls will be satisfied until something is done to change the situation. It might seem unnecessary to do that, but such are the dictates of a new normal.

Related Tags

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos

Save