Overreaction Monday – Guilty as Charged
We're not unlike you fans.
When we lose, we hurt. And, we second-guess.
Well, you guys second-guess. We study. We measure – and move on. That's what we have to do.
Okay, we second-guess too.
Thought John Harbaugh nailed it when he was answering media questions on Monday about the one-point loss at Philly.
"We look at everything in our evaluations after every game," Harbaugh said. "But, when you lose, that sting, really forces you to dig deep. All of us feel it here. It's part of our nature, human nature. We find ways to do things better. We find ways to grow. We do that to get rid of the sting. We have to. We keep building, move on, push to the positive … and get ready to come back swinging the next game."
Yeah, the next game. The Patriots, the defending AFC champions.
(Yikes! Can you believe that either the Patriots or the Ravens are going to be 1-2 after three games? One team will be in for a brutal Monday and a week of monumental criticism and second-guessing. Heck, the last time the Patriots were 1 -2 was in 2001. Look what happened to them? Never mind, New England won the Super Bowl at the end of that season. The Patriots' playoff ride that postseason included the snowy "tuck" fumble/non-fumble victory over the Raiders in the Divisional round.
The Ravens haven't been 1-2 under Coach Harbaugh, but we were 2-3 in 2008 and earned our way to the AFC championship game at Pittsburgh later that season.)
About Last Monday
One of the responsibilities of our PR department is to monitor the media. We need to know what is being said and written about us, especially after games. When we think it is needed, we share that info with others in the organization. Steve Bisciotti, here's my admission: I don't do a very good job of this when we lose. Losing hurts so much, and I don't want to dump salt into the wounds by monitoring the words that criticize us. Yeah, I'm a baby that way.
I try to listen and read, but, when I do, I end up getting really irritated – pissed – at the people second-guessing us. (And, I like some of these people, just not after losses.)
On the train ride back from Philadelphia, we were isolated and heard no proclamations of our ineptitude for losing by one point at the Eagles. Listened to satellite radio music on my drive home from Penn Station. Watched some of the 49ers/Lions game later that night.
Feeling braver, I tried a little national radio early Monday on my way to work. Not bad. One former player said the Ravens were unlucky for playing the Eagles early in the season when Michael Vick is healthy. Another host proclaimed: "They have to give the ball to Ray Rice on third- and fourth-and-1. He's a special weapon – use him." Flipped to another national show, and the host said: "Are we seeing the end of one the greatest defensive runs in NFL history? Michael Vick and the Eagles shredded Ray Lewis and the Ravens in the second half yesterday."
Not being ready to concede that, I switched to Baltimore radio.
I lasted about four minutes.
First thing I heard came from a former Baltimore Colt seriously second-guessing our defensive schemes and the play of Ed Reed. Then a host leaped on Cam Cameron for his play calling. Finally, the co-host referred to our loss as "stunning."
Click – back to the sounds of the '70s on satellite radio.
In the office, I leaped into all the things we have to do on Mondays and heard and read nothing until around 5 that afternoon. Entering the office of Chad Steele, our director of media relations – who was doing his job and monitoring the news – I heard ESPN's Trey Wingo shout out from the TV: "Welcome to Overreaction Monday."
That hit home for me. Trey nailed it in those four words. I was overreacting, and so were some members of the media.
And Coach Harbaugh, whose job includes getting us ready for the next game, added perspective. "Yes, we go back. We look at what we did well, what we didn't do well. We certainly second-guess ourselves. We see where we can be better. It's not a league of perfection. It's a fight. Every week, every game is going to be a fight. I feel strongly about our team – their hearts, the effort, the physical way they play, the way they handle pressure. We trust them. We'll be ready for Sunday night."
Maybe This Will Calm Your Nerves a Little
If Coach Harbaugh's words don't help you sleep better, here are some numbers that might help tonight and Saturday. The Ravens currently have the longest home winning streak in the NFL: 11 in a row, 12 when you include last January's playoff victory over Houston. Under Coach Harbaugh (since 2008), the Ravens are 28-5 in games played at M&T Bank Stadium (and have won 19 of the last 20 regular season games at home.) In that stretch, we have outscored opponents 861-439.
Here's an even better stat – and I don't want somebody to comment that stats are for losers; I'm just looking for some positives as we approach Sunday night – the Ravens have won 13 games in a row following a loss. That's the best current string in the NFL. We are 16-4 (.800) after a loss in the Harbaugh era. That's what I'm talking about!
(Since 2008, the Patriots have the best record after a loss: 14-2 [.875]. Sorry about that.)
I can't wait for Sunday night. The walls of purple will be shaking. Let's beat those Pats.
Talk with you next week,