Strap Up: It's Going To Be A Wild Ride
Still licking wounds here after a humbling defeat in Houston. But this I know: the NFL is not predictable.
We can all beat each other. Every game is hard, and the unusual will happen.
Houston beats Baltimore, 43-13.
Green Bay beat Houston, 42-24, seven days earlier.
The Colts, with a rookie quarterback, top Green Bay, 30-27.
The Jets stomp the Colts, 35-9.
The 49ers rip the Jets (in New Jersey), 34-0.
The Giants crush the 49ers in San Fran, 26-3.
Dallas beats the Giants in Jersey, 24-17.
We beat the Cowboys, 31-29.
Like I said, we can all beat each other.
When we come back from the bye, we play at Cleveland (Nov. 4), and the Browns can beat us. The Browns beat the Bengals, who won at Washington, who beat the Vikings, who beat the 49ers … and on and on.
Tighten the chinstrap, buckle the safety belt; we have nine games remaining. Each game will have a story.
Each will be filled with drama and the unknown. The NFL is the most exciting reality show with the most people watching. We're not waiting for Adam Levine or Christina Aguilera to turn around. We'll be on center stage, and we'll all be watching.
What's The Ravens' Reality?
I echo Bill Parcells' words: "You are what your record says you are."
The Ravens are 5-2, currently the second-best record in the AFC. Only the Falcons (6-0), Texans (6-1) and Bears (5-1) have better records among the 32 NFL teams. Not too bad for Baltimore.
But our run defense has been bad. Our offense has stuttered at times, and our special teams are pretty good. Welcome to the NFL. Teams have issues. Those who can cope, not panic, bounce back andIMPROVE get to advance.
I like our chances. We have lots of competitive, prideful and talented players on both sides of the ball. We have a head coach who is HISTORICALLY GOOD. No head coach, except John Harbaugh, has ever directed his teams to the playoffs and won a playoff game in each of his first four seasons as an NFL boss.
We won't panic. And we won't be unrealistic. We are flawed, and we have to find a way to get better.
(Raise your hand if you think the season is over. Did I see some hands raised? Excuse the harshness – you're idiots.)
And we need this bye weekend. We are a little beat up – and we were beaten down in Houston. We will get healthier. We will get some rest. We will make some football adjustments, and we will be ready for the next battle – in Cleveland on Nov. 4. Can't wait to see what happens in the next episode of "Baltimore Ravens – 2012."
Loved this quote from Tom Brady ... He said this on a radio show last Monday morning after "just" beating the Jets, 29-26 in overtime at home (bringing his Patriots to a 4-3 record).
"We're trying to do it. It's not like you flip a switch. I don't think that's it. There are 53 guys that are trying to do their best out there, and we're just not doing our best. Hopefully, we get to that point. That's part of why we practice, why we meet and why we go to work every day. I wish it were that easy. And maybe there were times when it looked easy. But I think you appreciate it when it does work. And you realize the preparation that you do put into it – that it pays off. Maybe we've just spoiled some people in the meantime. Because it's hard to win, man. It's really hard to win."
Shannon Sharpe And Ozzie Newsome
Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe was in our office last Thursday working on a story for CBS-TV. I heard him as I walked by Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome's office and stuck my head in the door. I said, "I have two words for you guys: Tony Gonzalez."
Without hesitation, Shannon stood up and said: "I've got three words for you – no playoff wins." Ozzie and I burst out laughing.
Gonzalez, the Falcons' spectacular tight end, has broken all of Shannon's all-time tight end reception records. Sharpe had broken the previous NFL marks set by one Ozzie Newsome.
And, Shannon, who has always amazed me with his knowledge of NFL history, is 100% correct. Gonzalez has never played for a team that has won a playoff game, including, obviously, the currently undefeated Falcons.
Enjoy this bye weekend. I plan to watch a lot of football on Sunday. Let's go Washington and San Diego, the teams that play Pittsburgh and Cleveland, respectively. (The Bengals are also on a bye.)
Talk with you next week.