Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:
OK, Greg Roman, I'll take the bait. If, as you said, the Ravens' season has resembled a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode, here's the script: (in Larry David voice): "I saw it. Some guys got hurt. I mean, a lot of guys. OK, everyone got hurt. But that was about it."
I'm sure you don't want to hear that the Ravens owe Ben Roethlisberger a debt of gratitude, but they do. Way back when they were trying to establish themselves as consistent contenders, their biggest rival's quarterback set a high bar of toughness and resilience they knew they had to reach.
Most of the Week 18 results the Ravens need to make the playoffs are quite possible. The Patriots could beat the Dolphins. The Raiders could beat the Chargers. The Ravens could beat the Steelers. But that one longshot is gumming up the works. Jaguars over Colts? Hard to imagine.
I hear the chatter about what the Ravens need to do to get better offensively going forward. One fact that needs to be in the conversation: the Ravens gained more yards through 16 games this season than they did in any prior season in their history except for 2019.
Mark Andrews was a deserving winner of the Ravens' 2021 MVP award, as voted by the media. He was also a deserving winner of the Media Good Guy award. After helping deconstruct the loss to the Bengals two weeks ago, he ended his press conference by saying, "Merry Christmas, everyone."
Andrews is close to setting the NFL record for most receiving yardage in a season by a tight end. Needs 141 yards Sunday. Not impossible. But with Patrick Ricard out and Nick Boyle on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, Andrews may have to focus on helping keep T.J. Watt off the quarterback.
The Ravens have allowed 181 more passing yards than any other team with one game remaining. (The Seahawks are next closest.) I'm estimating the odds of that happening were, oh, about 1,000-to-1 when training camp opened and Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters were lining up at cornerback.
Nice that Calais Campbell admits he'll watch the scoreboard Sunday because the Ravens' playoff hopes depend on other games. Only human, as he said. But even if they see they can't make it, the Ravens surely will be motivated to avoid posting the franchise's first six-game losing streak since 2007.
If I'm the Ravens, I'm talking to Campbell about his possible return in 2022. Although he'd be 36 and the Ravens need a younger D-line, he has played over 68 percent of the snaps in 11 of 16 games and is among Pro Football Focus' highest-rated Ravens this season.
While on a Steeler-themed podcast this week, I learned some Pittsburgh fans are salivating over the possibility of Tyler Huntley becoming their quarterback. The Ravens aren't about to let that happen, but I'm guessing fans of quite a few teams are eyeing the Ravens' No. 2 quarterback the same way.