In the week since the worst loss in the Lamar Jackson era, the Ravens' flaws have been dissected like they were on the desk of a high school biology student.
The 2021 Baltimore Ravens certainly aren't perfect. We all knew that wasn't going to be the case after injuries crippled the roster.
They're having trouble running the ball consistently unless it's in the hands of Lamar Jackson. A banged-up offensive line is trying to keep its head above water. They're giving up too many big plays on defense and have the 32nd-ranked pass defense in the league.
Still, the Ravens sit atop the AFC North at 5-2 as they enter Week 9. Baltimore's bye week provided an opportunity to sit back and watch the rest of the league duke it out. What was made abundantly clear, as is the case every year, is that every team in the league also has flaws.
Want to bet on the winner of the AFC this year? Best of luck. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
The Ravens were the toast of the town after bludgeoning the Chargers in Week 6. The Bengals were the flavor of the week after clobbering the Ravens. On Sunday, the Bengals fell to the previously one-win Jets, who were playing with backup quarterback Mike White.
In Week 8 alone, seven underdogs and four backup quarterbacks won. Third-stringer Trevor Siemian of the Saints beat Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champion Bucs.
The previously unbeaten Cardinals were toppled by the Packers. The defending AFC champion Chiefs are in last place in the AFC West. The Browns, the team who many picked to win their division, are in last place in the AFC North.
The Titans claimed the best record (6-2) in the AFC with an overtime win over the Colts on Sunday. The next morning, they lost their best player with news that running back Derrick Henry will need foot surgery.
It all further confirms Head Coach John Harbaugh's mantra, which he has repeated the past couple weeks especially, that long-term statements or judgements in the NFL are a waste of time. It's what we on the outside all do, and that won't stop, but it's mostly a fruitless endeavor.
The NFL season must be taken one week at a time because any team's flaws can be exposed any given week and new ones arise. It's a game of whack-a-mole. Whoever can keep clubbing down whatever issue pops up will win.
Under Harbaugh, the Ravens have proven adept at that game. Whatever ills Baltimore has moving forward, it still has Harbaugh and Jackson. As I’ve stated before, those are two strong building blocks that can help them overcome what most other teams cannot.