Third and Long: Crossroads

Baltimore Ravens v Carolina Panthers

The NFL is a week to week league.

Each game brings highs and lows and based on the outcome fans can feel like Super Bowl contenders or destined for the basement. The Ravens were considered by many even outside Charm City to be one of the best teams in the AFC after a resounding victory in Pittsburgh.

But that was four games ago.

Aside from a shutout in Nashville, October was a house of horrors as they dropped games to Cleveland, New Orleans, and Carolina. Now things come full circle as the team welcomes their old rival into M & T this Sunday, and once again it’s considered a game that could help define the rest of their season. I’ve even read some who have proclaimed that the result could determine the fates of John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco.

It’s November. It’s Steelers week and we need a win before a much needed bye. Let’s go!

  1. Bandwagon Empty- The Ravens are 4-4 and the fans are getting that same old feeling about this team after watching them get throttled by the Panthers last week. It’s hard to blame anyone for getting upset or demanding change at this point. Usually I’d take a very relaxed view of the weekly chaos but we’ve watched this story for years now. The offense has been inconsistent, the defense has been exposed against competent quarterbacks and injuries are piling up. After a rough four weeks the purple and black are reeling and a loss to the Steelers would send the franchise limping into the Bye week under .500. If it turns out to be the case the calls for Lamar Jackson will become louder and John Harbaugh will be coaching on borrowed time. But hey the team traded for Ty Montgomery this week. Pardon my sarcasm but it’s put up or shut up time. That said the team is still in the hunt and host the Bengals at home after a week of rest. They could go on a run as they are always a tough out at home and luckily the schedule will turn in their favor.
  2. Steelers week– I’ve watched every Steelers-Ravens contest and it just doesn’t feel the same to me this time around. The hatred has morphed into respect as the two teams have had some epic clashes over the years. I can’t even name many players I really hate on Pittsburgh’s roster anymore, maybe I’m just maturing. The storylines are about the Steelers wanting to avenge that early loss to Baltimore and some weak comment Joe Flacco said about how he felt the offense could have piled on the points against Pittsburgh. One last stat for you, John Harbaugh has a 12-12 record (imagine that) against Pittsburgh during his tenure, and 13 of those 24 games have been decided by four points or less. As always it will be an entertaining game regardless of the lack of unadulterated hatred.
  3. Players to Watch– Last week (Snead 5/54, Williams/Pierce 154 yards rushing by CAR) On offense it’s about big plays and that means Smokey Brown, on defense it’s up to the Ravens secondary to slow the Steelers passing attack and keep Roethlisberger under 6.5 per pass attempt.

Legend of the Game

Tony Siragusa

tony-siragusa

Defensive Tackle

Played for the Ravens (1997-2001)

“Goose” was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Colts in 1990 and played Nose Tackle. Siragusa hit the free agent market after six years in Indianapolis and would become a key part of the Ravens record breaking defense in 2000 as he was paired with Sam Adams up front. Siragusa is infamous for his belly splash on Rich Gannon during the AFC championship game that knocked him out of the game. While he wasn’t penalized on the play he was fined $10,000 after the fact. He retired in 2001. His post playing career saw him with stints as an actor, and television personality on Fox football broadcasts.

Game Day Playlist – Song of the Week

No comment needed.

Cousin Justin’s Betting Parlor

I’m still flying high and alive and well. I’m a bit worried that I burned by Pats pick too early and especially after I looked over this week’s slate.

So who did I pick?

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Yeah, this is probably the year to pick literally any team that lines up against Buffalo.

Game-Time Snack of the Week

Frito Pie in a jar

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This recipe feel like it needs a better name. It is what it is though.

RECIPE

Happy football everyone! Go Ravens!

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