The State of the Baltimore Ravens

In the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens have long been considered one of the most consistently good teams in the league, often picked as playoff contenders year in and year out.

This, however, is simply not the case with the 2015 Baltimore Ravens, who have not had a good year so far. All made worse after a painful 26-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football, dropping them to a 1-6 record on the season, making them tied with the Detroit Lions for the worst record in the league this year.

Even before the season started the Ravens were contenders for the AFC North division crown, given their constant success. Through the first seven weeks of the regular season, this couldn’t appear to be further from the truth, in fact their current record is the absolute worst one in franchise history. Adding insult to injury is the fact that 2015 is supposed to be the Ravens’ 20th Anniversary season.

One interesting thing to take away from the Ravens’ season is that all of their games have been decided by eight points or less, or roughly a touchdown and a two-point conversion. In every game this season the Ravens have had a chance to either make the game winning score or tie the game in the final two minutes, but in three of those games they ended up losing despite leading during the fourth quarter. Their lone win came against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Heinz Field on Thursday Night football where the Ravens drove down the field and allowed for kicker Justin Tucker to kick the winning field goal in overtime. Much of that win was due to Josh Scobee, the Steelers kicker at the time, missing two field goals in the later half of that game.

Problems on all sides of the ball are what have dragged the Ravens down, given that the defense has given up close to 27 points per game this year, putting them in the bottom half of the league. This, coupled with losing key players such as defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and linebacker Terrell Suggs, and poor tackling, has put the team in a bad situation. Offensively, the team has not gotten off to a hot start and lacks truly explosive playmakers, outside of veteran wide receiver Steve Smith. Quarterback Joe Flacco only has nine touchdowns on the season to eight interceptions.