After holding Denver without an offensive touchdown in Week 1, Baltimore allowed 37 points to Oakland in Week 2 and is staring 0-3 in the eye with AFC North leader Cincinnati coming to town this weekend.
What is going on with the Ravens, a team that many thought could play in the Super Bowl this season?
“Well, they’re trying to find themselves right now,” Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Are they a good defense? Bad offense? One week they look one way, the next week they look (the other). But this week, home-opener against Cincinnati, hopefully things will all come together on a positive note for them and it’ll be the Ravens that we’ve known for the last eight, nine years.”
Tiki Barber feels the Ravens are just like the Giants: They don’t necessarily look great – or even that good – during the regular season, but something happens once they reach the playoffs, which, by the way, is something Baltimore has done in six of the last seven seasons.
“I know exactly what you mean,” Ogden said. “Every year they’re going to battle and fight and scratch and claw and find ways to make it to the playoffs. That’s what they’ve been doing the last few years. And like you say, for some reason when they get to the playoffs, Joe Flacco turns into another man and he’s able to do some amazing things with them. Hopefully he can do some of those things a little earlier this year – like starting maybe Sunday – and then continue to just build on that as a team. Because right now I think our team is okay. We just need to find ourselves. We just got to find what we do best – on both sides of the ball.”
That includes Flacco, who, for whatever reason, is sporadic from September through December but flips the switch in January.
Why is that?
“I just think it’s hard to win by yourself, frankly,” Ogden said. “I view that term – ‘elite quarterback’ – as a guy like Aaron Rodgers, like a Drew Brees, like Tom Brady who, if you take 16, 17 weeks of a season, they can go out and basically win 10 of those more or less without any real help. Everybody else needs the running game to help them out or they need receivers to go make big plays. Those elite-level guys can find a way to do it week-in and week-out out more or less without a lot of help. Everyone needs some help obviously, but I think Joe Flacco falls into that second category of guys. He’s one of those guys who, when he’s on, he can get it done. But I don’t think he can carry a team for 16 weeks without the rest of the offensive parts contributing the way they need to.”