Category Archives: Rant Of The Week

Ravens lose, Hold Defense Accountable

Chris Schisler

Rant of The Week

The Baltimore Ravens lost a game to the San Diego Chargers in which they built two 10 point leads. The Ravens had their second 10 point lead in the 4th quarter. Baltimore gave a collective sigh of disbelief when the Chargers took the lead 34-33 with seconds left. The Ravens lost a game they had to win in a way you had to see to believe.

In the back of your mind, you must have thought the Ravens lost when they settled for a 4th Justin Tucker field goal. With over 3 minutes, the Ravens went up 6 over the Chargers. Phillip Rivers went down the field with his offense like it was easy-the way he did it all day long.

You can argue that the Ravens need to score touchdowns and not field goals. I can’t argue with that. However the offense was not the problem on Sunday. The Ravens put up 33 points and that should be enough for a victory. The defense was awful in almost every aspect-from the vanilla and stunt free gameplan – to the utter lack of execution on 3rd downs. Justin Forsett rushed for over 100 yards and Joe Flacco threw for 250 and had 2 touchdowns. He also ran for one. With 33 points and that stat line the offense should receive praise. They would be beloved for sticking to the formula if the score was reversed by 1 point.

The defense was pitiful, plain and predictable. Phillip Rivers ripped this defense to shreds. Almost every 3rd down was a Chargers conversion. The Chargers had an absurd 31 first downs in the contest. I know we love the defense, it was dominant for years, blah blah blah, sugar and spice, everything nice whatever. I have heard it before and we’ll hear it again. News flashing st the bottom of the screen says that the Ravens defense is no longer dominant.

Go ahead and crucify Joe Flacco. He is such a lovely scapegoat isn’t he, dull and he is ambivalent to it all. Go ahead tell John Harbaugh to get his stuff together. Blame Kubiak, we’ve been blaming offensive coordinators forever its just what we do. Do what you want but this loss is on Dean Pees and the Baltimore Ravens defense. There is no other way to put it. For once, hold the defense accountable.

We used to have standards for defense that any NFL city would have found hard to keep. We used to demand great defense. Not great red zone defense, not two great pass rushers but great defense. The secondary is trash, and the game plan is as inspired as a snail moving 1 centimeter per minute. Its garbage and its time we ditch our convenient scapegoats and hold the defense accountable in Baltimore.

Rant of The Week: It’s America’s Game

Chris Schisler

Its an incredibly slow news cycle in the National Football League but I found a sufficient rant. Buried under the slew of uninteresting headlines on NFL.com was an article by Mike Coppinger. Coppinger included this quote from Roger Goodell from NFL Total Access “”We actually couldn’t be more surprised by the tremendous demand for NFL football in London and the U.K. in general and frankly even Europe. It’s not something I think is 15 or 20 years away, it could be five or 10 years away.” I admit that I have mixed feelings about the NFL in England. On one hand its hard to be against growth of the game I love. On the other it makes absolutely no sense at the moment.

First off, I want to acknowledge that there are many American football fans in the United Kingdom. We have a loyal reader, Tracy Cole, who represents RavensNation in the UK. In fact she wrote a fabulous article for us about this very subject (https://commonsensefootball.com/2014/05/14/nfl-in-england/). I do think London could support an NFL franchise and it would be amazing for NFL fans in the UK. I just don’t believe that this course of action would be best for the NFL.

The travel to and from the West Coast can be problematic for NFL franchises. Just imagine the extreme disadvantage road teams would have traveling to London. Imagine the disadvantage the London based team would have flying back and forth all season long. Just talking about this has me jet lagged. There is no getting around the 5 hour start time. The 1pm kick off time in England would be 8am in the United States. The 4:30 game would be 11:30 in the US. This conflicts with the 1pm start times in the United States. How would a Sunday Night Football game work? Would it start at 8:30 in the United States East Coast time? It could not start after midnight in England, obviously. The timezone differential would be a drastic problem.

You would also be setting up the London based team at a severe disadvantage. How would they lure free agents? Sure England is an awesome place, nobody is questioning that. But almost all football players come from college football in the United States. A player would either have to move his family to England or leave his family (and friends) in the United States. A coaches family has enough football related trouble to deal with-moving overseas would be a tough proposition for them. England is one of the greatest countries in the world. Thats not the issue and I want to make that as clear as a Jim Caldwell first down call (Its a draw out of the shotgun).

A solution to this could be English universities taking up American football. This would provide England with almost their own farm system just like college football in the United States is for the NFL. This however would take time. I highly doubt that it would be profitable for the universities to do this-we’d have to give them a motive to establish quality American football programs. If this solution won’t work I can find sustainability an issue for the London based team.

Speaking of sustainability we have no way of knowing that we can keep football in the UK long term. We know that we can annually sell out one football game in Wimbley Stadium. It however is a special event. Would people weekly go to NFL games?

One way of determining the NFL fan base overseas would be the amount if revenue NFL TV packages do abroad. This however would only show that they are fans of an NFL franchise. It does not necessarily mean that these customers would be fans of the new NFL team. It suggests that they already have become fans of other NFL teams. So there is really no way of predicting the sustainability of the NFL in the UK.

America loves the National Football League. There are markets in the USA that the NFL could explore. Everyone knows the league has an affinity for LA. I always thought a team in Richmond, Virginia could do well. Salt Lake City is a viable market for football as evidenced by the passionate collegiate rivalry between BYU and Utah. If the NFL has to expand (even though 32 teams is perfect) it is more practical to attack these markets.

Football is America’s game. This country is where the passion lies in an almost unquantifiable amount. While a part of me would enjoy football in England-it would help bring football to worldwide relevance-a larger part of me selfishly wants it to remain America’s game. I think we can play an extra game overseas however.