The Ravens woke up Monday morning as the ONLY winless team in the AFC. How dire is their situation? Upon further review, here are five reasons why losing 28-24 to the Bengals put the Ravens (0-3) in a hole they are unlikely to escape from:
1. No team that started 0-3 has won the Super Bowl.
An optimist would say the Ravens have a chance to make history. A realist would say the Ravens should not make February travel plans.
2. It has been 17 years since a team starting 0-3 made the playoffs.
The 1998 Bills were the last team to do it. Just like the Ravens, the 1998 Bills played their first two games on the road, then lost their home opener. However, those Bills responded with a five-game winning streak that got them to 5-3, and turned around their season. That’s a message to the Ravens. Any realistic hope needs to start with a win Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
3. The Ravens are already three games behind the Bengals.
During the offseason, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said winning the AFC North was a priority. Don’t expect the Ravens to deliver on that goal. The unbeaten Bengals are the team to beat in the AFC North, with the Ravens freefalling and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expected to miss four to six weeks with a knee injury. The Bengals still have playoff demons to address. But during the regular season, a solid defense and explosive playmakers like wide receiver A. J. Green make the Bengals more than capable of winning the AFC North.
4. A brutal September-October schedule may seal the Ravens’ doom.
Three of their next four games are away. Thursday night they play at Pittsburgh (2-1). Then after hosting the Browns (1-2) in Week 5, the Ravens play at the 49ers (1-2) and at the Cardinals (3-0). By the time the Ravens reach Week 8, they could be 2-5, or worse, unless they begin to play much better, and fast.
5. This isn’t your typical Ravens’ defense.
The Ravens are ranked 23rd overall defensively, and 29th against the pass. Without dramatic improvement, this Ravens team isn’t going anywhere but home after Week 17.