Remember what happened to starting quarterback Bob Griese and the 1972 Miami Dolphins? How about starter Phil Simms and the 1990 New York Giants?
Each of those starters got hurt and missed big chunks of the season. But in the end, the same thing happened-- their teams won the Super Bowl.
There's plenty of other stories in the NFL of when a key starter missed a big amount of time, and the team still stayed the course. That's what Ravens fans need to realize when thinking about this year's team.
The loss of Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb will hurt the defense in a huge way. That's been discussed too much already, and there's no way to change it. The question now is what can those replacing them do. The Ravens got a bad break by running into an angry Houston team last weekend. Now, they might have a bit of an easier team as they get Cleveland and Oakland after the break, but those aren't guaranteed wins either, especially because the Ravens have to meet the Browns on the road.
But look back at those first two examples. Griese got hurt in the fifth game of the 1972 season (which was 14 games). He missed the rest of the regular season and didn't come back until coach Don Shula put in him at halftime of the AFC title game in Pittsburgh. Back-up quarterback Earl Morrall didn't miss a beat, helping guide the Dolphins to a 14-0 regular season record. But Griese got the Dolphins through the AFC title game and finished the 17-0 season with a win over the Redskins in Super Bowl VII.
Simms didn't get hurt until late in the 1990 regular season, and Jeff Hostetler took over as the Giants' quarterback. He also didn't miss a beat and the team went on to win the Super Bowl that year, a 20-19 upset of the Bills.
Does this mean the Ravens will win the Super Bowl? Of course not. What it does mean is that people should relax a little and give it time. See what happens. The season's not over yet.