Time to take a chill pill
It was ugly, but it's not what you think. The Ravens came unraveled today, and they looked totally overmatched in their third loss in a row, but it wasn't the kind of game that is a legitimate bellwether for the season.
They weren't blown out at Lucas Oil Stadium because they are a bad team. They were blown out because the Colts are a good team that finally woke up after sleepwalking through the first quarter of the season. Peyton Manning actually looked like Peyton Manning. He put points up early. And the Ravens are not the kind of team -- at least not yet -- that can come back from an early 17-point deficit against a quality opponent.
So, what do you take out of game like that? Not much. About all you can do is chalk it up as another coordinate on the Joe Flacco learning curve. He still has some distance to go to become a solid NFL quarterback, but he wasn't the reason the Ravens got blown out. This was a team loss if ever there was one.
Flacco (at right, after a bad exchange with running back Ray Rice) threw three picks. The Ravens put the ball on the ground several times and were fortunate to lose just two fumbles. The depleted secondary was carved up like an early Halloween pumpkin. The Colts won the battle of the special teams ... which created a huge disparity in field position. About the only positive thing that happened in the game for the Ravens was Matt Stover making his only field-goal attempt.
Everyone, deep down, knew there would be games like this, but it's particularly galling when the Ravens have that kind of game against the Colts.
All that said, they'll bounce back and win in Miami next week. I guarantee it.
Associated Press photo