Letdown with a capital 'L'
The Baltimore Sun had it right with this morning's "Titanic Letdown" headline on the front of the sports section, no matter what John Harbaugh says.
The Ravens played with nowhere near the intensity they needed to beat the Tennessee Titans Sunday, and the result was an ugly 26-13 loss.
Harbaugh arrogantly dismissed the idea last week that his team could suffer any sort of letdown against the Titans after their emotional win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. And the Ravens' coach upbraided a reporter who brought up the subject by saying: "I'm embarrassed for you when you even say that. There's no such thing as that in the National Football League."
Oh yes there is.
Teams suffer letdowns in all sports. It's human nature. Athletes get sky-high to play certain teams, especially when they recognize an enormous challenge in front of them. And they come out emotionally flat to play other teams, often when they think they'll just breeze to a win.
Obviously, there's tremendous parity in the NFL. And pro football players understand that the old line about on any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team is not just empty talk. But that doesn't mean teams can't have emotional letdowns on any given Sunday, either.
The Ravens looked unfocused and out of sync -- even listless -- on their very first offensive series against the Titans, and they looked the same way at the end of the game. When a team is trailing late in the game and the offense shows no sense of urgency as it breaks the huddle and saunters to the line of scrimmage, you've got a problem if you're the head coach.
Call it what you want, John Harbaugh. But for most of us who watched that ugly performance by the Ravens in Nashville yesterday, it sure looked like a letdown.