Ah, the bye week. An all important week for any football team. Time to rest weary muscles, treat aches and pains, and figure out some solutions to problems that have arisen during the season.
But what about fans?
For some, this weekend was a frustrating break from the weekly holiday that NFL Sundays have become. For others, it was the weekend to catch up on honey-do lists or other domestic chores that may have backlogged over the preceding weeks. Others may mask the withdrawal from watching their favorite team by devoting total focus to their Fantasy squads or filling their Sunday with wagers galore (*cough* Jabby Burns *cough*).
With my fantasy squad in early hibernation, I took it casual this weekend. As an out-of-market fan, it gets to be taxing on my time and my wallet to “have to” go out to a bar to watch the game every Sunday. I watched the games that were slated for local TV and even took a nap.
It was a nice little Sunday. How did you spend your Ravens bye week? Share your plans in the comments below.
With the Ravens off yesterday, it seems like a perfect time to revisit my fearless predictions to see just how terrible they look with six games remaining. As I mentioned at the season’s quarter pole, my predictions pertaining to Ray Rice and Dennis Pitta are toast, so I’ll focus solely on the other 4:
1. Juszczyk Will Have 50 Receptions
This was admittedly bold and likely to not come true. Through 10 games, “Juice” has only 13 catches in 19 targets for 154 yards and 1 touchdown, making any chance at reaching 50 receptions in the final 6 games virtually impossible.
In my opinion, Juszczyk is underused as a receiver and should be targeted more. I’d love to see him line up wide more often and used as more of a second tight end. With that said, 50 receptions was a pretty ridiculous prediction.
2. Tucker Will Make 3 60-Yard Field Goals
Tucker has yet to kick one 60-yarder, so this is looking dicey (to say the least) with six games left.
3. The 2014 Ravens Draft Class Will Be The Best In Years
I’m gonna call this a win. Headlined by C.J. Mosley and Timmy Jernigan on defense, this draft class has made contributions almost across the board. Even BaltimoreRavens.com staff writer, Garrett Downing agrees: “Ravens 2014 Draft Class The Best In Recent History.”
4. Ravens Will Finish 11-5, Make The Playoffs
The Ravens are currently 6-4, so this is certainly still possible, but I would term it unlikely. Baltimore’s remaining opponents are New Orleans, San Diego, Miami, Jacksonville, Houston, and Cleveland. Only Jacksonville and Houston can be looked at as likely wins among this group.
At this point, I see the Ravens finishing at best 10-6 with the playoffs still very possible.
While the performance of the defense against the Titans last weekend was nice to see, we’re going to need to see more of the same moving forward for the Ravens to make the playoffs. That’s going to be a tall task, as the Ravens face some daunting offenses, including both Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers over the next two games. Let’s cross our fingers that Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees has a few tricks up his sleeves when the Ravens return from their bye.
I’m splitting the defensive save for the win against Tennessee between Elvis Dumervil and Terrence Brooks. Dumervil continues to punish opposing quarterbacks and the Titans’ Zach Mettenberger was no exception. Dumervil finished with 2 1/2 sacks (10 1/2 for the season).
Brooks gets the honor for his crushing tackle of Titans tight end Delanie Walker; knocking Walker out of the game and removing Mettenberger’s top receiving option. The Titans moved the ball through the air pretty effectively at times during the first half, so losing Walker was a huge blow to their offense. After a healthy scratch the week prior against Pittsburgh, it was really nice to see Brooks make an impact.
*No save given for win week 6 against Tampa