Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER -

Jeff Zre­biec, Ravens re­porter: I’m not sure an NFL team could need its bye week as much as the Ravens do right now. But while the week off could al­low the Ravens to get a few of their top play­ers back from in­jury, it’s not go­ing to cure ev­ery­thing that ails this team. Right now, the Ravens are a mess. Even when they do make a big play, such as Ter­rance West’s long run or the forced fum­ble on Matt Forte, they nul­lify it with a penalty or a mis­take. Timmy Jerni­gan’s fum­ble af­ter the Ravens forced a fum­ble and C.J. Mosley’s fum­ble against the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins af­ter his in­ter­cep­tion are per­fect ex­am­ples. The of­fen­sive line is prob­a­bly the big­gest prob­lem of all, but that’s not to min­i­mize Joe Flacco’s role in the four-game los­ing streak. Coach John Har­baugh says ev­ery week that the team is not play­ing win­ning foot­ball. That starts with the quar­ter­back.

Ed­ward Lee, Ravens re­porter: The bye comes at a per­fect time for the Ravens, who are reel­ing and in need of a break. In a re­peat of their loss to the Red­skins on Oct. 9, the de­fense came away with a po­ten­tial game-chang­ing turnover but gave it right back, and the New York Jets con­verted that gift (this time, from Jerni­gan in­stead of Mosley) into a touch­down that led to the fi­nal score. The sec­ond half of the sched­ule will not get eas­ier for the Ravens, but maybe some time off will help clear their minds and al­low them to get healthy. Mike Preston, Ravens colum­nist: The Ravens played the worst team in the NFL, and they are now closer to that des­ig­na­tion af­ter los­ing to the Jets. The Ravens couldn’t run the ball and they couldn’t stop the run. They lost to not just one but two quar­ter­backs the Jets no longer want. The Ravens have dug a hole, and it will be hard for them to climb out. They are 3-4, and the sec­ond half of the sched­ule gets tougher. It looks like this is go­ing to be a long sea­son. Mark Selig, Ravens ed­i­tor: This loss leaves lit­tle am­bi­gu­ity about where the sea­son is headed. The Ravens, now losers of four straight games af­ter three un­con­vinc­ing wins, again will miss the play­offs. It might be pre­ma­ture, but it’s re­al­is­tic. Af­ter a much-needed bye week, they likely will be fa­vored in just one or two of their fi­nal nine games (home against the Cleve­land Browns and Mi­ami Dol­phins). Sure, the team could turn things around a bit in the sec­ond half, but some­what im­proved play won’t be enough to make this a 10-win team, given the re­main­ing sched­ule.

Ron Fritz, sports ed­i­tor: This is sim­ply one of the worst Ravens teams I’ve seen in my 10 years in Bal­ti­more. Where do we start? How about dumb mis­takes, ter­ri­ble penal­ties, hor­ri­ble tack­ling and an of­fen­sive line that can’t block any­body? This game would not have been close if the Jets weren’t so bad. A bye week isn’t go­ing to fix this. The big­gest prob­lem? Ozzie New­some’s past three drafts. There’s no help any­where. Childs Walker, re­porter: The Ravens fi­nally un­rav­eled in a game they badly needed to win. Their of­fense in the sec­ond half was as pa­thetic as we’ve seen it all sea­son. The line could not open any run­ning lanes or pro­tect Flacco, and Flacco looked gen­uinely rat­tled, throw­ing two in­ter­cep­tions and sail­ing nu­mer­ous other at­tempts. It’s hard to find any real rea­son for op­ti­mism head­ing into the bye week and when look­ing ahead to a sched­ule that will get tougher in a hurry. Even the dregs of the league — and the Jets were about as bad as it got through six weeks — get well against the Ravens these days. Peter Sch­muck, colum­nist: Wel­come to Har­baugh’s night­mare. In a game that de­fied ex­pla­na­tion, the Ravens found a bunch of new ways to lose and are of­fi­cially in cri­sis. The only sav­ing grace is the fact that no­body in the AFC North has taken con­trol of the di­vi­sion, so they can con­tinue to hope and pray that they get healthy dur­ing the bye week and stay vi­able. That’s a nice thought, but if they can­not beat a 1-5 team that lost its start­ing quar­ter­back in the sec­ond quar­ter, it prob­a­bly won’t mat­ter whether Ben Roeth­lis­berger is avail­able to play when they face the Steel­ers in two weeks.

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