Some people are fans of the Baltimore Ravens. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Baltimore Ravens. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Baltimore Ravens
Your 2018 record: 10-6. Division title. Playoff berth. Changing of the guard at QB. Let’s see how it all ended!
Oh right, you got trampled by a Chargers team that isn’t even in the NFL anymore. Some fun facts for you about that home playoff loss. The Chargers confounded the legendary Marty Mornhinweg by putting seven DBs on the field, daring the Ravens to pass. The Ravens did not dare. At one point, QB Lamar Jackson went TWO FUCKING HOURS without throwing a pass in that game.
Baltimore’s running backs rushed for a grand total of 36 yards in the contest, so smart going by Marty there. The Chargers also shifted their d-linemen pre-snap and the Ravens acted like they’d never seen it before, giving up seven sacks in all the confusion. The Ravens fumbled three times on their first eight plays. They played an insanely vanilla defense against the Chargers offense, which allowed the Chargers to grab the lead and never look back:
I don’t know how they managed to accomplish it, but the 2018 Ravens benched Joe Flacco and somehow managed to usher in an even duller brand of football in his absence. Thinking about them trying to move the ball makes me want to take a laxative.
Your coach: Brave, strong John Harbaugh, who stood up for embattled Baltimore when no one else would!
“Well, I can just tell you this: My wife, my daughter, and me, we love Baltimore,” Harbaugh said. “And more than Baltimore, we love the people in Baltimore. We love the people in Baltimore, everywhere. Maybe it’s because the people in Baltimore love the Ravens so much, but we’ve felt nothing but love here for the last 11 years. I think all big cities have challenges and problems. Baltimore, it’s not unique here. I think our prayer as a family when we go to bed at night sometimes, is — it will be from now on at least — is that the politicians can get together and work together, you know? Can you imagine how powerful it would be if the two sides of the aisle, two guys like those two wonderful people, got together and solved some problems and found ways to make things better? That’s what we’re all rooting for.”
Yeah you tell ‘em, Johnny Boy! Finally, in the face of deeply racist attacks by the President on an American city, one man had the jet black balls to say people are super nice to him and that THOSE DAMNED VAGUE AND UNNAMED POLITICIANS SHOULD ALL WORK TOGETHER, because really both sides are to blame somehow! Inspiring. I would take a Nerf bullet for this man.
What a fucking loser. Harbaugh is definitely a Trump guy who hasn’t been outed because the local media has an innate aversion to putting pressure on any white guys in charge of anything.
Harbs fired Mornhinweg after that loss to the Chargers. To replace him, he hired … Jesus H. Christ are you kidding me, he hired Greg Roman? That’s like trading in hemorrhoids for an anal fissure! This is the same Greg Roman who gifted Harbaugh a Super Bowl title with his horrendous playcalling in Super Bowl 47. I guess John felt obligated to return the favor. These Ravens are going to run the ball right up the gut 45 times a game and that will be kinda charming and cool for 4-6 weeks but then it will just make you want to puke. That 12-9 loss to Cleveland last season? Get used to that being the norm around this dump. The go-to play call will be having Marshal Yanda hock a loogie at the defense and hope they jump out of the way of it.
Your quarterback: Lamar Jackson, who fumbles the ball like he’s got a million-dollar incentive in his contract to do so. In the Chargers loss he had a QBR of 9.5. I don’t even know what QBR entails but I know that 9.5 is at the Peterman level of competence. I desperately, desperately want Jackson to blossom into a passing stud and prove wrong every dipshit scout who wanted to convert him to a special teams gunner. But I dunno if he can, and I don’t think the Ravens have much interest in ever finding out. If they did, they wouldn’t have brought in Roman to run a glorified Tebow-in-Denver offense for the poor bastard. They need two their rookie wideouts to become sudden studs or else they’ll be relying on the likes of Willie Snead and Seth Roberts. The tight ends are second year men Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews, along with Nick Boyle, who is probably somehow related to Jack Doyle. This absolutely ends with Lamar breaking his ankle in 17 places, followed by Robert Griffin III starting the second half of the season and then stiffing his agent on the percentages.
Joe Flacco is in Denver now. But fear not: he still counts $16 million against your cap this season. Fifty years from now, Supreme President Barron Trump will have Baltimore firebombed to avenge daddy and Flacco will still be eating up too much dead money for this team.
What’s new that sucks: Here to bolster the Ravens’ new two-yards-and-a-cloud-of-feathers offense is running back Mark Ingram. The Ravens were sick to death of bringing in burnouts to play receiver, so they unearthed a burnout at a NEW position instead. Earl Thomas is also here, on the rebound from a divorce with Pete Carroll AND his lower shinbone divorcing his upper shinbone. Everything about how the Ravens do business suggests that their master plan has been and always will be “Let’s be the Raiders but east.”
Eric Weddle, Alex Collins, Michael Crabtree, and Terrell Suggs are all gone now. It makes no difference.
What has always sucked: I am deeply saddened that the President took a shit on Baltimore. That is grossly unfair to people like me who ALSO want to shit all over that town for valid reasons and just not to be aligned with that vainglorious prick. Because Baltimore is insufferable and LIVES to be slighted. When you insult Baltimore, it gives off the mistaken impression to that city’s residents that anyone outside of Baltimore thinks or cares about it. Baltimore’s police department has been pouting for like four years because people got mad after they killed a guy. The mayor resigned in a children’s book scandal. Denny from Dundalk will spend the next five years complaining that they should never have let Flacco walk.
Baltimore has nothing to claim as its own. One of Baltimore’s big historical sports heroes is Babe Ruth, who is a famous Yankee. It’d be like Philly having a Kobe museum. Baltimore’s all-time local celebrity is Edger Allan Poe, who is also claimed by literally every city on the East Coast. Ravens’ fans current favorite son is a Floridian who obstructed a fucking murder. Team management wanted to outsource whether they’d sign Colin Kaepernick to both Ray Lewis and their fanbase, but the decision to erect a statue of Lewis outside the stadium didn’t take a second thought.
God, these fans are pathetic. You can divide the fanbase into two camps: those that love Ed Reed, and those that love Ray Lewis. The fans that can afford to go to games are the ones who love Ray Lewis, think Freddie Gray deserves what happened to him, and love to call every minor aesthetic flaw in the city “ghetto.” These are self-proclaimed blue-collar folk driving in from Glen Burnie just to boo anyone who doesn’t stand for the anthem. They are old money dipshits whose business ventures have turned Baltimore into Bethesda with a harbor. When a video of then-president Barack Obama appeared on the video board with a message of support for the team, a not-small section of the stadium booed. They’re so lucky they’re in the same division as Steelers fans so people don’t notice what feral pigs Ravens fans are.
Cal Ripken is a bald dork. Baltimore cops have now gone 2,570 consecutive days without solving his mom’s kidnapping. The Ravens drafted Breshad Perriman in the first round the same year that they could have taken Stefon Diggs. They were the Dolphins’ one win the season Miami went 1-15. Crabs are too expensive for what you get. Larry Hogan is a real piece of shit who wants to bulldoze my house. I hate the Orioles and wish they would finally die. Baltimore resents DC all the time and D.C. isn’t even that cool. Baltimore is a fucking useless wannabe of a city and I hope the Chesapeake swallows it whole.
What might not suck: Ozzie Newsome would skip over prime Randy Moss in a draft to take a second-string ILB from Alabama instead. But he’s gone now, so I guess you’ve got that going for you.
HEAR IT FROM RAVENS FANS!
Ravens fans are all, like, plumbers.
They will still score touchdowns as often as James Cameron makes a new movie.
Our quarterback is every bit the electric athlete Michael Vick was. Unfortunately, he throws like if you made Vick throw with the wrong arm.
Because the fanbase is just going to turn on Lamar Jackson and complain about losing Joe Flacco, a QB they didn’t want anyway.
I guess you never realize how racist your team’s fans are until they start a black QB.
John may be the better Harbaugh, but that’s like saying colon is a better cancer than prostate.
At least the stadium experience is nice, unless you are sitting next to a drunken Dundalkian, which is every time.
For his last few seasons in Baltimore, Joe Flacco was in a local bank commercial where he says: “I’m all about being a dad. It’s the coolest job in the world.”
Remember that time Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl and then got demolished in the first game of the next season? There were still chants for him in January of this year.
Just want to remind everyone that Dez Bryant turned down a multi-year offer with the Ravens in the 2018 offseason and instead sat out half the year, signed with the Saints, and tore his Achilles his first day of practice.
They’re keeping RG3 on the roster just to basically openly troll Lamar to his face to demonstrate the shell of himself he’s about to become. Our fans believe the Greene Turtle is the height of cuisine.
Our secondary, which is supposed to be one of the best in the league, consists of a guy who flipped the bird at his own team, a run stopper who can’t cover a receiver with a wet blanket, the most overpaid nickel back in the league, a guy who tears his ACL every year, a bunch of no-name late-round picks, OBJ’s bitch, and something called a Marlon Humphrey.
Oh, and we have no pass rushers for our blitz-happy defensive coordinator to work with. I can’t wait for our defense to give up a 90-yard touchdown when Wink Martindale tries to call a Cover 0 blitz on the Browns.
The new QB might be entertaining to watch but let him have one bad game before Butchie from Dundalk starts questioning his “maturity,” or “commitment.”
I have met Captain Defense, the guy is fucking weird and a total grifter.
Ray Lewis will show the fuck up and do his fake street-preacher schtick. He will show up at a troubled school, take some pictures in a crap suit, say some fake Christian nonsense and then go back to whatever hibernation state he goes into that keeps his neck from swallowing his head.
The Ravens fan base suffered through some of the worst starting QBs the league has ever seen (Stoney Case, Scott Mitchell, Eric Zeier, Elvis Grbac, Chris Redman, Kyle Boller and plenty of other journeymen, has-beens and never-weres). After drafting Flacco in 2008 Donny from Dundalk couldn’t stop complaining on 105.7 that Joe wasn’t a leader and would never be a winner because he didn’t have his WRs over for a catch during the Spring and Summer, even though his cast of WRs changed ever year.
Back in December I was actually off on a Sunday & had no plans with the wife. Friends convinced me to come out to Looneys (first big mistake, think Green Turtle with bedazzled jeans & steroids). The Ravens were playing the Chiefs. By the grace of God they were actually in that game & took them to OT. Surprise surprise, Lamar Jackson couldn’t pull it off when it came time to make throws & Mahomes is a fuckin’ sorcerer.
After the game, friends and I spot Rob Long. Long works for the sports radio station around here & you’d swear he was attached to the end of Lamar’s dick. He was absolutely hammered. As a joke, I sent him a note that said “how about that Jackson”? with a shot of Johnnie Walker. He looked up, laughed and took said shot. I go to the bathroom, come out & there is Rob Long. He starts rambling incoherently about he “ain’t no punk” & starts getting more and more pissed off. I tell my buddies this & this fuckin’ stooge comes over and confronts all of us. I want to take this time to say fuck Rob Long, everyone that acts like Rob Long and all Ravens fans that take this shit entirely too serious.
The kid that played QB in gridiron gang throws the ball better than Lamar Jackson.
This fanbase spent the past 6 years coming up with every excuse imaginable for why Flacco was utter dogshit. But the second Lamar threw an interception in the preseason game, every hick from Dundalk to Carroll County was calling in to 105.7 the fan calling him a bust and suggesting we trade him for a mid-round pick. I’m sure everyone knows why.
Trace McSorley will be our starting QB weeks 11 through 17, after Mr. Jackson is laid to waste by an OLB while running a route on some cutesy bullshit “reinventing the game” play, and then when RG3 obliterates both knees the very next down. Assfuck me gently with a chainsaw.
We grab Hayden Hurst with an early pick, only to break our new toy like the petulant children that we are, and then force him back onto the field so that he can get hurt worse and require another procedure. Jimmy Smith was suspended four games for a domestic violence incident, because the Ravens always have one, but no one gave a shit because domestic violence only exists for the NFL if it was on camera in a hotel or an elevator.
The team gets fined $200,000 during the preseason for breaking communication protocol. Flacco begins the season and maintains the personality and playing ability of wet toast. AJ Green puts up a hat trick against us, because our useless goddamn film coaches can’t point out the one fucking guy on the Bengals with talent. One week after Ty Montgomery makes one of the most colossal fuck-ups I’ve ever seen in a football game, the team decides they have to have him and put another liability in our backfield.
And then it happens. Flacco goes down, and the clouds part. I hear angels singing. It’s finally over. No more do I have to watch a quarterback that fleeced the team out of $184 million for a single championship. No more do I have to be reminded that our starter who wanted to be considered elite once threw five interceptions to the Buffalo Bills. Our QB might actually record positive rushing yardage. I’m over the goddamn moon.
But Lamar. Ohhhhh, Lamar. Incredible speed, great motivator, exciting player to watch, I’ll grant him all of these. He carries the team to a 7-2 record as a starter with his only losses coming against teams with a combined record of 26-6. The kid is good. He also fumbled the ball approximately four thousand times. Then, in case the risk of head trauma isn’t great enough playing football, he drives around at over 100 miles per hour without a seatbelt on. Do you know how I know, Drew? Do you know how the whole fucking world knows? BECAUSE HE PUT IT ON FUCKING INSTAGRAM.
Now, I’d like to be able to tell you that this isn’t a reflection of the person that Lamar is, and that he made a careless mistake. I’d like to tell you that, but it would be a lie. I’ve met Lamar on several occasions now, and he’s a colossal asshole. Literally one of the most self-involved people I’ve ever met, and I’m still going to cheer for that dickhead, because anything is better than watching Joe Flacco.
We finish the year by letting Marmalard kick the absolute dogshit out of us for 58 minutes before the offense finally got off the bus and started to play at the end. With our draft, we pick up Hollywood Brown, a wide receiver coming onto the team already broken, because it makes it that much easier to for us to ruin his health like we do with every rookie. I legitimately fear for his safety, because not only is he already hurt, he’s roughly 74 pounds and will shatter like porcelain the minute crosses the middle of the field against any linebacker in our division. His uniform needs to come with a medical alert bracelet.
Alex Collins got popped for drugs, but he couldn’t do it like any normal football player and just get pulled over with them. He gave 110% on it, the real Raven Way, by wrapping his car around a telephone pole and falling asleep in it while mason jars filled with weed sat in the center console. This happened literally like four blocks from training camp. Nothing says you’re committed to trying to get a new contract like getting replaced by an undrafted rookie and then getting arrested for drugs while your coworkers pass you on their way into work.
Maybe my favorite moment of last year: I took my dad to the final regular season game of the year against the Browns, which ended up being the best game of football I’ve ever seen in person and an absolutely irreplaceable memory for us as his Christmas gift. Sure, I had to explain to my dad what the “dope fiend lean” was as we watched a heroin addict fall over in the parking lot while the completely indifferent event staff did nothing about it. Sure, two drunk Ravens fans got into a fight in the row behind us. But we’ll never lose the memory of walking out of our section and seeing a woman in her mid-60s sporting a healthy buzz and a shirt that simply read “BAKER FUCKING MAYFIELD” in large block letters. Those are the kind of memories that you keep forever.
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