The Arizona Cardinals are set to play host to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. At 1-5, the Ravens are trying to somehow turn around their season. The Cardinals are coming off a very disappointing loss and want to bounce back. To preview the game, Nathan Beaucage of Baltimore Beatdown answered some questions to give us some insight to the Cards' next opponent.
So Steve Smith says he would much rather have Arizona's problems, as Baltimore is 1-5. What exactly are the Ravens' problems?
Injuries. If there's a guy who is relevant on the Ravens, he's probably injured. I've seen so many guys go down this year (many on defense), and for a lot of them, it ended their season. The list is really too long. No matter how talented your team is on paper, injuries can absolutely ravage your roster and ruin the team. That's what has happened to the Baltimore Ravens.
Is Joe Flacco still elite?...But seriously, why isn't he playing as well this season?
Joe Flacco has never even been elite, but his 2012-'13 playoff run was legendary. The 'elite' narrative is stupid and overplayed, and any reasonable Ravens' fans will agree with that. Our quarterback is spotty and sometimes painful to watch, but we love Joe and wouldn't have it any other way. He's not elite, but he's in the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks.
As for this season, I think he's doing pretty well. If you look at who he's working with at receiver, and who is on the defense that has supposedly "propped him up" all of these years, you'll think he's doing pretty damn great with what he has. This offense is in the top 12 for scoring and has consistently kept the team in games that they shouldn't be in.
The Ravens have one of the top rushers in Justin Forsett. They have a solid run defense and a good red zone defense. They get sacks. Why aren't they winning?
Our secondary is an abomination. It's great having a solid run defense and red zone defense, but that's no good when quarterbacks can simply pick apart our secondary composed of guys fresh of the streets. Secondary injuries are what did last year's Ravens' squad in, and it's happening a lot earlier this year.
If you were on the Cardinals coaching staff, how would you attack the Baltimore offense and defense?
I'd give the keys to Carson and say "have at it." Honestly. The Ravens' actually do have a stout run defense, but as I mentioned earlier, that's pointless when QBs can toss it up and carve up an injury-decimated secondary. Just ask any quarterback the Ravens have faced other than Michael Vick, and they'll tell you that game plan worked.
At 1-5, have expectations changed? What can fans hope from the Ravens the rest of the season?
A high draft pick. I can't see us salvaging the season into anything resembling a playoff run with our current roster. The NFL is a cruel mistress, and I guess the Ravens' time as an annual contender is over, at least for now.
Give us a game prediction:
The Ravens once again stay in a game that they shouldn't be in, thanks to their defense. Unfortunately, it's all for nothing, as the Cards' really good secondary stops any hope of comeback. The Cards notch their first win at home against the Ravens this Monday evening, final score: Cards 27, Ravens 17.