While I said that the Ravens must win in week one, I did not mean at, nor did I expect, the margin at which the team would. The game, which was played in a rainy mess, was an absolutely stunning performance by Baltimore. Most, including myself, expected the Ravens to win, but no one expected the final score to be 47-3. The Ravens, by far, had the greatest margin of victory on any team who played this past Sunday. The victory was so much needed for Baltimore, as it sidelines leftover concerns from last year while doing more than necessary to prove that they are the real deal this year. In the victory, the offense consistently scored, the defense suffocated, and special teams was on point.
This article will not go into depth, nor analyze Baltimore’s big win on Sunday. That will be reserved for the upcoming Ravens Retrospective Review article. Instead, this article will focus on the ramifications of the game. It is important to remember Baltimore’s struggles last year, for context. The first half of the season felt like the life was slowly being sucked out of the team. Offensive struggles plagued the Ravens. Joe Flacco was not healthy, and none of his receivers could carry the load of the desperate offense. The defense was able to hold its own but suffered from its own problems as well.
The defense could not do enough to win games as it had in years past. The 2017 defense struggled to stuff the run, especially in the absence of Brandon Williams, who spent some time injured. By the end of the season, the roles flipped. Baltimore’s offense, with a healthy Joe Flacco and revived running game, kept the team alive in the playoff hunt, while the defense began to flutter. Against Buffalo, the defense proved, against two different quarterbacks, to be able to hold leads and prevent scores. No matter what you think of the Bills and the team’s offense, holding two quarterbacks to relatively nothing, LeSean McCoy to just 22 yards, and the entire team to 3 points is an achievement.
This victory gives the Ravens great hope and confidence heading into the season. It seems that all gears are moving, and everything is clicking. The issues of last season are in the rearview mirror. Baltimore knows that the team has a chance to make great things happen this year. The extra assurance that everything is on track for the Ravens will greatly serve them moving forward. But as the team celebrates, it is important to remember that the year is far from over. Baltimore will need to play great football moving forward in order to achieve the team’s ultimate goal. For now, the Ravens are on to Cincinnati, where Baltimore will try to secure a win against a rival, and start the year 2-0.