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The Baltimore Ravens sit at a crossroads. After three losses in a row, the Ravens are 4-5, with playoff hopes hanging on by a thread. The string of defeats has taken an incredible toll on the Ravens. Banged up, and disheartened, Baltimore badly needed a break. Fortunately for the Ravens, the bye week hit at just the right time. With the extra week off, the Baltimore Ravens will have a lot to consider. The defense is crumbling while the offense is sputtering. Baltimore will need to improve on both sides of the ball in order to put themselves back in the playoff conversation.

First and foremost, the bye week will give the Ravens time to recover from injuries. The long stretch of games from the five-week preseason schedule to the nine-game regular season stretch badly hurt the Ravens. Starters such as right tackle James Hurst and left tackle Ronnie Stanley both missed the game against the Steelers. The Ravens have other players dealing with lingering injuries, such as Tim Williams, Maurice Canady, and Kenneth Dixon. Not only does the bye week allow for the Ravens to see the return of players from the injury report, but it also allows overworked players time to rest. The Ravens looked gassed on the field, unable to keep up with the Steelers and Panthers in the previous two weeks. Much needed rest should help Baltimore in this regard.

While the players receive time to rest, the coaches will work on adjustments. From week six to week nine, the Ravens dropped from being among the league’s best teams to one of the league’s most laughable. Baltimore’s defense once struck fear in the eyes of opponents but is now frequently abused. Meanwhile, the offense has failed to recapture the magic of the early season. Once led by Joe Flacco’s arm, the group has sputtered in recent weeks. Baltimore’s coaches will look to make adjustments during the bye week, and specifically focus on the upcoming game against the Bengals. Baltimore will host Cincinnati in week 11, and the game will likely determine whether the Ravens have a chance at the playoffs or not. Baltimore must win the game, and the coaching staff will work tirelessly to ensure that the Ravens come out strong.

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