I’m no gambling man, but if I was, I would bet a substantial amount that most NFL fans are not particularly interested in the music of pop-star Katy Perry. I don’t expect you to know much about her music either, but assuming I was still a gambling man, I’d bet that you know her song “Hot and Cold.” Did it just get stuck in your head? Good. That’s kind of my point.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the absolute embodiment of the 2008 pop hit, cause he’s hot and he’s cold, he’s yes and he’s no, and he’s in and he’s out, and he’s up and he’s down. And like the song, he can also never leave our minds, even if we forget about him for a long, long time.
Whether you love him or hate him, the NFL would not be the same without Ryan Fitzpatrick. The number of times Fitzpatrick has strung up incredible performances only to flatline in his next opportunity would be legendary if it weren’t so tragic. Fitzpatrick’s entire career has been made in knocking off teams he shouldn’t beat and losing to teams he should. And just when we think that Fitzpatrick is finally done, he rips off another crazy upset to stay relevant.
And that’s where the trouble comes in for Baltimore.
This opening matchup for the 2019 Baltimore Ravens wreaks with the smell of a trap game. There’d be nothing worse for the Ravens than to lose to a talentless team, commanded by an organization committed to tanking for the first overall pick in the draft this spring. The Miami Dolphins have turned over more than 60% of their roster, and have downgraded at nearly every position. The Dolphins are expected to be the worst team in the NFL by a significant margin this year. No one expects them to win anything, and it’s probable that leadership in Miami also expects, and wants, them to win nothing. 0-16 seems to be the goal.
The Dolphins may be a team devoid of talent and direction, but the mere presence of “Fitzmagic” is concerning. It will, of course, take a team-wide effort to defeat the Ravens, but if Fitzpatrick gets hot early, the Dolphins could spark into action.
That’s why the Baltimore Ravens need to treat this game as just like any other. The Dolphins need to be seen and treated as if they are a formidable opponent. This is especially the case in week one, as the Ravens are prone to mistakes now more than any other time this season. If the Ravens allow the Dolphins to get ahead early this Sunday, it could get ugly. Quickly.