The Ravens traveled to London, England in week three with a 2-0 record, including two wins over their AFC East rivals. Things were looking up for Baltimore as they left American soil.
However, things have changed since the Ravens suffered a 44-7 loss to the Jaguars. It was the most lopsided loss in franchise history.
The team was without two of their most important players— offensive guard Marshal Yanda and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. The physical presence that both players bring on game day was sorely missed.
Head coach John Harbaugh is eager to put the loss behind him, but also wants to use it as a learning lesson.
“The things that we did in that game are things that we can improve on— in all three phases. Players have already seen the tape,” Harbaugh said during his press conference on Monday, September 25, 2017. “I saw them watching it and talking about it. We’ll work on correcting the things we need to correct, but you always have to do it with a forward mindset. We’ve got to apply the correction and improvement for the next game.”
The loss was the worst game of quarterback, Joe Flacco’s career. Flacco only completed six passes for 36 yards. It was a truly embarrassing performance.
For Flacco, the main task at hand is to not let the game snowball into the next one. He is working to keep the confidence level high as they go into their next game.
“You’ve got to keep guys’ heads up,” Flacco said. “So much of this game is confidence and going out there and getting it done.”
Rebounding from the loss is not the only issue the Ravens have on their hands.
Before the game started, the players joined together to show unity after the NFL was challenged by President Donald Trump, who called out the league for allowing players to protest during the National Anthem. He said those that chose to take a knee while the National Anthem was played should be fired.
President Trump also made a plea to fans to not watch football and leave the stadium if a player protested. He even went to the extent of calling players who protest, “sons of b&%^$@!”
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti made the following statement in regards to players.
“We recognize our players’ influence. We respect their demonstration and support them 100 percent. All voices need to be heard. That’s democracy in its highest form.”
Fans were outraged because of the Ravens taking their stance. Many went to the extent of burning their jerseys or any other team apparel.
Now the Ravens return home to face their arch rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams are coming off of losses so this normally hard fought game will be even more brutal.
The Steelers are dealing with their own controversy regarding the National Anthem. Head coach Mike Tomlin and the team stayed in the locker room while the Anthem was played. They did so in hopes of avoiding the attention and focusing on the game.
The only problem was one of their players, Alejandro Villanueva is a former serviceman and chose to stand outside of the tunnel by himself. The event ended up drawing more attention to the pregame festivities.
Sunday’s game against the Steelers will be an interesting one to watch. The Ravens are 2-1, and the Steelers are 2-1 as well.