The Ravens have been down this road before - playing a struggling, winless team late in the season with everyone expecting the game to be a complete cakewalk.
The last time it happened, things didn’t go so well for the guys in purple. It might be painful to re-live, but let me take you back to December of 2007.
The Ravens went into Miami to take on a 0-13 Dolphins team. A few hours and one Greg Camarillo 64-yard overtime touchdown later, Brian Billick’s team left with a stunning 22-16 loss.
Tomorrow, the Ravens will again face a struggling, winless team late in the season with everyone expecting the game to be a complete cakewalk. The Peyton Manning-less Colts come to town sporting a 0-12 record and desperate to avoid being just the second team to end a season winless since the Baltimore Colts did it back in the strike-shortened 1982 season.
Asked this week if there’s any fear in facing a winless team, linebacker Terrell Suggs thought back to that disaster of a game in Miami in 2007.
“I am going to be totally honest with you - yeah, because I lost to O-fer team.” Suggs said. “I think it was back in ‘07. It was actually the Miami Dolphins in overtime. A little slant route got us. This is the NFL, and (the Colts) are professionals, and we expect them to line up and come up in here and play. Yeah, definitely. They are just as big a threat to us (as) if we were playing anybody else.”
Of course, there are obvious differences between this Sunday’s game and the one down in Miami four years ago.
For one, the Ravens are a much better team this season than they were back in 2007. They’re significantly more dynamic offensively and their defense is allowing eight fewer points per game this year than it did during that tough ‘07 campaign.
Also, Kyle Boller isn’t under center, which is certainly a plus.
Another key difference is that Sunday’s game against the Colts will be held in the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens have won all six games this season and 16 of their last 17.
But the Ravens know there are no guarantees in the NFL. We all expect John Harbaugh’s guys to hold off the Colts and improve to 10-3 on the season, but we learned in 2007 (as well as earlier this season in losses to the Titans, Jaguars and Seahawks) that the “Any given Sunday...” mantra is accurate.
The Colts don’t have Manning, but they do have two Pro Bowl defensive ends and plenty of healthy talent on the offensive side of the ball.
Luckily, however, they don’t have Greg Camarillo.