December 7th...a date which will live in infamy...in the hearts and minds of all Ravens fans that is. Redskins fans are descending upon M&T on Sunday night in what will hopefully be our answer to what happened in FedEx against the Steelers. Let's not spend too much time there, since we are forced to admit that Steelers fans seem to be more plentiful on this planet than water and air, more omnipresent than even that awful "Saved By Zero" commercial for Toyota. Seriously, in this economy, with the current crisis in the automaking industry, and Toyota has the money to play that commercial every 5 minutes?
When the NFL steps up to a longer regular season schedule (and shorter preseason), they simply must allow teams like the Ravens and Redskins to play each other every year. It is unacceptable that we play each other once every four years. Even so, the seeds of a rivalry have been sown. We have heard it is a bit manufactured, but I just don't think it is so. Baltimore fans have a real hatred for Redskins fans. It seems to stem from when they lost their team in 1984. Apparently there was a big push to make Baltimore a Redskins town, and Colts' fans were having NONE of it. It backfired so bad that a resentment was born that has gotten more and more intense as the years have gone by. Having gone to college in Baltimore during the Grey Cup champion Stallions' days, it was crazy that I would regularly have to hear bashing when I sported my Skins jersey on Sundays. I never understood that. And it never left me. I will be at M&T on Sunday. I will be wearing my Skins jersy in Baltimore again, and I expect to hear plenty of bashing.
I hope the rivalry is and will always be cordial, affable, even amiable. No sense being hateful about a football game (don't read last post). But both towns love their teams. Both towns identify with their teams. And let's not gloss over the slightly more blue-collar nature of our kid sister to the north. It will be, and should be, a tough place to walk in as an opposing fan. I expect there to be a lot of tailgates with both teams represented. I expect there to be enough Skins fans to make it loud when the Ravens offense faces 3rd downs. And I expect our offense to come out of their funk against one of the stingiest defenses in the league...in the cold...in the snow.
How We Will Win
The Baltimore offensive line is not much better than ours, if they even are. They have rushed about 100 more times this year than we have, most likely to help their rookie QB stay alive and upright, and are averaging a full yard less per attempt than the Skins. The Redskins give up 90 yds per game on the ground--the Ravens average 145 yds per game on the ground. We hold our side of 100, we win.
The Ravens have FIVE defensive touchdowns this season. Can't allow any of those this week.
The Ravens defense dominates us in turnovers and sacks--shocker. Going into a game like this, you want to say that you don't want ANY turnovers from your offense. But let's face it...the Ravens just seem to get them. Keeping them from being costly and untimely has to be the goal. How about we don't turn it over in the red zone? And we don't fumble while getting sacked? Achievable goals.
Suisham...this game comes down to your foot. If you can make a 46 yarder, ballgame.
Ratio of Redskins fans to Ravens fans: 30/70