For nearly a decade under offensive genius Brian Billick, the Ravens were a team that typically won football games by keeping the opposing team as close to the egg of a goose as possible.
Now, in year two after Billick’s departure, the offense is starting to look like it was supposed to look throughout his tenure.
Indeed, the 38 points that Baltimore scored on Sunday represents more than any scored during the last year of Billick’s tenure, when the team scored 30 points once and less than 20 half the time.
And the Ravens are also becoming explosive off the field, too.
According to Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com, the Ravens didn’t take kindly to remarks from Keyshawn Johnson and Cris Carter in a recent conference call, during which Johnson at one point said of the Ravens receivers, “You want a bum, you pay a bum.”
“Keyshawn Johnson is the bum, that’s why he’s in the analyst seat,” receiver Derrick Mason told Freeman. “He tried to come back to football but no one would sign him. He was never that good a player. He got lucky and signed on in Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl because they had a great defense.
“Just look at the two people doing the criticizing, that’s all I’m saying. Keyshawn was overrated and Carter is in the same boat I’m in. He doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring either. He’s in the analyst seat without a ring. At least I’m playing. He still wants to play but he can’t anymore. We’re the bums? That’s why you’re in the analyst seat. Just be quiet and keep dreaming you still could play.”
(Mason really needs to come out of his shell.)
Apart from the 38 points on the scoreboard and the all points bulletin on Keyshawn’s playing career, the Ravens rang up 501 yards of total offense, and they surrendered only 188.
So if the Baltimore ball-moving unit is waking up at a time when the defense is still playing great, they could be a very serious contender in the AFC, again.
That said, there’s also a chance that the Chiefs are still really, really bad, and that the Ravens will struggle against the likes to the Chargers, Patriots, Vikings, Colts, Steelers (twice), Packers, and Bears.
More on the Chiefs-Ravens game is coming later today, One-Liner style.
[Editor’s note: In a prior version of this article, we indicated that Keyshawn Johnson directed his “You want a bum, pay a bum” comment to quarterback Joe Flacco. We misinterpreted Freeman’s article and, frankly, it’s not clear in hindsight what the hell we were thinking when reading Freeman’s article. Keyshawn didn’t call Flacco a bum, and Freeman didn’t write that Keyshawn called Flacco a bum. We apologize for the error. So, to summarize, Keyshawn called someone a bum, but not Flacco.]