PITTSBURGH -- The Baltimore Ravens lost their Week 7 game, and head into their bye with several questions hanging over their heads.
Sound familiar? It should. Last season, the Ravens were routed by Houston by 30 points in Week 7 and then returned to win four straight games after the bye. On Sunday, the Ravens fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers 19-16, and they head into their break (here's the Rapid Reaction for the game).
I'm not suggesting that the Ravens will bounce back this time. In fact, I wrote Sunday that it's time to get concerned about the Ravens. And there's a big difference between the two seasons. In 2012, the Ravens went into the bye with a 5-2 record. This year, Baltimore is 3-4 and two games behind Cincinnati in the division.
But, if you're searching for that "purple" lining, history says the Ravens can regroup during the bye. Here's the rest of your wake-up caw ...
The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston says it was "a great call" by coach John Harbaugh to go for an onside kick in the fourth quarter. "The Ravens had to at least score a touchdown to win anyway, and Pittsburgh was pummeling the Ravens defense with long drives," Preston wrote. "By the end of the game Sunday, the Ravens only had seven possessions. They had to gamble."
John Eisenberg, of the team's official website, didn't love the decision to go for the onside kick. "In a close game, I would rather force the Steelers to make their own good field position than hand it to them," Eisenberg wrote. "But either way, one thing is certain: Harbaugh is going to continue to play things aggressively after the bye."
Inside linebacker Jameel McClain finished third on the team with six tackles in his first game back since suffering a spinal cord contusion 10 months ago. "I waited a long time for this moment," McClain told The Baltimore Sun. "My vision was something different than what happened. On a personal note, it's good I was able to get the opportunity to go back out there when it wasn't believed it was possible. On a team note, it's very disappointing. It's not even sweet. It's bitter."
The Ravens need to be more explosive, according to Comcast SportsNet's Clifton Brown. "In the last two weeks, they scored 17 points against the Packers, and 16 points Sunday against the Steelers," Brown said. "If the Ravens don’t score more against quality teams, they can forget making the playoffs."
Elvis Dumervil made a costly penalty when he hit Ben Roethlisberger after the quarterback had gotten rid of the ball. "I got to do a better job of being aware of the strike zone," Dumervil said, via The Baltimore Sun. "I think I played a little too aggressive. I have to do a better job and not cost the team."