The Baltimore Ravens are entering a Week Eight matchup against the Miami Dolphins, dropping the last two games and four of the last five. With the consistent increase in injuries this team is sustaining and how the Ravens are performing because of these injuries, many fans are saying the Ravens should tank the rest of the season for a better draft pick. But is tanking a good idea, or are fans just overreacting?
If the NFL season ended today, the Ravens would have the seventh pick in the draft. If they decide to tank the season away, the best case scenario would be the Ravens moving up to fourth overall. The Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and New York Giants all have immensely worse records at them moment, and it appears they are not getting better anytime soon. It’s safe to say that even though all three of these teams need a quarterback, at least two will take one. That is music to the Ravens’ ears as they will most likely take an offensive lineman with their first round pick, as that is the biggest need the team has. The best case scenario pick in my opinion would be Penn State running back, Saquon Barkley fall into the Ravens’ lap, but there is absolutely no way Barkley drops out of the top three.
The beauty of this NFL season, is that we are almost halfway through and there are no teams that are consistently dominating. The Ravens are sitting in the middle of the pack and with a somewhat easy schedule the rest of the way, they could easily sneak into the playoffs as a wildcard. The toughest games left on the schedule are Week 13 against the Detroit Lions and Week 14 at Pittsburgh against the Steelers. Every game left on the schedule is definitely winnable, especially if the Ravens can get Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin back healthy.
There is a looming question about this Ravens team though. Should they try and compete for a playoff spot when it’s all but certain they would not win the Super Bowl? Yes fans would love to see the Ravens back in the playoffs and Joe Flacco always plays his best football that time of year, but is a loss in the Divisional Round worth picking in the middle to late of the first round? We do not know what kind of draft it will be this year, but I have a feeling the first round will be a majority of quarterbacks, offensive lineman, and defensive lineman taken.
I, for one, believe every team should go out and play to win week after week, no matter how the season is going. The Ravens still have a pretty decent shot at making the postseason and they should try their best at reaching it, because if they fail for the third straight season, the attendance problem will get worse and even more fans will call for John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome’s heads. Even though most fans will agree that firing either one or even both of these extraordinary men is a terrible idea, the vocal minority can sometimes outweigh the silent majority. I hope the Ravens can turn it around and make a run for the postseason because nothing beats meaningful December football, plus I already spent thousands on season tickets, I want the product I’m watching to be worth what I, along with tons of people, paid for.