The Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts renew their storied rivalry this Sunday, in an AFC wildcard playoff match-up. To discuss more of this big game, I got in contact with Tynan Patrick, editor of the Ravens’ website, www.ebonybird.com.
Naptown’s Finest – What is your opinion on promoting former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell to the Ravens’ offensive coordinator so late in the season?
Ebony Bird- I am a big fan of Caldwell. He has made some clear improvements in Joe Flacco and specifically his throwing mechanics. My gut feeling is that the Ravens knew three things when they fired Cam. 1.Cam wasn’t coming back after the offseason, his teams have been to inconsistent and he hasn’t properly utilized the Ravens offensive weapons. 2. Other teams with open OC positions were going to be interested in Caldwell(maybe even some HC openings) and 3. They didn’t want to lose Caldwell as he was just finding his groove with Flacco. I think they hoped that by going ahead and making the move that they could avoid risking losing Caldwell by making a move they were already planning to make. All in all I think it was a very savvy front office decision.
NF – What is the feeling from the Ravens fan base, after coming one missed kick away from making the Super Bowl, to losing four of five as they enter this year’s playoffs?
EB – The Fans in Baltimore have been pretty hot and cold all season. I have had the sense all year that they seem to be getting a bit spoiled to the success of the Harbaugh/Flacco era(a feeling I am sure Manning era Colts fans can relate to). It has gotten to the point where fans seem to think the Ravens are the worst team in the NFL every time they lose a game. The past few weeks the fan interest in the team seemed to have gone down pretty low by the win over the Giants perked up a dormant fan base and now Ravens fans seem optimistic and ready to roll. The general feeling is that if the Ravens play as well as they did week 16 then there are very few teams capable of beating them.
NF – Is it tiresome to once again see the Indianapolis Colts standing in the Ravens’ way, as Baltimore tries to advance in the playoffs?
EB – I don’t think so. The last time these two teams met was in 2009, before that is was 2006. 3 times in 7 opportunities may seem high, but I think they have been spaced out enough that it doest really feel like it has been that often. Even though the Ravens have played them the same amount or fewer, it seems like the Patriots and Steelers are much more common opponents over the past 7 years. This year i think a big reason for that has been that this Colts team is so different from the teams we saw in 06 and 09. How poetic is it though, that Ray Lewis’ final home game(and possibly final NFL game) will come against the team that He made Baltimore football fans forget? You can’t script endings like that.
J.M. Nicholas is a sports journalist based out of Indianapolis Indiana. He has previously written for yahoosports.com, indycolts.com, indianapoliscolts.com, and rantsports.com. His works have appeared on various other sports websites, including bleachereport.com. You can follow on Twitter @hootiewhodisbe. Posts and articles are updated regularly.