Time Magazine via Reddit – Teams are ranked by the difference between their home and away winning percentages over 10 years. The Top-ranked Ravens won 78% of home games and 43% of road games for a difference of 35 points.
The Ravens play far better when in Baltimore. They lost every 2005 road game but were undefeated at home in 2011.
(Note: Full article is behind a paywall and I sure as shit ain’t payin for Time Magazine. It just presents an opportunity to discuss a topic of importance going into this season)
Usually on Barstool, you’d see a blogger get up on their soapbox and wax poetic about being given a title such as this one. While that’s fun and has its time and place, I won’t be doing that today. The fact that the Ravens are so dominant at home is far from news to me, and shouldn’t be news to anyone else either. M&T Bank Stadium is a hellhole to go into and play in if you’re the opposition, and that’s far from a secret. But I’d like to take this opportunity to shed some light on what this Time article is screaming at me…
The Ravens stink on the road in the regular season.
There. I said it. A 35% win differential (which I think is what the ranking was solely based upon) between your home and away record says as much about you sucking on the road as it does your dominance in your own barn. Now don’t get me wrong. With an 8-5 record, Flacco and Harbaugh have rightfully earned their reputation as playoff road warriors. It’s been a ton of fun to watch, and I like their chances anywhere in January. But let’s hunker down here and talk about the fact that those road wins just cloud our perception in Baltimore of a bigger issue that may have already cost this team a Super Bowl or two. The fact that it’s completely silly that Flacco has played 13 (THIRTEEN!) of his 15 career playoff games away from one of the best home crowds in sports.
If you’re looking for someone to point the finger at as to why that stat exists, look no further than Joe himself. Basically, he is not very good on the road in the regular season. And that’s really the point I want to drive home today. He’s played 112 regular season football games in his NFL career, so 56 at home and 56 on the road. Here’s how he looks in each setting:
Home: 45-11, 78 TDs, 35 INTs, 91.5 Passer Rating
Away: 27-29, 70 TDs, 55 INTs, 78.8 Passer Rating
First off, 45-11 at home is a damn impressive record. That’s the kind of record you’d like to take advantage of come January. The problem is his performance on the road makes that virtually impossible. When you lose 4 or 5 games on the road every year, you make winning the AFC North and grabbing a bye nearly impossible. For all the great football teams we’ve had in Baltimore the past 7 years, they’ve only earned the bye once because of poor play on the road*.
And therein lies the key to the Ravens 2015 season. Joe Flacco has to take care of business on the road. I’m not a sports psychologist. I can’t tell you why he’s able to turn that switch on in the playoffs but not the regular season. But it’s time to figure it out. They may not be the favorites in the AFC, but they’ve got a damn good shot at grabbing the #1 seed. This year’s road slate presents some solid opponents, but nobody that intimidates me. They’re all winnable games. It’s time to take that next step. The Ravens have played the Pats and the Steelers 4 times a piece in their playoff history, and ALL EIGHT GAMES have been on the road. That’s ridiculous. Let’s change that. Let’s make those losers come here. So my challenge to Joe and the Ravens is to win 6+ road games this year, and the rest will fall in place. Enjoy.
*To be fair, the 2010 Ravens lost a tiebreaker for a bye (and the division) to the Steelers. But that was nobody’s fault but God’s according to that fuckboy Stevie Johnson.