Stupid is as stupid does.”

— Forrest Gump

While we came to learn that Mr. Gump had earned the right to be judged by his actions and not by his appearance, the Baltimore Ravens, as they stand now, have, conversely, earned the right to be judged by both.

This is one stupid football team, folks; or one poorly-conditioned football team.

Yes, I understand it is a television show, #NFLTheTVShow to be precise, but the Ravens – and this is a stat straight out of television, or another version of “The Replacements” – have trailed for a total of 120 seconds through the first six games of this season and have somehow managed to lose half of them.

Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the 2022 Baltimore Ravens have the trademark on that baby.

Yes, by virtue of their win last week over the Cincinnati Bengals, which provided a false sense of hope that the course was about to be righted, the Ravens are in first place of the AFC North with a 3-3 record. Yet Sunday’s 24-20 loss to a gutty New York Giants team should not have happened. In fact, it can be said that none of the Ravens’ three losses should have happened; but this team is currently showing itself to be an incompetent, underachieving, never-was-gonna-be football team.

They’ve choked too many times this season to come to any other conclusion.

There is simply no way the Ravens should have lost this game. The defense played an excellent game, though the secondary seems to have lost a step and the line seems to run out of gas in the fourth quarter. Yet, the Ravens’ offense, rather than be of mind of who and what they are, which is a running football team, played cutie pie all day and kept the Giants, one of the lowest-rated run defenses in the league, in the game, even though Baltimore was dominating the game up front on both sides of the ball.

When the Ravens ran the ball, they gained yardage in chunks. Kenyan Drake went over 100 yards in his first seven carries. Yet he finished the game with 119 yards on just 10 carries. Why? Because the Ravens never committed to running the ball and it rightfully bit them in the arse.

Then, finally having seized control with a 20-10 lead entering the fourth quarter, the Ravens lost control like choking dogs. But what else is new? All three of their losses have come when the Ravens have blown double-digit leads in the second half – 21 to Miami, 17 to Buffalo and now 10 to the Giants.

The Ravens are an underachieving team; there’s really no other way to put it.

The Ravens run the football down the field, but they get cute in the red zone and have to settle for field goals. Lamar Jackson commits two high-school game-killing turnovers to put the Giants ahead and then help them preserve the game in the final two minutes, all the while with the Ravens having plenty of time and all three timeouts (Mrs. Harbaugh must have hidden the analytics card before somebody packed).

The last three games, Lamar has not been winning his bet.

And the stupid penalties? They continue to occur. The Ravens were penalized 10 times on Sunday, four of them taking place before the ball was even snapped, including the game-changer when left tackle Ronnie Stanley lined up in an illegal formation to nullify a first down at midfield with Baltimore protecting a then three-point lead.

The bad karma began at the end of the first quarter when kicker Justin Tucker doinked the left upright on a 56-yard field-goal attempt. The Ravens were simply out of sync all day. Their snap count seemed to be off, there were high snaps from the center, dropped balls by the receivers, overthrown balls by the quarterback, a halt to the running game every time it came close to pulling the Ravens further ahead of the Giants, a very likeable team that, unlike the Ravens, is an overachieving team at 5-1, yet is a very beatable team.

Of course, so, too, are the Ravens. When three second-half double-figure leads turn into three gut-wrenching losses, when a team has trailed through six games of the season for just two minutes, yet is still 3-3, it is a very beatable team.

The Ravens are an underachieving team, which hardly stands in the tradition of Next Man Up or Play Like a Raven Today.

Perhaps it has become a matter of the message having grown stale. There are 11 games to find out, but just as insanity is recognized as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, blowing three fourth-quarter double-figure leads in just six games is recognized as habit.

Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Communications. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT