Well, for the last 3 weeks, the Ravens have had ample opportunity to clinch at least a playoff spot. So on Sunday, finally, the Ravens had clinched their 5th consecutive playoff berth.
However, this was done in one of the most unlikely ways predicted: the Ravens had gone 0-3, which included 2 home losses, while in the same stretch, the Steelers went 1-2 and the Bengals went 2-1 (but sport a sub-par 1-3 AFC North division record, which will not top the Ravens’ 4-1).
So, because of records, the Ravens will clinch the AFC North division, and at least the 4th seed, if they win one of the last two games or the Bengals lose at least one game.
That is the entirety of good news for the Ravens lately. If you had noticed, Ray Lewis was held out of this game and may play next week, same with starting safety Bernard Pollard. The Ravens have been missing quite a lot of starters and quality backups. With some (hopefully minor) injuries to Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, our wide receiver corps is now hurting, which followed the linebackers and cornerbacks in other weeks.
Also, how could we forget the offensive output itself the last couple of weeks. Ever since the 55 point pounding of the Raiders 5 weeks ago, the Ravens’ offense has not been the same. I had hoped for good things following Cam Cameron’s dismissal last week, but 6 days wasn’t enough time to prepare for a slightly different offense.
This Sunday, the Ravens have a chance to right their ship against the incoming Giants, who had lost 34-0 to the Falcons. It will be our second week in a row against a Manning, who has more flaws than his older brother.
Lets see if our guys, like Suggs, can get it done. Although our guys will face an opponent hoping to get into the playoffs in the very competitive NFC East.
Currently, the Giants are in a 3 way tie with the Cowboys and Redskins, all 8-6 at the moment. All sports media wonder if the Giants will do what they did last year and barely make it into the playoffs (as they did in 2007 and last year, both Super Bowl winning years).
There is still optimism in our season yet! Just know that no team needs to be extremely dominant all season long, and rarely they do, since those teams that do great early can fatigue and fall out of contention later. Or, in the case of recent top playoff teams, fall apart in the playoffs when it really matters. There are also teams, like the Arizona Cardinals, who have very surprising starts (4-0) and go downhill from there (won on Sunday following 9 straight losses).
The Ravens only have 2 weeks left, so I would like for them to put out a lot more production now and carry that momentum far into the playoffs.
Let’s see what happens.
PHOTO CREDITS: FACEBOOK.COM – BALTIMORE RAVENS & NEW YORK GIANTS