Ravens at Miami: I’ll bet on #52

January 02, 2009 | Drew Forrester

Two days from now, the Ravens ’08 season rolls on or crashes to a disappointing halt.

Such is life in the NFL playoffs.

Oddly enough, for a team that started the season with little expectation of winning, a loss in Miami would be a crushing blow to a Ravens team that fancies itself a legitimate Super Bowl contender heading into the game. 

And, in the whacky world of the NFL, the Ravens are actually favored on Sunday.  

It all adds up to an expected victory.  If Baltimore’s season ends with a loss to the Dolphins, it will be a surprise.  To me, anyway.

I think the Ravens win on Sunday for a handful of reasons, but the karma-believer in me simply feels that Ray Lewis won’t leave the field in Miami as a loser.  Ray has too much pride to get jettisoned from the post-season in front of a huge gathering of family and friends at Dolphins Stadium.  And, if there’s any guy on either team who can simply “will” his team to a win Sunday, it’s #52. 

Baltimore will win Sunday because Miami won’t be able to score enough points.  Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus and we DO have an offense these days, but defense will still be the name of the game in South Florida on Sunday.  

Ravens 23 – Dolphins 13

I see the Ravens once again expertly mixing the pass and the run to keep the Miami defense guessing all afternoon.  With 150 yards on the ground and 225 in the air, that’s 375 yards of offense that will be more than enough to give Baltimore the win.  

I am not trying to dismiss Miami’s regular season accomplishments by predicting a Baltimore win.  I think the Dolphins probably are better than most people here in Baltimore give them credit for…you can’t go 11-5 in the league and win your regular season “do-or-die” finale in New York by being a scrub.  But, the Ravens are well-balanced and continue to stay even-keeled about their season.  I’m not sensing any overconfidence at Owings Mills.  In fact, I’m FAR more confident that the Ravens are going to win than staffers in the building are, that’s for sure.  

Ray’s not going down there to lose.  I’m putting most of confidence on the back of the Hall of Fame linebacker who’s going home for the playoffs. 

Anyone want to bet against him?

I won’t.