Ravens one step closer to post-season play

December 08, 2008 | Drew Forrester

There were A LOT of demons exorcised on Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium.

“Can’t win in the black jersey” – Check.

“Can’t win on national TV” – Check.

“Can’t beat a good team” – Check. Well, sort of. Based on that performance and their barely mediocre record, it’s hard to count the Redskins as a “good team”. But it’s worth rubbing it in a bit just to say, “Ravens beat a GOOD team…so take that, national media.”

A 24-10 Ravens’ win on Sunday gives the boys in purple a 9-4 record and in complete control of their playoff destiny. With Pittsburgh coming in to Baltimore next Sunday, the Ravens are on the verge of taking control of the AFC North if they can dispose of the pesky Steelers. Still, no matter what happens on Sunday vs. Pittsburgh, Baltimore can advance into post-season play with two wins in their final three games.

Sunday’s triumph over Washington wasn’t nearly as close as the box score would indicate. The Ravens jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead thanks to a pair of defensive help-outs, both engineered by Ed Reed, who picked off a pass to set up the game’s first TD and moments later returned a fumble for the other score as the Redskins handed Baltimore a 14-point head start with the first quarter not even halfway over. You’re going to lose EVERY time when you do that – especially at M&T Bank Stadium.

Washington managed to close the gap to 17-10 in the 4th quarter after Willis McGahee coughed up a fumble and Corey Ivy lost his man in the end zone and the resulting TD throw to Antwan Randle El cut the gap to one-score with eleven minutes remaining.

Then, as has been the case for most of the season, Joe Flacco came through when it mattered most, lofting a TD pass to Derrick Mason with four minutes to go to finish out the scoring at 24-10.

The ONLY negative of the night – which sort of turned out to be a half-positive because they have to make the drive back “down south” with their tail between their legs – had to be the overwhelming number of Redskins fans who slithered their way into the stadium. The club level seats were PACKED with burgundy and gold — a sure sign that the “suits” in town only come out for the Fall and short-sleeve-shirt-games and then pawn off their seats when the weather turns nasty. What a disgrace it was to see upwards of 10,000 Washington fans in OUR stadium for a game that mattered that much. Say what you will about that DC fan base, but I don’t think 10,000 people in purple winter coats would have had access to FedEx Field had the game been in Landover tonight with both teams playing for their respective playoff lives.

One rival sent packing, another on the way next Sunday.

It’s going to be another fun week in Baltimore.