Well two weeks ago after that devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Steel Town; it appeared all post season hope for our WORLD CHAMPS were lost. Going into week 9 the Ravens were 2 1/2 games behind the Bengals with nine games left.
With only a 16 games season, that is like the Orioles 2 1/2 games out with five games left. It’s quite a hill to climb. If the Bengals were to beat the Dolphins in Miami Thursday; they would have a commanding three game lead over the Ravens in the AFC North Division.
Luckily for the Baltimore faithful, the Fish beat Cincinnati on a safety on over time. It was only the 3rd time in NFL history that game ended on a safety.
Now here’s the scenario; if the Ravens can escape Ohio with a win over the team by the lake, and feed on home cooking next week against the other Ohio NFL team over the course of the next 176 hours, then the Ravens would only be ½ games out of first place.
Now when it comes to the Ravens I bleed purple; but when it comes to NFL football, the glasses I look through are clear and not purple colored. The Ravens play in Cleveland today at 4:30pm est. Under the Harbaugh/Flacco/Rice regime; the Ravens are 11-0 against the Browns. But the Browns (3-5) are playing better ball. The talent purged Ravens are 3-4. Is the law of averages in Cleveland’s favor? Or can we make it an even dozen today?
If the Ravens win today, we will be 1½ games out of 1st place. It will set up this scenario at M&T Bank Stadium next Sunday:
• The crowd will be jacked.
• The teams will be jacked.
• The Bengals will feel the pressure.
The Ravens are in MUST win mode here. Anything other than a Buckeye State clean sweep will result in players scrambling for golf course reservations for early January. We are in a single elimination situation here folks. 0-2 or 1-1 over the next week won’t cut it. It will result in the Harbaugh/Flacco/Rice post season streak coming to an abrupt end.
AFC North Standings
CIN 6 3 0 .667 217 166 51 9 4-0 2-3 1-1 .500 4-2 .667 2-1 1L 4-1
BAL 3 4 0 .429 150 148 2 2 2-1 1-3 1-1 .500 3-3 .500 0-1 2L 2-3
CLE 3 5 0 .375 148 179 -31 -4 2-2 1-3 1-1 .500 2-3 .400 1-2 3L 2-3
PIT 2 5 0 .286 125 153 -28 -5 1-2 1-3 1-1 .500 2-3 .400 0-2 1L 2-3