Sunday is must win for Ravens

November 04, 2009 | Paul Hoke

It’s week 9 in the NFL and our beloved Ravens of Baltimore are already facing a must win scenario.

They can say what they want, but we all know the Ravens have to win this Sunday against the division leading Cincinnati Bengals. A loss to the Bengals would give them the season sweep, and catapult them to 6-2 overall. At 4-4, it would be the equivalent of a 4 game deficit for our Ravens. Almost impossible to overcome. Which is why they need to win.

And to me, the formula is simple. Play the same kind of defense that won the game against Denver. The Broncos had no answer for the Ravens’ pass rush. And even if they had, there is no way that Kyle Orton was going to beat this team. Now, of course, Carson Palmer is leaps and bounds ahead of Orton. But pressure is pressure. If the Ravens can at least rattle Palmer, he becomes an average QB. If the secondary can take away Chad Whatshisname, and I believe they can given the right scheme, you force Palmer out of his comfort zone. This will force him into to the same mistakes he made in the team’s first meeting. And I think this time, Joe Flacco will be the difference. Just like he was against Denver, Joe will make the plays in the fourth quarter that he didn’t make the first time against the Bengals. Having Jared Gaither back along with a rejuvenated defense, will almost certainly mean the difference this time as well. At least, at least I hope.