Thank You Raiders, but Ravens need win

December 06, 2009 | Paul Hoke

I said it once before, I will say it again. As much as I love my Baltimore Ravens and live and die with their games, I do enjoy a Sunday afternoon every now and again, when they don’t play. I can sit in my living room with my lovely wife, drink a beer or six, and watch the NFL on my NFL Sunday Ticket courtesy of DirecTv. And I leave this Sunday, with mixed results.

On one hand, the Oakland Raiders brought a huge smile to my face, and a high pitched cheer, with their 27-24 win over the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. God it was great to see Bruce Gradkowski celebrate that last minute TD pass as the Steeler faithful hung their drunken heads in shame. Sorry folks, but I’m a Baltimore sports fan, and I do take pride in the misery of our rivals. On the other hand, seeing that the Miami Dolphins, yet another AFC wildcard contender, pulled out a last second victory over the New England Patriots, kind of irritated me. Then again, the team that we love to hate, the Indianapolis Colts, did the Ravens a favor by slapping around the NFL’s hottest team, the Tennessee Titans. Peyton was Peyton, and Vince Young and the Titans’ offense missed several key chances to put the ball in the end zone, and they fall to a “Raven friendly” 5-7.

But….the Houston Texans decided to play patsy to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and while the Texans are quickly becoming an AFC non factor, the Jags improve to 7-5, and hold, solidly, the sixth and final AFC playoff spot. They are the Ravens stiffest competition at the moment, and seeing them win, pretty easily, over the Texans, did not set my Sunday a blaze. There was also the Denver Broncos complete domination of the Kansas City Chiefs. Matt Cassel is terrible, but it would’ve been nice if they would have at least put up a fight against a divisional opponent. Instead, they allow the Broncos to improve to 8-4 and place their clamps on the fifth seed in the AFC playoff race. It all builds to one for sure conclusion….the Ravens must win in Green Bay Monday night.

With the Jags and Broncos winning on Sunday, this puts the Ravens in another must win scenario Monday in Green Bay. It does worry me that Aaron Rodgers has been the fifth best QB in the league this year. It does worry me that this secondary has to defend the likes of Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. But all that aside, the Baltimore Ravens need this game. In a big way. To be honest, 7-5 is much better then 6-6, especially considering the fact that the Broncos have gotten their act together again and the Jaguars seem to be playing their best football of the season. If the Ravens want to be relevant in a few weeks and show the NFL that they can go on the road and beat a quality opponent, as they will have to do in the playoffs, they need to beat Rodgers and the Packers on the frozen tundra. No excuses.

So as I say all the time, Go Ravens!!!!! We need this one, and in the immortal words of our first place Washington Capitals….Unleash the Fury!!!!!!