Where will the Ravens be in January?

October 28, 2010 |

At this point of the season, it appears the Bengals will be playing for little more than an opportunity to effect the prospective playoff picture. At 2-4, I’m not throwing dirt on their season, but I’m getting my shovel ready.

As many of us have speculated, the Cincinnati Bengals don’t pose that image of being a team that will rally from adverse circumstances and poor play. They’re a cast of individuals, especially thanks to the self-indulgent wide receiving tandem of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco.

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 24: Terrell Owens  of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons with Chad Ochocinco  at Georgia Dome on October 24, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

I’m a guy who relishes the character of players who put the TEAM ahead of personal achievements and goals …..

I’m convinced Hines Ward wants to win above anything else. I’m also convinced Wes Welker wants to win at all costs. Throw in Reggie Wayne, Roddy White and Donald Driver for good measure. But, I don’t believe T.O. and Chad are determined with such cause.

They care more about themselves and their singular standing. You’ll likely see such indications if the Bengals keep losing, too. Both players are approaching free agency and they’ll probably start moaning about their numbers very soon.

Thus, I’m prepared for the possibility of the Bengals rolling into Baltimore and giving a half-hearted effort, while ensuring the Ravens likelihood of avenging the early season loss is nothing more than a formality. They’ll clobber Cincinnati in the season’s final game – especially if it’s a MUST WIN.

And, therein lies some questions. Will that final matchup against Cincinnati impact a possible home playoff game for the Ravens? Will that final game determine if the Ravens make the playoffs? Will that final game matter, at all?

The answer for each question is NOBODY KNOWS.

There is plenty of football remaining on the schedule – NINE games to be exact. Crucial matchups against