The Ravens are coming off a hard fought win against the division rival Browns. letting the Browns hang tight on you for the entire game, including briefly surrendering the lead before Brandon Weedons touchdown pass was taken back due to an illegal formation penalty, isn’t normally a momentum builder. That said, the Ravens were in a bit of an unprecedented situation. They had lost 2 of their top defensive players to injured reserve. They were fresh off one of the worst defeats in franchise history and as usual, they were searching for offensive identity.
In Cleveland, they might have struggled, but the defense found a way to make plays, forcing 2 interceptions and not allowing any touchdowns or positive plays in the red zone and the offense, which started hot and came to a screeching halt in the second and third quarter, reawakened and led an excellent drive for the game winning score (a 15 yard catch and run by Torrey Smith). The Ravens found some identity by running the ball, even when it wasn’t working. the defense got some much needed confidence by holding the Browns without a TD and having good turnover numbers. That was Ravens football.
Now the Ravens have the much easier task of preparing for the Raiders at home. The Raiders are a hot mess. Carson Palmer is finished, Darren McFadden is hurt(again), their defense leaks like a sieve and their head coach looks like he is in way over his head. The Ravens shouldnt have any trouble dispatching them. The game is in Baltimore, where the Ravens are the best in the NFL and riding a home win streak nearly 2 years long. The Ravens need to not just win this game, but to breeze through it. The Steelers are looming large just a week away and the Ravens know it. This game won’t help them prepare for going on the road to Pitt, but it can help them stay on track for what could be a winner take all matchup in the AFC North.
The Ravens need this one. they need to turn this win over the Browns into a 3 game win streak and keep the division out of the hands of the Steelers.