I just don’t see it.
Yeah, some people in the local media are calling 10 wins and a playoff appearance for the Baltimore Ravens. But for a team that has NEVER had an offense to speak of, calling this season a lock for the playoffs is like calling Florida before 95 percent of precincts have reported.
You just can’t do it.
The Ravens have run off an impressive streak, bested only by the undefeated Tennessee Titans and the reigning Super Bowl champion New York Giants. But a streak of wins against the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans isn’t exactly murderer’s row in the AFC.
And speaking of murderer’s row, oh look, here comes the NFC East.
I know, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles aren’t exactly running away with anything, but this is still the toughest division in football. And when you consider that the Ravens have one game against the Bengals that could be considered as a cupcake game, and the other two games not against the NFC East are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars, you could easily be looking at a 7-9 slip and slide to the end of the season.
Hopefully, Joe Flacco has mastered enough of film and playbook study to see the entire field and make plays against elite level defenses in the next few weeks. If he does, the Ravens will win 11 games. If not, there’s no great shame in waiting for the Ravens’ appearance in the 2010 AFC championship.