Baltimore Ravens face their biggest challenge in years on SNF
Come Sunday night vs. the undefeated New England Patriots, the Baltimore Ravens will be facing their biggest challenge in years.
We as a whole, fans, media, and otherwise, are guilty of saying “this is the biggest game they’ve played since…” I can certainly admit to being guilty of this, especially with the many trials that the Baltimore Ravens have gone through over the last few years.
Still, this upcoming Sunday Night Football game vs. the New England Patriots has an entirely different feel around it. It’s not just about the fact that the Patriots are undefeated, nor is it that Baltimore needs to win its first prime time game of the season.
No, it’s the fact that this game is a chance to send a message: The Baltimore Ravens are to be taken seriously. The 2019 Baltimore Ravens are contenders. The Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl-caliber.
It’s something that the rest of the league is overlooking. After all, this team got blown out in week four by the lowly 2-5 Cleveland Browns. This team couldn’t get it done on the road vs. the Kansas City Chiefs who were missing Tyreek Hill.
All of that talk needs to stop. It’s time to stop making excuses to overlook the Ravens, who are winners of three straight. Their undefeated October included two crucial division wins vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals and a fantastic road win vs. the Seattle Seahawks.
This Baltimore Ravens offense, led by MVP candidate Lamar Jackson, is scary good. The team is running the ball ferociously and has capable threats outside in a top-tier tight end Mark Andrews and rookie phenom Marquise Brown. The offense is fast, deadly, and can outscore anyone.
They will be put to the test vs. the New England Patriots number one ranked defense. Baltimore will need to continue to lean heavily on the run and play mistake-free football to have a chance. Offensively, the Patriots aren’t elite by any stretch of the imagination, making the Ravens defense’s job a little bit easier. Still, it’s no cakewalk.
Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, last I checked, and they have weapons scattered throughout the unit. Julian Edelman has long been a thorn in Baltimore’s side, and rookie N’Keal Harry is making his rookie debut. The backfield is loaded, led by studs Sony Michel and James White.
It won’t be easy, but the Ravens defense looked much more competent vs. the Seahawks in Seattle before the team entered is bye week. Perhaps this is a sign of change, as the defense has had slow starts to the season for a couple of years now.
The addition of Marcus Peters should pay its dividends, and Earl Thomas and Marlon Humphrey still make this a tough secondary. There’s hope that Patrick Onwuasor’s return should help the front-seven, too. All in all, it’s a chance for the defense to prove itself; even against a subpar New England offense.
The bottom line here is the Baltimore Ravens have the pieces to make a run and now is their chance to prove it to the league. Every team has some embarrassing losses and shortcomings on their roster, and Baltimore certainly has its warts. Still, they are more than talented enough to win a championship right now, and their chance to prove it starts Sunday night vs. the New England Patriots in Charm City.