Ravens loss to the Dolphins proves they aren’t Super Bowl contenders

Ravens Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens had been playing with fire all season. Despite their countless mistakes and mishaps in various games this season, the Ravens had managed to escape unscathed for the most part.

They had been playing imperfect football, yet had won five of their last six games. By some miracle, the Ravens sat atop the AFC with a 6-2 record.

Despite their ever-growing injury list and obviously flawed roster, the Ravens kept winning. That is until they didn’t.

The Ravens’ good fortunes finally ran out in Week 10. Facing a lowly Miami Dolphins team, many expected the Ravens to rout their inferior foes.

But just as they have for the vast majority of the season, the Ravens played down to their competition. The offense was incompetent, the defense suffered from multiple costly breakdowns, and the special teams even had their fair share of blunders.

Nothing went right for the Ravens on Thursday night. And despite their best efforts to salvage a win late in the game, they couldn’t dig their way out of this hole.

The Ravens probably aren’t true Super Bowl contenders at this point

Even with a 6-3 record, the Ravens still maintain a lead in the AFC North and are one of the conference’s highest seeds. But their record is pretty misleading.

If not for a 66-yard Justin Tucker field goal against the still-winless Detroit Lions, the Ravens would have another loss. If not for a timely Odafe Oweh forced fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs, they might not even be above .500.

Then you have their overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings who blew a 14-point lead twice in the same game and their other overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts that took a historic performance from Lamar Jackson to secure the win.

The Ravens have been barely escaping with wins all season. Their luck was bound to run out. It did on Thursday. And that game proved that this team isn’t functional enough to compete for a Super Bowl at this moment.

It’s not just the one loss. Upsets have run rampant around the NFL this season and there isn’t an AFC team in existence that hasn’t suffered at least one embarrassing loss.

But the Ravens have been doing this all season.

The injuries have clearly taken a toll, especially when you look at the offensive line and the secondary. There is no obvious fix for those positions right now, although Patrick Mekari’s eventual return will certainly help.

Meanwhile, the team’s persistent issues with tackling and communication on defense remain major concerns.

This Ravens team has proved that they can not only beat but trounce some of the better teams in the NFL. Look no further than their blowout win over the Los Angeles Chargers for proof of that.

But until they find a way to play consistently good football, they’ll be nothing more than pretenders.

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Thursday night’s loss wasn’t an outlier. It was par for the course.