The Baltimore Ravens might not hold the best record in the NFL, but it doesn't get much closer to the Philadelphia Eagles' 8-1 than the Flock's 7-2 record through nine games in the regular season.
The only other team currently sporting as good a balance is the Kansas City Chiefs, and that means, at least for Matt Verderame of Sports Illustrated, that the Ravens are Super Bowl contenders.
In his weekly recap of NFL games, that's what Verderame called Baltimore after they simply trounced Seattle (5-3) on their way to staying atop the AFC past the halfway mark of the season.
"Baltimore (7–2) is a Super Bowl contender. The Ravens have now played two of the NFC’s best over the past three weeks, and both games were over early. The Ravens racked up 298 rushing yards (7.3 YPC) against Seattle while adding four sacks to their league-best total. The Ravens aren’t overwhelming at the skill positions, but they can run the ball, throw it well enough, and win on a weekly basis with their front four."- Matt Verderame, Sports Illustrated
The analyst couldn't have been more resolute in his description of this Ravens team: "Super Bowl contender," he started his blurb with.
Verderamo pointed out how the Ravens faced two of the best NFC teams (Detroit and Seattle) and described both victories as "games [being] over early."
The Ravens, as Verderamo wrote himself, are coming off an outing in which they rushed for a franchise-record 298 yards against the Seahawks, as well as sacking Geno Smith four times to reach 35 sacks on the year--the most in the NFL by far.
The Sports Illustrated pundit concluded the Ravens "aren't overwhelming at the skill positions," although he acknowledged they "can run the ball, throw it well enough, and win on a weekly basis with their front four."
That's all Ravens fans need to hear, don't you think? It's about time Baltimore starts to get some love as we enter the stretch home of the season with the stakes getting higher each passing week. So far, so good for the Ravens on their way to winning their third SB. Keep it up!