The Ravens (12-3) made a statement on Christmas night by delivering a resounding 33–19 blow to the San Francisco 49ers on Baltimore's trip to Santa Clara. The victory helped the Ravens become the lone-best team in the NFL by record and solidified their position atop the league standings entering the final two weeks of play.
This win was more than just a simple dub. It showed what these folks are about, even more considering all of the questioning they have endured this year and the never-ending "underdog" labels they have been tagged with week in and week out.
In fact, for the first time in ages, oddsmakers have the Ravens as their favorites for the matchup against the Miami Dolphins scheduled for Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore only needs one more win to win the AFC North and by beating the Dolphins they would also earn a bye week as the No. 1 seed of the AFC, getting home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
"We play a brand of football that people don’t want to play. Everybody wants to be out here [being] cute, playing basketball on grass and stuff, and we [are not] with all that. You can do all that stuff; we’re just going to hit you in the mouth every play, honestly. We couldn’t care less about all the pretty stuff you do, gimmick stuff."- Patrick Queen, Baltimore Ravens LB
Linebacker Patrick Queen, on the key performers in the game against the 49ers on Monday, made things clear about what the Flock is doing to keep racking up wins while throwing a warning toward Miami.
"We play a brand of football that people don't want to play," Queen said referring to what the Ravens have been doing all year long.
Then, probably speaking about the upcoming matchup against the Dolphins, Queen ignited the pregame talk with the following statement. "Everybody wants to be out here (being) cute, playing basketball on grass and stuff, and we are not with all that. You can do all that stuff—we're just going to hit you in the mouth every play, honestly."
Queen was one of the many players from Baltimore letting folks know about how they are a bit frustrated (not in a bad way, but in an inspiring one) about the constant treatment of the Ravens by the media this season, constantly pegging them as underdogs no matter the opponent.
"Everybody writing us off before we even got a chance to play," Queen said after Monday's win. "We know what we’re capable of. Everybody counted us out. Didn’t expect us to even hold up. Everybody was saying we were going to get blown out by double digits or whatever. We just had to come out and play our style of ball. We all understood the assignment. Understood what coach wanted from us. [We] just went out there and capitalized."
The Ravens enter Week 17 as the favorites, currently expected to beat Miami by more than a field goal but less than a touchdown (the spread is sitting at -3 on Friday morning). Whoever wins this matchup will win the AFC and earn a bye week in the playoffs.