Let me start this column by making sure everyone’s TV is okay. After a game like that, I’m sure that some remotes were thrown. Even though Ray Rice saved our backsides, what an UGLY GAME! Seriously, what was that?
Sunday’s game went against everything we know as football fans. Zero points in the first half was a clear recipe for disaster, and 4th and 29? What football team converts a 4th and 29 with less than two minutes to play? There’s only one answer to that question- “Harbaugh’s Mighty Men!”
As horrid as the offense was in the first half, they sang the tune of success late in the game. That’s the kind of play that gives a good team momentum to turn into a great team heading into the back stretch.
Sure, if it weren’t for the epic “Hey Diddle Diddle, Ray Rice up the Middle” play we would have lost, but it was a team win. At the end of the day we are 9-2 and ready to welcome the Steelers into Baltimore.
The clinching scenarios are pretty simple. Win next week and the Bengals lose- the AFC North Title is ours. But you can’t count on everything going right; so even though we control our own destiny, a few losses by Cincinnati and Pittsburgh would work just fine!
Both teams have no easy schedule going forward:
Pittsburgh: @Baltimore, San Diego, @Dallas, Cincinnati, Cleveland
What a ruthless back end of the schedule. With already 5 losses, the Steelers will almost have to win out to get even close to a chance at a North title.
They should have fun trying to get a W here at M&T Bank. Even if Worthlessberger is back, they hardly stand a chance. This Ravens team is so juiced up, bad luck to whoever gets in the way.
San Diego and Dallas are run-of-the-mill teams, but they both will be desperate to stay in their respective playoff hunts. If Pittsburgh loses just one of those games, their season is done.
Cincinnati and Cleveland to end the schedule is no slouch either. Although both games will take place at Heinz field, they are two teams out for blood. The Bengals will be in a must-win scenario, and you know the Browns will want nothing less than to spoil the Steelers playoff hopes yet again.
Cincinnati- @San Diego, Dallas, @Philadelphia, @Pittsburgh, Baltimore
Starting with the Chargers, this is one desperate team. I find it hard to believe that San Diego will lose two in a row at home to end their playoff hopes. This one may end up ugly for the Red Headed rifle and the Bungles offense.
Dallas, Philly and Pittsburgh will all put up fights. Dallas and Pittsburgh will both need wins desperately. Even though Philly is just plain awful, they ARE playing at home so who knows.
The last game could either be a sleeper, or the most important one to date. If we have clinched what we need, we won’t even play starters. If we haven’t and Cincy needs a win to go in, we will have a HUGE fight on our hands. Ray Rice says his 4th and 29 play was “all will.” That’s what the Ravens will need to have to take this one from the Bengals.
In the end, it’s simple: win 3-4 games to end the year and you have the title. Win 4-5 and you will most likely have that first round bye.
If you have to win all of your games like the game in San Diego, do it! Even though every Ravens fan will be gray by the end of the year, a win is a win!