Despite being 5-2 heading into Week 9, many pundits are questioning whether or not the Ravens are for real. After just barely squeaking out wins against Kansas City and Dallas and then getting manhandled by Houston, there’s definitely a lot of doubt surrounding the Ravens.
Injuries have hurt the Ravens the most this season. The loss of their captain Ray Lewis has impacted the team from a leadership standpoint, while the injuries to Lardarius Webb and Terrell Suggs have limited the team’s defensive effectiveness.
Additionally, the offense is going through a major identity crisis and has lost the great rhythm we saw on the Monday Night Football opener. Receivers aren’t getting open and Ray Rice is lucky to get double-digit carries on Sundays.
It’s very fair to say that the Ravens from Week 1 are a different team from the Ravens of today. All of this begs the question, are the Ravens still Super Bowl contenders?
While problems abound for the Ravens, I think that most experts would agree that the Ravens are definitely still for real.
Although he’s not getting the a whole lot of touches for some unknown reason, Rice is still the league’s most complete back, and that alone puts the Ravens in a very good position to win games going forward.
Joe Flacco, while inconsistent at times, is a very capable quarterback and can battle against the best of them. He also has a plethora of skilled receivers and tight ends that can make some big plays downfield.
The Ravens defense is worrisome at the moment, but the offense is highly capable of picking the team up and winning games by themselves. I think the Ravens’ D will rebound during the second half of the season, but we may have to hold our breath for now.
The Ravens are typically an excellent team coming off the bye so many of our questions may be answered this Sunday. As of now, I feel safe saying that the Ravens are still Super Bowl contenders.