Ravens’ Path to #1 Seed? Just Win.

The Chicken Box Ravens’ Path to #1 Seed? Just Win.

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Every week, the NFL provides storylines worth talking about, and every week, I pick the ones I like the best. I stick them into an article and give you my thoughts on each.

This week is no different. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Chicken Box.

Ron Rivera

Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

East River-Boat Ron?

It feels like Ron Rivera will end up in New York/Jersey. He doesn’t have a job. The 2-10 New York Giants need a change, and Pat Shurmur could very well be on his way out, as he has his team amid an eight-game losing streak. 

So why Rivera instead of the rumored Jason Garrett

Dave Gettleman is why. The Giants could reunite the two coaches that reached a Super Bowl together less than five years ago. 

I also believe that Rivera is exactly the kind of coach that could help bring out the best in the hot-and-cold Daniel Jones. A mobile quarterback that holds the ball a little too long, with progression issues and deep-ball accuracy issues. Sound familiar? It should, because it’s the draft profile of both Jones and Rivera’s former quarterback, Cam Newton

While Newton is not without his faults recently, let’s not forget that he was the 2015 NFL MVP.

Rivera makes the most sense for the Giants – assuming they shore up the offensive line, add some defensive players, and grab a pass-catcher or two. It’s too bad they don’t have a guy like Odell Beckh… you get it.

Jason Garrett dejected

Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

Speaking of Jason Garrett…

Daaaaa Bears. You lost to the Bears.

Honestly, losing to the Bears isn’t that embarrassing. But letting Mitch Trubisky complete 23-of-31 passes for 244 yards and three scores, while only picking him off once? That’s embarrassing. Landing just two sacks on a guy who creates his own sacks is embarrassing. 

The entire Dallas team looked lackadaisical and broken. They looked like they’ve given up on Jason Garrett. They look like they no longer want to play for him. 

When that happens, it’s time to cut ties. If you’re tired of ‘losing, losing, losing’, it’s time to cut off the head of the serpent, Jerry. 

Garrett has got to go – and this is from a guy who loves watching the Cowboys fall apart. 

Player of the week

Odell Beckham, Jr. sporting his limited-edition Richard Mille watch during the Browns v. Titans game. (Photo Credit:Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Speaking of OBJ…

The Cleveland Browns continue to be a trainwreck, and I continue to love every bit of it. After the big-name wideout stated that his future in Cleveland was unclear, Twitter erupted. NFL analysts erupted. Fans erupted. 

Aaaand then he backpedaled, in a way. 

Sounds a lot like a guy who isn’t happy in Cleveland, regardless of his ‘no place I’d rather be’ comment. 

Could we see Odell Beckham Jr. in yet another uniform in 2020? Honestly, as a Ravens fan, I wouldn’t hate it. While the Browns have had their offensive struggles in 2019, a big part of that is Freddy Kitchens and Todd Monken. Another big part of that is Baker Mayfield‘s struggles. 

If they start to jell, and OBJ catches fire, he can be a force. I’d rather that force be somewhere that the Baltimore defensive backs only have to face him once every four years.

Ravens Road Favorites

Speaking of the Ravens…

With a win against the Bills, they can clinch a playoff spot.

With a win against the Bills and a Steelers loss, they can clinch the AFC North in back-to-back years.

Neither of those should matter to Ravens fans.

Win out. Win each week. That’s what’s important. That’s how you secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC. That’s how you make the playoffs run through The Bank. 

Sure, securing a playoff spot means you have a chance at a ring. Sure, taking the North means you get to troll and laugh at Steelers and Browns fans.

But those chances are better, and the laughter is deeper if you have the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

The Ravens play on Sunday, and then turn around and play on Thursday. Regardless of how bad the Jets seem to be, they did beat the Raiders when the Raiders were hot. There’s talent on that team, and it’ll be a very short week for Baltimore, again. If they can nab a win against the red-hot Bills, and then keep it together long enough to get a win against the Jets, that leaves two division games to close out the season.

You can’t trust the Patriots to lose another game (hopefully this jinxes them on Sunday). All year (some of) you have chirped me about keeping the faith, and fandom being important to team morale.

Well, now I’m here to tell you what’s important, and what you should be focused on as fans. 

Clinch the playoffs in Week 14? Nobody cares, work harder. Clinch the North? Nobody cares, work harder. Work until there’s a ring on your finger and a third Lombardi in the trophy case. Because honestly? That’s all I care about.

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About Michael Telford

I have been an avid Ravens fan since their inception, and have written about them for a little over seven years. I live in Florida with my wonderful girlfriend Kelly nowadays, and keep up all year with all things Ravens. You can follow me on Twitter (@LateRoundCorner) where you can argue with me about all the takes that you won't agree with. Sarcasm is my first language. More from Michael Telford

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