They can and should

FACEOFF

Should We Expect The Ravens To Win 10 Games?

November 11, 2008|By BILL ORDINE

Coming out of training camp, the Ravens looked like, at best, a six-win team - as in 6-10. That they are 6-3 at this point is, frankly, well beyond the expectations of most Ravens fans.

Now the question is: Can the Ravens deliver on the promise of playoffs?

And that would seem to imply, can they win 10 games? Because now it appears that it will require that many victories to win the AFC North (assuming the Ravens can win the rematch against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 14) or land a wild-card spot.

The answer is: Absolutely they can, and they should.

Obviously, the last seven games represent the toughest stretch of the Ravens' season. Six of the last seven opponents (meaning minus the Cincinnati Bengals) are a combined 34-20 and include the entire NFC East.

The game that looms largest is the one against the Steelers, a team the Ravens nearly beat even before rookie quarterback Joe Flacco began making the strides that have been apparent in the current four-game winning streak.

And that brings us to the salient point: improvement. Not just in Flacco, but also in the Ravens as a whole. Each week, the Ravens are becoming a more formidable and complete team. Special teams are improving. The secondary seems capable of holding its own. But most importantly, the offense is capable of big plays and is suddenly deep in weapons. Meanwhile, the defense is still a rock.

And finally, there is the issue of character that was demonstrated in pulling out of the three-game losing streak in Miami, in the gutsy comeback against the Cleveland Browns on the road and on Sunday, by putting away Houston when the Texans drew close.

The Ravens will win 10 games not just because they have the talent to do so, but also because now they have the will and confidence to do so.

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