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Blog Entry

Are the Ravens the best the AFC can offer?

Posted on: November 7, 2011 12:19 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 12:20 am
 
T. Smith catches the game-winning pass from J. Flacco to beat Pittsburgh (AP).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For most of Sunday night’s game, it looked like Joe Flacco was going to be just good enough to lead the Ravens to an important AFC North defeat. A Baltimore loss that would have put Pittsburgh in a great position for a run in the second half of the season that would make the Steelers the AFC conference title favorite.

Joe Flacco fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter, and then, after the Steelers scored to take the lead, the Ravens went three and out. They were done. And it wasn’t the least bit surprising.

Then, the Ravens -- and Flacco -- redeemed their season.

Despite the fact receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin dropped passes late in the fourth quarter on Baltimore’s final drive, Flacco, who seems to have regressed as a quarterback this year, never lost his poise. He threw a gorgeous 26-yard touchdown pass to Smith with eight seconds to play to provide the game-winning score and beat the Steelers 23-20.

And now that Baltimore has won, sweeping the season series with Pittsburgh, are we silly to consider the Ravens the class of the AFC? It’s hard to say. Baltimore has played some horrendously bad games, losing to the Titans and the Jaguars. But they’ve also beaten the Steelers twice and knocked off the Jets and Texans. At this point, who else could be the AFC’s elite?

Not the Steelers. They’ve taken two bad losses to the Ravens, and that’s going to be a big problem if these two squads end up tied in the standings at the end of the year. The Patriots? It’s hard to take them seriously when their pass defense is so bad. The Bills? No, they looked shaky today in losing to the Jets. The Jets? Just not seeing it this year. The Texans? Maybe, but they still have to win their division and they’ve never done it before.

But what about -- and I would have laughed at this a few weeks ago -- the Bengals? Cincinnati and Baltimore play Nov. 20 and Jan. 1, and with their win at Tennessee today, the Bengals are 6-2, tied with the Ravens for first place in the AFC North.

The Ravens have a great defense, but so do the Bengals. As far as offensive skill players are concerned, the teams are evenly matched, but Cincinnati has been more consistent in playing solid football this season.  Still, I’m not convinced about Cincinnati quite yet.

The question: are the Ravens good enough to challenge the Packers for the title of NFL best? You could say yes after watching tonight’s game, but I’m not seeing yet, mainly because I don’t trust Flacco as an elite quarterback. Even with his 92-yard game-winning drive in the final 2:13, even with his 14 third-down conversions (the most against the Steelers since the 1970 merger), and even with his poise on the final drive, I’m not sure the Ravens are the AFC’s elite simply because I don’t believe in Flacco.

But you know what? “I don’t care,” Flacco said on NBC after the game. “We’re excited we won the football game.”

He should be. It was a hell of a win. But showing us that Baltimore is the AFC’s best? I’m just not ready to buy in yet.

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Comments

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:53 am
 

Are the Ravens the best the AFC can offer?

I had that name long ago. I am not so much the Plamer fan anymore. ]After I posted I saw what name I posted under & went change it it. No luck!

As far as anyone saying they would not wina game, there were many trust me. 



Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:51 am
 

Are the Ravens the best the AFC can offer?

Whose gonna be at the top of the pile when it's all over?

THE JETS ARE!!

Whose going to the Superbowl this year?

THE JETS ARE!!

I don't see any clear favorite in the AFC right now to be honest. I think that while the rest of the Ravens offense improved, Flacco regressed, and the Steelers haven't run the ball too well so far, and I still don't think Big Ben is that good. Cincy really impresses me this year, but I dont see Dalton taking these guys to SB this year, maybe in the next few years tho. Pats and Bills don't play defense, and the Jets offense is inconsistent at best. But the thing about the Jets is that they've proven that their offense CAN score. Sanchez CAN put up a big time performance. Shonn Greene CAN stomp. So of course, when Katzowitz is thinking of reasons that a team can't win the AFC, Katzowitz says "The Jets? Meh, idk, I just don't see it this year". Anti-NY-bias folks: the new age NY-bias. Anyway this conference is gonna come down to whose firing on all cylinders at the right time. Steelers and Patriots are gonna be too old to get it done come January IMO. The Bengals and Bills are too young to get it done come January. I think the Ravens and the Jets are gonna meet up in the AFCG, and, since the Ravens already beat up on the Jets when their OLine was in pieces...Whose gonna rep this conference?


THE JETS ARE!!      
;     &nbs
p;     


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:47 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:40 am
 

Are the Ravens the best the AFC can offer?

I love the hate the Bengals get. Before the season starts I heard Bengals will be 0-16. Now, I hear they have not beaten  anybody.
They don't make the schedule, they play it. They Beat the Browns on the road
weak one. No big, deal unless you consider rookie QB(No off season work) on road his first start. Lose to lousy
Denver team on road. Next week a lose the not so sucky 49's at home. Both games were winnable games a young team let
get away. Then we have Red Hot Buffalo come to town. NO WAY they can win this
one.... 23-20 win. Next up JAX on road. 30-10 win. (Baltimore loses in Jax. Pitt barely beats Jax at home by 3). So we beat a nobodey that beats Bal. & Pitt can barely handle. Colts. 27-17, well uh ..... Next up Seattle
on road. NO WAY this young team can go to the west coast and win in the loudest
place in the NFL. 34-12 win. Titans at home.... Ok Begals it's been fun but reality will set in now that you have
a tuff road team with a winning record. Bengals win 27-14. Almost every weak I hear how the Begals can't win this game. when they win, I hear that team sucks!
What will you haters say this week when the Bengals beat Stealers at home & Ravens on the road the next two weeks? I can't wait!



brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:09 am
This comment has been removed.

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dookfoot
Since: Nov 5, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:54 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:34 am
 

Are the Ravens the best the AFC can offer?

sorry, Montweet, I didn't read your post before I put mine in and almost quoted you word for word on the consistency issue.



Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:32 am
 

Are the Ravens the best the AFC can offer?

     The Ravens have a maddening tendency to play up (or down) to their competition.  When they are on, they can beat anyone, anywhere.  But then they can turn around and play horribly like against Jacksonville and for a half against the Cardinals.  I will, however, give Jax credit for playing with a lot of heart even though they were 1-5 at the time. The Ravens can definitely be the class of the AFC but I would like to see more consistency from them.



Since: Aug 19, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 8:44 am
 

Are the Ravens the best the AFC can offer?

It's still unclear who is the best team in the AFC and I'd still put my money on a fully healthy Steeler squad. The Bengals are a nice story, but they are not a top team yet and their defense isn't in the same league as the Ravens, Jets or Steelers. And remember, the Ravens, along with losses to the Titans and Jags also almost lost to the Cardinals. They're beginning to take on the characteristics of a team that plays up (or down) to the level of their competition.




Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 5:35 am
 

Are the Ravens the best the AFC can offer?

Harbaugh v Harbaugh in the Super Bowl could happen. But don't forget the Bengals who will win the division with a split against Pitt and Bal in their four games.


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