AFC Playoff Picture: Why Baltimore Ravens Are the Team to Beat
The Baltimore Ravens are the best team in the AFC.
All that aside, the Ravens are the most complete team in the AFC.
Obviously, when you're talking about the Ravens, it starts with defense. Ray Lewis has lost a step, but he's still one of the best linebackers in the league. He's like a coach on the field, and he makes the Ravens defense intimidating.
With Lewis in the middle, the Ravens defense has been one of the best in the NFL. They are second in rushing defense, and fourth in passing defense. When you can't move the ball, it's tough to beat a team.
On the offensive side of the ball, they have one of the most dynamic players in football.
Ray Rice gives defensive coordinators headaches, for good reason. He can do just about anything you could ask from a running back.
He makes plays on a regular basis, and he always seems to be underrated. With Rice in the backfield, Joe Flacco has someone to rely on.
Flacco may be shaky at times, but when he doesn't try to do too much, he's one of the most solid quarterbacks in the league. He may not blow you away, but he gets the job done.
As long as Flacco keeps his composure and doesn't turn the ball over, the Ravens offense will score points. He moves the ball, and he's good enough to win big games.
Who's the team to beat in the AFC?
The final reason the Ravens are the team to beat is that the Ravens have some quality wins this year. They've beaten the Steelers twice, the Bengals once and they even beat up on the San Francisco 49ers.
Yes, they had no-shows in each of their four losses. However, I don't think that's a big deal, for they simply didn't get excited for those games.
It sounds lame, but at the end of the day, it's true. When the Ravens gear up and prepare mentally before a game, they do well.
When they overlook an opponent, they lose those games. That won't happen in the playoffs.
Anything can happen in the NFL playoffs. A team simply needs to get hot, and they could win the whole thing.
Either way, that team will have to go through the Ravens.
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