The Baltimore Ravens enter their bye week with a record of 5-2, good for the second-best record in their conference. This puts them on pace for an AFC North title and a realistic shot at representing a weaker-than-usual AFC in the Super Bowl.
Yet the mood around the team doesn't feel like that right now. Part of that has to do with the Ravens latest effort, which was a 43-13 loss to the only AFC team with a better record, the Houston Texans. This was the kind of loss that is extremely deflating and can seriously derail a team's playoff chances if it's taken the wrong way.
The loss to the Texans exposed problems. Some were more unfamiliar, like a vulnerable secondary and a run defense that seems to have trouble stopping anyone. Some, though, were all too familiar, like questionable offensive play-calling and a quarterback who plays like a shell of himself on the road.
Even with all the problems that the Ravens have, they are still a team with Super Bowl aspirations. Their talent is still very elite, even with a defense that will not have Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis for the rest of the season. They also have valuable postseason experience that would make them a dangerous team, even if they sneak in as a wild card.
Here are some obstacles that, if not addressed, will likely be what prevent the Ravens from winning the Super Bowl this year.