Baltimore Ravens: Final 6 Games Will Show Whether Ravens Are Truly Contenders

Jon ReidCorrespondent IINovember 24, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 18:  Haloti Ngata #92 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after sacking Byron Leftwich #4 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on November 18, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Ravens defeated the Steelers 13-10.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

With over half of the NFL regular season in the books, the Baltimore Ravens have positioned themselves very well to make the postseason and potentially host a playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium.

It's encouraging to see the team off to an 8-2 start and leading the division by two games with only six games to go, but this Ravens squad has a lot left to prove.

They've beat the teams they were expected to, and even squeaked out a win against the New England Patriots. The meat of their schedule, however still lies ahead.

They will be tasked with traveling to San Diego tomorrow to play a team who absolutely dominated them last season, then they'll return home to play their arch nemesis Pittsburgh Steelers, who will surely be looking for revenge after last week's loss at the hands of the Ravens.

Then they'll take on an explosive and exciting Washington team in the Battle of the Beltway, before hosting the Denver Broncos and defending champion New York Giants. Their final matchup of the season will come in Cincinnati against a Bengals team that may be fighting for their playoff lives.

Baltimore no longer has a cupcake game left on their schedule.

They've exhausted all of their "easy" games against the likes of the Raiders, Chiefs and Browns.

From here on out, the Ravens will be playing teams that all have the ability to beat them. This is the time for the Ravens to step up and prove they are still contenders, despite the slew of injuries that has plagued their team this season.


See, we all know that this team is still good, capable of winning the games they should and playing unstoppable football at home. Unfortunately, none of those things ensure playoff success, seeing as it's almost a sure bet that the Ravens will play at least one playoff game away from home, and the teams they'll be up against will all be worthy opponents.

These next six weeks will show whether the Ravens are a good team or a team that can truly contend for a Super Bowl.

Winning four of the next six would go a long way to re-assuring all the skeptics out there, not to mention lock up the AFC North division.

It will all start tomorrow, where the Ravens will have a chance to improve on last season's dreadful showing in San Diego.