Baltimore Ravens: The Silver Lining to a Frustrating 2012 Season

Jon ReidCorrespondent IIDecember 12, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 25:  Terrell Suggs #55 and Paul Kruger #99 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrate a defensive stop on third down against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 25, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

With a 9-4 record, the Baltimore Ravens have positioned themselves nicely to win the AFC North division and book their ticket to the postseason yet again.

The way in which they've compiled their 9-4 record, however, has been anything but impressive.

It's been a struggle all season offensively, and the once potent and stingy defense now ranks among the poorest in the league in both passing and rushing.

Injuries have plagued the Ravens, with Terrell Suggs missing action early on, Ray Lewis tearing his triceps, Pernell McPhee missing time, Lardarius Webb sidelined for the season and Jimmy Smith going down as well.

As it stands, there aren't many prognosticators who foresee the Ravens making a deep run in the postseason, or even winning a playoff game.

Not all is lost in Baltimore, though.

While having to let your offensive coordinator go 13 games into the season is never ideal, Cam Cameron was simply that bad and it was the right decision.

How many times do you see a member of a team's coaching staff "relieved of their duties" with a 9-4 record?

The fact that Cam Cameron is no longer calling the plays is something Ravens fans should look forward to.

This should excite Ravens fans, despite the fact that the offense will have to get used to a new coordinator with the playoffs just a few short weeks away.

The second cause for optimism is that both Lewis and Suggs are expected to return in the near future.

This should come as a huge relief to Baltimore fans. Not only will the dynamic duo be back in time for the playoffs, but both of them may be back as soon as this Sunday against the Denver Broncos. This means that both of the Ravens' key defensive weapons will have time to work out any kinks they may have in their game before the real test of playoff football arrives.

What's more is, for the first time in years, the Ravens haven't had major expectations bestowed upon them through 13 regular season games.

From here on out, this team has a chance to prove that the preseason championship chatter wasn't misplaced, and that this team does have the ability to win this season.

It would be foolish to say all has gone according to plan or even come close.

There are, however, positive things for fans to look forward to as the regular season comes to a close.