Baltimore Proves They Are Still Serious Contenders

Laurie RillCorrespondent INovember 4, 2009

BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 1:  Brandon Marshall #15 of the Denver Broncos is tackled by the Baltimore Ravens defense at M&T Bank Stadium on November 1, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Broncos 30-7. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

Many people thought Denver would beat Baltimore last Sunday. ( Im not afraid to admit that I was worried going into this game at 3-3. )The Vegas casinos disagreed, making Baltimore two-point favorites. But nobody, not us, not the odds-makers, not even the hard-core Baltimore fans predicted the undefeated Broncos suffering a 30-7 beat down.

The game served to remind everyone that the Ravens,despite their recent three-game losing streak, are still a top Super Bowl contender.

Wait, what? That's a role reversal: a 4-3 team is now an AFC title contender and a 6-1 team has the flaws?

Is this about Denver playing badly, or Baltimore Playing great? Of course hearing the Critics its allllll Denver playing Badly. No mention of Baltimore possiably FORCING them to play badly.

Many of the Broncos' critics are treating this loss to Baltimore as though everything they assumed about Denver prior to the start of the season was right on. They act like the Broncos' first loss of the year proves that Denver was a fraud and a sign of more bad things to come.

Simply put, those assessments are an overreaction. The Broncos didn't luck into the No. 1 defense in all of the NFL. They didn't lead the league in sacks by accident. Their 6-0 start before finally losing to Baltimore last Sunday was no fluke. They played their best and laid it all out on the table but Baltimore played better.

For the first time in a month, the Ravens didn't let the game come down to the last play. Instead, they left the lasting impression by pounding one of the NFL's three remaining undefeated teams.

The Ravens' run defense, which had allowed back-to-back 100-yard rushers, bounced back by limiting Denver to 66 yards on 19 carries.

Their secondary, which had given up 21 passes of 20 yards or more in its first six games, allowed only one against the Broncos, Brandon Marshall, yes BRANDON MARSHALL Denver's No. 1 receiver, was held to four catches for 24 yards.

So is Baltimore back? The road ahead is long and Treturous. The Ravens Travel to Cincinnati next week after losing to them previously this season in a 17-14 loss. Upcoming games consist of the 7-0 Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Meeting GreenBay at Lambeau Field. It won't be easy, but it can be done.

Theres no question Baltimore is flying high on offense. With Flacco able to average 30+ points a game it's no doubt that they have a quarterback that can get the job done, and come back BIG in games.

The obvious question remains; Can our defense remain dominant?

As long as Reed keeps forcing fumbles, Ray Lewis keeps tackling and Jarret Johnson keeps blitzing we should all be prepared to see ALOT of Baltimore in post season!