Can You Say "Underrated"?

Brandon SeitzCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2009

BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 22:  Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens yells at a player during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Colts defeated the Ravens 17-15. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

John Harbaugh has got it right.


He’s got his Ravens on a roll. After last weekend’s blowout against the Lions, Baltimore is back into the playoff picture with three winnable games left on the schedule.


The reason? Harbaugh’s ability to drive confidence into his players and make any game winnable. He keeps them fighting. He keeps them focused.


Throw the loss against the Packers out the window. Due to key dropped passes and the absence of game-changer Ed Reed, the Ravens had a tough week while still showing they have the ability to come back from a large deficit and force a close finish.


It didn’t work out for the best, unfortunately, but Ravens fans can cast that memory aside. Next week the reeling Chicago Bears come in for a visit, having lost five of its last six games. The importance of this game lends itself to the playoff picture. A win puts Baltimore at 8-6 overall and in a good position for a final tough test at Pittsburgh.


Finishing the season at 10-6 can almost guarantee a playoff berth. There it is, I said it.


Three teams have the same record as Baltimore in the AFC – Jacksonville, Miami and New York (Jets). All three have tough schedules ahead. At least one loss can be attributed to each.


Why? Here are their remaining schedules:


Jacksonville:            vs. Indianapolis                 Dec. 17

                                @ New England                 Dec. 27

                                @ Cleveland                      Jan. 3


Miami:                     @ Tennessee                    Dec. 20

                                vs. Houston                       Dec. 27

                                vs. Pittsburgh                    Jan. 3


New York:                vs. Atlanta                         Dec. 20

                                @ Indianapolis                  Dec. 27

                                vs. Cincinnati                     Jan. 3


Remember, both Tennessee and Cleveland are coming off big performances and will be a tough test. Indy, Pittsburgh and Cinci are… well… Indy, Pittsburgh and Cinci.


This may help clear the road a bit for the Ravens pending a tough match-up in the ‘Burgh two weeks from now. It helps that Mr. Reed should be healthy again to maintain that stout defense the NFL has come to know and love.


Stay tuned you B-more lovers, you.