Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens Make a Statement, but What Is It, Exactly?

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Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens Make a Statement, but What Is It, Exactly?
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens have a chance to establish an identity after sweeping Pittsburgh

When Joe Flacco drove the Baltimore Ravens 92 yards and threw a winning touchdown pass to complete a season sweep of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he most assuredly made a statement.

Just what that statement is remains a mystery. There wasn't a single person on this planet who expected Flacco to complete a winning drive as important as this one was. But now that he has, Flacco and his teammates have an opportunity to clarify exactly which statement they want this win to be.

The series sweep is Baltimore's first since 2006, and this is the strongest they've looked since that season, in which they won 13 games before a letdown at home against Peyton Manning, the ultimate Raven killer.

Save for a dreadful 2007 campaign, Baltimore has enjoyed its most consistent run of success in franchise history.  They've appeared in the playoffs each of the last three seasons, including an AFC Championship Game appearance in Flacco's rookie year 2008, and a victory in Foxborough over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Despite relatively consistent success, the Ravens have been just the opposite. Their performances throughout that stretch have ranged from brilliant to frustrating, which most assuredly led head coach John Harbaugh to dedicate the win to Ravens fans.

Unlike past Ravens teams, the 2011 edition has earned itself the type of win that can send a ripple effect through the league. How they respond after a win like this will truly define what statement the Baltimore Ravens want to make to the rest of the league. That response starts at the top.

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