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The way we were
Think back to the last Ravens Super Bowl team in 2000. They had a great defense (as they do this year) and a suspect offense (just like this year). That Ravens team started out gangbusters, winning five of their first six games. That's when the wheels came off. Those Ravens would not score an offensive touchdown for five consecutive games. Five!
They were able to win the first two games but dropped the next three. Things looked pretty bleak, and nobody was talking about going to the Super Bowl, but that's exactly where they ended up. That Ravens team beat the New York Giants 34-7 in Tampa, capping off what was known in Baltimore as "Festivus Maximus."
Although this year's defense (ranked No. 3 overall) is not of the same caliber as the record-setting 2000 defense, it's still the class of the league. And even though Baltimore has lost three games so far this season, they were really only out of the Tennessee game in the season's second week, losing 26-13.
Sure, the Jacksonville loss was ugly, but it was a learning experience. The problem is Baltimore slipped back into the same rut against Seattle, running Ray Rice only five times. If kick returner David Reed hadn't fumbled twice, it would have been a whole different game.
It's better to get these games out of the way now so the Ravens can handle their business down the stretch and enter the postseason playing their best football. With the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns twice, and the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers remaining on the schedule, Baltimore can realistically win six of the last seven, maybe all seven.
Winning six would give them a 12-4 record, just like the Super Bowl year of 2000.