NFL Baltimore Ravens: Intangibles, Little Things Adding Up to Victories

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NFL Baltimore Ravens: Intangibles, Little Things Adding Up to Victories
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Hear those Footsteps? Here come the Ravens

You hear those footsteps?

The Baltimore Ravens have won four games in a row and are playing loose and fast—their brand of December football. But what is it? What makes a team like the Ravens hardened as the season progresses, while others, like the San Francisco 49ers, appear to be pretenders? In the case of the Ravens, it's a number of things.

They've been winning with their leader in street clothes! The defense hasn't missed a beat with Jameel McClain stepping in for Ray Lewis, who hasn't played and hasn't needed to. The emergence of deep threat Torrey Smith has helped further the maturation of quarterback Joe Flacco. There are also underlying reasons as to why Baltimore sits atop the AFC North and looking strong at 10-3 with three games to go.

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