Ravens: Confidence game
Guess I totally underestimated Cam Cameron and the attitude the Ravens would take into Cincinnati. I really believed Cam and John Harbaugh would play it safe, keep the ball on the ground and just pound out a victory against the overmatched Bengals.
What I didn't take into account seems obvious now: They had no doubts about the ability of Joe Flacco to protect the ball and put points on the board. The free-wheeling offensive attack -- which included several big plays by receiver Mark Clayton (right) -- is proof that this team isn't focused on just sneaking into the playoffs. The Ravens are starting to believe they're bound for glory and will get another chance to prove it next Sunday night against the Washington Redskins.
So, while people like me were looking for them to be a little bit defensive yesterday -- because they couldn't afford to suffer any kind of lapse against the Bengals -- the coaching staff was more concerned with building on the tremendous progress that Flacco and the offense have made over the past six weeks. That's a great sign.
What's even more encouraging is the number of points that offense has been scoring. The Ravens, who were expected to depend heavily on their terrific defense to be competitive this year, are tied for third in the AFC in scoring (292 points) and 10th overall. They've won six of their past seven games and averaged 34 points in those six victories. Who would have imagined that after so many years of offensive frustration?