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November 29, 2011

Ravens: The past is the past

If you've been reading my column, you know that no one has harped more about the Ravens' problems against struggling teams more than I have, but I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that it won't be a problem any more.

Here's why: The Ravens suffered their apparent letdowns at a point in the season when they were going back and forth between high-intensity games against really good teams (and winning most of them convincingly) and seemingly less-significant games against teams that they were expected to beat. It's on them that they didn't beat some of those teams, because they'd be sitting pretty in the AFC home-field derby right now if they had won even one of the three games they lost, but the past is the past.

The difference now is multi-fold:

1. The Ravens will have plenty of time to moderate their emotions after their uplifting Thursday night victory over the 49ers. Ten days between games is almost like coming off a bye week, which will help the Ravens get healthy and mentally refreshed.

2. There are no more of those super-intensity games until the season finale against the Bengals on the road, and who knows if that one will still be significant. If the Ravens take care of business in Cleveland, that will be the end of the emotional roller coaster. They'll just need to remain on an even keel to get through the games they are supposed to win.

3. There can be no doubt in any corner of the lockerroom that the Ravens have no margin for error the rest of the way if they want to be playing home games in the postseason. Every game is a must-win game, and the Ravens have won every game they've felt that way about this year.

Been wrong before, of course, but I can't see the Browns making a dent in the Ravens defense this weekend. The key for the Ravens is pretty simple. Don't turn the ball over and the rest will take care of itself.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 12:41 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Just football
        

Comments

Hope you're right Peter. I think it's critical that they continue to play well against the Browns. Cleveland gave the Bengals a fight on Sunday in Cinn. They have nothing to lose. This week doesn't mean much to the Ravens, as long as they win. If they lose, it will mean a whole lot.
I think the Ravens will TCOB on Sunday.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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