Baltimore Ravens: Best Team Under the Radar


I get my fair balance of Mike & Mike and ESPN radio every morning at work. I’m just luxurious like that. So I hear my fair share of talk around the league.

We all hear how good Dallas finally is every five minutes. We know about Seattle’s woes or how Tom Brady has the best winning percentage at home. But what I’ve noticed is there is not too much talk about the Baltimore Ravens.

I think it’s safe to say the Ravens are the best team currently flying under the radar. Sports Illustrated power rankings have Baltimore at seventh, ahead of San Diego (not too surprisingly after a tough loss last night to Denver), Detroit and New England. Yet we hear more about these teams.

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It is difficult to believe a team with an impressive 5-2 start (first place in the AFC North), the top-ranked scoring defense and eighth-ranked offense (in terms of total offense) is getting slept on. One must assume that will change as Baltimore continues to win.

Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. The Ravens have already weathered the storm of a huge controversy before the season started and really have no need for more media attention, good or bad.

It’s not just a total lack of respect that’s causing analysts to not give Baltimore much love. The Ravens are just 1-2 against opponents with winning records. I believe most are simply waiting for Baltimore to prove themselves, especially on the road.

They certainly will get their chance to separate themselves from the pack with back-to-back road games coming up against division opponents in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Victories in both these games will ensure Baltimore climbs higher in the rankings, garnering more recognition.

We have to talk about the elephant in the room; Baltimore’s schedule. I believe it’s the main reason the Ravens don’t get enough credit. I usually don’t like being critical of a team because of their schedule, since they didn’t make it, but that’s the reality of the NFL. Baltimore has a weak schedule; in fact, compared to last year’s, it’s a walk in the park.

As you know, divisions are scheduled to play entire other divisions every year. This year the Ravens play the NFC South.

Those who read my work know that I live in Louisiana and follow the NFC South, home of my New Orleans Saints, very closely. The NFC South is bad this year. Really bad. And Baltimore has run through all of them except New Orleans, which is easily within their grasp.

Schedules aside, in the end, it’s about how you play on the field, not who you play. With Baltimore catching the Bengals at the right time, with the Bengals having not won in three weeks, I suspect the Ravens will continue to win and climb the rankings.