Ravens Doing Their Best Charlie Sheen Impression…. WINNING!
Ever since winning the Super Bowl in 2001, the expectations of the Ravens have been high – nothing less than a Super Bowl trip is expected and certainly not accepted. While the expectations were high, the Ravens pretty much alternated winning and losing seasons every year not really coming close to the Super Bowl until they decided to part ways with their Super Bowl-wining coach in 2008. They hired John Harbaugh and drafted Joe Flacco and in the next season the Ravens unexpectedly made it to the AFC Championship game and since then have made the playoffs each of the following three seasons.
Currently the Ravens are 9-2 and can clinch the division title on Sunday with a win against the Steelers and a Bengals loss. However, this does not seem to be good enough for a lot of Ravens fans as the radio airwaves and conversations around town have a much more negative tone instead of a positive one. The goal is to win games, yet apparently winning nine of the eleven games isn’t good enough for some people. It’s time for those people to shut their mouth.
Last year the Giants were 7-7 heading into Week 16 with two bad losses to the cellar dweller Washington Redskins. The Giants won their last two regular season games and then rode that momentum all the way to an improbable Super Bowl win. In the NFL record books will there be an asterisk saying the Giants won the Super Bowl but lost to the Redskins and Seahawks during the regular season? Absolutely not, all it will say is that they won.
Last year the Ravens lost four games to teams with losing records, however the Ravens nearly made it to the Super Bowl before losing in heartbreaking fashion in the playoffs. If Lee Evans catches a pass or Billy Cundiff hits a chip shot field goal, the Ravens likely go the Super Bowl… and it wouldn’t have mattered that they lost the Jags, Seahawks, Titans and Chargers in the regular season. Would any Ravens fans have not been happy with winning the AFC Championship because the Ravens lost to four non- playoff teams in the regular season? NO! Yet those are the same people who are now saying that being 9-2 isn’t good enough. To them, winning ugly isn’t good enough despite the fact that the team who is the current Super Bowl champion won ugly in seemingly every game last season.
I am not naive enough to think that the Ravens have played their best in every game and I agree they have won a couple of games where they have been outplayed and also a bit lucky. I get that, but I also get that it doesn’t matter how you win games, it only matters THAT you win games. Does the Ravens victory against the Steelers not count as much as the other wins because Roethlisberger wasn’t playing? I don’t think so. Sure I would love the Ravens to play better on the road and win more games in the fashion they did against the Raiders instead of how they won against the Chargers. Who wouldn’t? However it doesn’t matter.
The Patriots finished the 2007 regular season undefeated and seemingly set every offensive record, yet it was the Giants who hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. The Packers barely made the playoffs in 2011 yet made an improbable run to the Super Bowl where they beat the Steelers who had been one of the best teams in the NFL in the regular season. A year later the Packers blew teams out in route to a 15-1 regular season, but it was the 9-7 Giants who got the last laugh.
Winning is all that matters in the NFL and for the last four seasons and 11 games the Ravens have won a heck of a lot more game than they lost, in fact more games than any other team in the NFL
If anyone doesn’t like the way the Ravens they win, stop watching. I personally will take a 9-2 record and a fifth consecutive trip to the playoffs any day.
Hopefully the “ugly” wins continue all the way to the Super Bowl!