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Derrick Mason declares Super Bowl or bust for Baltimore

For those of you who have purchased the PFT Season Preview magazine, you know by now that at least one of the four PFT scribes feels very strongly about the prospects in 2010 for the Baltimore Ravens.

One of the Ravens feels that way, too.

“Anything less than a Super Bowl win, really, is a disappointment to us,” receiver Derrick Mason said on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, via the team’s official website.

“I think we’ve done more than enough over the last three years to put ourselves in a position to win a championship,” Mason said. “To do all we’ve done and not come out of this thing with a championship would be disheartening, especially for me because I’m looking at one, two years tops before I leave.”

We agree with Mason, but that doesn’t mean he should happily be stitching the target onto the team’s back. Let the Jets and the Bengals and the Colts and the Chargers carry the weight of the preseason expectations. The Ravens have been coasting at the edge of the radar screen; Mason’s comments could pull them right into the heart of the swooping white line.

Even if that happens, we (I) still like Baltimore’s chances. The key will be to take care of business in the division. In 2008, the Ravens lost three to the Steelers, who won the AFC North and the Super Bowl. In 2009, the Ravens were swept by the Bengals, who ended up winning the division.

Both years, the Ravens scratched and clawed their way to wild-card berths, scoring a total of three postseason wins. This year, if the Ravens can win the division and earn a bye, they could be in position to return to Dallas and bookend the manner in which they closed down Texas Stadium with a proper christening of its replacement.