Ravens

Simms 'not blown away' by Ravens, ranks them 4th best in AFC

Ravens

The Ravens played a weird game in Week 6 against the Eagles.

On one hand, they dominated the Philadelphia offense for most of the game, were all over Carson Wentz defensively and Lamar Jackson broke out in the running game on the other side of the ball. Then on the other hand, they allowed Philly to come all the way back with a chance to tie at the end with a two-point conversion. 

But the conversion failed, the Ravens won and improved to 5-1 on the season. Crisis averted, right?

Yes, but the win had a different feel to it than Ravens fans had grown accustomed to over the last two years. As NBC Sports' Chris Simms, -- who was "shocked" Baltimore allowed a battered Eagles team back in the game -- said on Pro Football Talk Live, this iteration of the Ravens looks different.

"I'm not blown away by the Ravens right now," Simms said. "They're still really, really damn good, but I think maybe there's a few teams in the AFC that I might rank ahead of them right now.

"I'm gonna go Tennessee and Kansas City above them, and I'm probably gonna go Pittsburgh from what I've seen the last two weeks from them too. It's a slight edge but Baltimore, letting up big plays that way, the offense is kind of hit or miss the last few weeks."

A lot of teams would like to have the Ravens' problems right now.

"They're really good, but we don't know if they're the best team in the AFC right now," Simms said.

 

A bunch of Washington Football fans would sign up for some of that right about now. But in a loaded AFC, the defending champs and the Titans -- who beat the Ravens last year -- look as though they've sustained the magic they captured last winter. Not to mention the undefeated Steelers looking sharp with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger. 

There's simply less room for error in this conference so the Ravens can't afford to have a lapse in play-calling or sputter offensively when they can't run all over the league's elite.  

"To me some peculiar plays and defensive calls by the Ravens just continuing to blitz and just leave their guys with no help in the secondary," Simms said. "That let the Eagles kind of hang around and Carson Wentz made a lot of big plays."

The Eagles were playing with one opening-day starter on the offensive line and their leading receiver was an undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion. Talent can hide mistakes in the regular season, but come playoff time you just can't have any of it if you expect to win.

"I don't know, they just don't seem as dominant as they did last year to me," Simms said.

A win's a win though, and the Ravens will have an extra week to polish some things off and prepare for a huge game against the Steelers in Week 8. That game should go a long way in deciding the division and in the first year of an expanded playoff format teams will want to secure as many home games as they can.