The Ravens are on a roll, to put it mildly. They’ve won six straight games for the first time since 2000 -- as a reminder, they won the Super Bowl that year -- taking down Seattle, New England and Houston in the process.
Not only has Baltimore beaten a number of fellow contenders in the last month, but they’ve done so in convincing fashion. The combined score of those games? 108-43.
They’ve won so convincingly, in fact, that national media members are seriously asking if there’s a new best team in the NFL. The NBC Sports Sunday Night Football crew took a crack at answering this very question after the Ravens’ latest blowout win.
“I’d have a hard time coming up with one better,” analyst Mike Florio lets out after a long pause to think of other alternatives.
“We do power rankings every Tuesday, and they were number one this week, but almost by default,” he continues later in the segment. “Once they beat the Seahawks in Seattle that was when they found the gas pedal, and they haven’t had a letdown...they’re hitting on all cylinders.”
The Ravens are still far from a consensus choice. While their body of work is impressive and no team in the league is hotter -- the next-longest active win streak is the Seahawks with three straight -- it’s easy to question if this run will last.
Former defensive back Rodney Harrison questions the team’s experience come playoff time, giving the ultimate edge to the Patriots. Former coach Tony Dungy points out the Ravens defense has struggled at times this season, though he also mentions how the “offense is so difficult to prepare for.”
The group’s praise for the Ravens offense is effusive. Mike Tirico calls it “the hardest one to stop right now in the league,” and Florio points out their fearless leader, Lamar Jackson, “is not affected by the moment...not going to get freaked out in the playoffs.”
The Ravens own the NFL’s second-best point-differential, and are one game back of the best record in football, owning the tiebreaker over the current AFC one-seed Patriots.
Thanks to their schedule, Baltimore has had and will continue to have plenty of opportunities to prove themselves against the other best teams in football. They’ve already beaten the Patriots and Seahawks, and coming up the next three weeks are the 6-4 Rams, the 9-1 49ers and the 7-3 Bills.
Dungy puts it best when describing the team’s success.
“They’re having fun, they have confidence,” the longtime coach explains. “They’re playing like they’re the best team in football. They feel that.”
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