BALTIMORE — As the score mounted on Sunday against the Texans, the impressive win only turned to amazement as the Ravens lead grew and the Texans’ hopes shrank.
In a dominating 41-7 win, the Ravens earned their sixth-straight win in blowout fashion yet again.
Over the six-game stretch, the Ravens have outscored their opponents 206-96, an average score per game of 34.3-16.
“You just go out there and play the best ball that you can,” Earl Thomas said. “Today was a little surprising, I hope nobody on the team gets offended, but I didn’t think we was going to do them like that. Just take it one game at a time and keep chopping wood.”
While the Ravens recent stretch is impressive, it’s more impressive considering the level of opponents that they’ve taken down during that time.
Baltimore’s opponents over the streak had a combined record of 27-29 entering Sunday, but if you take out the 0-9 Bengals, that record improves to 27-11.
And against the Seahawks, Patriots and Texans, all teams in playoff spots as of Sunday, the Ravens outscored them 108-43.
“Maybe there’s no weak links? I don’t know,” Chris Wormley said, grinning. “We just talked about the offense started a little slow today, but our defense picked it up. When we’re beating these teams convincingly, especially these top teams in the NFL, it’s a good feeling.”
Over that stretch, Lamar Jackson has launched himself into legitimate MVP consideration, which now seems to be trimming to a two-horse race between he and Russell Wilson.
Since the Cleveland loss on Sept. 29, Baltimore’s last loss, Jackson has thrown for 1,148 yards, thrown nine touchdowns and just three interceptions, including none in the last five games. He’s 98-for-145 passing — a 67.5 percent clip — and has rushed for 550 yards and five touchdowns.
The Ravens have scored 206 points during that stretch and haven’t marked under 30 points since a Cincinnati Bengals game on Oct. 13.
“Anytime you’re 8-2, you’ve got a special group of guys, and I think we really have a special group of guys,” Mark Ingram said. “Guys who understand each other. Guys who believe in each other. Guys who want to fight for each other. Guys who understand the value of preparation one day at a time. We have a goal of being champions, so we don’t have time to rest.”
Baltimore’s win-streak has put the team in strong position headed toward the end of the season, as they now hold a three-game lead over the Steelers for the AFC North lead with six games to play. They also are ahead of the Chiefs by two games, though the Chiefs have the tiebreaker over the Ravens.
The AFC South leader is Indianapolis, now two games behind the Ravens as well.
With a brutal stretch of a Monday Night game at the Rams next week, followed by dates with the 49ers at home and the Bills on the road, the Ravens have given themselves a bit of breathing room headed toward the three-quarter pole. Especially now, with the team gelling on both sides of the ball, hopes are sky high.
“It’s a brotherhood here in Baltimore,” Jackson said. “We see each other every day. We’re with each other each and every day. We’re with each other [in] OTAs, camp, and we’ve just got to build. We see that everyone wants the same thing. We’re chasing something right now, and we’re trying to get it.”
With still a lot of season left to go, however, the Ravens will still need to go through tougher teams than they’ve already faced.
But it’s hard not to look at the victories they’ve earned, and how they’ve earned them, and not be impressed with the way they’re being accomplished.
“We have to keep it nice and tight, and keep it locked in on what we have to get done one day at a time,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I’m very confident that these guys will do that. They understand that. I know they understand it. So, they have a lot of faith. Faith is just a substance of things unseen. They believe in one another, and I’m excited about that.”
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