Through two weeks of the NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens have looked impressive. Yes, it's a small sample size, but a 2-0 record compounded with strong performances from Lamar Jackson and others has the team looking like it could be a strong contender in the conference.
It's early, but it's not crazy to think that the Ravens at least have a chance of being the team to come out of the AFC or competing for the conference title.
Yet according to ESPN's NFL analyst Steve Young, that won't be the case. Not because the Ravens aren't a good football team, but because Young believes there are others that are far superior. Those teams being the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs.
"It's a wrap. It's a wrap on the AFC except for the Chiefs," Young said on the pregame show for Monday Night Football. "I know that's going to make the Buffalo Bills mad, gonna make the Ravens, a lot teams, the Chargers. There's a lot of teams that need to play football to get there. But to me, it's a wrap to the Championship game."
Young does have the Chiefs as a team he sees making it to the conference game, but his main point is that no one is dethroning the Patriots. Not Patrick Mahomes, and not Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.
It isn't hard to understand where Young is coming from. Two dominant wins to open the season and the acquisition of star receiver Antonio Brown for Tom Brady has made an already lethal offense even more dangerous. Once again it's still early, but the defending Super Bowl champions seem to have gotten even better.
Add that to their consistent success over the past decade, and Young feels as if he knows where this season is going.
"We've seen this movie so many times, why would we think it would be anything different?" Young said. "I used to think, 'Oh you can't play that about football, there's too many variables.' My point is, the Patriots are the team. It's early September, I think it's done. It's a done deal."
As Young says there, football is a game of variables, and we're not even a quarter of the way into the season and things can certainly change. Maybe the Patriots are going to run through the league again, but maybe they won't. Maybe the same can be said for the Ravens' hot start. Only time will tell.
But, even with that, Young has a feeling it will Belichick and Brady once again rising to the top of the AFC.
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