The Baltimore Ravens will need to win their last game of the season in order to secure their playoff spot. Next up, the team will head to Paul Brown Stadium to square off with the Cincinnati Bengals for the regular-season finale. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
By Demetrius Dillard
Special to the AFRO
The Baltimore Ravens have played like a totally different team since their last loss. They seem to have found their rhythm as the regular season draws to a close.
Once again, Baltimore administered a vicious rushing attack, this time against the visiting New York Giants, while bringing the same intensity on defense to come away with a comfortable 27-13 win on Dec. 27.
“I think we’ve got to keep going. We got momentum right now. I love the level that we’re playing at,” Gus Edwards (35), said after the win. “Guys are focused on winning games. Guys are focused on 1-0 each week. With that playoff mentality, that’s what we need right now.”
Baltimore had virtually sealed the win by the time receiver Dez Bryant began the fourth by catching a touchdown pass for a second straight game, extending its lead to 27-6. For most of the game, the Ravens disrupted the Giants’ offense. Led by linebacker Chris Board, Baltimore’s defense totaled six sacks, one of their most robust performances all season.
The win moves the Ravens to 10-5 overall and brings them closer to playoff contention. With the offense clicking fairly well and the defensive chemistry pulling together, the Ravens are headed in the right direction with one more game remaining on the regular season schedule.
Coach John Harbaugh spoke highly of his team’s ability to bounce back from mid-season woes to controlling their playoff destiny.
“Now, we have to get the job done. We have to finish the regular season up next week. We’ll be on to Cincinnati right away, making sure we take care of business with that, that’s what we have to focus on,” Harbaugh said.
Because the Cleveland Browns fell to the New York Jets, 23-16 on Dec. 27, the Ravens are now the No. 2 seed in the AFC North. The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched the division with a close win over the Indianapolis Colts.
The Ravens and Browns share the same overall record (10-5), but because the Ravens prevailed over the Browns twice this season they are ranked No. 6 in the AFC while Cleveland ranks No. 7.
Although the Bengals are arguably the worst team in the AFC North, they had surprising wins against the Steelers and the Houston Texans. so they will try to use that momentum to upset the Ravens. Baltimore’s regular-season finale will be against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Jan. 3 at 1 p.m., the worst team in the AFC North, and are heavily favored to win.