The Ravens are 5-3 and sit atop the AFC North with the weekend to watch everybody else battle it out.
Here are my thoughts after Baltimore's 27-22 win in Tampa Bay, all in 50 words or less:
Baltimore's offensive line was dominant in Tampa as the Ravens rushed for 204 yards in the second half. Tyler Linderbaum spent the night tossing Buccaneers linebackers out of the club. The Ravens will be tough to beat if the offensive line keeps playing at that level.
Linderbaum is a part of a rookie class that's rolling. Isaiah Likely's breakout game in Tampa should be a huge confidence boost. Kyle Hamilton was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded defender Thursday night, and Jordan Stout averaged 52.5 yards per punt.
Likely received a team-high 91.3 run blocking grade from Pro Football Focus in Week 8. That's another reason Baltimore ran the ball so effectively. The better Likely blocks, the better his chances to see regular playing time even when Mark Andrews is healthy.
Justin Houston looks like he's 23 years old, not 33. Did anybody think he'd be leading the Ravens with six sacks after Week 8, even though he missed three games? Great player, great teammate, great move to re-sign him.
Whenever you think about jumping off Lamar Jackson's bandwagon, think twice. His resiliency is as impressive as his talent. As Kevin Zeitler said, "Lamar is truly a home run just waiting to happen, you never know when it's going to come." Perfect description.
Geno Stone looks like Chuck Clark 2.0. Stone is flourishing as a starter in wake of Marcus Williams' injury and led the Ravens with six tackles and made a heady pass breakup against the Bucs. Stone has only started four games but is playing like a vet.
Demarcus Robinson made some serious run-after-catch moves against Tampa. He joins Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay as receivers who can turn short throws into big gains. That's an asset the Ravens can use more often to get the ball out of Jackson's hands quickly.
That was an intelligent special teams play Justice Hill made, shoving a Buccaneers player into the punt returner to force a fumble. The Ravens' special teams are truly special – another reason to feel optimistic about the team's potential to start stacking wins.
This is a great time for the Ravens to have a long break before Monday night's game in New Orleans, followed by a bye win in Week 10. Andrews, Bateman, Gus Edwards and others will have extra days to nurse their injuries.
Seven of Baltimore's last nine games are against opponents who are currently 2-5. The only exceptions are the Falcons (3-4) in Week 16 and the Bengals (4-3) in Week 18. That's another reason to think the Ravens could start rolling.