Don't tell anyone, but the Ravens have a very big, very good secret.
The Monday Night Football game against the New England Patriots was billed as a prize fight. Two playoff-caliber teams, two bitter foes, slugging their dukes out with higher stakes than usual. Well, after the Ravens came up short, something interesting happened: The media crowned the Patriots the best team in the NFL and concluded that the Ravens were pretenders, mere footnotes on what will be New England's glory ride. The power rankings were brutal, the national spotlight dimmed, and the news vans packed up and left Baltimore.
So Ben, how is this an awesome secret? You're bumming everyone out.
The Ravens play their best football when they get written off, and — don't look now — they still control their own playoff destiny. We're the same dangerous team with a top-five defense and a top-five passer. (Joe Flacco is fifth in the league for passing yards, after all). Yeah, we lost to one of the best teams in football on the road in primetime ... THE HORROR. But I know that if given a rematch, this football team has the right DNA to beat them or anyone in the NFL ... at any time ... in any location. The good news is that the national media *doesn't *know that ... and that's probably for the best.
So let's spend the rest of the regular season Ernie McCracken-ing the final three games, and let's make sure nobody pays any attention to us while we do it.
Let's finish strong!