Monday Morning Quarterback: Magic Numbers

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Good football teams, like the Ravens, take 'em one at a time. Bad writers like me can take 'em any way we like 'em.

The way it looks from this keyboard, if the Ravens can win 2 of their last 4 games, they've got a great chance to play playoff football. Who would of thunk it!

This from a team that started the season with a rookie head coach, rookie quarterback and the NFL's youngest offensive line. It looked like a 4- to 6-win team; 8-8 was a reach, and that was before we knew they'd lead the league in players on injured reserve. Don't look now, but this is one overachieving bunch.

So here's the deal, while the coaching code requires John Harbaugh to proclaim how tough that road game against the one-win Bengals figures to be, I've already given the Ravens the win. That makes their record 8-4 and means if they can win 2 of the remaining 4 games, they will get to 10 wins, and that's likely enough to earn them a spot in the postseason party.

They couldn't have done it without Joe Flacco (no interceptions in the last 5 wins), an offensive line that refuses to give in to repeated injuries and consistently wins the time of possession. Baltimore fans are geeked over Cam's O with an attitude.

In the end, it's all about team, but let's not kid ourselves. The recipe for winning Ravens football is still DEFENSE!

Just ask the Eagles, who have a quarterback controversy of the worst kind: two guys who are both stinking up the joint.

How bad is it when Ed Reed

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has more return yards (151) than Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb have combined passing yards (120). By the way, were you listening to my radio show last week when I said I had a hunch that Ed Reed might jump a pass and take one home? In the past I've predicted trouble in the sub-prime sector, and a decline in auto sales for the Big 3.

Enough on my mentalist powers, the Ravens defense – embarrassed by the Giants last week – showed the Eagles that last week's game was a blip, not a trend. This time the Ravens defense sent a Pro Bowl quarterback to the bench for the first time in his career for poor performance. Rex's "D" pitched a shutout in the biggest game of the season and assured the Ravens, and their fans, that there would be several more BIG games in this amazing season.

Point Afters

  • How 'bout those rookie head coaches. John Harbaugh, former Ravens assistant Mike Smith and Jim Zorn have the Ravens, Falcons and Redskins at 7-4. Tony Sparano has taken a 1-15 Dolphins team to 6-5.
  • Raven Jameel McClain, a Philadelphia native, blocks an Eagles' punt for his 2nd safety of the season and gets my Fred Dryer award. Dryer, a defensive end, who later became TV detective "Hunter," had 2 safeties in the same quarter for the Rams in 1973. McClain is a safety away from an NFL record – no player has ever had 3 in a season. Former Baltimore Colt Ted Hendricks is the career leader with 4.
  • Still kickin': Matt Stover 2 of 2 from 40 plus.
  • Jared Gaither[
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](/team/index.html) has talent and toughness, the former Terp has played two games with one arm. * The Titans' 1st loss means the 1972 Dolphins pop the cork, but will the 0-14 Buccaneers of 1976 do the same if the Lions get their 1st win?

3 and out!

Scott

Long-time and respected broadcast journalist Scott Garceau has covered Baltimore sports, including all of its pro football teams, for the last 30 years. Scott, who was the radio voice of Ravens football for the team's first 10 seasons (1996-2005), is a seven-time Maryland Sportscaster of the Year. Garceau is also honored as Baltimore's Pro Football Hall of Fame selector/voter. A native of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, where he is a member of the area Hall of Fame, Scott has covered the NFL since 1971.

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