What Mink Thinks: Ravens Have the Intangibles to Go Far

K Justin Tucker

Nobody knows how far the Ravens will go this season, whether they can reach the lofty goals every Baltimore fan had before the team went through its plague of preseason injuries. After all, it's only Week 3.

But after a third straight wild finish and second straight win, thanks to Justin Tucker's right foot, there's an undeniable mystique with this year's Ravens team.

Listen to the Ravens talk after their wins against the Chiefs and Lions and you'll hear a lot of the same words and phrases – trust, faith, love.

The statisticians and film junkies may scoff at the notion that those unquantifiable traits win football games, but Head Coach John Harbaugh certainly wouldn't – and he's won a lot of games.

It seems whenever any championship team looks back, they always talk about those intangibles that it took to win – the team chemistry built along the way, the adversities overcome together. No team has an easy path in the pros.

With the most players on injured reserve in the league, as well as several other key starters not playing with return dates still TBD (such as Ronnie Stanley), the Ravens have faced their fair share of hardship.

The day before taking off for Detroit, four more players were placed on the COVID-19 list. The Ravens were without three of their top four defensive linemen.

That hardly even got mentioned during the game's broadcast, just swept into the overall Baltimore misfortune. To be honest, it didn't seem like the Ravens paid much mind to it either. "Just a few more guys down. Oh well, keep it moving."

The intangibles don't always win games. The Ravens didn't win in Vegas to open the season despite an improbable and miraculous goal-line stand in overtime from the one-foot line.

It remains to be seen whether the Ravens' permanent losses of the season – J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Marcus Peters, to name a few – ultimately leave them just too shorthanded to keep winning. The flip side of Baltimore's thrilling back-to-back wins is they could have easily gone the other way.

But some of those unquantifiable attributes can make up for real-life deficiencies. They carry real weight. There will still surely be more kicks to the shin this season for the Ravens, but with every Band-Aid applied, it seems this team just gets a little tougher.

"To be on the sideline for that, with our players – they play their hearts out and they give you everything they've got," Harbaugh said after the win in Detroit.

"The thing that they do, they keep faith. Most times you just talk about it and dream about it but it's hard to do."

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