Ravens will be formidable playoff opponent | Bonehead Picks

Baltimore Ravens will be a formidable AFC playoff opponent

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The marquee game of Week 6 in the NFL was the match-up between Kansas City and New England. Both quarterbacks made nice throws, there was plenty of big plays from big playmakers like Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill and New England’s Rob Gronkowski, and the game ended on a game winning field for New England in a fun game that likely had AFC playoff ramifications. There were also other important wins in the AFC including the Pittsburgh Steelers again beating the Cincinnati Bengals in dramatic fashion, the Los Angeles Chargers beating down the Cleveland Browns, and the Baltimore Ravens defensive demolition of the Tennessee Titans. The truth is that while many people feel that the favorites in the AFC are New England and Kansas City, both teams and all AFC teams should be concerned about facing the Baltimore Ravens at any point during the AFC playoffs once the regular season wins.

Joe Flacco isn’t the best quarterback in the AFC North. That title has long belonged to Pittsburgh Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger but Flacco is connecting with his new receiver corps. The Ravens decided to completely change over their receiver corps from last season and added Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead IV. The new blood in the receiver corps and in the backfield for Flacco would present a burst of energy in a playoff run for the Ravens. The Ravens have their most imposing running back since Ray Rice was in his prime with Alex Collins, who can break tackles and would be a potential asset in the playoffs.

Of course, the Ravens have long been led by talented defensive players and this team is no different. While there is no Haloti Ngata on the defensive line for opposing offensive linemen to deal with there are impact players at linebacker including longtime edge rusher Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley, who is the ideal inside linebacker. The Ravens are also strong up the middle with quality safeties in Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle and safety play is often a key to winning in the postseason with safeties like Devin McCourty and Earl Thomas, helping teams to Super Bowl wins recently.

It is also important to mention that the Ravens have won in hostile playoff environments throughout Flacco’s playoff career. They have won in New England twice and played the Patriots tough in two other losses in the most difficult place to win during the playoffs, Gillette Stadium. The Ravens also won a playoff game in Kansas City back in 2011 but their most recently playoff win was in Pittsburgh in 2015. Regardless of where they play, the Ravens will be not be nervous under head coach John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco, who still has one of the best playoff runs in NFL history under his belt. The Baltimore Ravens can be the wild card of the entire AFC playoffs.

 

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