Due to the trend of losing the tough games in such frustrating fashion this season, many fans of the Baltimore Ravens feel that the team has not earned the right to play in the post season. However, as everyone probably knows by now, if the Ravens win this Sunday at the Oakland Raiders, they will indeed have earned a spot in he playoffs as either the 5th or 6th seed. Depending on how the New York Jets do when they host the Cincinnati Bengals in the Sunday night game will dtermine which of those two Wild Card seeds we end up with.
However, like it or not, if they win, they absolutely did earn the right to play for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. While many people think they have little or no shot at the Big Game, we've all seen what can happen once the regular season is history and the hot team usually comes out on top. We saw the Ravens go from the Wild Card to the AFC Championship Game in 2008 and should also recall that we won the 2001 Super Bowl from the Wild Card slot.
The feeling that this team doesn't deserve a post season berth is one for debate. There are 20 other teams that will be sitting home when the playoffs start and when you look at those teams, I find it hard to spot one that is more "deserving" or "earned" the right to go while we didn't or don't. Yes, the Ravens lost games they should have won, but against either first place teams or teams already in (Green Bay Packers) or still fighting (Pittsburgh Steelers) for a playoff spot. Every other team either already out of contention or still remaining had embarrassing losses to team of significantly lesser quality than the ones the Ravens lost to. Repeatedly not being able to win those close games to playoff contenders might end up being the Ravens downfall and they could easily be "one-and-done" in the playoffs, but so will three other teams on the first weekend of the post season. At the same time, the entire league knows the Ravens can do a lot of damage once they get their act together and if they do, can go as far as they want. By this I mean, the Ravens have beaten themselves as much this season if not more than the teams they lost to in 2009. If they can limit their mistakes and penalties, there is every reason to believe that they can go far into the playoffs and would make every team they face not look forward to the match up.
So before you go and say that we don't deserve to be part of the run for the Super Bowl, take a look at the "leftovers" and tell me who else "earned" that right more than the Ravens did by coming so close so many times against some very good teams that have also "earned" that right!?