NFL.com Labels Ravens "Only" a Playoff Contender?

Michael Lombardi of NFL.com, did a story recently about "Breaking Down the AFC Picture..." and only rates the Baltimore Ravens as a playoff contender. He lists the team he thinks are among the better ones in the conference in five categories, Blue Chip, Red Chip, Green, Orange and Brown Chip. For the purposes of this story, the Blue Chip are the Super Bowl contenders and the Red Chip are "only" playoff contenders.

Well folks, that might be good enough for rmany teams and their fans, and it might even be good enough for some Ravens fans, but I am here to tell you that if the Ravens aren't considered Super Bowl contenders, then something in this crazy world of ours is very, very wrong!

Who then does Lombardi consider the top Super Bowl contenders in the AFC?

While I have zero problems with the defending AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts, to ignore our Ravens while touting the greatness of the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins above us is akin to fighting words where I came from! Yeah, the Chargers have been the darlings of the football world for a few years now, but what team has positioned itself to add an explosive offense to its already dominating defense like Baltimore has done in the recent off season? Yeah, the Dolphins have added the greatness that is WR Brandon Marshall to a lackluster offense, but how have they fared against the Ravens the past two years, as we've manhandled them in their own crib both times? What other team has won three road playoff games over the past two years with an offense that pales in comparison to what the team will put out there when they open the 2010 regular season in New York against the Jets on Monday Night Football?

Along with the Ravens, Lombardi feels the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans fall into that "Playoff Contender" category. Other than the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, that pretty much are all the AFC teams that stand a chance of finishing over .500 in 2010. So what, those teams are decent and some of them are pretty damn good, but to bunch them all in one group while the Colts, Chargers and...Dolphins (!) stand out above them seems a bit ridiculous to me!

I realize that this labels me as the homer that I do not pretend not to be, but isn't pretty much every other "expert" touting the Ravens among the best in the conference, much less the entire league for their 2010 predictions? Lombardi states how he thinks the Ravens might still be standing come January, but what about February, which is what we are shooting for isn't it?

I've ranted and raved enough for one story, so you can take over from here, Ravens fans, and post your incredulous remarks below mine!

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