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Derrick Mason believes Ravens are a dark horse contender to win the AFC

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Mason stated his former team still has the ability to win the AFC, even after a 3-4 start.

Derrick Mason believes the Ravens are a dark horse contender to represent the AFC in this season's Super Bowl.
Derrick Mason believes the Ravens are a dark horse contender to represent the AFC in this season's Super Bowl.
Geoff Burke

Former Ravens receiver Derrick Mason is among those that aren't counting this year's team out.

Appearing in a segment this week on the NFL Network, Mason, along with former NFL players LaDainian Tomlinson and Willie McGinest, were asked who the dark horse candidates are to win the AFC.

Mason spoke first and said his former team still has a good chance to be there in the end.

"I think regardless of the way they've played up to this point, I think Joe Flacco always finds a way and Coach [John] Harbaugh always finds a way to rally his team around, and make sure they put themselves in position to get to the playoffs," Mason said.

The initial answer caused a bit of a laugh from Tomlinson and McGinest, along with host Dan Hellie, just because it sounded like the Ravens' all-time leading receiver was being a homer.

But Mason has a point. If the Ravens get into the playoffs, they've proven anything is possible. Under Harbaugh, the Ravens have reached the playoffs in each of his previous five seasons. They've reached three AFC title games and won a Super Bowl.

A precedent has been set for the Ravens to do damage in the postseason after squeaking into the postseason.

"Once they're in the playoffs, as we've seen with Joe, he is a heck of a playoff quarterback," Mason said. "So, if this team can get on a roll — they have the leadership with [Terrell] Suggs, Haloti Ngata, [Elvis] Dumervil. They have pieces on offense to get the job done. I think this is the dark horse for the AFC."