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Easy schedule talk is nearsighted

Calling the Ravens' schedule easy compared to others ignores what's going on elsewhere.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens are at 5-2 and currently playing quality football on both sides of the ball. At this point, it looks difficult to say they won't make the playoffs. Some, however, say that the Ravens are playing low-level competition as the current record of the teams they've beaten are 13-18-1. They would also be correct in saying that the Ravens have struggled against Cincinnati and Indianapolis and in saying that the Ravens schedule doesn't contain too many powerhouses down the road. (The Chargers are currently 5-2.)

But to say that the rest of the division is facing powerhouses this season is myopic. The Bengals are 3-2-1. Their losses come against the Patriots and the Colts, two of the high-caliber opponents they have on their schedule. The only opponent left that currently has a winning record (other than Baltimore) is Denver. The combined record of the teams they've beaten? 9-17, which is worse than the combined record of Ravens opponents. The Ravens account for five of those wins as the others come from Tennessee and Atlanta. They couldn't even defeat the Panthers, a team that certainly qualifies as inferior at their own home.

The Steelers? They're 4-3 and the combined win record of their opponents is 7-16-1, which is the barely above the combined record of Cleveland's opponents. They've beaten the Browns, Panthers and Jaguars. They've lost against Baltimore, Cleveland and Tampa Bay.

Baltimore is the only team of the three with a winning record. They still have matchups against the Colts, Bengals and one more vs. the Ravens, but their schedule isn't filled with powerhouses, as their schedule has them going up against a dismal Jets team and a mediocre Chiefs team.

The Ravens haven't played the NFL powerhouses often, but the AFC North doesn't have a powerhouse-filled schedule and none of the teams have fared particularly well.