With improvements in all facets of the game for this year's Ravens squad, the bar has certainly been raised, especially with last year's team barely squeaking into the playoffs. In this ever-changing league that is becoming more and more competitive, the Ravens know that winning only ten games just isn't good enough any more.
Joe Flacco is of that school of thought as well.
In the past three seasons, the Ravens have reached the playoffs two times by only winning ten games. However, fans know that the Ravens didn't exactly cruise their way into the playoffs, as the team needed to win in Week 17 last year, and count on the backup-QB led Chiefs to win their game too. It wasn't an ideal situation, and Flacco knows that.
The quarterback has actually been a victim of these good, but not good enough records. During his time with the Ravens, Flacco has had to start 12 of 14 playoff games on the road. While this hasn't been an issue for Flacco, it makes one wonder just how good the Ravens could be if they had the 'M&T advantage in the playoffs.
"There’s a reason why Joe Flacco has more away-game wins in the playoffs than any other quarterback in history, because we keep sending his butt out there on the road,"
- Owner Steve Bisciotti
Even with a playoff berth, the Ravens won't be happy until they can claim to be AFC North Champions. It's an honor that the Ravens have only held twice during Coach John Harbaugh's seven-year reign, as the team won the division back-to-back in 2011 and 2012. In a recent conference call with season ticket holders, Flacco notioned that it's going to take eleven or even twelve wins to achieve that goal.
"I don’t think we can rely on only winning 10 games and getting in. I think you want to at least get to that 11 number," Flacco said. "When you talk about winning the division, you really want to at least get to 12-4 in order to have that happen.
The winners of the division have accrued eleven wins five out of the last seven seasons, so it seems as if eleven is indeed that 'lucky number'. Last I checked, the Ravens future odds for the regular season was nine wins. The Ravens better believe that they can beat the odds this year if they want to hang another banner.