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NFL Week 8 results force Ravens to forge their own path

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Miami Dolphins v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The AFC North concluded their games yesterday, and (almost) every team enjoyed the taste of victory.

Ravens vs. Dolphins: 40-0 W
Browns vs. Vikings: 16-33 L
Bengals vs. Colts: 24-23 W
Steelers vs. Lions: 20-15 W

Neither the Lions, nor the Colts could take hold of their respective games, and knock the AFC North down a peg, which leaves the Baltimore Ravens chasing the top.

While it may be frustrating to not receive help, it forces the Ravens to once again become a ‘prove it’ team. If you’re worthy of winning, of entering the postseason, prove it. If they’re not, that’s also fine, but they won’t be sneaking in on the coattails of better teams.

The schedule won’t be easy, as the Ravens next four games aren’t a walk in the park.

Week 9: @ Titans
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: @ Packers
Week 12: vs. Texans
Week 13: vs. Lions

Against the Titans, they’re traveling to a team who just finished their bye week. Worth noting, the Ravens franchise quarterback, Joe Flacco, was on the receiving end of an ugly hit from Kiko Alonso. Whether or not Joe is cleared, there may be lagging effects from the cheapshot.

A much needed bye week will help the Ravens rejuvenate. Hopefully they can get Maclin and Wallace back to 100%.

A much more scary game two weeks ago, has turned into a game filled with nervousness, rather than fear. The Packers are still a skilled team, but without the perennial superstar quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, the Ravens have a shot of winning this game at Lambeau.

After concluding the trip to Green Bay, Baltimore faces the red-hot Texans, with star-in-the-making, Deshaun Watson. Though they’ve lost both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, they’ve put up points on offense to make up the difference.

While Detroit lost to Pittsburgh, they did everything but break past the endzone. The Ravens offense has not demonstrated consistency to keep up with the Lions, and while the Steelers offense held them in check, Baltimore’s will suffer if the offense cannot produce enough drives to rest the team. With such a fluctuating team, it’s hard to build confidence on them.

As I said, this team cannot sit back and hope others help them out. Instead, they must produce wins on their own, and win when it most counts, certainly against these next four teams, and absolutely against Pittsburgh, the week after Detroit.