While some saw this game as great news of Lamar and the defense being capable of going head-to-head on the road with a Super Bowl contender, others felt it continues to show the Ravens aren’t a contender, they’re a tier away.
It’s understandable to see a slight shake of confidence here, and I agree a bit with the final poll. The Ravens went into this game with a great matchup. Great defense with a good offense and the possibility of stealing a great road game and applying pressure to every other playoff hopeful in the conference and overtake Pittsburgh for the AFC North lead. Unfortunately, the close overtime contests have not gone in the Ravens’ way recently, even with the best kicker in the NFL being a great advantage due to his kicking range in sudden death contests.
Even with the loss, though, things look brighter than before. Weeks ago, head coach John Harbaugh was dealing with rumors of his demise as the leader of the franchise. Now, fans are cheering hard, ticket prices are up and the Ravens are a half-game out from leading the AFC North.
The emergence of Lamar Jackson is clearly a factor here, too. Once he stepped up and boosted this running attack (with the help of Gus Edwards Jr. and now Kenneth Dixon), the team is back to their historical ways. Grind a defense down to pulp, keep your own defense fresh and unleash the pass rush in the waning seconds of the game to keep you up in close contests. It ain’t pretty, but it’s Baltimore football, baby.