The NFL season is somehow already in Week Five and the Ravens are sitting second in the AFC North with a 2-2 record. Although it’s still the first half of the season, are the Ravens in the “must win” mode?
I’ll try to answer this as least confusing as possible; yes in the short term and no in the long term. The Ravens are coming off an abysmal couple of weeks and are going up against a backup quarterback and a rookie in his second start over these next two weeks. If they want to have a strong chance for the playoffs, the Ravens need to win every game they’re supposed to win and steal a couple games from tough opponents like the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
At this type of play, I predict the Ravens finish 8-8, with a strong case for 10-6 if they can fix the problems on the field. The offensive line is giving Joe Flacco no time, the defense is leaving the middle of the field wide open, and the Legatron himself, Justin Tucker, has been practically nonexistent so far this season.
I wrote earlier this week how the Ravens are in the perfect spot to fix things up going against two battered teams in the Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears. If they want that shot at the 10-6 record I predicted, these two games are both must wins. If they fail to do so, it sadly might be the tipping point in the season.
Let’s hope the Ravens can take the division, because it’s going to be more difficult than usual for the wild card spots this year. Kansas City looks like they will run away with the AFC West, and everyone expects New England to win the AFC East. The Ravens will have to fight for one of three spots against Pittsburgh, Houston, Tennessee, Denver, Oakland, and potentially Buffalo.
So, to answer the “must win” question, the Ravens do have a few easier games later in the season so they can fight back, but in order to prevent the season from slipping away, they need to win these next two weeks.