Patriots

NFL Notebook: Don’t pencil in the Ravens for an AFC playoff spot just yet; Onwenu gets big test vs. Watt

[get_snippet] [theme-my-login show_title=0]
(Olindo Longo for BSJ)

For much of the season, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Baltimore Ravens, even if they didn't catch the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North, would have a stranglehold on the first AFC Wild-Card.

Somebody around here might have even picked the Ravens to go 15-1 and win the Super Bowl. IDIOT. PEOPLE PAY TO READ YOUR STUFF?

And for much of the season, that was the case, as Baltimore started 6-2 with its only losses coming to the Chiefs and Steelers. No harm there. Get 'em back in the playoffs.

But what the Ravens (6-3) have put on film recently — especially in their 23-17 loss to the Patriots — leads me to feel that things aren't right in Charm City and I wouldn't go sending them a postseason invite quite yet.

I mean, as of right now, the Ravens are the seventh and last wild-card team in the AFC. And now, they have to take on the Titans (6-3) and Steelers (9-0) in back to back weeks. The Ravens are staring a 6-5 record right in the face, which would even throw the Patriots back in the mix.

But there are three even larger issues for them, that a soft close to the season (Dallas, Jacksonville, Giants, Bengals) might not be able to fix — but hot damn, it's a good season to have the NFC East and AFC South on your schedule (ugh, sometimes I hate the league's unbalanced schedule).

1. Two more losses would drop the Ravens to 4-5 in the conference and leave them zero room for error.