What a glow-up. This isn’t the same Ravens team from last year. This team is lethal on offense, and their defense is a top five unit. Last year, the Ravens won the AFC north after the Steelers lost against the lowly Bengals and winning their game against the Browns. This year, the Ravens were significantly better, only losing two games. They demolished almost every team they played, which includes the Patriots, Texans, Steelers twice, and the Rams. They were even able to win the close games, against heavyweight opponents such as the 49ers, Seahawks, and Bills (really just the defense). They only games they lost came on back to back weeks against the Browns (don’t know how that happened) and the Chiefs.
This leads into my take; which team has enough to beat the Ravens? I have my pick on the NFC, but let’s stick with their conference for now. The AFC is home to 2 of the best defenses in the league in the Patriots and the Bills. Surely they could be able to do something against Llamar Jackson and the vaunted Ravens offense? Yes and no. The playoffs are a different beast. Every play carries more weight. Every decision influences the next just a little more. I don’t think the Ravens will be able to score points like they did during the regular season. I believe that both of these defenses have the formula to beat the Ravens, but neither of the offenses do. Let’s not forget that the Ravens also have a top 5 unit, and limited both the Patriots and Bills to 20 and 17 points respectively. In order for either of these teams to beat the Ravens, they need to figure out their offensive game plan.
Realistically, only a team willing to get in a shootout will be able to win against the Ravens. And it is a team that has been able to beat them this year: the Chiefs. Unfortunately for all of you Patriots fans out their, you should be routing for the Chiefs if you don’t want to see the Ravens make it to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs have the offensive fire power to keep up with the Ravens. What should be interesting is to see how Steve Spagnuolo plans on stopping Llamar Jackson and the Ravens’ ground game. The Chiefs defense has been looking much better as of late, turning the page from when they were giving up close to 30 points a game in the early part of the season. I believe if the Chiefs make it to Baltimore, Spagnuolo will be the X-Factor of that game. He really has the game in his hand, it would just depend if he is up for the task.
Now, the NFC is a completely different beast. I believe there is only one team that could even come close to stopping the Ravens, and that is the 49ers. They have the championship caliber on defense, and their offense has looked like a top unit the last 5-6 games after acquiring Emmanuel Sanders, and getting healthier at the wide-receiver position. I think Kyle Shanahan has something with that team. As I have previously stated in earlier posts, I have the 49ers beating the Ravens in the Super Bowl, so this isn’t really a hot take. I do however, think that Llamar’s inexperience will play into them ultimately loosing out on an amazing chance to win the Super Bowl. Neither team has a ton of Super Bowl experience, however, I think that Kyle Shanahan has a chip on his shoulder from his days in Atlanta, and will be ready for whomever they face in the final game.