As prolonged as they take caring of business Saturday opposite a Indianapolis Colts, a Ravens are in an ideal position. They have an event to post a win in a initial diversion of Week 16 and afterwards put vigour on a Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans, who will afterwards need to win a following day to keep gait in a AFC wild-card picture.
By now, we certainly know that a Ravens can’t bind a playoff berth this weekend. Even if they flog a Colts Saturday, they’ll flog off a following Sunday in a regular-season culmination opposite a Cincinnati Bengals meaningful that a usually approach to pledge a playoff berth will be to flog a Bengals. Other scenarios could play out concurrently Dec. 31 to get a Ravens in even if they dump one of their final dual regular-season games and finish 9-7.
The Titans could remove their final dual games opposite a first-place Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bills could remove out, descending to both a New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. The Bills could dissapoint a Patriots and afterwards remove to a Dolphins a final week, and a Ravens would still contend a common-opponent tiebreaker advantage even if both teams finish 9-7.
But a Ravens seem to know that it needn’t get to all that. For several years, a Ravens have mostly finished it a tough way. This year, all has depressed into place. They finish a deteriorate with dual games during home opposite smashed and beaten opponents while other teams in a hunt play unbending competition.
The Ravens have talked from a unequivocally initial day a group got together over a summer about finishing. The theatre is set for them to do only that.
Pro Bowl snubs?
Count me among those who felt that Ravens kicker Justin Tucker and punter Sam Koch are Pro Bowl-worthy, though it isn’t an sum impugn that they are not going.
If we were a ubiquitous manager, there isn’t an NFL kicker I’d take over Tucker, though a Pro Bowl has never unequivocally been a referendum on who a best players are during certain positions. So many else goes into it, from a recognition of a actor and a group he plays for, to a series of opportunities pronounced actor has, to a success of a player’s team.
Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell, who done it over Tucker, is a estimable selection. He has strike 29 of 32 field-goal attempts, including all 4 tries from 50 yards or more. At Heinz Field, that is deliberate a hardest place to flog in a NFL, he’s 16 of 17 this season. And above all, he has kicked 4 game-winning margin goals this year and 3 of them were in primary time for a group that is 11-3. To no error of Tucker, Boswell has only had some-more opportunities with a diversion on a line, and those kicks are always going to mount out some-more to those selecting a Pro Bowl teams.
As for Tennessee’s Brett Kern creation it over Koch, Kern is on gait to set an NFL record for tip sum punting normal in a singular season, so we can see because he’s Pro Bowl-bound notwithstanding a fact that no punter has been even tighten to Koch when it comes to pinning teams inside a 20.
2018 opponents roughly set
It seems ridiculous to speak about 2018 when a Ravens are still in a playoff hunt, though it’s never too early to demeanour during subsequent year’s schedule. All though dual of a Ravens’ 16 matchups are set, and a dual that aren’t are flattering tighten to locks.
The Ravens’ 8 home games will be opposite a Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Steelers, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and this year’s second-place finisher in a AFC East, that looks during this indicate to be a Bills.
Their 8 highway games are opposite a Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and a second-place finisher in a AFC South, that will many expected be a Titans. That highway report will be rather difficult.
I suspicion far-reaching receiver Kamar Aiken got a tender understanding with a Ravens final year. After scarcely carrying a 1,000-yard deteriorate in 2015, he was mostly a fourth far-reaching receiver choice final year behind Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. He finished with 29 catches for 328 yards and one touchdown.
Aiken sealed a one-year understanding with a Colts in March, anticipating to rehabilitate his value before holding another incursion into giveaway agency. It hasn’t left as planned. In 13 games with Indianapolis, including 7 starts, Aiken has 14 catches on 41 targets for 131 yards and no touchdowns. I’d suppose he’ll be utterly encouraged Saturday.
Ten discerning thoughts
1) Ravens manager John Harbaugh nodded Monday when asked either using behind Alex Collins got by Sunday’s win opposite a Browns healthy. we wouldn’t design Harbaugh to exhibit damage information during this time of year; however, it was apparent Sunday that a using behind is banged up. He jogged solemnly off a margin on about 4 occasions opposite Cleveland. Collins is only 5 feet 10 and 210 pounds, and he absorbs a lot of contact. That’s because many within a classification trust that holding him 15 to 18 touches a diversion is ideal.
2) As an aside on Collins, Saturday would be a good time to get using behind Terrance West, who has been dead for 9 true weeks, behind into a diversion plan. The Colts are spiteful on invulnerability and exposed opposite a run. West is uninformed and motivated.
3) It happened during slightest once if not a few some-more times opposite a Browns, though a Ravens unequivocally should cruise removing using backs Buck Allen and Danny Woodhead onto a margin some-more during a same time. The offense gets a small predicted when Woodhead is in a game.
4) The Ravens have to be anxious with how first-round collect Marlon Humphrey has acclimated himself as a starting cornerback with Jimmy Smith out for a season. Playing with physicality, speed and confidence, Humphrey doesn’t lift himself like a rookie during all.
5) Koch ranks seventh among NFL punters in terms of normal income per year. I’d contend a Ravens are removing their money’s worth.
6) Anthony Levine Sr. is another Raven who doesn’t get scarcely adequate credit for his contributions on special teams and defense. He leads a group in special teams tackles and captains that unit. He also has 3 sacks, an interception and a fail recovery, and he’s inspiring games some-more and some-more as a hybrid inside linebacker/safety.
7) Browns pass rusher Myles Garrett, a tip altogether collect this year, is a stud, though there were times Sunday when we didn’t notice he was on a field. That’s mostly a credit to left tackle Ronnie Stanley.