By: Andrew Mindzak
After losing a tough game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens lost the division, but not playoff aspirations. Currently, the Ravens are sitting at 9-5 and hold the last playoff spot over two other 9-5 teams, the Dolphins and Patriots. They have two games remaining and if they win out, they will make the playoffs.
The Ravens next opponent is the Dallas Cowboys who just came off a big win against the Giants on Sunday night. After the game Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Terrell Owens were all smiles, but when things get tough, we will see how long their happiness lasts. The Cowboys defense has been playing well of late, as they have great ability to get to the quarterback, which is evident in their league leading 53 sacks. Baltimore's pass defense, which leads the league in interceptions and allows the 2nd fewest passing yards per game, should keep Tony Romo in check, however. The Ravens are 6th in the league in rushing offense, so look for a combination of Le'Ron McLain, Willis McGahee, and Ray Rice(depending on his bruised leg) to lead their offense. The Ravens should be able to shut down Romo & company, and if rookie sensation Joe Flacco can prevent turnovers, Baltimore has a good chance to steal this tough game in Dallas.
Baltimore closes their season against a very disappointing Jacksonville Jaguars team. Many had predicted the Jags to be a playoff contender, however they are 5-9 and in last place in the AFC South division. The Ravens play them at home, which should give them a distinct advantage over Jacksonville and their very ordinary defense. A heavy ground attack should give Baltimore the win they will most certainly need.
The good news is that the Ravens control their own destiny, and even though their last two games will be tough, they are very winnable. If Flacco can keep the offense moving in the right direction, the defense will take care of the rest, all the way into the playoffs.
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