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Wild Card Excitement

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

After a near implosion again yesterday, the very lucky Ravens will head west next weekend to take on the rejuvenated Kansas City Chiefs, making their first postseason appearance since the 2006 season.

The Cincinnati Bengals once again had the Ravens number. Marvin Lewis, once the highly respected defensive coordinator in Charm City, weaved his magic to keep the game very close in what was likely his last appearance as the Bungles head coach. Two field goals in the first half helped the Ravens to a 6-0 lead at the half.

Defensively, the Ravens were themselves. Two interceptions by Ed Reed and two fumble recoveries by Ray Lewis and another by Ngata put the team in good positions but the offense, by and large, went nowhere. Blame Flacco, the offensive line, penalties, Cam Cameron, whomever... but it was a nail biter there towards the end. The Bengals were in the red zone but squandered the opportunity by not getting a TD on 4th and goal and the Ravens ran out the clock.

At 12-4 with the 5th seed, the Ravens have to take the road route to the Super Bowl much like they did back in 2000. Kansas City who surprised a lot of people this year is the first test. Whoever wins that game will go to Pittsburgh in the divisional round.

For Coach Harbaugh and his team, making a third straight postseason appearance is very humbling. First time it has happened in the franchise's brief history. Brian Billick, in all his time here, only made the postseason 4 times himself. So this team is on the right track, and only if they can get their offense out of neutral for four full quarters, they could be a major force in the post season.

If the Ravens are one and done this year, then I would expect some major staff and player changes in the off season.

But, most experts and media loudmouths are going with the seasoned Ravens team this week on the road in Missouri. Let us all hope for once, that they are right.

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