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With Patriots and Colts on the fringe, AFC race sports new look

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Baltimore Ravens (8-4, second)


Analysis: Coming into the season there were two AFC North teams -- Pittsburgh and Cleveland -- expected to fight for playoff positioning. But the Ravens easily took over the Browns' spot this year as that second team trying to give the division two postseason berths.


The Ravens' defense is No. 2 in the NFL. That is no shock. But their offense is tied for No. 10 in scoring (24.3), which has caught the league completely by surprise.


In many ways, Baltimore controls its own destiny. The Ravens hold a one-game lead for the final wild-card spot over the Dolphins and Patriots. And Baltimore owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Miami, which might come into play.


If there is reason for concern, it's that Baltimore is just 2-4 against teams with winning records. The Ravens face three very good teams in December, starting with Sunday's game against Washington. But three of Baltimore's last four games are at M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens are 4-1 this season.


Difference-maker: There are not many difference-makers among NFL rookies bigger than Joe Flacco. Unlike Atlanta rookie QB Matt Ryan, Flacco was not expected to contribute much right away. He was given the starting job by default and spent the first month of the season adjusting to the speed of the game.



No longer playing like a rookie, Flacco has had the reins removed and he is challenging teams vertically with his strong arm.



But can a rookie quarterback do damage in the postseason?



Ticket to Tampa? Just a puncher's chance.





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I saw a lot of experts picking the Ravens as a wild card while surfing the net this morning. I was surprised. They threw in the difficut schedule ahead too. They like what they see...me too!:)

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I hate to put it on one game but this game is everything and maybe decides whether we make the postseason.

If we win, we are 9-4, and have a decent shot against Pittsburgh, then who knows. If we lose, I dont know .......?


But first we got the Skins and I will be there Sunday night (Section 139) rooting my boys on !


Go Ravens !! :)

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