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Ravens getting "the Love"


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I never expected this....dynasty talk....



After Baltimore beat New England in the AFC title game, a Patriots player, long after the game ended, made an honest and blunt assessment of the Ravens.

"That team is going to be a pain in the ass for a long time," the player explained.

A long, long, long, long, long time.

If there is a franchise that's the logical candidate to be the next great dynasty, there isn't a better choice than the Baltimore Ravens. They are the best bet to replace the Patriots as the NFL's most steady winner. A great bet. Maybe a sure bet. Locking up Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco for the next six years helps those odds.


....Baltimore possesses most of what made New England so successful (OK, so no Brady). In fact, the Ravens have more of the ingredients to become dynastic than any other team:

Coaching: John Harbaugh stacks up well with coaches of other top teams -- Jim Harbaugh, Mike Tomlin, Tom Coughlin, and Mike McCarthy -- though no one comes close to Belichick. Where Harbaugh was exemplary last season was in his handling of a near mutiny from the players. It takes genuine skill to turn something potentially disastrous into a positive. It reshaped the season. You can count on one hand the number of coaches with the talent to handle that type of situation.

Quarterback: The past few times Flacco has faced Brady, he's outplayed him. Flacco may not be better than Brady but he's certainly good enough to run the NFL's next dynasty. Flacco just beat Colin Kaepernick, and I think he's surpassed Ben Roethlisberger and maybe even Eli Manning. Flacco's still not at Aaron Rodgers' level as the NFL's best overall quarterback. But if you were to pick a passer to rep the next dynasty, you'd do pretty well picking Flacco.

Front office: Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' general manager, has put together one of the NFL's fastest, most athletic and deepest teams. The Ravens could lose both Ray Lewis and Ed Reed (two Hall of Famers) and still make it back to the Super Bowl. At this moment, few front offices can rival the job Newsome has done and that's saying something because the Giants and Packers are some of the best assemblers of talent in all of sports.

What the Ravens have now is more of ... everything. More speed, more depth, excellent coaching, and a franchise quarterback who is only 28 years old.

In many ways, this Ravens group is reminiscent of the Patriots early in their run, the one that inspired so much imitation in the NFL and, as the Patriots beat the shingles off of people, simultaneously inspired hatred.

If some years from now, players talk of how much they hate the Ravens, then we'll know that the Ravens indeed had a formidable dynasty.

A dynasty that's starting now.






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I doubt we win this Superbowl without the bitter taste of last years close but no cigar in our mouths. That said, we are as primed as any team to compete for titles over the next 5 years. Hopefully Dalton continues to struggle because not having 3 good QB's in the division would certainly help.

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