What they're saying about the Ravens
By baltimoresun.com staff
2:39 PM EDT, September 24, 2008
Here's a look at recent media coverage of the Ravens:
• The Sports Network's Tony Moss says it seemed certain that the Ravens would struggle before the season started. Now, he says, the questions have shifted to the team's potential:
Oh, there are still questions about the Ravens as September nears its end, but those queries have morphed into the realm of the optimistic after the team's surprising 2-0 start.
Now, folks are wondering just how good first-place Baltimore can be in 2008, and whether Joe Flacco, John Harbaugh and company can manage to remain a realistic challenger to Pittsburgh in the AFC North.
• Despite the Pittsburgh Steelers' 15-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ron Cook says they are still the best team in the AFC North and it won't be a close game on Monday night:
The Steelers are going to win the AFC North Division. Let's get that straight right at the top. As badly as they played in Philadelphia Sunday, they still are better than Baltimore, Cleveland and Cincinnati. They will prove that again Monday night when they smack down the Ravens at Heinz Field.
I'm thinking something along the lines of 35-10.
• Mike Prisuta of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review thinks the Ravens will take some tips from Philadelphia's win over the Steelers:
The eight sacks against Roethlisberger don't begin to accurately portray the beating he took or the pressure under which the Steelers' offense repeatedly succumbed.
But they were no doubt enough to convince the Baltimore Ravens -- that would be the first-place Ravens -- to begin blitzing the moment they get off the bus [on Monday] at Heinz Field.
Prisuta goes on to say the loss puts the Steelers' place in the AFC pecking order in perspective.
And now that they've been exposed in such a fashion, [the Steelers] have perceptibly rejoined the pack in the AFC.
• Mike Burke of the Cumberland Times-News says Monday night's game between the Ravens and Steelers suddenly looks like a great matchup because of the Ravens' surprise start:
Actually, in the first two games this season, we've seen it all, which not only makes it fun for the fans, but more difficult for opposing defenses, because they know they can't put eight men in the box to stuff the Woody Hayes offense that was in place under former head coach Brian Billick. And how much of a pleasure is it to see on a third down and seven, Ravens receivers running routes that are actually longer than seven yards?
It's an entirely different culture in Baltimore right now, and it's playing to -- no pun intended -- rave reviews.
Of course, before we start talking playoff tickets here, keep in mind the Ravens, while justifiably pleased with themselves, have beaten two pretty sorry teams, even if they are division teams to whom they went 0-4 last year. The first real test comes Monday night when the Ravens go into Pittsburgh to play the class of the AFC North, the Steelers.