Tha Sports Junkies 101

The 2017 Ravens Playoff Push

2017 Ravens playoff push Austin Kirk via Flickr


 The Ravens Chances Of Playoff Noise? 

The 2017 Ravens playoff push is transpiring before our eyes. The Ravens have been a disappointment for the last two seasons. The 2017 Ravens are looking to eliminate this trend by making a serious playoff push. Baltimore has not been able to build on any type of momentum since 2013. The Super Bowl run in late 2012 into the beginning of 2013 was a triumph time for the Ravens. Joe Flacco really flourished with Hall of Fame caliber players like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, along with Anquan Boldin.

Joe Cool was virtually on fire with no interceptions and eleven touchdowns. This became a historic run, literally, for Joe Cool as a quarterback. The Baltimore Ravens are accustomed to making the postseason and having something to play for. This is a team that consistently clashed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs as well as New England Patriots in the years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Controlling Their Own Destiny

Since 2014, nothing has been remotely positive for the team led by John Harbaugh. The Ravens have been a work in progress this season with some outstanding games and some awful games mixed with head scratchers at times. The inconsistency has plagued the team all season. Even with all the struggles the Purple and Black have gone 4-1 since the Week 10 bye. They have put themselves in an excellent position to make it into the playoff dance. Why are the 2017 Ravens so confident about their playoff chances? Baltimore can make the postseason without assistance as long as they handle their business the next two weeks.

Since The Bye  

Their hot streak started before Thanksgiving. The “Season of Giving” was initiated against the Green Bay Packers when Baltimore completed their third shutout of the season. They had a total of 219 yards of offense. Joe Flacco was solid, and so was the defense, which allowed no points. The team proved that even though the defense gave up 265 yards to a Brett Hundley led team, they were tough. With only one turnover, the offense was solid. This game set the foundation for the 2017 Ravens playoff push. On prime time against the Houston Texans, the Ravens continued to build on their strong fundamentals of bending but not breaking. In this game, the team played their brand of football. Baltimore controlled the game by accumulating 294 yards of offense without a turnover.

Baltimore began to really gel on offense, defense, and of course, special teams with a Sam Koch fake punt perfect pass to Chris Moore for a first down. With two wins in a row, everyone in the organization knew great things were coming — if the entire team remain committed to each other. The real test was against the Detroit Lions; where the Ravens scored 44 points to continue their offensive explosion.

Joe Cool 

Joe Cool played tremendously well with 269 yards two touchdowns and no picks. The ground game was decent with the young corps led by Alex Collins contributing nicely. Mike Wallace had his second-best game of the season with 116 yards. The 2017 Ravens playoff push was definitely in effect after mounting three straight wins. In the loss to the Steelers, Baltimore continued to explode on offense with Joe Cool redeeming himself after not showing up earlier in the season.

Even with defensive struggles against Cleveland, Baltimore, led by its dominant offense as of late, found a way to win as a perennial playoff bound team should. Some valuable things that stood out were the team’s determination, strength, fight, and desire to prove worthy of a dangerous playoff team. This Ravens team is a force to reckon with. Joe Flacco deserves credit for playing constant football since the bye.

 The 2017 Ravens Playoff Push?

Baltimore has a history of breaking through obstacles. They understand what it takes to succeed even when adversity strikes and doubters count them out. Baltimore has years of experience playing in the postseason. There are individuals on the team that have been through the fire plenty of times. The Ravens have leaders that never let the team give up at any time. They started the season 3-4, suffering disappointing loses to Jacksonville in London, Chicago at home, and Pittsburgh at home during that stretch. This team — during this same time — endured two-game losing streaks twice. In the thick of the trials and tribulations, Baltimore never wavered. They continued to do what all the other Ravens teams have done over the years, which is rely on one another to get better every day starting in practice.

Trusting The Process 

The 2017 Ravens playoff push is occurring realistically now as a result of the team believing in one another to be great each and every day. Baltimore stayed the course throughout a season of adversity. Don’t look now but the struggling Baltimore team at the beginning and middle of the seasons has recently garnered some real attention from national outlets as being serious playoff contenders. Baltimore, as funny as it sounds, “trusted the process.” It has worked out perfectly for them.

The team’s recent success stems from the offensive firepower as of late. Terrell Suggs’ pesky performances, Eric Weddle, Chris Moore’s maturation, Alex Collins’ dominance, Justin Tucker’s constant kicking, Sam Koch’s punting, C. J. Mosley’s stellar play, and of course, Joe Cool’s arrival to the dance — finally. The offense, defense, and special teams have all started to gel together since mid-November.

Postseason Bound 2017 Ravens Playoff Push

These are all reasons why Baltimore feels so confident about making it into the postseason. The number one reason Baltimore knows they will be in the playoffs is the emergence of Joe Flacco. With him playing lights out in December, he is getting it going at the absolutely right time. When Joe plays well, so does the rest of the team. Baltimore understands the unit they have and what the ultimate reward is. This group is hungrier than ever and are playing great football. Therefore, they are dangerous and know it. Baltimore is a feared team clicking on all cylinders at the right time. The Ravens know they control their own destiny, so confidence comes from this as well. The 2017 Ravens playoff push is something special to watch. Baltimore’s prosperity is due to fundamental football and strength in numbers, along with imposing their will.

Final Thoughts 

First and foremost, the Ravens must take care of business. They hosted the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16 and came up with the win. In Week 17, they will host the Cincinnati Bengals; a game they should win without a problem given Cincinnati’s struggles and elimination from playoff contention. They cannot get too confident that they take this last game lightly. The final matchup of the season against the Bengals — their divisional rival — will be a fight, one they are a favorite to win.

 Wild Card Berth

The start of the 2017 Ravens playoff push was in November, and at the end of December, they are in excellent position to get into the postseason. It is thrilling to see what having strong veteran leadership and experience has done to this Baltimore team. They embrace the “why not us” mentality. That mantra has guided them through their playoff-bound journey. The sky is the limit. They are a lock to get in as high as the fifth seed or the sixth seed if they win out. This will not be a problem if they continue the process that has been prosperous for them over their recent stretch of games. With an upward trend in their performance, is Baltimore a threat? In my opinion, ABSOLUTELY! The Baltimore Ravens thrive as the postseason draws near and should undoubtedly be counted as a threat.