Santa gave Baltimore Ravens fans a win against the Cleveland Browns on Saturday. Though the win wasn’t pretty, it was still a win and kept the Ravens on track for a first round bye and a home playoff game.
The Ravens started off on a good note. In the 1st quarter, CB Lardarius Webb intercepted the ball and TE Ed Dickson caught the first touchdown pass of the game. In the 2nd quarter, RB Ray Rice scored another touchdown and K Shayne Graham, who filled in for the injured Billy Cundiff, scored a field goal to make it 17-0 at half time.
It was a different story after half time. The defense looked tired and the offense couldn’t get it going. Special teams floundered when Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs scored a touchdown on an 83 yard punt return. Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis ran all over the Ravens defense, but thankfully they were able to stop him from running into the end zone.
Cleveland scored another touchdown in the 4th quarter, but ultimately they suffered from bad play calling and poor clock management and the Ravens had a 20-14 victory over the Browns.
The win gave the Ravens a perfect home record and head coach John Harbaugh gave the game ball to the fans.
The NFL is salivating over week 17’s match-up between the Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. It is essentially a playoff game for both teams. If the Ravens win, they will claim the AFC North. If they Bengals win, they will clinch a wild card playoff spot.
The Ravens NEED to win on Sunday to give them a first round bye and a home playoff game. Reaching the playoffs is one thing, getting to the next level is another. The Ravens have a spotty road record and they owe it to themselves and their fans to bring a playoff game to M&T Bank Stadium.
It’s been a long season full of ups and downs and some key Ravens players have the injuries to prove it. They can still control their destiny, they just need one more road win to do it. Keep playing like Ravens, in purple we trust.