The League

Sean McCann
Beat Writer

Sean McCann

Former Philadelphia Eagles beat writer for Gannett

Ravens on the wire

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The Ravens won a virtual playoff game with Pittsburgh to reach 6-5 on Sunday night, and though the work is far from finished, Baltimore does have the inside track to a postseason berth.

The Ravens have always had a strong defense, and this offense is much stronger than the one that Baltimore won the Super Bowl with several years ago. Has anyone else noticed that Flacco has solidly outperformed Atlanta's Matt Ryan in the battle of the sophomore quarterbacks? Also, Ray Rice is a true feature back, who can break a long run and control the clock late.

The Ravens are also just coming to the soft part of their schedule.

All five of Baltimore's losses have come to division leaders, and they have quality wins over San Diego (8-3), Denver (7-4) and Pittsburgh (6-5). Flacco and company will be solid favorite in three of their final five games, none of which are against division leaders. If the Ravens can beat Green Bay at Lambeau next week, 10 wins is a real possibility.

Along with the Jaguars and the Steelers, Baltimore also has the advantage of playing in the AFC, where they don't have to jump over anyone to capture a wild card berth. In the NFC, Green Bay and Philadelphia hold the two wild card positions at 7-4, and teams like the Falcons and Giants have to wrest that control away.

With 10 teams at either 6-5 or 5-6, the NFL has delivered on its promise of parity again, setting the stage for an exciting finish. At least one of those teams will almost certainly reach the postseason, and if the top third of the league falters, it could be more.

By Sean McCann  |  November 30, 2009; 12:55 PM ET  | Category:  Baltimore Ravens , Pittsburgh Steelers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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