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What they're saying about the Ravens

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A collection of what other media outlets are saying as the Ravens prepare to play Sunday against the New England Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium.

* USA Today's Nate Scott explains why Justin Tucker's game-winning field goal "was the most impressive kick of the NFL season," including the fact that it was an away game.

Matt Prater hit his 64-yard kick on his home turf, with the home crowd respectfully cheering for him to make his kick. Justin Tucker kicked his 61-yarder in a loud dome with every Lions fan screaming at the top of their lungs. This was an intense environment.

* Tony Manfred of Business Insider breaks down why Tucker is underpaid.

For a Ravens team that plays an exceptional number of close games (they've played 24 games decided by three points or less in the last two years), Tucker is an incredibly valuable asset.

* ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley shares his thoughts on the Ravens' turnaround.

A month ago, I was convinced the Baltimore Ravens weren't going to make the playoffs. Now, after another can't-believe-it-until-you-see-it moment, I wouldn't be shocked if the Ravens marched to another Super Bowl.

* Ben Volin of The Boston Globe previews another game between the Ravens and New England Patriots.

A lot of the familiar faces are now gone. But the Baltimore Ravens certainly have the Patriots’ attention and respect as the teams prepare for their fourth matchup over the past three seasons.

* Boston.com's Erik Frenz gives a few quick hits on the Ravens ahead of Sunday's game.

Suddenly, the pressure is all on the New England Patriots. They need to win at least one of their final two games, or need at least one loss from either the Miami Dolphins or Baltimore Ravens to ensure a playoff spot.

* Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com notes that the Ravens' win over the Lions doesn't look all that surprising when you consider their recent victories.

The Ravens have won four straight games, with the last three coming in wild finishes. The first two wins, against the Jets and Steelers, essentially torpedoed their opposition's playoff hopes. The last three wins have included Mike Tomlin's sideline two-step, a game with five lead changes in the final 2:05, and this 61-yard game-winner. This was the least crazy ending of the bunch.

* MLive.com's Justin Rogers looks at the Lions' decision to not use their timeouts on the Ravens' final drive.

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh bluffed, the Detroit Lions didn't call him on it, and the decision may have cost them the game.

NFL power rankings roundup

* ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio puts the Ravens at No. 8, three spots higher than last week.

Great teams find a way to win in December.

* ESPN.com moves the Ravens to No. 12, up two spots from last week.

What a day for Justin Tucker, tying a franchise record with six field goals. Baltimore is the second team to win this season without scoring a touchdown (Giants in Week 8).

* Hensley explains the Ravens' spot on ESPN.com.

Winners of four straight games, the Baltimore Ravens (8-6) are slowly convincing the Power Rankings voters that they're for real. The defending Super Bowl champions moved up two spots to No. 12, their highest ranking since Week 7, when they were 3-3. During their winning streak, which is tied with the San Francisco 49ers' as the NFL's longest current one, the Ravens have climbed eight spots in four weeks. In comparison to last season, when the Ravens won the Super Bowl, Baltimore was ranked No. 11 in Week 16 of the 2012 season.

* On FoxSports.com, former coach Brian Billick ranks the Ravens at No. 11, one spot above last week.

With the win on Monday night, the Ravens maintain the sixth seed as they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Dolphins, who also have an 8-6 record.

* CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco lists the Ravens at No. 12, up one spot from last week.

That was a big-time victory on the road against the Lions. Justin Tucker: Team MVP.

* Prisco's CBSSports.com colleague, Pat Kirwan, also puts the Ravens at No. 12.

They know how to win ugly and are holding down the No. 6 spot in the AFC with an eye on the division title.

* Elliot Harrison of NFL.com ranks the Ravens at No. 14, one spot higher than last week.

Can the Ravens do it again? You'll recall that last year, they lost four of their last five regular-season games ... and still won the AFC North before going on their Super Bowl run. Now Baltimore must beat the Gronkless Pats and then take down the Bengals in Week 17 (unless Matt Cassel impersonates Joe Montana again and leads the Vikings to a win in Cincinnati this Sunday).

* USA Today moves the Ravens to No. 11, two spots above last week.

The breaks keep going their way. They will win the AFC North with two more wins.

* Bob Glauber of Newsday puts the Ravens at No. 8, four spots higher than last week.

A few weeks ago, it looked like the Ravens would miss the playoffs for the first time in the John Harbaugh-Joe Flacco era. But they’re on a roll, eking out an 18-16 win in Detroit on Justin Tucker’s six field goals – the last a 61-yarder in the final seconds – to get their fourth straight.

* In the Associated Press Pro32 poll, the Ravens climb one spot to No. 11.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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