No doubt, Ravens fans are both pleased and relieved after Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Justin Tucker toughed out Sunday's 26-23 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium, but the key to that win and the one they hope to get this week against the Green Bay Packers was the upgraded pass rush.
Terrell Suggs led the defense on a hunting party that resulted in six sacks and he'll need to put the same kind of heat on Aaron Rodgers to keep the Ravens rolling as they navigate the toughest section of their 2013 schedule.
Of course, everyone was excited about the way Rice bounced back and the toughness that Joe Flacco displayed in scratching out a tough win against a much-improved Dolphins team, but the Ravens aren't built to go up and down the field with a team like the Packers. If Rodgers gets comfortable in the pocket, nothing else is going to matter.
It's probably not a must-win situation, but it's certainly an opportunity to double-down on the uplifting victory over the Texans in the last game at M&T Bank Stadium, and it would be a great way to head into a three-game stretch against all of their AFC North division rivals. There's an opportunity to take control of the division over the next month, but that's going to depend on the rejuvenated pass rush the continued improvement of the defensive secondary.
Sure, it'll be nice to have a fuller compliment of wide receivers and an adequate running game, but the "D" is the key.