This should come as a surprise to no one, but if the Ravens are still standing after Saturday night's playoff matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, it will be because Joe Flacco is still one of the best clutch quarterbacks in the NFL.
As Baltimore Ravens players and coaches prepare for their Saturday night wild card playoff matchup with their rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers, operators of bars and other businesses in Harford County are getting ready for a game day crush of Ravens fans.
The only thing that matters to the Ravens (10-6) is that they'll get another opportunity to overcome their struggles Saturday night, when they face the third-seeded and AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) at Heinz Field in the AFC wild-card round.
The Ravens' 20-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns in front of an announced 71,070 at M&T Bank Stadium, combined with the Chargers' 19-7 loss to the Chiefs, sends the Ravens to the playoffs for the sixth time in John Harbaugh's seven seasons.
Immediately after their 20-10 victory, the Ravens started focusing on their next challenge -- trying to mount a successful playoff run. Preparations for the 2015 season can wait, even though their opponents for next year are now all set.
Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is growing accustomed, though, to Jeremy Hill's end zone antics. That includes an unsuccessful attempt to jump into the stands during last Sunday's rout in Cleveland, where he was pushed aside by a Browns fan.
Should Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel be taunted by the Cincinnati Bengals defense during his first NFL start Sunday, the former Heisman Trophy winner says he's now better equipped to maintain his composure.
On a day when two of their AFC North rivals were beaten, the Ravens had a 10-point lead with less than seven minutes to play and a six-point advantage with just more than two minutes to go. But their defense couldn't hold either time.
Running back Justin Forsett all but put the game away with his second rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter as the Ravens beat the New Orleans Saints, 34-27, in front of an announced 73,773 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The formula for beating the New Orleans Saints hasn't changed for a long time. If you want to keep their high-powered offense out of the end zone, you have to keep the ball out of the hands of wily quarterback Drew Brees. For the Ravens to do that, they might need to take the ball out of the hands of Joe Flacco.