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Ravens Have One More Game to Prove They're Not the "Same Old" Team

December 24, 2018 - 11:26 am

By Joe Schiller

Any lingering concerns about the Baltimore Ravens’ current formula were answered on Saturday night.

In a primetime matchup on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Ravens followed the same blueprint they’ve done over the past six weeks with Lamar Jackson as the starting quarterback.

It worked against one of the AFC’s top teams and in dominating fashion, as Baltimore came away with a 22-10 win, holding Philip Rivers and company 198 total yards.

Leading 16-10 with just three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Patrick Onwuasor’s hit on Antonio Gates forced a fumble and was returned by Tavon Young 62 yards for the game-sealing touchdown. After failing to provide the signature defensive stop against the Kansas City Chiefs only weeks before, Wink Martindale's unit came through. 

Eric Weddle stood at the podium in late September proclaiming that these aren’t “The same old Ravens,” and while this was undoubtedly one of the best wins in the John Harbaugh era, Baltimore has one game left to silence that notion.

A Week 17 matchup at home against the Cleveland Browns – a team that’s no longer the stepchild of the AFC North. Like Lamar Jackson, fellow rookie and No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield has led his team to wins in five of their last six games.

The Ravens have found themselves in similar situations before, most recently last season. But late-game lapses have been the trend for a team that’s missed the postseason three of the last four years.

An outstretched arm of Antonio Brown and a last-second touchdown catch from Tyler Boyd increased the blood pressure of the entire city of Baltimore ten-fold.

Many were left skeptical but have a new-found hope in this team with a formula that’s thrived with Jackson under center.

The Steelers’ implosion has set the Ravens up on a silver platter to not only win the AFC North but to host a home playoff game for the first time since 2012 - the year they hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in New Orleans.

This is a game the Ravens should win and there’s no question about it. With the way this team has played and the dominance they’ve shown in the second half of the season, a loss would be nothing short of devastating.

I don’t believe this is the same team we’ve seen compared to recent years and they’ll have fourth quarters to prove that next Sunday.