5 Reasons The Baltimore Ravens Will Win (J. Tinsley)
1. Look, we’ve all ridiculed Joe Flacco before and it’s not like he hasn’t given us material to in the past. But check buddy’s stats thus far in the postseason – 30-for-54 for 613 yards, five touchdowns and zero INTs. I’m not saying he’s beginning to resemble Eli Manning during the Giants 2007 title run, but Flacco is playing his best football at the absolute best time.
2. Where many teams are, the last thing Baltimore is of New England is intimidated. The Ravens know they gift-wrapped the AFC Championship last year thanks to Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff. Hell, New England fans, too. This game is unfinished business.
3. With the Patriots being the most high-powered offense this season, expect this game to feature a heavy dosage of Ray Rice in attempt to burn clock and keep Tom Brady and crew off the field. Unless Baltimore is playing from behind.
4. The end of an era on the horizon. Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs somehow back on the field after what in most cases are season ending injuries and putting on unreal efforts (Suggs had 10 tackles and two sacks versus Denver, by the way). The offense is clicking. At this point, it’s impossible not to think “storybook ending” as it deals with Baltimore. They’re playing for the memory of D’Angelo Barksdale and Wallace right now.*
5. Edward Earl Reed, Jr. More than anyone left playing in these championship games, no one – bar none – deserves a ring more than this guy. I’m already willing to say Reed is the best safety I’ve ever seen play (too young to really appreciate Ronnie Lott in his prime). Two victories etches that in stone.
Final Score: Ravens, 31-27
* – I’m currently on episode three of Season Four. Please no spoilers.