SportsNation Blog Archives Baltimore Ravens
Are Steelers back in the race?
The Cincinnati Bengals' back-to-back late wins have them two games up in the AFC North. But things are getting interesting elsewhere in the division, as the Pittsburgh Steelers won their second straight Sunday with a last-second field goal against the hated Baltimore Ravens. That puts Pittsburgh at 2-4 -- hardly a dazzling record, but enough to leave them hovering around the AFC's second wild-card spot. Also there: Baltimore, which at 3-4 isn't exactly reminding of last season's Super Bowl champions.
pollcenter:category=4503+aresteelersbackintherace?Nick Laham/Getty Images
NFL Week 7 -- Ravens at Steelers
Not long ago -- last year, maybe? -- Ravens-Steelers was among the NFL's best rivalries. And that was before Baltimore won the most recent Super Bowl. This season, though, both teams are struggling. Baltimore is stuck at .500 and Pittsburgh is coming off its first win of the season. With the Cincinnati Bengals not running away with the division, the Ravens remain in contention no matter what happens Sunday. But the Steelers might already be facing a must-win.
NFL Week 6 -- Packers at Ravens
The verdict's still out on two of the last three Super Bowl champions, who enter Sunday with a collective 5-4 record. The rebuilt Baltimore Ravens might be deemed a pleasant surprise, especially after a 26-23 road win against the game Miami Dolphins. Green Bay, meanwhile, is treading water, winning big at home and losing close on the road. Will the latter occur again in Maryland -- especially considering Clay Matthews' absence?
pollcenter:category=4436+nflweek6__packersatravensAP Photo/John Bazemore
What about the rest of the AFC?
Yeah, so the Denver Broncos are good. But a few other AFC teams laid down markers Sunday, showing that they might have something to offer Peyton Manning & Co. if the time does come. The New England Patriots held off the Atlanta Falcons on the road. The Kansas City Chiefs reached a surprising 4-0 with a rout of the New York Giants. The Indianapolis Colts put up their second straight blowout (it was the Jacksonville Jaguars, but a win's a win). And hey -- the Cleveland Browns were victorious again! Now, to see what happens to the Miami Dolphins on Monday night ...
It was likely that the Ravens were going to struggle a bit this season. Despite winning a Super Bowl, they lost a lot of veteran leadership in the offseason, including at least two future Hall of Famers. One of those players, current ESPN analyst Ray Lewis, said that the team lacked leadership after a report surfaced about receiver Jacoby Jones getting hit on the head by a champagne bottle-wielding stripper. Torrey Smith and Vonta Leach took issue with those comments, but any time the words "champagne bottle-wielding stripper" come up in relation to your team, you know there's room for improvement.
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