Ravens: Dead or Alive?

Updated: December 4, 2002, 11:08 AM ET
SportsNation

Baltimore Ravens
Overall record: 6-6
Division situation: Pittsburgh leads the AFC North at 7-4-1
Division record: 3-1
Wild card situation: Four teams are tied at 7-5
Conference record: 6-3

Ray Lewis
Without Ray Lewis, can the Ravens high-step into the playoffs?

Remaining games: New Orleans, at Houston, Cleveland, at Pittsburgh

Why the Ravens are alive: That final game at Pittsburgh might be for the AFC North title. If not, the Ravens are still in pretty good shape for a wild card position, with a relatively mild schedule and a strong conference record, which would give them the tiebreaker over most other teams. If one 9-7 team is in, it's probably the Ravens.

Why the Ravens are dead: Who are we kidding? This is hardly the intimidating Ravens team we're accustomed to -- Ray Lewis is out, and the Ravens are giving up more points than the Browns, for Pete's sake. Even their six wins -- by a total margin of victory of just 39 points -- are unconvincing.

Sure, they've won three of four, but two of those wins came against the Bengals. And the offense is a joke, averaging just 269.5 yards per game and fewer than 16 points in non-Cincinnati games.

Even that easy schedule isn't enough to compensate for an offense that won't put enough points on the board. But, hey, that Super Bowl win sure was sweet ...

ALSO SEE