Why not us. Simple, but strong words. Words that Tony Sparano has been using to describe our season. Before I go any further, if you have not watched the Dolphins Post-Game celebration, and some of the player interviews, I suggest you do. They're great. Here they are.
This has been a miraculous season. We're in the playoffs! Division champs. We beat out the Pats, and the Jets. We ended their season, all on one Chad Pennington QB sneak. Oh, how sweet. This Sunday is the biggest game this franchise has played in quite some time. While every analyst, and sports pundit is predicting a Raven victory, I say, why not us?
We are built for the Post Season. We run the football very effectively, and can definitely smother an opponent's running game. Any doubt of that was erased last Sunday, when Thomas Jones, the AFC's leading rusher, ran for just 23 yards on 10 carries. We don't turn the ball over, and force turnovers, averaging over 2 take-aways a game. We have creative plays that can get our offense going if it is stalling.
But most importantly, we want it. We play with passion. And we're going to continue to have to play with that same passion and heart if we want to beat one of the hottest teams in the NFL this Sunday, in Baltimore.
I think the number one key to winning this game, is to stop their running game. The Ravens have a very down hill, pound it, style of a rushing attack. They run the football A LOT. More than anybody else in the NFL. Porter will definitely have to step it up, as you can bet the Ravens will be running it right at him.
I think that the main reason the Ravens had so much success running the football against us in Week 7, was because Ferguson got hurt, and Solai stupidly got himself suspended. After Big Ferg went down, that is when McGahee and McClain really got going, and having to put DE Randy Starks at NT really hurt our run D. Ferguson has been an absolute beast, and force in the middle, and if he plays the same way this week, we should have success defending this running game of Baltimore, and forcing the rookie QB into a lot of 2nd and 3rd and longs.
Number two key to winning this game is the play of our corners. Mark Clayton has been making circus like catches on deep balls from Joe Flacco. Allen and Goodman need to be very cautious about getting beat deep, but not so much that they are playing off of their receivers as much as they were in Week 7. Mason and Clayton know how to get open, so our receivers are going to have to be aggressive, but disciplined at the same time. Flacco has had issues with guiding DBs to the receiver he is going to throw to this season, so if we can read Flacco's eyes, and use good instinct, I think that our DBs can have very good success, and possible be in position to pick a couple off. And we need to; we need to give our offense all the help that they can get.
Number three is to be decisive, and quick on offense. The Ravens defense is fast, tenacious, tough, physical; everything an opposing offensive line, and offense hates. We cannot have any slow developing plays. By that I mean if we're going to run a stretch or a toss/sweep, it needs to be a quick one. No dancing around either, Mr. Brown. We need to match their intensity. We also cannot get discouraged. Early on, I'm sure that there will be some butterflies, and with that Raven D, it will be very tough to move the football. Stick with it. Don't get discouraged.
If we do these things, I think that we will be in great position to win a Playoff game, and we will be heading to Pittsburgh!