So you're telling Ravens there's a chance?

So you're telling Ravens there's a chance?

Ravens

So you're telling Ravens there's a chance?

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Three weeks ago the Ravens looked dead in the water—four straight losses and a slew of injuries combined with an impotent offense seemed to spell a lost season with a likely 3rd place finish in the AFC North well behind the then-surging Steelers and Bengals.

What a different picture now as the Ravens (5-4) head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys (8-1), who just knocked off the Steelers to send Pittsburgh to a 4-5 record.

Suddenly, with a few veterans healing up and back in action, and Joe Flacco seemingly finding his rhythm after an awkward adjustment to his comeback from ACL surgery, the Ravens are in position to make a run for the AFC North Division title—and a chance to catch lightning in a bottle from there.

“I think everybody is extremely happy, obviously, we got two wins in a row,” cornerback Jimmy Smith told CSNMidAtlantic.com after the Browns game. “But we know when you get a victory against a team like the Cowboys, that’s a statement win.”

Whoa, don’t get ahead of yourself, Jimmy!

Ironically, despite all the early offensive struggles, the Ravens have the league’s top-ranked defense— while the Cowboys have the NFL’s No. 3-ranked offense. Specifically, Baltimore’s No. 1-ranked run defense will be challenged with stopping the league’s top rusher, rookie Ezekiel Elliot.

“I’m sure everybody’s going to count us out that game,” Smith said. “They like to run the ball, we like to stop the run. They’ve got some big-play receivers. We’re going to have our hands full, but we go in and get this victory against them, I think that would kind of validate the last two weeks.”

The Cowboys opened as seven-point favorites in Las Vegas.

“I think it excites anybody to compete,” HC John Harbaugh said. “Certainly, that particular part of the game [the Cowboys offense versus the Ravens defense], that matchup is going to be huge in the game, it’s going to be very important. It might be the most important part of the game.”

The Ravens now control their own playoff destiny to the AFC North crown. The Steelers are 1.5 games behind (Baltimore owns the tiebreaker), and the Cincinnati Bengals (3-5-1).

“That’s something that’s really important to us,” John Harbaugh said. “Whether it’s in a game or whether it’s in the season, you want to get the lead. When you get the lead, you want to keep the lead. To keep the lead, you want to extend the lead. Certainly, that’s going to be our objective.”

#
AFC North
W
L
T
PCT
PF
PA
HOME
ROAD
STRK
1
Ravens
5
4
0
.556
182
160
3-2-0
2-2-0
W2
2
Steelers
4
5
0
.444
214
206
3-2-0
1-3-0
L4
3
Bengals
3
5
1
.389
187
210
2-1-1
1-4-0
L1
4
Browns
0
10
0
.000
175
301
0-4-0
0-6-0
L10

In the back-to-reality department, the Ravens will be without starting rookie left guard Alex Lewis for about six weeks. Lewis suffered a high ankle sprain in Thursday night’s 28-7 win over the Cleveland Browns. The good news was that X-rays showed he didn’t have a broken bone, which was feared when he left the game on a cart with his leg in an air cast.

John Urschel will likely be Lewis’ replacement. Urschel stepped in at left guard after Lewis went down, and started three games earlier this year when Lewis had to bump out to left tackle to fill in for injured rookie Ronnie Stanley.

Lewis, a fourth-round pick out of Nebraska, has had a solid rookie season so far. His best game, according to Pro Football Focus, was against the Steelers when he posted a plus-4.3 grade upon returning back to left guard.

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