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2. We could be in for another rollercoaster season from the Ravens.
I can't remember after which too-close-for-comfort win last season that Terrell Suggs said it, but he quipped that there was an easy way of winning games -- and then there was the Ravens' way of doing things. This one would qualify as the latter. In Sunday night's 31-30 victory, the Ravens overcame a pair of two-score deficits, 135 yards worth of penalty yardage, a failed fourth-down conversion, a 335-yard passing performance by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and head coach John Harbaugh arguing with an official while trying to call a late timeout. They started the game flat, appeared to lose their composure in the fourth quarter and rode the roller coaster of emotions all the way to a one-point win over one of their biggest rivals. And it wasn't official until Justin Tucker's game-winner squeezed inside the right upright. Throw in the Torrey Smith saga, and beat writers had one hell of a story to type up on deadline.
After the game, I reminded Harbaugh of what Suggs said a year ago and asked him if that rang true with this team -- and make no mistake, with 16 new players, this is a different team than the one that lost another roller coaster game to the Patriots in the AFC championship game back in January.
"I hope that's who we are," he said, speaking of his resilient Ravens. "I hope that's how we're defined. I hope we don't have to do it this way all the time, but when you play great football teams like we played, who are so well-coached, who have such great players, it's going to have to be that way sometimes, I guess. What would be a better story than the one you just saw?"
But this was just the third chapter in a long story, and even though the Ravens are again flying high after overcoming a 30-21 deficit in the final four minutes of the game, it's still too early to tell if it will have a happy ending. But that's what makes the journey of an NFL season the best reality show going -- and I say that with all due respect to "Storage Wars" and "Dance Moms." The Ravens will have to iron out some major wrinkles -- I'll discuss a couple of them in the next three items -- if they want to make the playoffs, but they displayed a lot moxie on Sunday night.
September 23, 2012