NFL teams need talent and luck to win a Super Bowl title. The Ravens and Lamar Jackson are blessed with both this season.
The Ravens didn’t dominate the 49ers on Sunday, but they did manage to grind out yet another win. Sunday’s 20-17 win just shows the world that Baltimore is this year’s team of destiny in the NFL.
Things in the league can change very quickly, but betting against John Harbaugh and this team looks like a really bad idea. It’s clear that Lamar Jackson and the offense have the goods required to win a title. The young quarterback put in another solid performance against a very stingy San Francisco defense. Throwing for 105 yards and a touchdown isn’t going to impress anyone, but his 101 rushing yards on 15 carries dragged his offense over the line to victory.
The real key on Sunday was the performance of the Ravens defense. This is the group that will likely determine whether or not Baltimore makes a deep playoff run or hoists the Lombardi Trophy when all is said and done this season. The group wasn’t dominant against the 49ers offense, but they did enough to get a crucial late-season win.
It’s hard not to look back and point at the team’s decision to trade for Marcus Peters as a really turning point for the Ravens’ defense. Peters isn’t necessarily a shutdown cornerback at this point in his career, but he gives the Baltimore secondary a swagger they desperately needed. Holding Jimmy Garoppolo to just 165 yards through the air shows just how good Baltimore’s back-end can be in a big game.
That intimidating secondary gives the Ravens a chance to win a playoff game even when Jackson doesn’t dominate the opposition. That greatly expands the margin of error available for this team when the postseason arrives. Winning games without playing perfectly is crucial for any Super Bowl hopeful.
Add it all up and the Ravens just look like a team that’s been anointed by fate to win it all this season. There’s certainly time left in the regular season for that to change, but opposing teams should step in front of the Baltimore winning train at their own risk.