With the Arizona defeating the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football, the Cardinals have clinched a playoff birth and sit with a magic number of one to clinch the NFC West title. Having already accomplished their third consecutive 10-win season, locking down the division is especially important as, playing second (or third) fiddle to the Seahawks during the Bruce Arians era, accomplishing anything in a division with the team that won back-to-back conference titles will always start with the old adage, To Be the Best, You’ve Got to Beat the Best. With that, Sunday morning is Arizona’s first opportunity to backdoor Beat the Best, that is, if the Baltimore Ravens can pull off the upset.
Granted, I know little about the 2015 Ravens. They played at Arizona for the Week 7 Monday Night game and, all things considered, they seemed to play better than a 1-6 team and were in the red zone threatening a tie when Flacco threw the game-sealing interception. Since then, I understand the highlights of the their season have been: defensive coordinator Dean Pees trying to eat 50 hard boiled eggs during a game; football dying in Baltimore by Week 5; and Elvis Dumerville joining the fans in calling out the NFL Conspiracy after losing to the Jaguars courtesy of a blown facemask call.
But the team that threatened a national stage upset here in October are a far a cry from the Ravens of Week 14. Joe Flacco, running back Justin Forsett, wide receiver Steve Smith, linebacker Terrell Suggs are among the list of injured starters and even backup Matt Schaub is questionable for Sunday, which means the starting quarterback may very well be Jimmy Clausen.
Here is Clausen’s stat line from his Week 3 game against Seattle. It isn’t very impressive. But that was with the Bears, man. Can’t blame Jimmy for a team that, after he left has only been one game over .500, right?
Fuck, it’s not about players then; it’s about teams. And the Ravens have been within a score of their opponent in eight of their losses. Seems like their luck has to break sometime, yeah?
Fuck it. I can see why you people drink. Still don’t understand the purple camo…but I do get the drinking.
Anyways, if my single-day brethren are considering waving off this match up in hopes of a more favorable finish, just know that the Ravens schedule closes out with KC, PIT, and CIN. Aside from the Bengals possibly resting their starters in that one, the Ravens have seriously suffered a brutal schedule this season (in terms of travel and match up dates, not necessarily competition objectively speaking). 2015 has not been kind to the Ravens and, I hope, they’ll give the NFL one last 2015 fuck you by upsetting the Seahawks with a punch to the face that will be so quick — and so hard — that Pete Carroll will be apologizing for his clubs role in the incident for weeks.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go ahead and initiate myself into the Ravens fan club by simultaneously enjoying crack and krokodil while getting a #27 tattoo on my neck.