Is Ravens-Browns contest another trap game?

Question for Ravens fans: Do you really think losing to sub-.500 teams is the Ravens’ modus operandi this year, or do you believe their three losses to bad teams were all flukes?

Depending on your answer to that question, who’s nervous for Sunday’s game against the 4-7 Cleveland Browns?

Don’t you just wish the Ravens would hurry up and get to the playoffs, where they have zero chance of playing down to a bad team? Looking at the Ravens’ upcoming schedule, four of their final five games are against losing teams.

Bet you never thought you’d look at an easy part of the Ravens schedule and wish a Patriots or Steelers matchup was wedged in there to break up all those trap games.

OK, let’s not go that far.

I’m interested to see what you out there in the blogosphere think. My impression is that most people believe the Ravens are a team that could go to the Super Bowl. You have to wonder, though, how that impression might change if the Ravens lose to yet another team they should beat this weekend. Would they still be Super Bowl contenders then?

The playoffs are a crapshoot for the Ravens. If they get the No. 1 seed and secure home-field advantage, the Ravens will go to the Super Bowl. The lower they are seeded, their chances dwindle.

Here’s why (and I know this sounds crazy): If the NFL playoffs were set up the way the NCAA basketball tournament is, the Ravens would fare better as a seventh or eighth seed. If they were a second or third seed, they’d probably lose in the first round because they’d have to play the lowest seeds in the tournament and they’d play down to them.

As we all know, the NFL is different. No. 1 seeds get a first-round bye. Because of the Ravens’ track record of lowering themselves to the occasion against lesser teams, John Harbaugh and the gang better hope to get that top seed. Then they won’t have to play the wild card teams in the playoffs who technically are the worst teams in the postseason. They’ll just face the better teams that advance past the first round. As the record shows, the Ravens look sharp against the top teams in the NFL.

Did anyone out there actually feel more sure of a Ravens win going into the Thanksgiving matchup against the then 9-1 San Fransisco 49ers than I do going heading into Cleveland? I did.

The Ravens clearly need put this manic/depressive routine to rest and show they are the team who beat the Steelers twice, the Bengals and the 49ers; not the team that was embarrassed by the Titans, Jaguars and Seahawks this year.