The Ravens entered their bye week to a host of questions.
They came out of the bye with all the right answers.
The Baltimore secondary rebounded from a dreadful performance against the Bills two weeks ago, held Brandon Marshall and a dangerous Dolphins wide receiving corps in check, and grabbed three interceptions.
The front-seven beefed up their pass rush and did a better job of getting pressure on the quarterback. Terrell Suggs had an especially solid day, getting a sack and two quarterback hits, and was disruptive off the edge all afternoon.
After being held in check in the passing game throughout much of the season, Ray Rice was able to get the ball in space yesterday and make plays after the catch. He accounted for over a third of the Ravens' receiving yardage, and kept moving the chains throughout the second half when, for some reason, Miami stubbornly refused to spy the running back with an extra linebacker.
And when it mattered in the fourth quarter, the Ravens were able to put the game away with aggressive defense and methodical, time-consuming drives on offense, which they were unable to put together the last two times out.
For once, there were no late-game I-hope-they-don't-blow-it-again dramatics, and the Charm City faithful got to rest easy, kick back and watch just the second Ravens game this season which was decided by more than a touchdown.
Facing a physical Miami team that had yet to lose on the road this season, the Ravens appeared to be the stronger, fresher squad from the moment they received the opening kickoff.
And it looked like they knew it. While the Dolphins were panicking (how they avoided going to running back Ronnie Brown, who had six carries for 45 yards and a touchdown on Miami's opening drive yet got just three carries the rest of the game, is beyond me) the Ravens were dancing, laughing and having a good time.
Did you see Suggs jokingly mocking Brown by imitating the running back crouched over in the backfield waiting for the snap? Did you see Rice breaking off some dance moves on his way to the huddle with the fourth quarter only halfway over?
The Ravens might just have gotten their swagger back yesterday.
Now 3-0 under John Harbaugh coming out of a bye (and 8-1 in their last nine games following their bye), Baltimore is tied for the NFL's best record at 6-2.
On a day when a couple more AFC powers took surprising tumbles (really, New England?) the Ravens picked up another W, improved to 4-0 at home, and hit the mid-point of the season looking like they're in good shape for another playoff run.
Here's the weekly Monday morning question for you to ponder as you sip that coffee and get the work week started:
What needs to happen for you to fully believe that the Ravens are an elite NFL team at this point?
Do you need to see more consistent play from the secondary? Do you want to see Joe Flacco and the offense develop more of a killer instinct? Does the run defense need to tighten up?
Or do you not need to see any of that? Are you already convinced that the Ravens are ready to make a deep push into the playoffs?
What's your take?