Football and sports can be a funny thing sometimes. Everything is going poorly and, all of a sudden, the world changes-- without much of an explanation.
That's kind of what happened to the Ravens this past weekend. They'd been struggling in recent weeks, losing three in a row and not looking too good in doing it. And then, all of a sudden, they crushed the Giants to lock up first place in the AFC North and either the No. 3 or 4 seed in the AFC playoffs.
When talking about all of that in his weekly Monday meeting with the media, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said it was just a day when everything finally came together.
"It was our best overall performance, I think," Harbaugh said. "It was the best we've done at putting all three phases together and playing well. We blocked, we tackled, and our playmakers made plays. We didn't turn the ball over. We didn't do things that cost us and hurt us like we did in the other three games. So, that's probably the difference."
The Ravens have had games where the offense played well. Other times it's the defense or special teams. Or two out of the three. The problem is all three hadn't done it at the same time.
But as the coach said, that's what happened this time around. Joe Flacco and the offense gained over 500 yards, the defense shut down Eli Manning, and the special teams again were solid. The combination proved to be way too much for a Giants' team that didn't seem to have a whole lot of spark on a cold afternoon and evening.
The question for the Ravens is if they can duplicate this performance heading forward. If they want to find success in the playoffs this year, that's going to be the key.