Ravens should have more confidence

Ravens should have more confidence
February 14, 2013, 12:45 pm
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The Ravens have always had plenty of belief in themselves. They'll talk some trash and enjoy life on the football field. 

But the 2013 season could be interesting for their opponents, because winning a championship, at any level, will give a team a lot of confidence. 

For the Ravens, it's understandable. They had to beat four of the NFL's best teams, three times on the road, even though the Super Bowl was a neutral-site game, it still wasn't in Baltimore. And even though their defense played better than it had for much of the regular season and veteran Ray Lewis had returned, things were a bit reversed as the offense really carried things at times.

Joe Flacco has been under all kinds of pressure during his five-year career with people often saying he couldn't win the big game and isn't an elite quarterback. Now he's won the big game. The offense has proven itself and moved to another level. 

Coach John Harbaugh has been under a similar shadow as Flacco, although it's not quite as wide. This year was the third time in his five years as Baltimore's coach that the team made the AFC title game. A loss would have put more pressure on Harbaugh -- but that's not going to happen now either. 

The Ravens have kind of gotten over the proverbial hump. They've now got a coach and quarterback and a bunch of other players who've won it all and done it all in a season when not many people gave them a chance. That's going to give the Ravens some confidence going forward.

They know they're losing Ray Lewis and others. That comes with the territory in today's NFL. But the Ravens also know they can win. They already had that belief.

Now they've got it even more.