In the stats-crazy world of sports that we live in, numbers often drive things. People and "experts" judge what kind of player someone is or was based upon the numbers they put up.
One of the numbers that's getting more attention is rings. Championship rings, specifically. The more rings a player has, the better player he was-- or so people think.
It's a bit of flawed logic, but the Ravens can get their own rings if they win the Super Bowl a week from Sunday versus San Francisco. There's a few players who could really benefit from this.
On defense, Ray Lewis is arguably one of the greatest defensive players of all time. Same with Ed Reed. Terrell Suggs might be in that conversation one day also. Lewis did win one Super Bowl, but that's the only one he played in. Reed and Suggs never have been in one before.
A win in this game would let Lewis retire with two championships, which really looks good on a Hall of Fame resume. He's going to get in no matter what happens, but it makes a stronger legacy for the way many think. It would also give Reed and Suggs the chance to say they played on a championship team, something that helps all careers.
Suggs is kind of in a similar spot to quarterback Joe Flacco. Breaking through and making the Super Bowl will help Flacco get towards that elite quarterback status he wants. A good performance in the Super Bowl might just lock up that spot. He's been lights out so far this post-season, looking like a true top-flight quarterback who can lead his team to victory.
All of this is the same with coach John Harbaugh. He's made it to the top level and can say he's a championship coach. No matter what happens, the Ravens will now have tasted things at the highest level. That will push them to get back, one way or another.