Morning take: Ravens edition
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Since only one AFC North team played this weekend, we're going to focus Monday's "Morning Take" on the Baltimore Ravens.
Here are the most interesting stories about the Ravens from wild-card weekend:
- ESPN.com national columnist Gene Wojciechowski marveled at the way the Ravens played defense in a 27-9 romp over the Miami Dolphins.
Morning take: Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and Co. were in rare form. Baltimore's D turned it up several gears Sunday and Miami couldn't match that intensity.
- Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times says rookie quarterback Joe Flacco (135 yards, one rushing touchdown) played well enough to win.
Morning take: Flacco did what Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons couldn't in his first playoff game, which was stay composed and avoid turnovers.
- The staff from the Baltimore Sun notes that Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn't get any votes for coach of the year, which went to Atlanta's Mike Smith.
Morning take: The league MVP (Peyton Manning), coach of the year (Smith) and rookie of the year (Ryan) are all gone after one round of the postseason. It's safe to say all three would trade in their awards to still have a chance at the Super Bowl.
- Your resident AFC North blogger writes the Ravens (12-5) haven't forgotten about their October loss to the Tennessee Titans (13-3).
Morning take: Tennessee plays like an AFC North team and is the closest thing to the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers outside the division. So both teams better strap their helmets on tight this weekend, because this game will get ugly.