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NFL Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens: 5 Players Who Mean The Most To A Playoff Run

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5 Players Who Mean the Most to a Baltimore Ravens Playoff Run

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens are suddenly on a major hot streak. After starting off the season at 3-5, they are catching fire in December as they did last season, and are winners of four straight.

Right now, they are the hottest team in the league. Things seem to be clicking on both sides of the ball and the Ravens' defense is simply dominating. Young players such as Matt Elam are getting playing time and thriving. John Harbaugh has proven he knows what it takes to win games in December and January.

He is easily a top-five coach in football, and great coaching goes a long, long way in the winter months. Right now, the playoff picture for the Ravens is crystal clear.

They control their own destiny in the AFC North. If they beat the Patriots at home and go on the road and take out the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals, they will take home the AFC North crown yet again.

Right now, I wouldn't bet against these guys. They simply find a way to win football games even with the odds totally stacked against them. Never was that more evident than their game against the Detroit Lions when Justin Tucker needed to nail an improbable 61-yard field goal for the Ravens to pull out a crucial road victory. He did just that.

Whether it is fourth-and-29 last season or an absurdly long field goal this year, it matters not for the Ravens. Call it luck, but they always find a way to get it done with the deck stacked against them.

Let's take a look at five players who mean the most to a Baltimore Ravens playoff run.

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5. Justin Tucker

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Tucker has simply been a weapon for the Baltimore Ravens. He has enough leg to kick it out to 65 yards and is deadly accurate. His leg will be crucial if the Ravens are to make another playoff run.

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4. Joe Flacco

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

What can you say about Joe Flacco? He is getting it done in crunch time again. In two straight weeks, he has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as he led two improbable game-winning drives that the Ravens needed to keep their playoff hopes alive. The guy just turns on a switch in the late fourth quarter. He will need to be Joe "Clutch" again if the Ravens want to repeat.

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3. Terrell Suggs

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Terrell Suggs is a monster off the edge. He has nine sacks this season and makes his presence felt every game with pressure off the edge. He also has the ability to set the edge in the running game. He will need to continue to play like a stud for the Ravens to make a long run through the playoffs this season.

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2. Ray Rice

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Ray Rice has been off his game this season. The Ravens are near the bottom in rushing offense as Rice isn't finding room and hasn't been nearly as effective. Rice will need to get his game in gear if the Ravens want a lengthy playoff run.

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1. Haloti Ngata

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Haloti Ngata is a monster in the middle of the Ravens' defense. He provides pressure up the middle, and can also rush the passer despite his massive frame. Ngata will need to continue to play at a Pro Bowl level for this defense to succeed and for the Ravens to make another Super Bowl run.