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NFL Baltimore Ravens

5 Games That Will Define Baltimore Ravens Season In 2014

5 Games That Will Define Baltimore Ravens' Season In 2014

Baltimore Ravens
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The Baltimore Ravens head into the 2014 campaign somewhat under the radar nationally, but they have reason to believe they have a shot to win a mediocre AFC North. There is a path to ten wins for the Ravens, but they cannot afford to lose certain games to make it happen.

Here's a look at five games that will define Baltimore's season in 2014.

5. Week 5 @ Indianapolis Colts

 Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens
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5. Week 5 @ Indianapolis Colts

 Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens
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The Colts will be the toughest AFC opponent Baltimore will have faced by this point into the season. Baltimore could easily be 3-1 heading into the game with three conference wins, and cementing a non-divisional AFC win would be huge for breaking a tie at the end of the regular season. The Ravens will, in all likelihood, need this road win to make the playoffs.

4. Week 8 @ Cincinnati Bengals

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
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4. Week 8 @ Cincinnati Bengals

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
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Baltimore probably needs to go 4-2 in their division to cement a playoff berth, so picking off one of their AFC North rivals in their own building would be huge, especially if it's the Bengals who have owned the division over the last few seasons. A win in this game would have the Ravens flying high on their way to Pittsburgh the following week.

3. Week 9 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Baltimore Ravens v Pitsburgh Steelers
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3. Week 9 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Baltimore Ravens v Pitsburgh Steelers
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The Steelers are undoubtedly a difficult team to forecast heading into the 2014 season. Pittsburgh is likely no better than an 8-8 team talent wise, but sometimes mediocre teams get lucky and end up 10-6 with a playoff berth. It would go a long way for the Ravens' postseason aspirations if they could go into the steel city and win against Pittsburgh's historically impregnable home field advantage.

2. Week 13 vs. San Diego Chargers

Baltimore Ravens v San Diego Chargers
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2. Week 13 vs. San Diego Chargers

Baltimore Ravens v San Diego Chargers
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The Chargers will be the toughest game on Baltimore's schedule during the stretch run, and being that San Diego could easily be one of the teams that the Ravens are fighting with for the last AFC wild card spot at the end of the season, this game is a borderline must win. San Diego might have a smidgen more talent, but the Ravens should take this game at home.

1. Week 17 vs. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
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1. Week 17 vs. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
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Historically, the AFC North ends up taking until the last week of the season to be decided, and 2014 will be no exception. While Cleveland is probably a year away from making the playoffs, the Steelers and Bengals will be right there in the end staring down Baltimore for a postseason berth. A division win to finish the season could easily be the difference between going golfing or playing football deep into the winter on a playoff run.

Timothy Downs is a St. Louis Rams/NFL writer for RantSports.com. You can add him on Google or follow on Twitter @Tidow1212.