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Ravens Super Bowl Hangover performance is example of why nothing else matters but 'getting in'

The Ravens were hung over last night and Manning and the Broncos were a pretty gnarly hair-of-the-dog. But it's only September. Both the Ravens and Steelers have been examples of finishing better than they start.

Doug Pensinger

Man, why can't they all be like that?

The Super Bowl hangover is back in 2013. And the Ravens are going to be dry-heaving for at least another 10 days. Peyton Manning was obscene last night. And Baltimore's defense didn't have an answer. Joe Flacco looked super-rich. But he also reminded everyone why there were question marks around that 9-figure deal he signed after that truly exceptional performance in the Playoffs last year. Last night must have been unbelievably frustrating for them -- and as you can tell, that doesn't exactly bother me.

But…it's September. And there's an axiom in the NFL that seems to become corroborated a little further every season: You just gotta get in.

Like when the 2005 Steelers shook off a 3 game losing streak to win 8 in a row including Super Bowl XL. Getting hot like the Ravens did 6-and-a-half months ago is the most effective shortcut to the Lombardi in the modern NFL. Not to detract too much from their championship -- just a little -- but being an all-around great team for the entire season is far less important than somehow making your way into the tournament. Because then you have a chance to flip the script like Keyser Söze.

Clearly, a loss in September isn't meaningless. But the Ravens are still probably going to be a tough team to beat this year. Flacco will have some good games, and their defense sure as hell won't give up 49 every game. But here's to hoping they do -- at least a couple more times.