The Ravens have been in this position before.
They lost to the Chargers by 20 points last season in San Diego. They got blown out by Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts 31-3 during John Harbaugh’s first season as head coach.
The common theme after both of those losses was that Baltimore rebounded. The Ravens rattled off consecutive wins after both of those games and ended up advancing to the AFC championship in those seasons.
They will have to bounce back again this year following Sunday’s 43-13 loss to the Houston Texans, the most lopsided defeat in the Harbaugh era.
It’s a challenging, but familiar, predicament for the Ravens.
"We’ve been here before,” outside linebacker
So how do the Ravens overcome the loss?
With a bye week to assess the damage, the Ravens are going through a process of self-scouting to determine what needs to change. They have holes to fix – the defense currently ranks 26th in the NFL and the offense hasn’t sustained success on the road – but the Ravens are focused on not overcompensating based on Sunday’s performance.
"The key is reacting, but not over reacting – understanding that there is opportunity in this whole thing, that it’s a 16-game season, that it’s a tough league, and if you get so enamored, self-centered around your own situation, then you kind of miss the forest for the trees,” Harbaugh said during his Monday press conference.
Harbaugh indicated that changes could be in store for the coming weeks. They could shake up the offensive line, shift their offensive approach on the road and make some tweaks to shore up a leaky run defense.
But more importantly, he said that the team has to move on and take Sunday’s defeat as a tough stage of a long season.
"This is just part of the process of building a football team,” Harbaugh said. "As we’re building a football team that we hope becomes a great football team by the end of the season, these are the kinds of things that you’ve got to work through. And there [are] not too many teams, at some point in time, that don’t have these types of things to work through.”
In the wake up Sunday’s 30-point loss, Harbaugh reminded his team of the game’s circumstances. They lost on the road to arguably the best team in football. They still have a 5-2 record and sit atop the AFC North.
And despite the sting from Sunday, the loss only counts once on the schedule.
"A loss is just a loss. No matter how bad it feels, it’s only one,” he said. "They can’t make it any more than one.
"Where are we going from here? We have to try to get the next win."