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Losing In December Uncharted Territory

Posted Dec 19, 2012

The Ravens have historically been one of the NFL's best teams late in the season.


The Ravens have traditionally been at their best when the calendar turns to December.

During Head Coach John Harbaugh’s tenure, the Ravens have excelled in late-season games and their 14-8 record in December/January games is the second-best mark in the NFL since 2008.

“We feel like we are built for December football,” Harbaugh said earlier this month. “That’s our goal: to be at our best in December.”

But it’s been a different story this year, as the Ravens have lost three straight games, which have all come in December. Losses to the Steelers, Redskins and Broncos have the Ravens in a three-game slide for just their second time in the last five years.

“It’s definitely uncharted territory for us,” linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo said.

While the Ravens are in the midst of a skid, they still have a chance to turn it around. A win on Sunday over the New York Giants would give them the AFC North title for the second straight season and secure a home playoff game.

Last year, the Ravens didn’t wrap up the division until the final week of the regular season.

“We’re used to being in a position where we’re getting ready for the playoffs,” Ayanbadejo said. “We’re one game away from that right now. You look back in the past and we’ve won in December, but we’ve also clinched the playoffs in the last game of the year. With that being said, we have to go get that done.”

Recent Super Bowl winners have gone through similar struggles at this point of the season, and the focus for the Ravens is to keep their eyes on the goals that they still have well within reach.

“In December, we have been a winning football team, but at the same time, I don’t know if we’ve been climbing up into the playoffs,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “We’ve just got to keep moving forward, keep our eye on the prize. Everything in this league is ‘what have you done for me lately,’ and we’ve got to continue to move forward and stay confident because nobody’s going to be too high on us except ourselves. We’ve got to go out there and seize whatever opportunities we have ahead of us."

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